Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sara in a Different City: Charleston

I LOVE Atlanta. I rock my 404 tee, I two step and walk it out. I actually enjoy eating at the Varsity and I've been known to cheer a time or two for the Braves. But this past weekend, I went OTP to Charleston, South Carolina to visit my lovely BFF Erin. While there, we did "touristy things" as Erin put it, but I also had the opportunity to taste the city like a true Charlestonian! My coastal culinary escapade was so fun, I had tell y'all about it and share Atlanta spots that offer lowcountry food on par (or better) with that of Charleston!
First stop on Friday night was the Charleston Charitable Society's Annual Oyster Roast at the Maritime Center where the society guys and gals exchanged fancy duds for jeans, oyster shucking gloves and shagging shoes! Described by Erin as the first oyster roast of the season, we got a chance to chow down on some freshly steamed oysters (and chili or hotdogs for the less adventurous) while listening to the classic Carolina beach music band, The Embers. For a good steamed oyster or two (or 25) in Atlanta, visit Fontaine's Oyster House in Virginia/Highlands.

Then, we decided to continue the fun across the bridge at the Mt. Pleasant location of King Street Grill for drinks and trivia. Hungry still, we split the shrimp croissant sandwich. For a delightful shrimp po'boy in the ATL, try Six Feet Under, on the Westside.

The next morning, we needed a breakfast that would help nurse our oyster hangover. We stopped by the Bookstore Cafe, a local favorite with all kinds of breakfast goodies including homemade potato casseroles. Erin helped herself to the delicious fried green tomato breakfast with bacon gravy and grits while I chowed down on the cobb omelette, full of chicken, aspargus and sundried tomatoes. For an omelette stuffed as full in Atlanta, go to R. Thomas Deluxe Grill on Peachtree. R.Thomas Bonus: The food is healthy and organic!

After browsing the great shopping in downtown Charleston's open market, I decided to take home some homemade gullah spice rubs. With names like "Hot as Hell," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Charleston Hospitality" you know these rubs are bound to add some flavor to your life! Fat Matt's here in Atlanta uses delicious secret spices in each BBQ rib batch - a must try!
Finally - our weekend ended with a genteel dinner at Poogan's Porch. Located in a converted home in the heart of downtown Charleston, Poogan's Porch has entertained famous southerners of all types for over 30 years. Three pimento cheese fritters, one bourbon mustard glazed pork loin with sweet potatoes and a few bites of bread pudding later and I was out for the count! For a similar southern hospitality experience in Atlanta, visit Mary Mac's Tea Room.
For more info about visiting (and dining in) Charleston, visit

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