short grain

The first time I had Short Grain, I recall telling my husband it was the best food truck food I had ever tasted. Every single detail of the criteria was top notch, a stellar example of food on another level. So it's only fitting that this place has not only been considered the best food truck around, but it's now one of Bon Appetit's best new restaurants----and it's on wheels! 

Their popups at the Daily were always successful events, and their weekly posts like farmers markets or even BenefitFocus on Daniel Island become old faithfuls---trusty opportunities to look forward to. Short Grain, you deserve it all.

polenta cakes

I LOVE making polenta cakes to switch up the usual evenings that include grits or rice. These couldn't be easier, because dare I admit I bought the tube of polenta from Trader Joes and sliced it into discs in a matter of seconds. From there I pan seared them in a little oil while simultaneously stewing tomatoes and spinach, separately.  I topped it with some crispy bacon pieces and pecorino romano, a balsamic reduction, a smidge of truffle oil, and a basil leaf. It's so yummy with a glass or red wine, I could have it two or three times a week.

nashville

just got back from a super last minute trip to nashville.  really enjoyed it, and managed to check off every food spot on my [realistic] list.  the ones that fell to phase two will have to wait until another round of tennessee time, and i'll manage to slip in something related to country music while i'm at it...because this trip did NOT include such! Just food. Food.  Food.

some peaches from the ever-so-cool farmstand in the 12 South neighborhood

some peaches from the ever-so-cool farmstand in the 12 South neighborhood

iron rooster ~ annapolis

My first Iron Rooster experience was fabulous- Sunday brunch full of flavor and good service. My more recent carryout experience was brutal. So let's just recommend the full dining experience- on one of their "good" days.  The good day: shrimp and grits with poached eggs, and a homemade berry pop tart.

avila

For some delicious Venezuelan fare, try Avila in Charleston, which makes its way around town quite often. I love the arepas and patacones, and the limeade.  There are great flavor and texture combos here: salty meat, fresh greens, the brightness of a lime, etc.  Really yummy food with great ingredients.  It's a fun one to track down for sure!

immortal lobster

The Immortal Lobster has become a destination food truck for Charlestonians and New England transplants who miss the perks of the lobster lifestyle. I enjoy tracking down this truck and enjoy the spins they do with lobster like grits and tacos, but honestly the lobster roll is overshadowed by places like 167 Raw or The Ordinary, and the chips can be skipped. Instead of paying the price for the iconic lobster roll, I recommend going for the specials---just as much meat, less expectation and price.  Still love what this place is all about--and love their branding!

pink bellies

I, just like everyone in this town, LOVE Pink Bellies. They have a fun, interesting menu that changes often, but I find myself constantly craving the Pulled Pork Bahn Mi sandwich that's loaded with cilantro and carrots, pork bursting with flavor, and a blueberry jam that really balances out the salty pork with a pop of sweet.  I love this place, the people like Ty who work there, and the convenient, CONSISTENT, location.

2 nixons

Gotta say I love the concept behind 2 nixons, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE pop ups. The brothy behind their ramen was solid, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the pepperoni spin. It was a delicious, warm thing to have on hand on a bitter cold Sunday, at least at Revelry Brewing Co.

co

I like CO because of 1) its location and 2) its happy hour.  Besides the rare occasion I'm craving a specific noodle dish and only have 10 minutes, CO is usually not on my must-hit craving list.  Their version of ramen was...different.  TONS of food but different. If I had to praise them in a category, it would certainly be their happy hour menu and prices. So go for that after an exhausting day of shopping on King.

early bird diner ramen

I've always enjoyed the twisted comfort food that Early Bird Diner puts out like fried chicken with lavender honey (and all the southern sides you can dream for) but I'm just not the type to order their take on a noodle bowl outright. Since it was part of the job that day (for the Post & Courier feature) I embraced it and was left with the feeling that this is chicken noodle soup, perfect for a sick day.

two boroughs larder noodles

I've never been shy about our love of this little place---but on that Saturday when we went in to cover noodles, it was simply an off day.  I have to admit their ingredient selection for building noodle bowls is a favorite, but on this day the noodles were just off, the broth was too much, and it lacked that satisfying pleasure that Austin and I have always relished in at dinner . So my conclusion: this is a dinner thing, never a lunch thing. Period.  (Still love you, Walter!)

warehouse

Out of all the ramen we tried, this was the most creative --- I really enjoyed the cajun essence of this dish, and every piece of the puzzle had great flavor and texture---each fragment could probably stand on its own pretty well, so putting it all together as one was a bonus.  I like Warehouse a ton for its ambiance and general vibe or concept, but this ramen just elevated it to a whole new level for me.

macaron goodness

It seems to me that boutique bakeries go through phases: there was the cupcake craze, then cronuts, then macarons, but I'd say the macarons are staying put…anyway I have a bowl of eggwhites resting in my fridge (leftovers from homemade ice cream fun) and they're aging to perfection to get ready for some almond meal and macaron-making. In the meantime, I'll just relish over the memory of Thomas Keller's macarons at Bouchon, perfectly packaged like all good things in small packages...

bouchon bakery ~ yountville, ca

Anything that Chef Thomas Keller touches is golden. And Bouchon Bakery is no different. It was pretty much a lifetime highlight to venture to Bouchon and explore the amazing things that this guy has done in Yountville, California. The quaint streets are filled with droves of stylish folk, aspiring to cross things off their ambitious culinary bucket list.  My sweet aunt had gifted us a certificate for a mini shopping spree so we went to town and collected all sorts of goodies to enjoy our whole trip!  This place is just so sweet, and we plan to go back for sure!