You could not of asked for better weather on Sunday, March 10, 2019. The temperature was pleasant and the sky featured a happy sun.
This was the day we attended the Charleston Wine & Food's Culinary Village.
And to call it a village is hitting the nail on head. It's a melting pot of chefs, flavors, personalities and all-around excitement.
Located in Marion Square, the Culinary Village is the heart + soul of Charleston Wine + Food, and the 2019 menu is bigger and better than ever before. Opening Friday of festival week at Opening Ceremony and continuing through Sunday, an all-inclusive daily ticket guarantees five hours of tasting, sipping, chef demos, live music, retail therapy, and more. Whether a first time attendee or a Wine + Food veteran, the Culinary Village must be on your festival week itinerary.
It truly was the heart and soul of the event. Looking at the map doesn't do it justice.
But, it does provide the essential layout for you to plan your culinary attack of the food and wine offerings.
There were many features we appreciated. The sectioning of the park, the wristbands, the main stage. But, there was one feature we loved.
The chefs were given intervals. The booths remained the same, however, the chefs interchanged after 2-3 hours to allow them not to burn out and to give all chefs a role and attendees the chance to taste an abundance of flavors.
And the time frame was perfect. There's a lot to enjoy, but you do have time to see it all.
And we did.
Like meeting Chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite from three successful restaurants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one being DanDan. These guys were a hoot. Their tasting was a mouthful of scream. Excellent flavor combinations.
While there were quite a few guest chefs outside South Carolina participating, the state had its best of the best representing, too, with outstanding tastes.
Marc Collins Chef Award Winner Kelly Franz, executive chef of Charleston's Magnolias, was presenting smiles along with her comforting food offering. It it was homey, fitting for the village theme.
(For a full listing of chef awards given out at the opening ceremony, visit here.)
The village is a run like a well-oiled machine. It has a great flow and although the sticker shock of pricing and massive amount of activities may intimidate, rest assured the tickets are worth the price and you'll leave wishing you had more time - even if you been to all the village had to offer.
We highly recommend this annual event to any foodie looking to add a culinary adventure to their portfolio outside of Georgetown County. You'll love the food, smiles and friendly faces from all over the culinary map.
Plan now. March 4-8, 2020.
As 2018 winds down, the culinary adventure in Georgetown, South Carolina, has grown leaps and bounds. So, it's only fitting to say 2019 looks to be a breakout year for our Georgetown restaurants.
While there have been a few restaurants to close, we saw just as many open their doors. Root, located at 919 Front Street in the City of Georgetown, has been taken in with welcoming arms. They were also the December recipient of the Simply Amazing Dish of the Month (Beef Short Ribs).
Chef Armando Cobian opened Sol Cocina Mexicana, a high-scale Mexican restaurant, serving creative dishes with a "twist of Mexican flavors" in each bite. It is located at 12036 Ocean Highway in Pawleys Island.
We've also seen some of the perennial favorites strengthen their menus, develop eye-appealing and mouth watering dishes, win awards from various news outlets and further establish their status on the culinary map.
Rustic Table, Frank's and Frank's Outback, Perrone's Restaurant and Bar and Chive Blossom all fit the above mold.
We've also discovered a revival of tradition with restaurants like Janette's Super Burger and Seaboard Restaurant; and businesses like the Bearded Butcher. The patriarchs of such places have passed down their teachings, recipes to families and friends willing to carry on what so many people have enjoyed. They'll also introduce a new generation to those great tastes.
We also heard the phrases "dock to dish" and "hook to fork" when speaking with Dylan Foster of Wicked Inlet Seafood. Another business upholding tradition by having chefs and restaurant owners come to the docks and pick their fish, fresh from the catch. A sure way to know exactly where your seafood comes from.
Wagyu beef was introduced in a big way to the area with a partnership between Foodie City Network and OMD, Inc. Now, restaurants have a pristine location to order the succulent beef from and save huge on shipping costs. This partnership was years in the making.
And, a new concept to the area was introduced. A food tour! Yep, there's a actually a food tour on the culinary adventure of Georgetown, South Carolina.
Carolina Food Tours is a rapidly growing food tour business showcasing many of our Georgetown County restaurants. Not only does this endeavor help introduce locals and tourists alike to our excellent restaurants, it builds a connection with restaurants to bring in business possibilities that otherwise might not have been explored. More importantly, it is year-round and has incorporated seasonal themes.
Speaking of themes, the Georgetown Business Association has introduced restaurant crawls to the city. Quite a few restaurants participate and offer a signature drink on the trail. This exciting concept is a great way to get acquainted with out restaurants in the city. The well-known crawl is the Kringle Krawl that takes place around Christmas time.
With all this, you'd think some of the well-known chefs and food journalists would be taking an interest in our area. The fact is, our chefs are becoming famous in their own right and are drawing people because of their consistent dedication to creating the most eye-catching, flavorful dish.
Steven Perrone, Adam Kirby, Danny Smith, PaulKelly Renault, Greg Metcalfe, Armando Cobian and Graham Plummer are just a few of a huge arsenal of chefs our county has to offer.
And, yes, the interest is there. Eater, Food Network and Yelp have seen what cannot be ignored any longer. It has to be shared with the masses.
I see the year 2019 as a culinary explosion for Georgetown, South Carolina. The whole county.
All our restaurants work tirelessly to provide a great experience and awesome food on the culinary adventure of our county. For what was a secret to us locals will soon be a shining star to many.
All families have them. Whether they're beach cookouts on the Fourth of July, frying turkeys for Thanksgiving or Christmas barbecues, the purpose is to gather amongst family and friends and enjoy some great food.
The annual Bruce Christmas barbecue fits the same mold, however, there's a greater meaning in the gathering. It began in 2001 as a way to create memories for the children and has blossomed into a grand tradition.
Along with Joel, Linda, Melanie and Robbin Bruce, Roger Bruce, his wife Tina and his family plan out each December's barbecue in advance. Why? Because there's a good chance something might pop up.
One year, Roger had to work during the barbecue and nearly missed the whole thing. But, as family does, the reigns were picked up and the festivities carried on. Yes, there were leftovers, but not being there hurt a little.
The week-before-Christmas event is usually the only time the extended family and friends gather amongst one another. It's a time to enjoy one's company, see what's new in life and reflect on a year almost gone. More, it provides the elders an opportunity attract their growing children to the crowd for some food and companionship.
I am married in to the family. In the early years of me attending, I considered it a time to eat some good barbecue, chat a little and carry on about my days. Boy, did I have huge wake-up call coming.
As the years passed and the barbecue rolled on, patriarchs of the family began to pass.
Two such people were Uncle Archie Bruce and Aunt D.C. Those were tough ones. You could see it on everyone's faces. While they tried hard to put on a happy face, you knew deep down they wanted them there. Just one more year, please. No one had to say that, but their eyes told it with the tears shed.
Another would be Judy. I loved seeing her. She loved seeing the little children running around and having fun, always asking whether or not they've been good. One year, she dressed as an elf. She told me Santa left her behind to make sure to get the names of all the good kids at the gathering for him.
Family means a lot. To the Bruce brothers, it's golden. To some, the event is a couple hours of eating off the pig and having a few desserts. To them, it's their contribution to keeping the family together and allowing them to congregate amongst one another. You know, because we aren't guaranteed the next day.
They know that.
And as the years have passed, and I have seen their children grow up, my daughter grow up and my stepchildren grow up, I know it, too.
In the fast-paced world we live in, we take for granted all who are around us. This event has been and is a way to slow time for a bit and enjoy one another while enjoying great food.
And that's why I look forward to it each year. My appearance is a way of saying thank you for continuing a tradition that means a lot to the family involved, myself included.
Oh, and don't ask about the sauce. Roger doesn't measure anything. He knows when it's the right amount.
The building sat dormant for years. The smell of those famous "super burgers" that used to grab folks on Indian Hut Road was gone into the wilderness. Deep down inside, Mrs. Janette couldn't stand it. "I have to be moving, doing something. That's me all the way," she says as she tells about her recent doctor's visit. "All my life, I've been doing. Late night drives to Columbia to the produce market then back to the restaurant. Had to take care of children."
And that she did. Her cooking provided for her kids education, first cars and more. And if it wasn't the mere fact of supporting a family that drove her, it was her passion to deliver good food.
"I love to cook. Have a big family. Cooked a big Thanksgiving meal this year. They love my collards."
Her years developing a unique burger and working to perfect it became famously known as the "Super Burger" to a lot of her customers. Just one patty was the size of your hand. And people loved the size and taste. They were all made to order. Nothing sitting around.
Folks working at the saw mill back then knew where to stop for a quick lunch or a dinner for home.
But one day, the doors shut. No more grand-size burgers walking out.
Her family knew the importance of tradition. They knew a person like Mrs. Janette and her determination and grit to make something needed an eternal flame of sorts. More, the people of this generation needed to experience what others had done so decades ago.
And I am glad Tammy, Frankie and Buddy are doing that!
How many true mom-and-pop restaurants do you know of that still exist today? There's not many. And when you get deep into Georgetown, away from the beach and city, you find those gems. Hidden, of course, and only known to those in a certain radius.
I think folks like Mrs. Janette and Janette's Super Burger need to be recognized. Not only recognized, but enjoyed.
Look at the smile on her face above. In mere minutes of our conversation, her face began to light up, as if those memories of years gone gasped breath and flowed through her veins. It looked like a recharging of a spirit that was always there, but needed a boost. At one moment, she perked up, said she had to go to kitchen and see if they needed help. And from that point on, she stayed back there. With her family. With Tammy, Frankie and Buddy.
The glow was brighter than the any of lights in the small building providing at the time. Nothing but smiles.
And as people walked in to grab an order, they saw her back there. The smiles, the higher pitch of voice filled with excitement and the appreciation for what she created could all be felt in simple words - Well, hello Mrs. Janette!
Tradition lives on at Janette's Super Burger. The smell of those famous super burgers is back in the air.
And Mrs. Janette couldn't be more happier.
And we couldn't be more thankful.
This location in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has seen a few restaurants come and go. I think, however, The Rusty Rudder is here to stay for quite a while.
Owners Brian Johnston, Eric Paul and Executive Chef Mike Eckert not only have a great location with comforting decor and an amazing porch setting, but the food will astound you!
We dined in on a Saturday, which was all-you-can-eat oysters from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Manager Cameron Paul was ecstatic and pleasant while making sure both the inside and outside were handled well. Chef Mike was on the fire pit steaming oysters and they were coming off perfect. The back of the house never missed a beat as orders flowed from the kitchen in a timed rush - satisfying the customers not only in wait time, but taste as well.
Here's a little bit about the restaurant.
The Rusty Rudder Mount Pleasant serves chef crafted Lowcountry cuisine offering something for everyone including house smoked BBQ, award winning wings, pasta, local seafood, oysters, steak and more. Whether you’re looking for a delicious dinner, happy hour, live music, a friendly place to catch a game or just a great family friendly atmosphere The Rusty Rudder is your go-to spot in Mt. Pleasant.
That last statement couldn't be any more truer.
Let's talk about some dishes!
Look over to your left. That's the BBQ Shrimp. Comes as an appetizer. You can, however, ask for it as a dinner portion. Keep it our little secret, though. Sautéed shrimp over a sweet onion grits with house smoked pork belly and red bbq sauce. So good!
The Rudder Melt is an 8 oz. burger with Charleston ‘hot’ seasoning, pepper jack cheese, bacon and onion jam, on Texas Toast. Do not let the word "hot" scare you away. The sweetness of the bacon and onion jam counter what heat is there and it works so well together.
The Shrimp & Grits come as a hefty portion! Sautéed shrimp, alligator andouille, roasted red peppers, corn, tomatoes and green onions over pimento cheese grits topped with a chipotle cream sauce. The flavors of this dish really hit your taste buds - and put a smile on your face as you go for more!
The awesome Crab Dip comes with lump crab baked with a light parmesan cream sauce and served with a French baguette.
And you cannot go wrong with either a "BBQ Mac" or a "Seafood Mac" or a "Prime Rib Mac"! We say try all the macs!
The menus have a lot to offer! Right now, take a look at the photos and plan your culinary adventure at The Rusty Rudder today!
How can you tell when it's time to replace your wooden cutting board? Here are some tips.
Wooden cutting boards naturally resist bacteria growth better than plastic cutting boards, but laminated wood boards are not dishwasher-safe and are more difficult to clean thoroughly. Consequently, the guidelines for replacing wooden cutting boards are similar to those for plastic boards. Replace a wooden cutting board when it gets excessively grooved or warped. Most wooden boards consist of several laminated pieces of wood, and they should be replaced if the seams between the boards begin to separate; bacteria may accumulate in the seams, and a cracked board may be dangerously unstable.
So, do you think you're in the market for a new slice-and-dice board? If so, I have a great recommendation.
Hot Bloxx Cutting Boards! And they do more, too!
We chose to evacuate from area due to potential flooding. What we didn't expect was a new restaurant in Kingstree owned by a familiar face.
Holly Cusack has taken what she's learned in Georgetown and opened High Cotton Cafe, located on 117 North Academy Street in Kingstree, S.C.
It's a semi-rustic menu and a work in progress from what Cusack has told me. The tastes, however, are explosive.
The King Burger is a grilled Angus patty on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon, avocado and fried egg. I got mine hard fried. It was fresh, flavorful and tasted great.
The Southern Tacos come with your choice of steak, chicken or shrimp. We had the shrimp. They're topped with their spicy southern slaw and a drizzle of house sauce, which makes the dish!
The vegetable soup is about as comforting as you can picture. The portion was excellent. Just the right blend of meat to veggies.
There's also Twisted Club - a traditional club served on a croissant.
But we think you'll love the Chicken Club Pasta Salad the most! Hearty rotini pasta is tossed with shredded chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheese and avocado. It is then served over mixed greens with crackers. So good!
Enjoy the photos. We enjoyed the meals!
I recently did a story on Krazy K's BBQ Sauce and wanted to try them. I had received samples last month and found time to do just that. Let's see which sauce I preferred!
I had some pulled pork separated in three portions which a sauce on each. There's Original, "Kurly Tails" and "Red" and they are very distinct.
I first tried the vinegar-based Original sauce, blended from apple cider vinegar with portioned sugars and spices. It was not as potent as other vinegar sauces I've had before. Pretty flavorful and compliments the meat rather than overpowering it.
Next was the "Kurly Tails" sauce. This is mustard-based with a balanced mixture of honey and molasses. You could taste immediately the sweetness. It's a sauce that I would use to introduce people to mustard bases who are worried about mustardy potency. It's there, but nothing like a mustard you'd use on a hamburger or hot dog. Some people think that when they see mustard. This sauce is spot on for the treatment of the meat and tongue!
Finally, the "Red" sauce. Tomato-based with a "sugar-tweek" and some "sweet-heat". Yeah, it's true. This is by far my top choice. I loved how it complimented the flavors of the pork, but didn't drown them out. You get that sweety heaty aftertaste, but not a burny one. It's addictive. I even put some on chicken pilau and it was so good!
All three are excellent in the flavor combinations. Try them and see if you end up with the same choice I made!
Had to stop in and see David Milligan. He posted a status on the Milligan's at Belle Isle Facebook page that caught my attention. Seems Chef Justin was going to go all Spanish that night!
And he sure did. The special was Shellfish Paella with chicken and sausage. And if you know anything about this dish, the wait is part of the appeal.
Blending the right flavors and ingredients is a true art, something Justin has been extensively trained in. The result proved he passed with flying colors when in culinary class.
He actually trained in Spain, folks.
I enjoyed every bit of it. The sampling above shows the fine attention to detail. Such a quaint portion, but it packed a powerful punch of zesty flavor!
While you #shopsmall today in #MyGeorgetown, make sure to include our great #restaurants! They work hard to serve you.
It's Labor Day Weekend 2017. Time to end Summer officially with one last hurrah! Enjoy the day off from work and school. Spend time with the family and be thankful for what our work produces in enjoying the fruits of our labor.
Let's also think about the restaurants in Georgetown County as they work hard to bring you a great dining experience.
Their dedication to pleasing customers and earning regulars, both local and tourist alike, should be commended.
Give a little extra tip to your waiter or waitress. Thank the table cleaner for being on point and not keeping you waiting to be seated too long. Thank the managers for running a tight ship. Thank the owners for living their dream in providing a great place to eat.
Restaurants are the backbone of our community. It's where we meet and have conversations on topics of the day. It's where we enjoy the good times and make the bad times disappear for a few hours.
Enjoy this Labor Day and be thank those who work to provide for you as well as themselves.
Wouldn't it be cool to see Rustic Table featured on Guy Fieri's hit show Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives? How about Caffe Piccolo? The River Room?
Georgetown, or #MyGeorgetown as known to social media hashers, has a vast array of choices for this super restaurant-spotlighting show.
For Guy, he has to hear from us! So, why not send him a message about your favorite Georgetown restaurant and let's make some noise in supporting our eateries!
Hmm... Wicked Tuna? Rollin Local? Prosser's BBQ? Milligan's at Belle Isle? Ball & Que? Atlantic House?
Whatever your fave is, drop Guy a line and let's get Triple D in Georgetown! Exposure on a national television show is what all our eateries in Georgetown deserve.
Click the button below and write away!
Hey, Eddy. Thank you for the brief but powerful restaurant venture known as Eddy Chacon's Restaurant, located where Land's End used to be.
You and your team provided a great dining atmosphere and awesome dishes.
Although you've decided to focus on Alfresco Georgetown Bistro, please know your second effort didn't go unnoticed.
Very much appreciated!
My first time at Landolfi's in Pawleys Island was really exciting.
Sat outside, but it's not really outside. Covered deck style, with brick outlay (adjustable screen enclosure to keep bugs out) and even a fireplace for those chilly nights.
The most exciting feature I enjoyed was the ringside seat to the entry/exit way for the back parking lot.
Talk about your mad rush. From 5 p.m. until, droves of vehicles were coming to the back lot to acquire a parking space for the evening. Very few people were leaving.
It really was like people were arriving late for school or work, however, they seemed to be super excited to be away from that and arriving here for their reward!
And the take-out business is booming. This place must be good if people bypass certain spots that provide easy take-out to fight for a parking spot just to pick up an order.
With that being said, let's get to the reason I visited... the food.
The hoagies and subs are fresh and flavorful. Portion size is on point.
The pizzas, oh my gosh, are so good. You'd think they would have originated the dish itself. Several unique pizza offerings are available and you can build your own.
Get here early. I mean it. The food is definitely worth its weight in gold.
Look above. That dish is so inviting. The color, texture of food and portion size is superb.
And it was such a rewarding entree. The Seafood Pasta (Penne Pasta with Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster & Crab, Sauteed Spinach in a Seafood Cream Sauce) was exactly what I craved on an evening when I just wanted to unwind and enjoy family time.
The pasta was cooked just right. Shrimp were robust, flavorful and plentiful. Lobster, scallops and crab were also in the dish. You could not go wrong with this special.
My wife had the Grilled Seafood Risotto above (Flounder, Shrimp and Scallops over a bed of Mushroom Risotto) and she was in heaven. Definitely would order again. The fish was cooked to perfection, shrimp were plump and tasty. Scallops melted in your mouth.
We had a tableside view of the marina. The service was spot on.
Could not ask for a better evening at Chacon's of Georgetown.