An Event Not To Be Missed
If you haven’t gone to the Taste of Charleston before, pencil it in your calendar for next October. It’s a great experience and worth the trip!
This year Southern Living Magazine partnered with the Charleston Restaurant Association and co-sponsored the event. I don’t know if financially they helped a lot with the event, but the addition of a few booths and demo areas under the Southern Living umbrella was hardly worth the fuss. The event itself though, was, as it has been in the past, terrific.
|Southern Living Tent|
This partnership has also served to extend the event from one day to two. I’m not certain if that’s a win either, as some of the restaurants chose to only participate on one day. Be that as it may the day that we went (Saturday), was delightful.
43 restaurants participated this year. Admission was $20.00. Admission seemed a tad steep considering you still need to add in food/beverage costs ($2.00/ticket.) Not a cheap date by any stretch of the imagination… but a great venue nonetheless.
We picked up $30.00 worth of tickets and began our food expedition.
What I didn’t like about this year’s event versus last years was that some of the menu items were now $6.00 (three tickets.) Last year it was hard to find any item that was $4.00, as most were one ticket, or $2.00. I wasn’t fond of this change.
As we perused the booths we enjoyed the live music. Many participants brought folding chairs and sat on the lawn to enjoy the day. We wished we had done this. The weather was spectacular and the music very good.
We ate at four or five booths throughout our stay. At the Culinary Institute of Charleston we split the BBQ Pork Slider with Asian Slaw. It was nice to see the students so engaged and interested in the restaurant industry in general. The slider however, was just OK.
|Asian BBQ Pork Slides|
|Chef Matthew, Iron Chef winner|
|Beef Brisket & Pepperjack Corn from Halls|
Our stop at Hall’s Chophouse was more than a stop. First, there was a very long line there (unlike many other booths), and we were also happy to stop and chat with Matthew, their executive chef, someone I interviewed for my blog in the spring. It was nice to hear that he had won the Iron Chef competition the night before, much deserved.
Hall’s offered a Prime BBQ Beef Briskey Sandwich with Pepperjack Cream Corn. Again, a take on a slider, but far superior to the previous one we had just tried. If you’re sensing that sliders were the fare of the day, you’re correct. Many restaurants offered them. Not that it’s a bad thing, but perhaps the event organizers should review the planned menu items before the event happens to ensure variety. I’m just sayin’…
|Bison Short Ribs & Polenta|
Blu Restaurant and Bar offered NC Bison Short Ribs and they were a great departure from the others we had.
By this time I was tad tired of the meat selections so we headed over to Pearlz Oyster Bar for a chilled lobster and crab meat salad with white beans and champagne vinaigrette. It was a nice change of pace even if we had to hunt to find the lobster in the salad.
|Lobster& Crab Salad|
|Charleston Crab House|
In an effort to burn our last ticket, we slid over to Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta to split a (very small) slice. Not worth the calories.
We stayed for about 2 hours and I have to say that this is one of the best events that I’ve experienced in Charleston. As I mentioned, buyer beware, it’s pricey, but a great day overall.