Archive | November, 2010

Fast and French

Gaulart & Maliclet, Charleston, South Carolina

There are few things more oxymoronic than ‘fast and French’, especially when referring to food. But Gaulart & Maliclet Café in downtown Charleston delivers on its catch phrase, offering patrons terrific French inspired food in the blink of an eye. No doubt the French would consider such a place an abomination, but then, we never really cared for French service that leaves you to linger over empty plates hours after you’re ready to leave. No risk of that here. Turnover at the communal tables is quick and service is prompt. We enjoyed a fresh and fabulous lunch of zucchini-brie soup, melon, a toasted croissant topped with goat cheese and tomato, and a glass of wine (naturally) in about 20 minutes. Far superior to fast food. This is superior food, fast.

This Ain’t Napa

Irvin House Vineyard, Charleston South Carolina

The chicken coop was the first clue we weren’t visiting a typical California winery. The second clue was the adjoining moonshine liquor distillery. And the third clue was that I had never heard of, or tasted, the grape they grow here.

The heat and humidity of the Carolina summers are too severe for the most common winemaking grape varietals, but the hardy muscadine thrives here and is the foundation of the region’s wine country. Most of the wine produced from this grape is of the sweet and semi-sweet varieties that I don’t usually care for. But Irvin House Vineyard is different in that they primarily produce dryer “table style” wines. The six wines we tasted were solid efforts for a winery that is just seven years old. And while this ain’t Napa, it ain’t bad either.

Beware of Church

We see these “Caution Church” road signs everywhere while driving around South Carolina. But I’m a little confused. Are they saying that churches here are prone to jump out in front of traffic? Are they warning us sinners not to get too close for fear of bursting into flames? Or are they just warning everyone to stay away from church altogether? Hard to tell, but I think I’ll keep my distance just to be safe.

Travelers Of The World UNITE!

tsa-body-scan

In a show of solidarity with our compatriots, the beleaguered airline traveler, who are being subjected to invasive body scans by the thousands today, we are expressing our support by traveling completely naked. See ‘ya out there!

 

Charleston, Too

Charleston Tea Plantation, South Carolina

Yesterday’s post had a little fun at Charleston’s expense. While I think those factories are technically within Charleston city limits, much of the area actually looks more like the picture above. But this isn’t “anywhere” Charleston, this is specifically the Charleston Tea Plantation. If you want to see tea grown in the US, and who doesn’t, you have to come here, because this is the only place in all of North America where it’s still grown. Visit the factory; take a trolley tour of the 127 acre tea farm; stroll the grounds; or just sit on the porch and savor a complementary glass of freshly harvested and brewed sweet tea. Ahhhhh.

Charleston Tea Plantation, South Carolina

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