Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September Is Tasty In Charleston-Charleston Restaurant Week And The Southern Living Taste Of Charleston

Sullivan's Island near the lighthouse
Yesterday, I enjoyed a beautiful Charleston September day on Sullivan's Island. But before I detail my late day trip to the island of "The Gold Bug", I am going to retrace this typing of printed letters to the event's inception. It all started with a discussion over cooking burgers on the grill, the original plan, or driving out to Poe's Tavern. The sudden change in desire evolved around the sudden urge of wanting to stick my feet in some cool sand and warm, salty water. Sand and water won the debate and got into the car to make the trip from Summerville to the beautiful beach-front island that lies at the entrance to the Charleston Harbor. Charlestonians of the 19th and early 20th century often boated to this island to escape the summertime heat of the city.

As I approached the business section of Sullivan's Island, the location of Poe's Tavern, something I had mentally considered before beginning this excursion became a reality. This time of year Poe's usually attracts a large crowd, so a wait was a strong possibility, but getting a table right away takes a back seat to finding a close parking spot. This night was no exception. I slowed the car on our approach looking to both sides of the road for an empty spot to pull into. My dinner partner shouted out, "There's one," but by the time I reacted to it, the cars behind forced me past the prized parking spot and my dinner partner would follow up with, "You missed it."  A couple more of the same and we conceded to parking a bit down the road.

Poe's was alive with the chatter of its patrons. It filled the warm, humid island air. We were fortunate some outside seating was available immediately, which would have been my preference anyway. We were seated at a table near the adjacent parking lot away from most of the crowd. Somewhat intimate and surrounded by plants, it was a good table to be seated at, if you didn't mind watching the cars pull in and out of the lot. A fan pointed at the table made it delightfully comfortable. We listened to the waitress site the specials and we chose Nachos covered with chili and a copia sandwich with fries. Our drink accompaniment was a couple of beers, a Blue Moon and a Mich Ultra. We shared light conversation and at one point played name that flower.

Dinner completed and a few pictures recorded, we took the short walk from Middle Street down Station 221/2 Street to the beach. There was a pleasant breeze coming off the ocean. The sand was cool and the water was warm. The riotous surf splashing on the shoreline was music to my ears. Small fish were scooting from the land-locked water to the ocean as the waves passed back and forth over the sand between. The setting sun highlighted the walk down the beach to the rocks near the lighthouse and back. More conversation, and more pictures.
Sullivan's Island beach
Sun setting over the beach at Sullivan's Island
The evening was capped off kicking our feet up with a couple of beers and a heavily dosed vodka and cranberry on the rooftop of the Boathouse Restaurant on the Isle of Palms at Breech Inlet. A beautiful breeze coming off the ocean through the inlet cooled the air. At first, I obsessed about driving my car over the curb at the gas station near Poe's, but the relaxing atmosphere quickly carried those thoughts away over the backwaters of the Isle of Palms. In the distance the lighted Authur Ravenel Bridge stood like a sentinel overshadowing the Cooper River and the gateway to the Charleston harbor. While viewing Charleston in the distance, it dawned on me it was Restaurant Week in Charleston, one of the most highly anticipated culinary events in the Charleston area.
Boathouse Restaurant in an earlier picture
Authur Ravenel Bridge in the distance taken from the Boathouse Restaurant
Charleston consistently ranks as one of the top dining destinations in the world. Charleston Restaurant Week affords everyone the opportunity to sample the menus of the top restaurants at special rates consisting of three items for $20, $30 or $40 depending on the restaurant. The Boathouse at Breach Inlet is on the list, but I didn't see Poe's Tavern on the list, as of yet. More restaurants get added each day. I already have my sights set on Circa 1886 or 82 Queen. Charleston Restaurant Week runs September 5th through 16th. Make your reservations now. The event is organized by the Charleston Restaurant Association (CRA). This is the list of participating restaurants. Charleston area hotels are offering discounts between 20-30% off nightly accommodations September 5th to 15th.

Charleston's culinary celebrations  in September will finish with the Southern Living Taste of Charleston at Boone Hall Plantation September 27th to 30th. For more information go toTaste of Charleston.

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