Monday, November 17, 2014

Tourists in our own city: Charleston Culinary Tours

On Saturday, Mike and I went on a tour of Upper King Street, a section of downtown Charleston, on the peninsula.  We had a fantastic time, visited 4 new restaurants, and tried tons of things that we never would have tried on our own.  There were 13 other people on the tour, even a fellow Charleston blogger, Kaitlyn!  I apologize in advance for the not-so-great quality of my phone photos.  I decided not to bring the Canon so we could really just enjoy the experience.  We started the afternoon at HöM, a burger boutique and ping pong lounge. 

HöM was a super cool spot where we tried 3 courses: 2 starters and a specialty burger.  First was the Calamari in a bed of sundried tomato and goat cheese sauce, sprinkled with a balsamic reduction and shredded cheese.  Holy cow.  It was amazing.  I think this very first thing might have been my favorite item of the entire tour.  Next was the Dixie Flatbread: house-made pimento cheese, pork confit, caramelized onions, and maple bacon greens on house-made flatbread.  Last was the Green Gobble-n burger: a turkey burger ground in-house with melted leeks and spinach, brie, green goddess aioli, and green apple.  Everything was spectacular and I cannot wait to go back to enjoy more of their food and play some ping pong!  You can check out their whole menu here.

We only had to walk a few doors down to our next stop: Prohibition.  Their "Grub" and "Hooch" (what they call their drinks) are definitely one of a kind.  They have everything from seafood to fantastic cuts of meat all prepared in unique ways as well as tons of different alcohol concoctions like infused alcohols and award-winning cocktails.  To start, Executive Chef, Stephen Thompson came out with a giant skillet of paella and told us all about the local ingredients used in all of his dishes.  After that, we also tried his take on ramen in a ginger broth, with pork confit and a fried duck egg.  We also each tried a cocktail; I had the strawberry mojito and he had the Moscow Mule - both were amazing.

After a lovely walk down King Street, we arrived at 39 Rue de Jean, a French restaurant with a little bit of everything - seriously, their sushi is even fantastic.  We sampled their ratatouille, mussels, and pommes frites.  All were great, but, surprisingly, my favorite were the mussels.  The garlic sauce they were prepared in was just wonderful!  Our very last stop was Paolo's Gelato right next door, where we sampled flavors like tiramisu, Nutella, and even bacon.

Overall, we had a marvelous time.  Our tour guide, Charley, was so knowledgeable and so upbeat!  I loved that she didn't just talk about the restaurants we went to, but also almost every other place of interest on Upper King as well as general history of Charleston.  I HIGHLY recommend this tour for tourists in Charleston as well as residents.  There are so many restaurants on Upper King, that it would take a long while to visit them all, so it was great to knock off a few all at once.  The tour costs $60 and is definitely worth every penny; it's more than a full meal of food!

Even though we were full, we decided that weren't quite done with Upper King yet, so we walked around, looking at menus of other restaurants Charley suggested and even get a little more ice cream at Jeni's.  I had to try their dark chocolate and also decided to go out on a limb a little and got the sweet potato with homemade torched marshmallows.  Mike got caramel and milk chocolate with chocolate blackout gravel topping.  All four were great!  Right next door was the Charleston Distilling Company that just opened this summer and was another site Charley suggested.  We caught their last tour of the day at 6:00.  It was only $7 for a tour of the distillery and samples of their vodka, gins, and new Temperance alcohol which is their take on Fireball with ginger and cinnamon flavors.  It's not in stores yet, but hopefully it'll be out in a couple of weeks and will be sold all over South Carolina.

We had such a fun day and are very grateful to Charleston Culinary Tours for this great opportunity to get to know our city a little better!

Mike and I received complimentary admission to this Charleston Culinary Tour in exchange for the following review through Eskimo Advertising.  All opinions are my own.

11 comments:

Jillian said...

FUN! im going on this tour in a few weeks...my husband is going to be so excited about the paella! he loves that stuff :) xo jillian - stop by! I'm hosting a great jewelry giveaway on cornflake dreams

Nichole @ casadecrews.com said...

Playing tourist in your own town is always so fun! Especially for a culinary tour :)

Ally {Life as I know it} said...

I was thinking about doing a tour and this post convinced me I need to! I can't get over all the food you got to eat!

Emily said...

This is super random, but I was in a show with Charley earlier this year! That's so cool she was your guide. Ever since the show I've been wanting to sign up for a culinary tour with her--I just need to do it!

Jen said...

This is so fun!!! I love it!

Jamie said...

What a fun time!

Rebecca Jo said...

I need a fun weekend like that...
love your blue coat!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

What a fun idea. I wonder if they do that in Boston. Great way to sample some great places. The ice cream looks so good.

Emily said...

Oh I've been dying to visit Charleston! I've heard it's such an enchanting place with great food. The tour sounds like a lot of fun!

Laura Darling said...

This looks like so much fun! I've always wanted to visit Charleston! And that food looks amazing! :)

Shauna said...

Meg!! Thanks for your kind words. I remember you from your commenting on my blog post about the kids' names, right???!! Thanks for following!

Great post here. I Love New England, we homeschool and about four years ago I took my kids back east to tour all of the early American History sites. We were there for 5 weeks and stayed with my brother and sister in law. It was amazing. Can't wait to see more from your sweet little, cozy, New England life. Take care, :)


Shauna :)

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