Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SOL Partners with Lowcountry Orphan Relief to Give Back this Holiday Season

SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar’s Kitchen Karma program is raising money for local children now through January 5

After reaching their goal of raising $10,000 for local charities within their first year in business, SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar looks to a second year of fundraising with its newest Kitchen Karma partnership. Now through January 5, SOL is partnering with Lowcountry Orphan Relief, a local charity organization that provides services and aid to meet the needs of Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect.

“Giving back is part of our mission,” said David Clark, owner of SOL, “and we’re honored to have the opportunity to work with our customers to help raise money for local kids who need our support.”

SOL raises these funds through its Kitchen Karma program where the restaurant pairs up with a local charity to raise funds for that organization for a period of about six to eight weeks. With this program, SOL chooses a featured dish and a featured cocktail and donates $1 from every featured item purchased at SOL within that fundraising period. The featured items for the Lowcountry Orphan Relief partnership include the Cranberry Spiced Margarita and Christmas Chimichanga. The Cranberry Spiced Margarita is made with classic holiday flavors, including fresh cranberry, cinnamon, all spice, clove, and tequila, with a lime sugar rim. The Christmas Chimichanga received its name from the red and green chile sauces used to make the dish.

For more information on SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar and the Kitchen Karma program, please visit SOLMtPleasant.com, or find us on Facebook at SOL Mt. Pleasant. For more information about SOL’s current partnering charity organization, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, visit LowcountryOrphanRelief.org. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Leon's Fine Poultry And Oysters Charleston, SC

Who Doesn't Like Fried Chicken?

Leon's Fine Poultry and Oysters was our most recent dining adventure in the Low Country and am I glad we stopped in.

Located on upper, upper, upper King - past The Ordinary, the UHaul rental place and The Post and Courier, Leon's is in a place all its own.

What used to be a gas station has been transformed into an Urban-chic, trendy eatery. David Boatright's (a noted, local artist), incredible talents are on display here, beginning with the sign above the door and then scattered throughout the restaurant.  The building itself, with its cement floors "feels" old, but it's undergone a wonderful transformation and the energy & atmosphere is great.

When we arrived we were quickly seated by a friendly hostess and in a blink of an eye approached by a server.  She welcomed us, took our beverage order and departed.  Enter our next server who delivered our drinks and asked us if we had any questions.  This was a bit confusing as we didn't know who our server was.  It ended up being server #2, no name given though, which is unfortunate since he was very friendly and courteous.
Inside Leon's
The lunch menu consists of "oysters", "snacks", "smaller" (insert side dishes here), "sandwiches", "fish" "fried chicken" and "dessert" - soft serve ice cream with an option to add free jimmies, aka "sprinkles" in other parts of the nation.  The dinner menu only adds one item, "shrimp toast".

Everyone we know who has gone to Leon's has raved about the Fried Chicken so we had to give that a shot. We both ordered the two piece selection (white meat - $8.00/dark meat -$10.00) and the server steered us to the "half chicken" which was in essence the same thing, but $16.00 versus $18.00. When you order fried chicken or any menu item, that's exactly what you get.  Leon's embraces ala carte side dishes.  We sleuthed the menu and chose two, the black eye pea salad and the scalloped potatoes.
Fried Half Chicken

The great thing about Leon's Fried Chicken is that it's cooked to order.  When it was brought to the table it was almost too hot to eat.  The chicken arrived in an old fashioned metal bowl and we received small bowls for bones. I would have much preferred a plate as it was hard to cut chicken in a bowl.  We surrendered and ate most of it with our fingers.  The original intent perhaps? The lightly battered, crispy, juicy chicken was worth the trouble!

The Scalloped Potatoes served "old school" were a disappointment.  The potatoes were mandoline-sliced and stacked about one inch high by 3-4 inches wide.  They reminded me of a large brownie with a large slathering of swiss cheese on top.  Maybe they would have been better if they were hot, but they weren't.  They were lukewarm at best and for $7.00, yes you heard that correctly, I thought overpriced.
Scalloped Potatoes
The Black Eye Pea Salad with pickles, peppers, olive oil and chives was excellent.  We were served about eight ounces in a small metal bowl.  Not to say that it wasn't tasty, but at $6.00, it was also steep.
Black Eyed Pea Salad
Overall I liked the atmosphere, the service and the chicken but I thought it was a tad overpriced.  All in for our chicken, sides, a beer and a soda - with tip it was $48.00.

Even though I have spoken highly about Leon's, everyone I've mentioned it to has said the same thing.  Sixteen dollars for chicken?!?  Give me Mrs. Mac's chicken any day.

P.S. Parking can be difficult - the sign up front instructs you not to park in the neighborhood, but doesn't tell you where to park.  Our server told us that parking was allowed in the nearby church, but not on Sundays.

We gave Leon's 4 out of 5 plates.

Leon's Oyster Shop on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wounded Warriors Project At USS Yorktown

The Wounded Warrior Project is hosting a charity event on the USS Yorktown on the evening of November 7th.  You'll have a chance to mingle with the stars of the hit TV show Southern Charm.

All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project so get your tickets today.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How Not To Treat Your Customers

Or How Bad Was Our Server At The Tattooed Moose?

For the past four years I have been a big fan of the Tattooed Moose, an out-of-the-way, eclectic restaurant with hands down, terrific food.

So much so that when a billion+ dollar restaurant group (yes, that's a b), reached out to me to find an "off the beaten path" venue for their executive chefs to try, one of my suggestions was the Tattooed Moose.

And when a company wanted a TV spot dedicated to late night places to eat, what did I suggest as one of the options? The Tattooed Moose. You get the picture.
We stopped at the Moose for a late lunch yesterday. We started with the pimento cheese served with chorizo something we hadn't tried before.  It was delicious. We carefully limited our sampling so that we would not ruin our much anticipated lunch.

My husband's Lucky#1 with a side of bleu cheese slaw was perfect as always.  My reuben, however, didn't look quite right and I quickly observed that it was barely toasted.  Fearing it might be undercooked I cut one half of the sandwich in half and tried to see if the middle of the sandwich was hot, which it wasn't. 

I put the 1/4 of the sandwich that I had tasted on a napkin and tried to get my server's attention to see if she could warm up the other 3 quarters.  After several attempts to get her attention I walked up to the bar with my 3/4 sandwich to see if someone could help me. I bumped into my server coming out of the kitchen and explained my dilemma.  She took the partial sandwich back to the kitchen without saying a word.

I insisted that my husband continue to finish his sandwich.  I was certain mine would be delivered quickly and that it would be great. I was wrong. Here's how this played out and how a customer should never be treated.

My 3/4 sandwich was returned and the server said, "I saw the hostess take your sandwich out of the window when it came off the grill. It shouldn't have been cold."  In other words, Ms. Customer, you were at fault here. "I had them grill one side of your sandwich but since you took a bite out of the other side (I didn't, I just cut the sandwich), they couldn't put that piece back on the grill." With that comment she turned and walked away. No apology, no "let me wait to see if this is any better", no "let me know if it's hot enough", nothing, zero, zippo, nada.  

I looked down at my basket.  There was my 1/2 re-grilled sandwich.  The other 1/4th just sat there cold and dead as a doornail. 

As I took a bite of the re-grilled portion I quickly noticed that something was off.  Somehow most of the contents of the reuben were no longer in the sandwich and I was left with almost empty grilled bread with a few pieces of corned beef on it.  Are you kidding me???

All in I was served a cold sandwich, a re-grilled 1/2 whose contents were MIA the other cold 1/4 sandwich which was inedible in the first place - now even more so. Do you think the server EVER came back to see how my recook was?  Never.  We asked for our check and she removed my still not eaten sandwich from the table without a word.  As she did so and gave us both attitude and a snarly look to boot.  I felt as though I had caused her a personal hardship.  More importantly, why am I getting the snarly looks?  I'm the customer that was served an inedible lunch and still hasn't eaten???  

Could they not have just made a new reuben rather than jigsaw puzzle my sandwich trying to rewarm it only to have it returned inedible? Common sense would have been the hero in this equation.

That was our last visit. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Long Island Cafe, Isle of Palms

Buy local and help a local restaurant out.

Spending time at the beautiful beaches of Isle of Palms we thankfully stumbled on an island staple, Long Island Cafe. Another hidden gem (and most recently, very hidden), in the Low Country.

Long Island Cafe has been an island institution for over 28 years and is currently struggling due to the development of the new Harris Teeter Grocery Store.   The store is not only taking over the lion's share of the strip center in which it will reside, but most, if not all of the parking spaces for Long Island Cafe are blocked during construction. It has become a challenge to see if the Long Island cafe is open (small banners announce this), and parking is almost, but NOT totally impossible.

Let's rally around this terrific family who has stayed faithful to the island and their customers by dining at their restaurant.  

Their hours and address are listed below: 
Long Island Café is located at 1515-A Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms. For more information, call 886-8809. Long Island Café is open for lunch Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., dinner Saturday and Sunday, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and Sunday brunch, 11a.m. – 2 p.m.

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