Restaurants & Bars 14

long weekend in Charleston

Jeff C. | Jun 27, 201211:28 AM

Back from steamy Chucktown with your report as promised...

Jack's Cosmic Dog's: Not cosmic. Not stellar. Just an ordinary dirty water dog on a non-toasted bun that started getting soggy the minute the not-bad blue cheese slaw hit it. Soggy, limp fries, and NO BEER!

Glass Onion: Not much atmosphere and limited parking, but exemplary cooking at exemplary prices. Excellent striped barrelfish (It Fish of the Moment, apparently, as it was on many menus), and a sort of creole take on shrimp and grits. Wonderful polenta-like cornbread with local honey. Excellent service. One minor quibble: The cooks are a little heavy-handed with the salt shaker.

Lost Dog Cafe: Crowded, noisy, tepid coffee, harried service, ordinary food. I've had better breakfasts at Cracker Barrel, to be honest.

Tazitki's Mediterranean Cafe: A (small) chain, but cheap and with pretty good salads, sandwiches, and gyros.

Grocery: Beautifully remodeled old warehouse space, though it is cavernous and loud. The menu may not be as daring as F.I.G. or the wildly overrated Husk, but it's damn good. Southern with a bit of French flair. Crispy pimento cheese app., an exemplary chilled melon soup with crab salad and lime crema, seared diver scallops, and the best short rib (with a side of bone marrow on toast) this old boy has ever crammed in his pie hole. Excellent cocktails, too. Reservations are a MUST for this one, kids.

Gin Joint: Best. cocktails. ever. (Start with the Smoked Old Fashioned.) Luscious bar munchies, too, including Pad Thai popcorn and a cheese plate with homemade lavosh crackers and pickled vegetables that was out of this world.

Glazed: The Nutella donut with house made raspberry jam just about brought tears to my eyes it was so good.

Closed for Business: Raucous late-night bar food by the Poe's Tavern bunch. Try the Buffalo Oysters. Excellent draft beer and cider selection. Warning: It gets LOUD after ten.

The MacIntosh: Sunday brunch before heading home. Another beautiful restoration job. Excellent house made corned beef hash with poached eggs. Best coffee and service of the trip, also. Good enough that I want to go back for dinner.

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