Charleston Culinary Tour

It’s no secret that I love to eat, so you can imagine my excitement that I was going on a food tour in Charleston after being sick for a week.  Brittney, Catherine, Katie, and I decided to be tourists in our own city last Saturday and went on the ‘Savor the Flavors of Charleston’ tour by Charleston Culinary Tours.

Going in, we had no idea what to expect.  We met at Hom at 3pm and went to the large reserved table with 12 others ready to eat.  Our tour guide kicked it off, and we all introduced ourselves.  Not too surprising, we were the only locals on the tour, but the rest were from all over the country, enjoying a weekend in the lowcountry.

Okay, to the food!  We started out with fried calamari, on top of a sun dried tomato goat cheese, and balsamic drizzled on top.  This was served family style, so we shared with a couple from Charlotte.

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Next up was the dixie flatbread with pimento cheese, pork confit, caramelized onions, bacon and arugula.  The flatbread was probably my favorite of our dishes at Hom because all of the ingredients on their own are good, but together — ahhhhh.

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Since I was the food allergy kid in the group, I got a special beet salad with goat cheese and root beer rosemary dressing.  I think this was the second time I’ve ever had beets (I know, I know), but wow this was good!  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this salad, and I’ll be coming back to Hom just for it.

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The last course at Hom was a fried chicken BLT with honey and herb ranch mayo.  So a few courses in and I think we all were starting to realize that we better loosen the belts… we were just getting started.

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We left Hom and walked down Cannon Street to R Kitchen on Rutledge.  It was such a gorgeous day, and the walk was really nice.  We stopped a few times here and there while the guide pointed out architecture, talked about various points in history, and upper King Street.

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R Kitchen came out with all three of the next courses at once for us to try, and their sous chef walked us through them.  From the right, there was a sweet tea brined pork chop with mushroom gravy, tomato & andouille sausage soup, and quinoa & veggies for the food allergy kid, but sweet potato asian noodles for the rest.

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While the pork chop was really good, I think the soup was my favorite here.  None of us had ever eaten at R Kitchen before, and we were definitely impressed by the quality of the food.  They call it a chef’s playhouse, and several guest chefs come and cook with their ever-changing fresh, local ingredients.

I had no idea how small the space was though!  It sits 16, and they will serve 3 dinners each night, joking that they “get it right by the last seating.”  On the way out, we walked through the front of the house and saw the chefs prepping for dinner that night — looks like won tons were on the menu!

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We went right next door, and headed to Lana next.  Lana started with a curry and coconut soup.  This is something I’d never order on my own, so am really glad that they served it to us because I enjoyed all the flavors!  Maybe I should broaden my tastes a little bit…

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The next course was a short rib risotto with bread crumbs.  Oh goodness, this was good.  On a normal night, I could probably eat a whole bowl of it, but 8 courses in, I was having a hard time finishing it.  I was seriously so stuffed leaving Lana, and looking forward to the walk back to King Street.

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We walked back down Cannon Street, to Coming, to Morris, then King Street and made a few more stops on the way back.  I will say that our guide knew her stuff, and even though we were locals, went to Cofc, and knew a good bit of local history, we learned a few things, especially about the Coming Street Cemetery.

The last stop was dessert at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream!  They came out to SPARC when they first moved to Charleston, but I hadn’t been to their King Street place yet because it was so busy every time I went by.  Jenny’s can be a scary place if you have a tree nut allergy since so many of their crazy flavors have some kind of nut in them, but I settled on peanut butter & chocolate chip, and the employee got me a scoop from the back to make sure it wasn’t contaminated.  It’s the little things 🙂

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Overall experience: Amazing.  We came into the tour not knowing what to expect, and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure if there’d be enough food.  I left incredibly stuffed, and enjoyed all the 9 courses we ate, plus it was a great way to try some new places!

The 4 of us want to set up plans to get dinner at R Kitchen soon with all of our friends, and I want to try the Farmer’s Market tour, or mixology tour next! Who’s in?

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