Three meals and a Latte: How to spend a day eating through downtown Charleston

By: Amanda Thomas

            With Charleston being the oldest city in South Carolina there are plenty of things to see, do…and eat. That being said, it is so easy to be torn with how to spend your time while visiting the Holy City. Fortunate for me, I had a lot of my plans laid out for me while in town for a friends wedding. With a schedule to keep, most of our meals were planned for us and the ones that weren’t we chose carefully so as to continue in the pattern of treating ourselves before the wedding. While I was there for several days I have narrowed down a list that includes a place to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a coffee shop all located on or just off of King Street in downtown Charleston.

Breakfast: Kitchen 208IMG_7753

             They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so when choosing where to grab your early morning eats you should do so carefully. My friends and I chose Kitchen 208 for it’s unique, fresh southern dishes. The breakfast menu includes everything from frittatas to steel cut oats with fresh fruit and honey. Aside from what the dishes are, they also have been given names like the Carriage House and Bridge Runner to reflect the city that you are dining in.

While on my visit to Kitchen 208 I was feeling a little sweet and a little salty, so I IMG_7754opted for the Plantation waffle accompanied by applewood bacon and a hot cup of joe. Plantation was definitely a good name for this dish because the waffle, just like a southern plantation, was grand in size. Just barely fitting on the plate, the golden disc laid with the bacon and cup of syrup hugging the side of the dish. Using my handheld weapons I attacked the fluffy, flaky beast and defeated it in a matter of moments…with the occasional bacon fueled boost between bites. Another bonus to this delicious meal, the prices! Nothing on the menu exceeds ten dollars, and to be eating in downtown Charleston for less than a Hamilton is definitely another reason why you should check out Kitchen 208 for your next casual breakfast spot.

Lunch: King Street Grille

             Having had our international food fixes in the past couple of days, we were then craving something hearty, greasy, and good. A friend that use to go to school in Charleston recommended us going to King Street Grille, describing it as ‘amazing bar food’. With my experiences at eating wings and burgers at bars, I knew that that was exactly what the doctor ordered. Walking in to King Street Grille it was the epitome of a sports bar with a long bar against most of the wall on the left and a variety of booths and high tops along the rest of the restaurant. Once we were seated at our table I immediately knew that the waitress was gonna need to give me a minute because everything on that menu was tempting my taste buds. “Do I want pasta…oh but they have sweet tea fried chicken…mmm but those wings look good”. I really didn’t know how I was going to pick just one, but I knew it was going to be one of those decisions where I just decided in the moment whenever the waitress got to me. Sure enough, the waitress came to me last and I went with my gut (and stomach)…blue cheese bacon burger. The burger was described as certified angus beef burger smothered in our signature bleu cheese dressing and topped with bacon served on a warm pretzel roll with seasoned waffle fries. Now while I’ve never been on an online dating site, I felt like I had just swiped right on my meal soul mate.

When the burger finally arrived, I hesitated to even take a bite from it…because IMG_7813it
was just that beautiful. The pretzel roll was glistening with butter and the blue cheese was oozing out underneath the thick cut bacon. It’s beauty almost held me back from eating it…but then I took a picture of it, and everyone knows that a picture lasts longer. The juicy beef mixed with the flavors of the toppings and the bun created a sinfully satisfying symphony in my mouth. So while you’re out doing your shopping, take my advice and drop in to King Street Grille to enjoy one of the best burgers you’ll ever have in your life. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of
burgers.

 Coffee: Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

         You’ve already had lunch, but want something to fill and fuel you up until IMG_7812dinnertime? Coffee is always the way to go! Now while I do love Starbucks (Shh, don’t tell anyone!), there’s nothing more enjoyable than a latte in its oversized mug in a relaxed local coffee shop. Just off the beaten path of King Street is Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer. With outdoor and indoor seating, the atmosphere of Kudu is the type of mellow that everyone who is looking to experience a hot (or cold) cup of coffee can enjoy. On this particular visit, it had been raining cats and dogs so we ran inside to escape the rain for a while. While there were numerous drinks to select from, I settled in for a classic mocha latte and it did not disappoint…AND they do latte art, even on to-go orders!

Dinner: Sermets

             Now while Sermets probably wouldn’t have been on our normal meal plan, it was chosen for the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. The meal was held upstairs and even though we arrived with the bride thirty minutes early, all of the tables and decorations were set up to perfection. Cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres passed by after thirty minutes and we were all seated at our assigned spots around the room. With the piano being softly played in the background, our first course of a spinach salad was served. IMG_7739Dressed with raspberries, pecans, and balsamic dressing and a hunk of fried goat cheese. This was a salad after my own heart…and the meal didn’t stop there. Once my salad was cleared my entrée arrived shortly in its place. With the invitation to the dinner we were all given the option of chicken, steak, or triggerfish as our entree. Since we were at the beach, I decided to go with the triggerfish. Arriving in a IMG_7740deep dish filled to the brim with grits, my fish and several stalks of asparagus laid perfectly atop in the middle. The flaky, seasoned fish was a perfect match to the crisp vegetable and creamy grits making a well balanced (and completely satisfying) meal. Second courses were cleared and toasts to the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. were being made and it arrived. A chocolate-tuxedo cake so tempting with it’s layers of multi-textured goodness it would make the most anti-chocolate person wish they were married to Milton Hershey himself.

IMG_7741

Oh so full from our three courses of pure deliciousness later and we were still caught up in enjoying one another as the staff began to clean. Such a welcoming crew of workers, chefs, and bartenders made the rehearsal dinner a magical night to remember before the big day. While not every night is a rehearsal dinner night, Sermets is the perfect place to enjoy an elegant night out on the town.

With well over a hundred dinning options in downtown Charleston, it’s so hard to decide what will satisfy your hunger. Whatever the time of day, whatever the occasion, whatever the season; hopefully this list tempted your taste buds enough to plan your next trip (and meal) in Charleston. While it might not be for a few months until I’m back in the presence of Rainbow Row, I hold with me the memories of this trip celebrating two people I love dearly and eating my way through downtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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