Hits & Misses and Updates at Charleston Eateries
I have been out to eat at many a restaurant over the past few weeks, but it has primarily been for lunch or a quick bite. So today will do a restaurant round up of some of the many places I have dined. Some good, some great and others not so good. This is just my experience. Take it for what it is.
Hen and The Goat – A Breakfast Update
Last time I talked about Hen and The Goat was during a lunch visit. Well, folks, I know this is not like me, but I was up and out of the house at traditional breakfast time and was starving. For those of you who are not aware, I am a night owl. Going to bed at 12:30am is early for me. Last night I hit the hay at 3:00am. That usually means there is only one eight in the day and it is eight pm.
But on this day I was already out the door and running errands. Do not ask me why, as it is all a blur and that is not the point. The point is I was driving down Folly Rd that is one fast food chain after another and I see the sign Hen and The Goat as I hit the bend in the road. Breaks applied, right turn on two wheels (jk) and I was inside for breakfast. If it is half as good as lunch, I will be thrilled. There is an entire section of the menu on breakfast sandwiches, pick your meat, cheese, bread and go! There are omelets and hot cereals and sweet rolls and muffins and other breakfast traditions and much much more.
On the Go
I was stuck on the breakfast sandwiches because I wanted to eat on the go and when I saw the Kaiser roll option, I had to do it. This is New York City bodega territory here, and I miss that style so much. I ordered the bacon, egg, and cheese on a kaiser roll. So let me tell you, the kaiser roll was warmed and slightly grilled, the egg yolk was not runny but not dry either. The bacon was crispy and chewy at the same time, and the cheese was ooey and gooey and all put together this sandwich was divine. Now I realize it is JUST a breakfast sandwich, but have you had an Egg McMuffin in the last decade…Uuuughhh! McD’s is not even good for hangovers, but this sandwich… its got-choo!
So I have been there for lunch (twice), and it is an A+, and now I have been there for breakfast for another A+. Get there folks, you will not be sorry.
They are open from 7 am to 4 pm and are testing early dinner hours until 7 pm.
Hen and The Goat is located at 869 Folly Road Charleston, SC 29412
Restaurant Hits & Misses:
Charleston being the food town that it is, means that the bar is set higher here than in other cities of this size. The intense competition and your chef peers force you to be better, or you may not make it. For me, a miss can be about service or food; heaven forbid if it’s both. It tough surviving in a town where being average is not good enough.
Stars Rooftop & Grill Room – Miss
The night we went to Stars Rooftop & Grill Room was a fluke. We were supposed to eat mussels at 39 Rue de Jean, but an electrical issue closed the kitchen unexpectedly. So thirty minutes before dinner as a party of 5 we were scrambling for a table on a Thursday at 7:00 pm. We must have called ten other restaurants in the North of Calhoun area, and all were booked up until 10 pm, except Stars. They could take us right away.
“Right away” was a sign of what was to come with drinks that took forever to arrive and never when needed. Our crab cake appetizer arrived cold, so we sent back and when the new order arrived it too was cold. If I had to guess, I would say pre-made and pre-grilled and stored in the very cold fridge. Warmed to order but the heat never quite makes it to the interior of the cake.
The highlight of the meal was the Bacon Cheddar Tot, and I say “tot” because an order is only six tots and with five of us we each got one and a sixth. It was delicious and probably made in- house but when I think of tots, it is usually a plateful, not one a piece.
The entreé menu is steakhouse oriented, and if I am having a steak, I am going to Hall’s or Oak, so I ordered a burger that was average for a not average price of $17.00. No other entreé from the other guests was memorable.
When we left about 9:30-ish the bar area was packed with 20-something college students, along with flocks of Millennials heading to the rooftop to cocktail the night away. I guess it’s more of a college bar these days. The restaurant was never full, but the roof and the bar get packed late if that is your sort of thing. For me, it is a swing and a miss.
Stars Rooftop & Grill Room is located at 495 King St in the North of Calhoun area.
Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop – Hit
I have eaten at Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop on several occasions, and it is always an enjoyable experience. I have yet to order an item at this restaurant and not be happy. This trip was for lunch with my friend Karen. Gary was off work that day, so he joined us as well.
The food was delicious and as expected. Gary got the Siam Salad (napa cabbage, avocado, peanuts, orange, fried shallots, fresh herbs) which he always gets and always eats it up. I got the Catfish Sandwich. The cornmeal breading on the fish was overcooked for my taste, but the fish was flaky and piping hot. I also got the Heirloom Tomato Salad with tofu cream, peaches, red onion, sweet corn, and a sherry vinaigrette which was out of this world. Karen had the Fried Oyster Sandwich that she asked to be deconstructed (which they did without question), so the lettuce, tomato, avocado, and comeback sauce was all on the side. Add in a couple of glasses of crisp rosé, and we had a great lunch experience.
Leon’s Fine Poultry and Oyster Shop is located at 698 King Street which is what I refer to as Upper Upper King Area above the Crosstown.
Ellis Creek Fish Camp – Hit
Sometimes a place comes along serving your basic fried seafood baskets and assorted other items. The food is good, and the staff is friendly and efficient. But you are really there because it is one of the few outdoor restaurants with a gorgeous marsh and creek view. Mount Pleasant has The Wreck, and there is Bowens Island if you are heading towards Folly Beach but for an on your way home stop for James Islanders, the Ellis Creek Fish Camp is the place for a great view a basket of shrimp and a cold beer or glass of wine.
It is kid- and dog-friendly. They have recently expanded the outdoor seating. And added fans that run all the time to keep the no-see-ums and mosquitos away. This trip was Gary and I and Natalie with her kids. It’s perfect because when the kids get bored, they can run around while us adults finish our dinner and cocktails.
New to the menu are mini corn shrimp dogs which we devoured. Gary ordered the Fish and Chips, and I got the Burger. I normally get a shrimp basket here, but I was craving beef again because I never get at home. Yum! This restaurant is a pit stop kind of place for us.
Ellis Creek Fish Camp is located at 1243 Harbor View Road on James Island.
That is all for now.