Hi! I hope your short week has been a great one so far. I'm excited to share details from a recent, food-centered adventure with y'all today! Because I mean really, is there a better way to jump-start your Thanksgiving appetite than a post entirely about food? I think not.
A few weekends ago, G & I had the opportunity to take the "Upper King Street" culinary tour offered by Charleston Culinary Tours. The tour takes you to four different restaurants. At each stop, you are able to try several dishes and are offered unique insight into the Upper King Street area and the rich history behind Charleston's culture and cuisine.
Our first stop of the day was HöM, a burger boutique and ping-pong lounge where you can "serve or be served". Our tour guide, Charley, started out here with an overview of the day and a little bit about what we should expect. I'd never tried the food options here and was more than excited to test it out. Our first plate here was their Calamari, which they serve with a sundried tomoato and goat cheese sauce. Next, we got to try their unique Dixie Flatbread topped with house-made pimento cheese, caramelized onions and arugula. While I enjoyed both of these, our last dish was my favorite by far. We had their Green Gobble-n turkey burger with melted leeks and spinach, green apple, brie and green goddess aioli. It was so. good. I left saying I'd go back just for that! You can take a peek at HöM's menu and unique atmosphere here.
Our next stop was Prohibition, a 1920's "speakeasy" style restaurant & bar whose slogan is, "Bringing the Swing back to Upper King." I'd been to Prohibition several times with friends and always had a fun time, but I'd never tried their food or specialty cocktails. This time I had both! I ordered their Moscow Mule & G tried their Itty Bitty, which actually won the title of "Best Cocktail" from Charleston Magazine this year. To start out, a enormous skillet of paella was brought out by their Executive Chef, Stephen Thompson. He told us a little about his style and details about the local ingredients that are used in all of his dishes and seemed like a really neat guy. We finished up here with his version of a ramen noodle soup in a ginger broth, with pork belly and a fried duck egg. I'm not a pork fan so I left this one alone, but everyone else at the table seemed to enjoy it. You can check out the full menu and live music schedule here.
From here we made our way to 39 Rue de Jean, a French inspired restaurant. Although this was not my first time to the restaurant, I was more than happy to return! Here we got to try their ratatouille and their well-known mussels and pommes frites, which I blame for my lack of photos at this stop. They were amazing. French fries are my vice and these certainly did not disappoint. Take a peek at their full menu here.
We finished out the tour next door at Paulo's Gelato. They offer a wide variety of flavors and I chose the tiramisu while G picked the banana pudding. Both were good, but his was the best choice by far!
Overall, we had a blast and it was a fun change to try places we'd never been and dishes that were new to both of us. I'd recommend the Upper King tour to both residents and tourists alike. The quality of tour and the food itself was top-notch. I only wish my pictures did it more justice!
I enjoyed the walking style of the tour, too. We walked from restaurant to restaurant leisurely, stopping along the way as Charley pointed out various historical information. As a life-long South Carolina resident and local to the area, the tour opened my eyes to how much I still have to learn about Charleston's history and the variety of influences that have shaped the city (and it's food culture) into what it is known for today. Our tour guide, Charley, was awesome all around. She had a fun personality and was incredibly knowledgeable on Charleston history and the food culture that has evolved as a result. The small size of the tour was a nice touch as well--I actually ended up sitting across from Meg, another Charleston blogger, and it was great to get to know her and her husband a little better!
Many thanks to Charleston Culinary Tours for an adventure and the chance to learn more about one of this city's many offerings that make it such a wonderful place to live.