Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Eating with Kids in Charleston, SC

We're back from five days exploring Charleston, South Carolina and are slowly recovering from a jam packed schedule and many food indulgences (hello cheesy grits). What a town Charleston is! Between the historic architecture (imagine colorful pre-Civil War townhouses with porches galore), friendly locals (with charming accents), and an endless supply of thoughtful food, the city is a perfect small urban getaway. We quizzed our cab driver on the way to the airport about the downsides of Charleston as we became quite smitten. She described heavy humidity and swarming gnats in the spring and summer. Good thing because we were ready to recruit all of our friends and family to move down south.

Of course, the vacation wasn't as much relaxing as it was an adventure. Nick and I joked that we felt like chaperones on a school trip - ha! Perhaps next year we'll visit a secluded beach. Because we checked just one bag I made the call to leave our nice camera at home so here are some informative but less pretty phone shots. I've noted the kid friendly attractions and every place we ate at and even a few food spots that we didn't have time for but look delicious. 

EAT: Butcher & Bee - (photo above). Hip lunch spot with mason jars of sweet tea to go, a changing daily menu, and tables outside. I ate the spicy kale slaw with peanuts and hummus platter one day. Another lunch was a sampler platter of falafel, sweet potato toast, grain and cauliflower salad, and mushroom soup.

VISIT: South Carolina Aquarium - Impressive aquarium with everything kids are looking for including touch tank, sharks, and an albino alligator.

EAT: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams - This may be the best ice cream in the country!? Made with milk from grass fed cows and inspired flavors like Wildberry Lavender and Bangkok Peanut. I ate a bowl of Brambleberry Crisp.

VISIT: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Founded in 1676 this plantation and gardens offers unique history, hiking trails, animals, and a swamp! Dylan did get pinched by a grumpy goose and our entry sticker was eaten (off a jacket!) by a deer.

EAT: Minero -A casual Mexican eatery opened by famous chef Sean Brock - delicious! I ate the guacamole, chicken taco, sweet potato and mushroom mulla, and churros with chocolate sauce.

EAT: Husk - "Centrally located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk, the newest offering from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, transforms the essence of Southern food. Led by Brock, a Lowcountry native, the kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Charleston." Couldn't have said it better myself. We shared the shrimp toast and slow poached egg over grits, greens, and tomatoes. I had cat fish for dinner and strawberry lemon cake for dessert.

PS. You need a babysitter for this one!

VISIT: Children's Museum of the Lowcountry - Amazing museum with epic shopping market, full size pirates ship, and great outdoor space.

EAT: Xiao Bao Biscuit  - Strangely enough, this Asian restaurant was our favorite of the trip (even with all the amazing southern food we tried!). We ate fried brussels sprouts and eggplant in fish sauce, tile fish with nori and squid ink pasta, spicy tofu, rice...the list goes on. The menu offers dishes inspired by a variety of Asian countries but uses locally grown produce (imagine collards in place of Chinese cabbage). In hot weather the chefs cook cooling Thai food and in cold weather spicy Szechuan dishes.

VISIT: Patriots Point - A little boy's dream - WWII aircraft carrier, bi-planes, jets, submarine, and destroyer!

EAT: Hominy Grill-  This place is a Charleston classic. Nick ordered "The Big Nasty" for breakfast. It's fried chicken on a biscuit with sausage gravy. Whoa.

EAT: Glazed Gourmet Donuts - Homemade artisan donuts that sell out within hours of opening. Every day there is a new selection of choices. We tried the raspberry, chocolate, and the apple-bacon fritter.

A few food stops that we missed:
Artisan Meat Share
Leon's Fine Poultry & Oysters

Until next time Charleston...now on to kale salads and green juice to detox!


  1. We spent Thanksgiving in Charleston! We loved it, too. So nice to see it through your eyes!

  2. What a great post, makes me nostalgic for my SC home. Looks like you sampled all the good stuff Charleston has to offer!

  3. Thanks Ella - loved it! Erin, oh I can imagine how lovely growing up in SC must be!

  4. OMG Sarah I have been so looking forward to this post! So glad you guys had such a great time!!
    Sounds like the Children's Museum was really great! Did you think that was more hands-on than the aquarium? My daughter (4) tends to get bored if there isn't much to touch and interact with.
    Also sounds like USS Yorktown was worth the trip? I wasn't sure if she would last, but if Dylan was a fan, she might be as well.
    I'm so glad to hear the food is everything I was hoping for. We won't be able to do Husk since we don't have a babysitter. :( Most of these were already on my list. :) I'll have to check out the Xiao Bao Biscuit. That one is new to me!
    Thanks again!!

  5. Hi Megan - yeah I'm excited for you and I'm sure you'll have MUCH better weather then we did! The Childrens Museum was wonderful but the aquarium also had a lot of interactive things as well (many more then other aquariums I've visited). The Yorktown was worth the trip for Dylan because of the number of airplanes but if you're not into airplanes and big ships then maybe not. The food WAS amazing and email me if you want our babysitters number! She was lovely and is the nanny for a friend of a friend!

  6. Thanks, Sarah! I think my husband might decide he can't miss the airplanes and big ships! :)
    And thanks for the babysitter hint - I just might have to reach out to you for that one!

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