Charleston Restaurants- The sequel

Old Mar 6th, 2004, 05:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 7
Charleston Restaurants- The sequel

Please help - we're leaving soon!!!!

Need real info on restaurants like - service - how long a wait to be seated, where's the best seat in the place, food quality vs. value. Staff - young or seasoned, bored or interested, conscientious or attention-deficit? Clean bathrooms? Loud when crowded?Please be as objective as possibleHere's the list:

Boulevard Diner
Cafe Lana
Cru Cafe
Cafe St. Tropez
G&M Fast & French
High Cotton
Peninsula Grill
39 Rue de Jean
Blossom Cafe

Ok and please tell us what is your favorite down home/BBQ place:
Momma Brown's
Thomas Bessinger's
Gullah cuisine
Jestine's Kitchen
Jimmy Dengate's
Locklear's Low Country Grill
Rosebank Farms Cafe

belgoswede1 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2004, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hope this helps:

Peninsula Grill - no wait as we had a reservation which I highly recommend doing. Wait staff was young, friendly, and professional. Restaurant was on the noisy side - room is large and conversations seem to bounce off the walls - but not a big problem at all.

Blossom Cafe - light and bright. I did not have a reservation for lunch but it was not crowded. Food was good but waiter tried to take my plate away before I was finished. I guess he thought I said I was done or maybe he thought I had eaten enough.

Hank's - Large place so it could get noisy. It was not noisy while I was there. Helpful wait staff. Food was average IMO.

Think about adding Magnolias to your list.

Have a great trip!

Marianna is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2004, 08:22 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 718
You have a wide variety on your list. I'll add a couple recollections.

Cafe Lana is about the size of college dorm room inside and has a patio for al fresco dining. Staff is young and green. Food decent but not special. It was on last year's Best of Charleston list (but I'm not really sure why).

McCrady's has a couple different dining sections and a wine bar room (plus a bar area). I like the atmosphere. Sit by the windows up front. It gets very crowded, it can be loud, service is good overall. I really liked this place's atmosphere.

SNOB is in a very old building with raw brick walls inside. Very Old South feeling. Reasonably innovative dishes, good service, open room which can get noisy, service good, bathrooms small and OK. I have enjoyed my meals there without exception.

Peninsula Grill would be on a 'best of' list in almost any city. It's got great atmosphere, good service, very good food, clean bathrooms (probably best bathrooms of the places on your list...I'm not sure why I remember bathrooms, but many in Charleston are rather old and run down).
TedTurner is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,574
I definitely recommend Fast & French for lunch. It is a small diner but a fun place to eat. You sit at a counter next to people you don't know which I think makes it fun and interesting. The majority of the people who go there are locals. We sat next to a woman who has been going there for lunch every day for 10 years! We thought the food was very good and reasonable. I don't remember exactly what we had; I think something like unique sandwich combinations, soup, salad, wine. It was recommended to me by someone who grew up in Charleston. I definitely recommend Fast & French for a different type of dining experience. It is a casual place so it is convenient to stop there for lunch while sightseeing.
Kwoo is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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Your question does not sound realistic. Sounds like you are writing some sort of article or ad copy.

Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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I agree, Litespeed...
michelleNYC is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 264
Cafe Lana - very small but good food - nothing special
Fish - I'm a big fan of this place. Fairly new, wonderful dining and great bar. The wine list is excellent and the staff is seasoned.
High Cotton - One of my favorites. Plentiful portions!!!! some of it is a tad overpriced. The waitstaff knows their stuff, or at least they fake it well.
McCrady's - very good, a little stuffy. Their winebar around the corner on East Bay is great!
Peninsula Grill - I can't begin to tell you how much I love everything about this restaurant. It is impeccable.
Tristan - If you are adventurous with your dining, give it a shot. Not my favorite, but lots of people love it. Not a local hang out.
39 Rue de Jean - great bar - never eaten there.
Hank's - nice and casual, love it! Great staff. Don't get stuck in the community tables. A little uncomfy.
Anson - very romantic and quaint. The food is wonderful with a bit of Lowcountry/Asian fusion
Blossom Cafe - my family goes here on all special occasions for dinner - very reasonably priced, super friendly waiters who know us by name and know what we like.

Add Cypress to your list. Fabulous!

Best BBQ is actually Brown's BBQ in Kingstree.
olivia is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 7
Thanks for your suggestions they were great. I think we'll have a great trip!

But, alas, I am not writing an article. So, put your detective hats away!
belgoswede1 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3
Cafe Lana has moved, and is now larger, beautiful, and one of the best restaurants in a city that's got a lot of good ones. I urge you to check it out. Spectacular bathrooms.

McCrady's is expensive and totally worth it. New chef as of last month, but should still be great. The bathrooms did not change with the chef, so they should still be fine, too.

Slightly North Of Broad is a classic. So is Peninsula Grill. Over-the-top bathrooms.

Sienna on Daniel Island is also a truly fine meal. Have not used their bathrooms, but I can assure you that they are up to your obviously high standards.

Magnolia's might be your cup of tea. It's expensive and pretty good. No local I know in the entire city eats there on a regular basis. The shrimp and grits app is great. I'm sure that their bathrooms are very nice as well.

Fish is OK, but lacks anything to really recommend it over anyplace else. Can't really say why. You might enjoy their bathrooms, too.

Blossom is fine, but you can do better for the same money. Same with Tristan. Excellent bathrooms at each.

Momma Brown's is always mentioned as being the best BBQ, but I was unimpressed. Bessinger's is a bit commercial, but good stuff. Melvin's (Thomas Bessinger's brother's BBQ joints) has a burger Emiril Legasse has called best in America, but I guess you would have to care what Emeril thinks to care about that. (He loved their bathrooms too)

Some of the best BBQ I've had in a long time was on King st Jim & Nick's - yes, I know it's a chain, but it's good stuff. It's also one of the only restaurants in the 300 block of King that doesn't suck.

If I had ten (or even 20) meals to eat in Charleston, High Cotton would not make the list. I'd go have a drink at the swank bar, but dinner isn't worth the cash. Plus, lousy bathrooms.

Cafe St Tropez has been out of business for several years. Which is a shame, due to their fantastic bathrooms.

Basil is a Thai place that is one of my all-time favorites. Outdoor seating should be very, very nice this week.

Locklear's will make you wish you were at a Waffle House.

Dengate's is nothing special. Jestine's is fine - it's 95% tourists, and I make better collards, but you'll probably end up there at least once no matter what I say about it. Be warned - no bathrooms. Kidding. I kid.

Al Di La is one of my favorite restaurants in any city, period. Only one bathroom. Knock first.

Raval on Upper King is great. Same with Amuse in West Ashley. Average bathrooms.

How long a wait is a ridiculous question. Monday lunch at 11 AM? No wait. Dinner at 7:30 on a Friday? Long wait. Doesn't really even matter what restaurant you're talking about. You do know enough to call about reservations, right?

My top 10 list (in no particular order, and taking some from your list):
Peninsula Grill
Al Di La
Fast & French (lunch)
Cru Cafe (lunch too)
CoCo's Cafe
Boulevard Diner (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Jim & Nick's
charlestonfoodcritic is offline  
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