We woke up fairly early for vacation to check out of the hotel and begin our daily stuffing. Our first stop for a late breakfast would the Bookstore Cafe which is sort-of renamed Charleston's Cafe after switching locations and owners. I was worried that it's acclaim would be damaged after such changes but they more than proved themselves to be breakfast gods in my eyes.
The staff was so friendly and inviting. My boyfriend and I gazed at the bright orange menus for quite awhile before deciding. The menu included country breakfast stapes such as eggs, omelettes, grits, biscuits, corned beef hash, a multitude of pancake choices and a Bookstore Cafe specialty the Island Potato Casseroles. These unique casseroles as a base have fried thin sliced potato called "chippers", onions, peppers, mushrooms topped with eggs (your choice of style); Then there is your particular choice island toppings to adorn this base. I chose the "Kiawah" which is sausage gravy and cheddar cheese; other choices but not limited to, include "Dewees" which is turkey, bacon, cheddar and tomato cream sauce and a bit lighter, the "Wadmalaw" with zucchini, broccoli, tomato, yellow squash and cheddar. This is making me quite hungry... and I have pumpkin bread in the oven, but anyway!
My final selection for a well-rounded breakfast included the "Kiawah" Island Potato Casserole accompanied by a buttermilk biscuit and a short stack of Raspberry Pancakes which as stated in the menu the raspberries are cooked IN the pancakes (phew...). A personal peeve of mine with pancakes that we'll save for another blog entry.
The pancakes were absolute heaven; fluffy, cake-like and chock full of huge, vibrant raspberries. I hadn't encountered a pancake like that in a while and boy, I was delighted.
I usually don't vary when it comes to choosing eat-out breakfast because I know what satisfies me but I wanted to be more bold in my breakfast choices and I'm glad I let the Kiawah Island Potato Casserole in my life. The combination of flavors were bursting each bite was unique; little bites of sausage, "chippers", scrambled egg, just falling in love at each bite. Alas, there was the biscuit! Faintly buttery with a soft moist inside and slight crisp on the outside; no butter required. It was perfect.
My boyfriend shared the pancakes with me and finished off my casserole in addition to his four-cheese omelette with grits and sweet potato biscuit which was delicious. Hints of cinnamon and big sweet potato flavor but same great biscuit texture.
We basked in fullness and then eventually waddled out and headed to the beach until the next meal which would really turn out to be dessert at Cupcake on King St. We (thankfully) accidently ran into Cupcake driving aimlessly looking for an ATM. I had heard one review on the internet and was instantly interested; I didn't expect to find it on our short visit. A good cupcake is always welcome in my tummy.
An aroma of fresh baked goods filled my nostrils entering the tiny bake-shop; Complete with pink and brown decor and minimal design but it seemed appropriate. The cupcakes were displayed behind a window, unrefridgerated (yes!) including a dozen or so flavors of the day including coffee, pumpkin, chocolate butterscotch, traditional vanilla and chocolate, strawberry, and more. I chose the Rocky Road cupcake; a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting folded with marshmellow fluff and chopped walnuts. My other half chose the Strawberry; a strawberry cupcake with Strawberry Creamcheese frosting.
The flavors hit me immediately; the cupcake was perfectly moist and chocolatey. The walnuts and fluff stood out in the frosting and added the perfect texture. I wanted to do it again but I was pretty full already. Luckily, my boyfriend hadn't finished his strawberry and wanted me to have the last bite and I did. The cupcake, again, was perfect; real stawberry taste no fake crap! The paired strawberry cream cheese frosting was the perfect compliment. All and all, the next time I'm in Charleston I will be seeking out a Cupcake cupcake.
In the way later hours after trudging around full bellied and sampling the heath cake from Kaminsky's (yum!); we would complete our Charleston eats at the Hominy Grill. Hominy Grill is a home style low country cooking menu but slightly modernized still retaining integrity. I had heard only great things about this place and really wanted to bite my teeth into some great fried chicken which I still had not had since moving to the Carolina's from New England. When we arrived the only seats the had were outside which turned out to be a nice romantic table in the back corner lit with a real burning latern and wooden benches.
I'm getting tired so I'll get to the point. We ordered the jalepeno hush puppies; we were eager to try hush puppies because of there Southern-ness and we hadn't expierenced them yet. I have a feeling we got spoiled though; they were amazing. They came just cooled enough to eat right from the deep fryer served with a sweet green tomato ketchup. The texture was chewy and moist but a crisp outside and these had hints of heat from jalepenos and a great constrat from the green tomato ketchup. Unfortunately the cookbook I purchased from there does not include this recipe but I maybe tackle finding a good recipe to duplicate these in the future.
For entrees, we both ordered the Southern Fried Chicken compete with ham gravy, collards and mashed potatos. Wondeful, moist and flavorful. There are many items we had to leave behind on the menu to head home but there's always next time and there will be a next time at the Hominy Grill for us.
good eats! ....
1039 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC
433 King St.
207 Rutledge Ave.
Those were our two days in Charleston - well fed!