With samples of food from 50 of the lowcountry’s favorite restaurants, it truly was a sea of culinary enchantment. Ticket prices ranged from $17.25 (before the event) to $25 (day of) and a portion of the proceeds went to several local charities. Upon entrance, tickets were purchased to be used for food and drink sampling ($2/ticket and roughly 1-3 tickets per food or drink sample).
I met up with the Shokri girls, Ariane and Brianne, two sisters who love good wine and good food. My kind of people. What I love most about them is that they are always happy, enthusiastic and just plain pleasant to be around 🙂
I couldn’t have been more happy when they requested to start at the Beer Garden! They aren’t regular beer drinkers so a little beer tasting 101 was in order. We each got these Holy City tasting glasses and made our rounds in the beer tent. We hit up Holy City, Abita, Dogfish Head, Founders, and uh….I can’t really remember past that (signs of a good time). We tasted beers all along the spectrum; IPA’s, summery wheats, coffee stouts and caramel porters, even a pecan lager and a pumpkin ale to ring in the fall season.
There was no way we would have been able to sample every food item. Besides not being able to fit it into our bellies (we’re trying to keep our figures here), it would have been quite pricey. In addition to the beers, we ended up sampling about 5 food items and we were in no way disappointed. Well, for the most part…
Tabbuli. Chicken Shawarma: succulent chicken kabobs flavored with turmeric and mango. This chicken was cooked perfectly; so juicy. And the turmeric-mango combo had my taste buds dancing. We drool over the thought of turmeric so it only seemed natural in making this our first taste.
Tabbuli was also offering hookah puffs. Have you ever tried hookah? It’s basically flavored tobacco that isn’t inhaled. These flavored puffs were worth 1 ticket – but Tabbuli offered a complementary puff to Arian (they were totally digging her Persian beauty). We peer pressured her into trying it – hah! She smelled like mango for the rest of the day.
The Granary. Charcuterie: house cured meats, slow roasted brisket, pickles and grainy mustard + maple roasted brussels. We skipped out on the brussels – they were an extra 2 tickets and we wanted to try other things! The dietitian in me is slapping the back of my hand for refusing to partake in one of the few veggies offered.
Burtons. I saw apple cider doughnuts and my heart jumped. When I was in Vermont, apple cider doughnuts were the thing to eat and I never got the chance to try them. So when I saw them here, they were mine. Unfortunately, we all agreed that they weren’t as phenomenal as we thought they’d be. They were tasty, but I was expecting more of a tangy apple flavor.
The Sanctuary. Pimento cheese, a classic southern food. When I was young, I was fed many pimento cheese sandwiches. Too many in fact. I swore that I would never touch the stuff again. As you can see, I broke that oath but it was totally worth it. This pimento cheese was topped with pickled watermelon rind, radish and red onion (I’m a sucker for anything pickled). The crispy rye toast complemented the creamy pimento perfectly. Every bite of this was full of bold flavors and contrasting textures.
Every restaurant featured here is worth trying. If you’re ever in the Charleston area, just know that is never a shortage of good restaurants.
With our bellies full and plans for a mid-day nap (at least that was my plan), we parted ways. But we will soon be back together for another culinary expedition. The Shokri’s and I plan on hitting up many restaurants here in Charleston to taste and blog about the specialty items each restaurant has to offer. I’m excited about this and I hope you are too. Stay tuned!