Restaurants · Travel

My weekend in Charleston, S.C.

This past weekend I went to Charleston, S.C. with my parents for Easter. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. The southern charm, beautiful homes and exceptional restaurants are just a few of my favorite things about the city. I flew into Greenville, S.C. and spent Thursday night at my parent’s house. I was greeted with this amazing meal cooked by my mother! IMG_4994She cooked Ina Garten’s Bay Scallop Gratin. Delicious! I hope to be as good of a cook as she is one day!

IMG_4996I wish I could say that it was a warm and sunny holiday weekend in Charleston, but it stormed for a good amount of our trip!

We drove down from Greenville on Friday morning.

Boone Hall Plantation was our first stop! The Notebook and parts of North and South were filmed at this spectacular mansion, and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were married here in 2012.

My parents and I took a guided tour of the house, walked through the gardens, toured the slave quarters and then took a bus tour throughout the acres of the plantation.

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Next stop, off to lunch! One of my college friends frequents the city, and recommended Five Loaves Cafe for lunch. We went to the Mount Pleasant location, but there is one in downtown Charleston, as well. My favorite part of the menu is that you can get half or a whole of an item. So, if you can’t decide between two sandwiches or salads, why not get half of each?! Such a great concept.

I was parched from walking around the plantation that morning, so I immediately ordered the raspberry unsweet tea! I bring trivia packets with me everywhere, so I was able to sweeten it up a bit. It was extremely refreshing! I ordered the Mexican Chicken Chili with lime, avocado and cilantro, and the Tomato & Mozzarella salad. The salad comprised mixed greens, roasted sweet peppers and asparagus as well. Sadly, I ate this too fast to get a picture!

That afternoon we drove around Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. It was raining, so instead of going to the beach, we drove around and looked at the houses instead! For dinner, we went to The Boathouse at Breach Inlet.

My parent’s friends were in Charleston also, so we met them for drinks and appetizers before dinner. For apps, we ordered fried green tomatoes, fried oysters and salmon dip. I can say I lived through trying my first oysters. They were actually really good! All the appetizers were excellent, but the salmon dip was out of this world!

When it came to order dinner, I was in the mood for a variety of seafood. I ordered the broiled seafood platter with a side of collard greens and gouda mac & cheese. The platter came with shrimp, scallops, flounder and a mini lobster tail. I asked for the seafood to be cooked without the added butter, so it ended up being slightly bland (other than the insane amount of pepper that was on my fish!) The gouda mac & cheese was one of my favorite things about this meal. I never order pasta, so I was certainly ready to indulge in my choice!

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On Saturday, we headed into downtown Charleston. Our first stop was to City Market to walk around. We grabbed coffee and some croissants at Caviar & Bananas. I also went to Kaminsky’s Baking Co. to buy a slice of cake for Sunday! I gave up sweets for lent, so I wanted to have a big slice of decadent cake waiting for me on Sunday. I ordered the White Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Cake.

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We then ventured to south of Broad Street so I could show them The Battery and we could see the beautiful houses!

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For lunch, we had reservations at Magnolias Restaurant, which is part of Hospitality Management Group, Inc. The restaurant prides itself on its exceptional service, and they do a great job of offering just that. (I even got a black napkin for my black pants, so I wouldn’t get white lint on them.) Very southern and very proper.

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I ordered the Blackened Ahi Tuna with sweet corn and okra fricassee in an agave-lime barbecue sauce. YUM. I absolutely love ahi tuna. I would recommend this dish to anyone who likes tuna, but wants a southern twist on the original fish entrée. I haven’t had ahi tuna in barbecue sauce before, but it was delicious. It gave the dish a sweet flavor, which complimented the rest of the ingredients very well.

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Later that afternoon, we walked around the historic French Quarter. It wasn’t raining yet, thank goodness! We peeked our head into each church we walked by as members were decorating for Easter. There is nothing like Easter weekend in the Holy City.

By the end of the afternoon, we were exhausted. Even though I didn’t feel as though we had walked an extreme amount, my mom’s fitbit said different. We walked a total of 9.8 miles on Saturday!

Instead of going to another fancy fish restaurant, all we wanted was a casual place with good food and lots of beer. I love the Food Network Show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so I found a spot that Guy Fieri went to on his show.

Fuel is an old gas station turned restaurant (hence, the name). It was EXACTLY what we needed. We ordered chips and a salsa trio to start. For dinner, I got the (Guy Fieri recommended) pork tacos with sweet potato fries. They are exceptional.

The tacos were huge, so after an unsuccessful attempt of eating it with my hands, I had to resort to eating it with a fork. I haven’t eaten pork tacos without barbecue sauce, but I didn’t even miss it.  I will be eating at this place just about every time I visit Charleston. Guy knows his food.

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Sadly, Sunday was my last day in the city. We headed to church for a great service. Then, we headed over to Blossom (also owned by Hospitality Management Group, Inc.) for our Easter brunch. Blossom has such a warm and inviting interior. I wish it wasn’t raining so we could have sat on the patio, though!

We started off the meal with Mimosas and a smoked salmon appetizer.

IMG_5027For my entrée, I ordered the restaurant’s specialty: the Pan Roasted Mahi Mahi. It was served over jasmine rice with creek shrimp and tomato butter. The fish was perfectly flakey and cooked to perfection. The tomato butter added a level of sweetness to the dish, though it was a little much for my taste (in their defense, remember that I don’t like butter anyway)!

IMG_5028After lunch, I dove fork-first into my piece of cake! (Don’t worry, I shared.) It was just as good as it looked, but came with a huge stomach ache. Turns out I can’t go from zero sweets to cake in one sitting.

Then, it was off to the airport for me. All in all, I would say we had a pretty outstanding trip! It was great spending the weekend with my parents. I don’t get to see them much anymore and I really enjoy their company. I left Charleston with a happy tummy and full heart!

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