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Workshop: A Food Concept Incubator

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* Workshop *

workshop motto

My friend Eve and I had lunch yesterday. It had been a while, so we had lots of catching up to do. We decided to check out Workshop, at 1503 King Street just north of downtown.  As they say on the website, “Welcome to Workshop, Charlestons’s exploratory food court.  Try something new at one of six rotating kitchens, where emerging and renowned chefs experiment with culinary concepts.”

Food court equals choices so since neither of us knew what we were hungry for this was the perfect spot.  As we drove north on King St. we saw 1501 on a building, but there was nothing after that looked like the building that housed Workshop but we kept driving.  Wrong move.  When you see the parking lot for 1501 King, pull in and park. 1503 King is behind 1501 and on the left.

The Workshop Space

The space is brand new, clean and modern.  There are only four of the six kitchens located in the main building.  The coffee shop, Bad Wolf Coffee is in a separate outer building adjacent to the main dining area and the pizza kitchen; Slice Co. with an outdoor pickup window only is next to Bad Wolf Coffee.  You can’t miss either of them because you walk past them to get to the main food court.  The other four choices for food are JD Loves Cheese, Pink Bellies: Vietnamese Goodness, Kite Noodle, a Korean Noodle Shop, and Juan Luis, a Tex-Mex cantina. There are several tables outside in the courtyard and a very large dining area in the main building.  We ate inside because it was hot and muggy.

The Food at Workshop

Eve and I decided to each try two items from the various Workshop kitchens.  We skipped the pizza cause we did not want to go back outside and wait.  And we skipped the Tex-Mex, because well, decent Mexican food is relatively easy to get, so we went with the other spots.  That said on the way out we stopped and checked out the pizza window, and we will try it next time.

JD Loves Cheese

I ordered the Olive My Love ($10) sandwich from JD Loves Cheese.  It is a grilled cheese with roasted tomatoes, basil and aged provolone on Olive-Walnut Sourdough bread.  It is super delicious, and the house made pickles on the side were the bomb!  Eve ordered the Mason-Dixon ($8) sandwich.  It is a grilled cheese with Thomasville Tomme, Grafton Clothbound Cheddar and Lusty Monk Mustard on Classic Levain bread.  It is also fabulous. However, Eve was not a fan of the pickles (so I ate hers too!).  Neither of us ate our chips as we had more things to try.  We each also got a glass of rosé here as well.

Kite Noodle

Eve ordered the Japchae ($10) from Kite Noodle.  Japchae is sweet potato noodles with vegetables and bulgogi (which is thin beef slices marinated and grilled on a barbecue).  It is very tasty but Eve said it is hard to eat using plastic utensils as the noodles which looked like glass noodles would slip off her fork.  I got Eve to use her chopsticks, and she was good to go.

workshop Kite Noodle japchae

Pink Bellies

I ordered the Dry Fried Chili Wings ($9) from Pink Bellies.  Wok fried wings with soy sauce, ginger, and chilis.  The wings were amazing but very sticky from the glaze and a tad challenging to eat because the glaze trapped the heat (temperature heat not spice heat) in the wing, so it took a long time to eat without burning my fingers and mouth.  The sauce was pretty mild, but I did steer clear of the whole dried chilis scattered about.  Eve also liked the wings.

workshop wings

Overall

Everything is made to order so it takes a bit to get your selection.  But it is definitely worth the wait. I would have to say that we both LOVED the grilled cheese sandwiches.  I would then put Eve’s Japchae second and she would probably put my wings as her second.  Next time I would only order from one kitchen, so my food is ready all at the same time. There are lots more items I want to try so we will have to come back several times.

Workshop is a great lunch spot.  It may be “out of the way”, but there is plenty of parking so it should not be a big deal to drive there.  It would be a great place to bring kids who are adventurous eaters because the choices are all over the map and there is also a simple kid’s grilled cheese sandwich.  For me, I am not sure I would make it a dinner choice as I wanna be waited on at dinner time. But if you are up for casual food court dining for dinner this is your spot.

Cheers,

rick

While I waited for my food, I snapped images of food coming out of the various kitchens.

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