Other than the fact that Eli’s Table used to be Joseph’s and their breakfast was said to be pretty good I knew very little about Eli’s Table. So off we went for a lunch adventure.
We were quickly greeted and seated. Although we dodged a lot of foot traffic on Queen Street from patrons headed to Husk, we were the only diners at Eli’s Table.
Eli’s is owned by Charleston Hospitality Group, no strangers to the Charleston restaurant scene with other restaurants that include Toast, Tabbuli and Market Street Saloon, just to name a few. Eli’s currently serves breakfast, brunch and lunch and has plans to serve dinner in the near future.
We were quickly greeted by our server and she asked where we were from. When we said we were residents she asked us if we had ever been to the restaurant when it was Joseph’s. We said that we had not.
She went on to say that the present owners kept “everything the same”. Some of the menu items may have been tweaked a bit, but the names of each of the items (most named after historical figures), all remained the same. (It was at this point I wondered why Joseph’s closed, but then again, in a way, Joseph’s remained intact.)
Although you could argue that the names of the menu items are creative, they had very little to do with South Carolina, or Charleston, for that matter. Seated at a table beneath a drawing of Abigail Adams we remembered that we had just moved from a town that was very close to where John Quincy and Abigail Adams are buried in Massachusetts, in general the “creativity” of the menu made no sense to me… Be that as it may, we proceeded to place our order.
I ordered a Henry Watkins Allen which was a combo of corned beef, Swiss cheese (although I substituted Cheddar), sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye. My husband quickly selected the King George III, which came highly recommended, and was a 4 oz. filet mignon with melted brie and German mustard on a toasted English muffin.
From the “Personalities” table tent we were able to find out that my sandwich “personality” was a Confederate General in the American Civil War and King George III was the King of Great Britain during the American War for Independence. Okay, a bit interesting, but that’s about it.
Our lunch was served quickly. The French Fries on my dish were served piping hot, and were crispy as could be. The server later said that she “loved the fries” here and I have to agree.
The rest of the meal though, was easily forgettable. My sandwich was so soggy from the poorly drained sauerkraut that I had to eat it with a knife and fork. The “corned beef” looked like bits of dried out bacon and if there was cheddar cheese on the sandwich I couldn’t locate it.
|Henry Watkins Allen|
|King George III|
My husband’s sandwich was also a big disappointment. His tiny piece of filet was served well done versus medium, as he requested. Both sandwiches lacked flavor except for the mustard they were topped with.
As my husband tried his potato salad he made a face and said, “Here taste this.” I was quickly reminded of my grammar school days when a friend might say, “Does this taste bad to you?” and make you taste something. However this wasn’t the case.
It’s not that the potato salad tasted bad, but it literally had no taste to it – no seasoning, nothing, zero, zip. We both decided to pass on it.
Although our server was very pleasant and attentive we decided not to send either of our lunches back for a redo. Since we were the ONLY table in the restaurant when we ordered it’s not like the kitchen was distracted when they made our lunch and we thought our chances of getting any improved items were slim.
As we limped through lunch our server dropped off our check midway through the meal. Did she just assume that we didn’t want coffee or dessert after our meal? I found this to be very annoying. It’s not like she was busy and this step should have waited until we were finished.
Since everyone that has written about Eli’s references their great breakfasts we’ll give them another try for breakfast. Maybe that’s where they really shine.
We gave Eli's Table 2 out of a possible 5 plates.