Friday, November 19, 2010

Coleman Public House

A recent addition to the Mount Pleasant casual dining scene is the Coleman Public house on Coleman boulevard near Shem Creek. We went on a Sunday morning and that is when I usually crave a burger after having too much fun the night before. The beer selection is sure to please most with interesting draft choices of different strengths. One side of the establishment is the tap room if that gives you an idea of the amount thought put into the draft selections. The burger was good but perhaps a cooked a little much for my liking. However the fries were spot on and the bun was a soft roll that I enjoyed. On the whole experience was good.

Poes Tavern Sullivans Island

So most everyone that lives in Charleston knows Poes Tavern on Sullivan's Island. This regularly wins best burger in the City Paper readers choice awards and is often worthy of that title just because it is a great beach bar on our favourite beach and usually does not disappoint when I order a burger. On this day I went with an old buddy from college and we shared these two burgers. One was the crab cake burger - a Poes burger topped with a fried crab cake known as the Annabelle Lee ($11.75)and the other was the buffalo shrimp burger-" The Sleeper" a Poes burger topped with buffalo shrimp and blue cheese garlic sauce ($11.00). On that day Poes delivered and not long after my friend moved here for good. Could it have been the burgers? So lets talk about the burgers. I felt the crab cake was too much. The burgers them selves are so good and meaty the crab cake is unnecessary. The best one of these two was the buffalo shrimp one. I will probably order my standard bacon cheese burger next time as it is still the best one for me. I can't say this is my favourite burger in Charleston but it is good and the beach bar scene makes it worth the visit.

Triangle Char burger West Ashley

This Burger at Triangle Char and Bar in West Ashley was amazing. They use a local grass fed beef and on this day had my other favorite food group on top. Pork in the form a slab of pork belly. Notice the large slab on both halves of the bun. Wow two great tastes in one happy sandwich. The fries were crispy and just right. The bun was grilled and buttery. This was a decedent combination and the meat delivered for me. Medium rare and juicy with lots of beefy flavor. I started with a snack of chicken and beef skewers with a nice peanut dipping sauce. Who doesn't like meat on a stick? Paired with a Guinness draft this was happy hour nirvana for me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fast and French Chocolate Croissant

Last Saturday Stacy and I met some friends at Fast and French for a light breakfast. This place has the best specially blended house coffee - freshly french pressed. It's delicious just black. I ordered this chocolate croissant which really hit the spot. The croissant is huge, buttery, and toasted to a perfect level of crunchiness. The chocolate spread (love how they put it on both sides for extra chocolatiness) was nutella-ish but I don't think it was nutella. It was a cold, gray morning and this hot sweet treat was the perfect thing to warm me up for the day. I have also had the ham and cheese croissant several times which I recommend highly when you are in the mood for something savory. Fast and French is always on my go-to short list when I am in the mood for a good homemade meal and sitting inappropriately close to strangers.

Dixie Bakery Burger

Pictured here is the burger from Dixie Cafe and Bakery, a hidden gem located next to the Lil'Cricket on State Street. The best thing about this burger is that it can be had for breakfast. Yes, they'll serve it to you at 8 a.m. - this burger was ordered and consumed around 9:30 in the morning. The burger is house ground meat which I ordered medium rare. This is an 8 ounce patty for $6.99 served with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Bacon and cheese are an extra dollar a piece. This is not a gourmet burger, but this is your basic diner-style burger done well. This is served on a standard non-exciting white bun. When you order this for breakfast it eliminates the need for lunch. So it's not a bad value - a bacon cheeseburger is $8.99. Sunday brunch in Charleston for 9 bucks ain't bad. The homemade potato salad is just like grandma made and it also comes with a side of sliced pickles. So while there are better menu items such as the grits, biscuits, and tomato pie, this burger is worth the trip if you must have a burger before lunchtime. I don't of another place you can get a burger this good for breakfast.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Henry's burger at Happy Hour

Henry's on the market is not on my usual list of places to go when it comes to good burger craving. After eating there on a recent evening , I'm adding it to my list. The kitchen features food by Cru Cafe. You can not go wrong with Cru.

I ordered the classic bacon cheddar burger ($10.50) and was in cheeseburger heaven. The bacon was crisp and perfect. The cheddar was melted just the way it should be and the fries were crispy thin delights. The lightly toasted bun was right on target. It was served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and house made pickles. This burger paired perfectly with a $2.00 happy hour Yuengling. All domestics are $2.00 for happy hour and imports are $2.50. There are no food specials for happy hour but with a burger this good, full price is not a problem. Just enjoy a few cheap beers and leave happy.

Queen Anne's Revenge

Pictured here is the burger with pimento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomatoes from Queen Anne's Revenge ( on Daniel Island. At $8.25 for a burger with cheese, this a great half pound burger made from beef ground fresh in house daily with a wide range of toppings. I ordered this medium and it was perfectly done, juicy but not greasy with the generous portion of cheese dripping over the entire patty. The fried green tomatoes were hot, crispy, and tangy and the two strips of bacon added up to one delicious burger. Overall this is a great topping combo. The fries when they are hot and fresh are also good with this burger. I wish they were homemade though.

I am also a big fan of their large salads at lunch. The steak salad ($12) with blue cheese crumbles over mixed greens with bacon tomato and crispy fried onions and blue cheese dressing is my personal favorite and my wife loves the Caribbean chicken Caesar($9). This has grilled chicken marinated in tequila, lime, and cilantro over romaine topped with fresh pico de gallo and crispy tortilla strips.

Aside from the great food, this place has lots of authentic pirate items from golden age of piracy. Muskets, swords, and treasure chests make it a great place for the family as kids are are sure to be entertained by the various museum quality memorabilia that serve as decor. This place is worth the trip out to Daniel Island for the quality food and unique experience. They also have an inviting outdoor patio with live music most weekends.

D'Allesandro's Pizza

When I am not craving a burger I am thinking about pizza. We were downtown on a recent Saturday night looking for a casual dinner. We picked D'Allesandro's located on 229 St Phillip again because a visit a couple of weeks before was just right. Stacy got the house salad($6.00) full of green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, onions, tomatoes and shredded mozzarella and I got a pizza margherita($7.50), a pizza with fresh cut round slices of buffalo mozzerella, tomato sauce, tomatoes and basil. That was pure simple goodness in a pizza.

Pictured here is my spicy salami pizza from the second visit. As expected this one did not disappoint. The crispy and slightly chewy crust is not too thick and is offered in a personal size that can still be shared and with a $2.00 Guiness draft the beer special for March, I could not have been happier.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Queen Street Grocery

A neighborhood treasure is waiting to be discovered on Queen Street downtown. Queen Street Grocery ( was in the not too distant past just a corner store with snacks, frozen pizzas, and beer. Located at the intersection of Queen and Logan with two small tables on the sidewalk you may just think of passing this place by. STOP, go in, and enjoy a freshly made crepe. Choose from many different fillers or choose one off the menu. There is an interesting and affordable selection of wines and as well as micro brews to satisfy most beer aficionados, but you have to take it to go. In the back they have basic deli style packaged goods like salads and sandwiches and standard grocery items as well.
Pictured here is the Sullivan($8) which had turkey, swiss, avocado, and Chipotle sour cream on top. Also pictured is what Stacy ordered, the Kiawah ($7), which had mozzarella, tomato, and pesto. She enjoyed hers, but we both agreed mine was the star of the show. I would order this again. The menu is awesome with both light and hearty options and offers salads and a great variety of sweet and savory crepes as well as sandwiches. And they are open for breakfast too. I love this place - I think they got it right for a super charming neighborhood staple. Stacy mentioned the only thing they are missing is a cheeseburger crepe, I agree...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Henry's on the Market

Bourbon Pimento cheese appetizer

Henry's has recently undergone major renovations so I stopped in for a happy hour(extra long hours from 4-8 PM Monday through Friday) to check it out. The domestic beers were $1.75 and imports were $2.75. That deal is good enough reason alone to go but perhaps for the foodies the reason should be that Cru Cafe has taken over the kitchen. I did not get the burger this time but after looking over the menu and talking to the friendly bartender I will be back to get one soon for certain. I was just in the mood for a snack and a couple of beers. I did order the Pimento cheese with grilled crostini and it did not disappoint. With several TVs all tuned to the Olympics it was just what I was looking for. There's nothing like beer, cheese, and winter sports, right? The crowd was growing as I left and I think as word gets around it will not be long before happy hour is packed every night - especially when the weather warms up and the upper deck will be the place to be.

Pearlz Oyster Bar Happy Hour

The mahi fish taco with crispy cabbage.

You've got to visit Pearlz Oyster Bar for their happy hour specials ( 4-7, Monday through Friday. The specials are hard to be beat if you are in the mood for fresh seafood. The Mahi tacos come two to an order and were cooked just right. Not at all dry or overdone. At $4.95 they were a bargain for sure. The local brewed beers were $2.50 (other drink specials include $3 house wine and $5 martinis) and with the oysters it was a match made in heavan. The peel and eat shrimp at $7.95 was a 1/2 lb. portion of plump shrimp served chilled with a very spicy cocktail sauce. They offer a dozen oysters raw or steamed for $6.95 (you can also get a half dozen for $3.95). The raw oysters are served on ice with more of the spicy cocktail sauce as well as a traditional vinegar sauce. I finished with a $2.50 oyster shooter which is a raw oyster in a shot glass with vodka and cocktail sauce. Way better than desert. I left this place happy and feeling great about the tab.

Chilled shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce.


Voodoo Happy Hour

Thai Chicken Tacos at Voodoo

Who doesn't love a happy hour specials? Voodoo in historic Avondale is a favorite place of mine on Friday afternoons. From 4-7 pm Monday through Friday the tacos are 1/2 price and the drink specials are budget friendly. Where else can you get a few beers and an order of tacos worth eating for around 10 bucks? I have ordered all of the tacos on their menu at this point (BBQ Duck Baja Shrimp, Bacon Cheeseburger, Cashew Tuna, Blackened Steak, Mahi Mahi) and enjoy them all, but the one that I find I order again and again are the Thai Chicken tacos. They come with a spicy pickled carrot and jalapeno mix that I love. The peanut curry Thai seasoning is perfect and they always come out juicy and spicy, never dry. The PBR's and Miller High Life are $1.50 and Mai Tai's are $3. Most other domestics are $3 and well drinks are $4. Cavas and house wines are also $4. At a past visit I have ordered the foie gras beef sliders that were out of this world. Those deserve a review all of their own on a later blog post. Voodoo has great happy hour specials I will keep coming back for!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Siena Burger RIP

Pictured here is one of the last two burgers served at Siena on Daniel Island which is now closed for business. Even though Siena was considered fine dining Italian, the burger was a staple on the lunch menu and when the restaurant began serving dinner only, it was moved to the bar menu. This burger is one of my favorites in all of Charleston. It is 10 ounces of house ground ribeye on a perfectly toasted buttery bun. It comes topped with a marinated tomato and romaine lettuce. The Fontina cheese was melty gooey goodness under the crispy bacon squares. This burger is hard to beat.

The fries were thin straws of potatoes that help the whole dish come together for a burger and fry lover!

Not pictured was the frito misto which was fish and veggies lightly battered and fried to perfection. A great start to prepare for the burger. I hate that Siena didn't make it. It was a great restaurant overall. I will miss you mouth-watering Siena burger, may you Rest in Peace.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last Half Price Burger at Rue de Jean

I couldn't resist my last opportunity to have the $5 RDJ burger since I have another obligation next Sunday, so here is a iphone shot of my last $5 RDJ burger of 2010.
We met some friends for a delicious dinner at Trattoria Lucca last night and proceeded to drink way too much, so I decided early this morning this was just the nourishment I needed to start my day off right. I showed up shortly after they opened at 10 and sat at the bar. Unfortunately I left my camera so this was the best I could do for a photo. In my opinion, food and service is always best when a restaurant is slow, so inevitably the burger came out in no time. I switched it up and got the gruyere cheese which was perfectly melted on the medium rare patty and of course I got bacon as well. The delicious fries were super hot, crispy, and fresh. This place always delivers. Happy Sunday to me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Griffon Burger

I met some buddies at the Griffon ( recently to try their burger on a 2 for 1 special night. I ordered the burger with mushrooms and swiss, other burgers at the table were cheddar an onion, and a blue cheeseburger. Since these were buy one get one free at $6.95, we all agreed it wasn't a bad burger for the price. It just wasn't too exciting in any way, but for $3 and some change, no one was complaining.
Wings were $.25 so we ordered a dozen wings that were pretty tasty. They were crispy and hot, and the sauce was delicious. Not too spicy, but agreeable probably for most folks.
So as far as the burger experience, the Griffon isn't going to compete with my favorite Charleston staples unfortunately. As always though, it's a great spot to stop in for a few beers.

Virginia's on King

After watching some of the MLK day parade on King Street it was time for a quick lunch. We were just by Virginia's on King so we decided to give it a try.

My father in law had the special of the day which was the crab cake sandwich. This had lots of lump crab meat with just the right amount of filler. The sweet potato fries were the perfect side for this sandwich.

I ordered the tomato pie from the Appetizer menu which was just amazing. It had lots of flavor with onions, leeks, and cheese. The crust was thin and perfect. With the side salad of greens in a light vinaigrette dressing, this was the perfect light lunch that left me quite satisfied.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday at Rue de Jean

This past Sunday at Rue de Jean, we met our friends Stacy and Justin for brunch to enjoy half price burgers. I choose the cheeseburger with Roquefort (you can also select Gruyere or Cheddar) and bacon lardons. I ordered the burger medium rare and that's just the way it was prepared. The burger comes with delicious fries and cornichons.
Dijon mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise are provided, but this burger is so juicy it has no need for those condiments in my opinion. Instead I use all of the above for french fry dipping purposes. Out of the 5 of us at brunch, 4 ordered burgers and all were satisfied. I enjoyed a 1664 to wash it all down.
My wife's standard fare at Rue de Jean are the mussels. Here she has ordered them Pronvencal style with fennel and tomato broth. Last week she ordered them in the Vegetable Cream. Of the six preparations offered, she doesn't seem to prefer one over the other. The broth is so rich and buttery everyone had to dip their baguette in this creamy sauce!

We had to run to a store in the market and succumbed to the idea of dessert at Kaminsky's. This is actually not a place we frequent but we ordered an oreo cookie pie, got three forks and had a "light" dessert. This large slice was very creamy and not overly sweet. It satisfied everyone's sweet tooth. Who doesn't like an oreo cookie crust?

I had a Palmetto Pale Ale and the ladies (my wife and her sister) sipped sparkling wine for $3 a pop. The sparkling wine glasses are large and provide a hefty pour. It was a great way to spend the next hour of our Sunday. The girls had a refill and we enjoyed the company of our great bartender Tracy. I always think of Kaminsky's as being touristy, but if you can slip in there on an off time - it can be the most charming of Charleston experiences.

Charleston Cheeseburger Deals 1/10

Here are some of the worthwhile burger deals going on in Charleston right now:

  • This week, the Griffon ( celebrates 15 years by offering buy one get one free burgers and apps, as well as $.25 wings. I'll be there for sure - the deal runs from 5-10 on Thursday 1/14.
  • Rue de Jean ( is offering half price burgers on Sundays through Superbowl Sunday. I have been there the past two Sundays to take advantage of this delicious bargain (post and photos to follow).
  • Home Team ( on Sullivan's is currently running a half price burger special on Mondays. I have visited twice in the past month and a half - and while I love so many of their other menu items, the burger is delicious. I just go with the plain ol' cheeseburger with cheddar with chili as my side. My sister-in-law always gets the fries so I don't have to miss out on those when she joins me.
  • Moe's Crosstown has their perpetual half-price burgers from 7-10 on Tuesdays. My go-to is the roasted poblano and goat cheese burger.