9 Charleston Restaurants You Need To Feed Your Inner Foodie

9 Charleston Restaurants You Need To Feed Your Inner Foodie

Downtown and all around, Charleston is a foodie's playground.
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Charleston, SC -- essentially the “Michael Phelps” of destinations. And by that, I mean that rather than being the most decorated athlete in the game, Charleston has proven time and time again that it is becoming one of the most decorated cities in the game. The Holy City continually receives the high praise it deserves as a tourist destination ranking “No. 1 City in the U.S.” as well as “No. 1 City in the World.” Even more than being a beach and tourist destination, the Charleston area has become quite the destination not only for chefs and food bloggers but also for self-proclaimed foodies such as myself.

Coming from a fast food infested city that at one point held the title of “Most Restaurants Per Capita Than Any Other City in the USA” on CNN, I was rearing and ready to make my way to a new and more locally-driven food scene by the time college rolled around. Luckily, my stomach and I had the great fortune of landing in Charleston upon my graduation from high school. However, I would use the term “landed” loosely because once I got a taste of Charleston, I hit the ground running. After you try the food, you’ll probably want to look into running too because when the food frenzy starts, it just won’t stop.

After spending almost three years assimilating the culinary establishments around me, I’ve devised a list. This list is the one that is often sent out upon request to friends and family visiting the city and looking for a local’s guide to Charleston gastronomy. This list includes, but is not limited to, a number of my preferred restaurants (in no particular order) and a brief description of their dining experience and/or offerings.

1. Stella's

You’ll have to go to Stella's for an entire week in order to taste all of the incredible items on the menu. Belly up to the beautiful bar and order a spread of mezzes and the Kotopoulo. You will not be disappointed.

2. Goat. Sheep. Cow

Skip. Jump. Run. to this all-time favorite of mine. Cheese and charcuterie galore, their menu will have you wanting more. Not to mention you'll walk out feeling both satisfied and as if you just hopped over to Europe for a quick "wine and dine" experience.

3. Butcher & Bee // the Daily

Two in one is just so much fun. Butcher & Bee specializes in "honest to goodness" meals offered in a refreshing and aesthetic environment. The Daily is a grab-and-go coffee spot/market established by the Butcher & Bee. "Bee"lieve me when I say you'll want to make either of these spots part of your daily routine.

4. Xiao Bao Biscuit

Probably the best gas station meal you will ever have (unless you prefer bagged pickles and pre-made egg salad sandwiches to an innovative culinary experience). Xiao Bao is housed in a restored gas station on Rutledge and has menu items that will leave you as speechless as trying to pronounce the restaurant's name does. This Asian-infused soul food is a must-try.

5. Caviar and Bananas

This Charleston staple is well-deserving of a spot on this list. Their concept and food will have you going bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. They know how to make "fancy," fast and easy. The owners, Kris and Margaret, have infused their infectiously playful personalities into their salad mixing, sandwich building, baked goods making, go-to coffee hot spot a foodie's paradise.

6. The Ordinary

As one might expect, there's nothing "ordinary" about this place. The pictures surely speak for themselves.

7. 167 Raw

A little slice of the popular Nantucket fish market and raw bar in the Lowcountry. 167 will fix any seafood craving you might have, including (and especially) lobster rolls and oysters. Head down East Bay Street and look for the vintage, copper, deep diving helmet fastened to the front of their white-painted brick exterior.

8. The Darling

This darling spot deserves an A+ for their interior and for their food. Hit up this ace of an oyster bar for a night of nautical noshing.

9. Little Jack's Tavern

Last but not least, "You don't know, Jack" until you've tried Little Jack's. This old school inspired tavern is as charming as it is delicious.

The list could go on, but for now, our hearts (and stomachs) thank you, Charleston.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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15 Things You've Heard As An Ice Cream Scooper

And the responses you wish you could have said...
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As many of you know, being a customer service employee can be exhausting. Sure, you may like working with people, but there's no doubt that you reach your limit here and there. Ice cream scoopers are a very specialized group of customer service employees who deal with people in their most vulnerable state: when they are craving sweets. If you've ever worked in an ice cream shop, here is a list of things you've definitely heard from customers, with responses of what you probably wish you could have said.

1. "I want cookie dough."

OK, seriously? "Cookie dough" is all you're giving me? Now I have to ask you a million questions about what size, what kind of cone, what type of toppings, etc. I know you may think I read minds, but I swear I don't.

2. "Just give me the regular cone. You know, the normal one."

Well, we offer three different kinds of cones. What's normal to me may not be normal to you. Chances are I'll scoop your ice cream into a sugar cone and then you'll look at me like I have ten heads because you expected a wafer cone *sigh*

3. "Can I try the vanilla?"

Are you kidding me?! I'm not sure if this is because you've never had vanilla before or if it's because you have a very critical opinion of vanilla ice cream, but either way... I suggest you take it down a notch. Your only excuse is if you're four years old.

4. "I promise, this is my last taste."

Is it, though?

5. "Oh wait, actually, THIS is my last one."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

6. "After all of these tastes, I won't have enough room to actually order a cone of ice cream!!!"

Extra points if you and your friends all laugh at the joke you just made.

7. "Is that one good?"

Honestly, does my opinion of ice cream really matter to you? Obviously, I'm going to say I like it, because I work here and it's ice cream, so yeah, it's good. What am I supposed to say? Should I tell you that I actually find that flavor repulsive and that it sort of tastes like soap? Probably not.

8. "Which flavor's your favorite?"

Let's be honest, there's a very high chance that our taste in ice cream is completely opposite altogether. So, when I say that the peanut butter chocolate is my favorite flavor, you'll probably smile and nod politely, and then order mint chocolate chip. Awkward.

9. "Just surprise me!"

No, no, no. Please do not put your ice cream order in my hands, that's way too much pressure. Also, I'm a terrible decision maker.

10. "Do you have chocolate ice cream?"

Nope! *Sarcasm*

11. "Which flavors are gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and dairy-free???"

Why did you even enter this ice cream shop? Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to allergies and sensitivities, but I have a feeling you're just being obnoxious.

12. "I bet your right arm gets pretty muscular, huh?"

Ha. Ha. Haven't heard that one before! Are you going to make the Popeye joke next?

13. "Could you just add some hot fudge on top of that for me?"

Listen carefully. If you ordered a kiddie size ice cream in a cup, and the ice cream fills the cup completely, where would there be room for the hot fudge? The answer is nowhere. I then have to transfer your ice cream into a larger cup that leaves room for the fudge, which easily could have been avoided if you had simply warned me of your fudge desires beforehand.

14. "It costs HOW MUCH?! I remember when a cone of ice cream was 50 cents!"

I don't make the prices. I, too, would love if an ice cream cone still cost 50 cents, but the unfortunate truth is that it does not, nor will it ever again.

15. "Oh, my gosh! I don't know how you work here and stay so thin! I would eat everything in the store!"

Oh don't worry, I DO eat everything in the store.

If you've ever said any of these things to an ice cream scooper, they probably made a joke about you to their coworker when you weren't looking. But it's okay, they immediately praised afterward as long as you tipped well. Ice cream scoopers are nice in nature, I swear. And they don't hold grudges!

Happy scooping!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Mom, My Coffee Addiction Isn't As Bad As You Think

This one's for you, Mom. Science says drinking coffee is totally fine.

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When I say that, I meant that drinking as much coffee as I do isn't bad. The addiction itself is incredibly deep-rooted and I couldn't function without it. But that's not the point.

Growing up I was always told I wasn't allowed to drink coffee because it keeps me up and stunts my growth and stains my teeth and blah blah blah. Well, news flash, Mom! Coffee, in fact, doesn't keep me up, I'm an average height, and my teeth are white!

Coffee isn't even bad for you. I mean, drinking 5 Venti caramel iced coffees from Starbucks a day is a LOT of sugar and milk and other things that you definitely don't need to be consuming a lot of. But, when drank correctly and in moderation, it isn't bad for you!

Studies have shown that drinking coffee can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even neurological conditions like Alzheimer's. Coffee has antioxidants in it, which combat damaging oxidizing agents and are very good for you. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds which is what aids in lowering your risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer's.

So, when I tell my mom that coffee is good for me and can never hurt me, I mean it. For the most part. The only downside that has been linked to problems is in pregnant consumers. Women who are pregnant and drink large amounts of coffee are at a higher risk for miscarriage. But, drinking caffeine while pregnant has always been something that we knew wasn't good. That's not saying that you can't drink it at all while pregnant, but definitely monitor your intake and keep the intake at a lower level.

As long as it is drank in moderation, this is good news! Now you can tell your mom, dad, friends, or siblings when they verbally attack you for your addiction to coffee that it isn't so bad after all. So, HA, Mom!

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https://unsplash.com/photos/y537fGGPipI

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