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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SNarolina Foodie 2011 Year in Review.

2011 was the launch of SNarolina Foodie and with random postings and the realization that updating a food blog takes time and effort, if you want quality. I am excited about 2012, with a new camera, new logo and the potential to take SNarolina Foodie to a new level.
Highlights from 2011:
·         Restaurant of the year: HUSK, Charleston, SC, Bon Appetit Magazine’s 2011 New Restaurant of the Year.  A cool restaurant and cool concept that stands apart. A whole posting will be coming in January, in addition to my second dinner there.
·         Restaurant with the absolute best Service: Charleston Grill, Charleston, SC. Hands down, food is excellent, service is absolutely tops. Mickey Bakst, the General Manager has to be one of the best restaurant managers in the country. Watching him work the crowd is entertaining enough.
·         Best Steakhouse Overall: Grill 225, Charleston, SC. Excellent choice in meat and sides and a great atmosphere with old school steakhouse service.
·         Best Steak: Rick Erwin’s, Greenville, SC. I’ve tried some good steakhouses in 2011, including Del Frisco’s, BLT Steak, Chophouse ’47. Erwin’s invests in good steaks. Unfortunately, their service and sides aren’t up to par to their beef.
·         Best Mac n Cheese: Youssef 242, Hickory, NC. Mac n Cheese is my favorite food of all time. Here they call it, Mac n Cheese Loaded, and it certainly is loaded with tons of cheese. Honorable mention and a very close second is, Solstice Kitchen (Columbia, SC)’s Skillett-Baked Smoked Gouda and Bacon Mac n Cheese.
·         Best Fried Chicken: Jestine’s Kitchen, Charleston, SC. If you like crunchy fried chicken, this is the place. I’ve been going to here for over 14 years and the chicken is still excellent. Close second place, Esso Club, Clemson, SC.
·         Best Ice Cream/Yogurt/Gelato: Luna Rosa Gelato, Greenville, SC. They make their gelato every day onsite. I can say without a doubt, this is the best gelato in the United States. More places are now offering gelato, none come close to this place, except maybe Paolo’s Gelato Italiano in Charleston. Paolo’s is good, however he is cash only and sadly, I never carry cash.
·         Best Pizza: Tito’s Pizza, Greenville, SC. There are tons of excellent pizza places, but Tito’s is the best in New York Style.
·         Best Lunch: Dellz Deli, Charleston, SC. This tiny (5 seats) hole in the wall, off upper King Street, quickly won me over in late 2011. I first heard about it, after reading about the rice and bean bowl (excellent). Lately, I’ve been ordering the popular Beach Bum wrap (spicy shrimp  with rice and vegetables and something called da sauce), which I’ve had a hard time venturing away from.
·         Best Beer List: Trappe Door, Greenville, SC. My favorite restaurant in Greenville has the best beer list. Grant it, I love Belgium beer and their Belgium beer list is like most restaurant wine lists.
·         Best Cheeseburger:  Poe’s Tavern, Sullivan’s Island, SC. This is a burger joint that wins the best overall burger category. Great location, atmosphere, beer list and of course large, mouth-watering, flavorful burgers. I personally like the “Tell-Tale Heart” which is a burger with Fried Egg, Applewood Bacon and Cheddar Cheese. A close second is their “The Sleeper”, which is a large burger that also includes Roasted Garlic Blue Cheese and topped with Buffalo Shrimp.
·         Best Italian Restaurant: Wild Olive, Johns Island, SC. I was determined that another restaurant in Charleston was going to be a hands down favorite, then I read about Wild Olive and a dish that some people couldn’t put their fork down when eating. I went, I ate, I loved. The meal that won it all was the “Garganelli with milk braised pork ragu, caramelized onions, rosemary, parmesan.”
I look  forward to sharing much more and really bringing the quality of SNarolina Foodie up a notch.

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