Love Letter to Charleston, Part 2

After a busy day gallivanting around Savannah and arriving back at our hotel around 10 pm, my mom and I slept in on our third day in Charleston. Since, it was Saturday, we decided to start our day with brunch at Hominy Grill.

Hominy Grill, since closed, was known for its hominy-style grits and its fried chicken biscuit sandwich. My mom ordered the Charleston Nasty Biscuit which included a fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy (gravy on the side). I ordered the Fried Chicken Basket and side of cheese grits. If fried chicken and grits is on a menu, this gal here is ordering it.

My mom enjoyed the chicken biscuit, but she didn’t care for the sausage gravy. Good thing she got it on the side. I love the fried chicken basket, which included a breast, wing, thigh and leg. I am not a fan of the leg, so my mom took one for the team and ate it. The flavor on the chicken was delicious and the coating was crunchy, while the meat was silky. The grits has bite in that the kernels were in hearty size and the cheddar taste was prominent. This was a great way to start the day.

Our next stop was the Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square. Having started our day late, we arrived at the Farmers Market within its last hour and half of being open.

Although a lot of the fresh veggies and meat vendors had already packed up their stands, we did luck into vendors selling clothing, jewelry and prepackaged foods.

Our next destination took us to the Charleston waterfront. Here we hopped on a boat for a Harbor Tour tour of Charleston’s coastline. This is another great way to see the City and some of the surrounding land masses making up the low country.

The harbor tour goes along Cooper River past the U. S. Custom House, Fort Sumter National Monument, Patriots Point and and makes a loop under the modern Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. This tour gives you a stunning view of Charleston and is worth every penny spent.

What better way to finish up another perfect day than stopping at Sticky Fingers for some good Mephis-style ‘cue. My mom and I ordered the Sticky Duo, which includes a choice of two of the following meats: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, wings, sausage, smoked chicken and two sides.

This was some mighty fine barbecue. The ribs were tender and lightly sauced, while the wings were smoky and fan-freaking-tastic. The beans had rich notes of sweetness and smoke. Even now, I’m drooling looking at this photo and thinking about how good everything tasted on this plate.

After eating such a rich meal, we walked around and came upon the doughnut shop, Glazed. It was fairly late in the evening and the selection of doughnuts available were limited. We decided to forgo the donuts, but I loved the logo, stickers, and the design on the shirt that the cashier was wearing.

A great end to an eventful day.

On the morning of our fourth day in Charleston, we began by eating brunch at Poogan’s Porch. This lovely restaurant is located in a charming Victorian home. The bread basket consisted of homemade biscuits with a whipped honey butter (DELISH). My mom ordered the Chicken & Waffles, while I had the vegetable omelette with asparagus, tomatoes and other veggies.

This meal was tasty and fortifying.

Our next stop after brunch was a visit to the H. L. Hunley, a submarine that fought and disappeared during the Civil War. According to the Hunley’s website, “On February 17th, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the first successful combat submarine in world history with the sinking of the USS Housatonic. After completing her mission, she mysteriously vanished and remained lost at sea for over a century.” Efforts to retrieve the Hunley commenced immediately, but it wasn’t until over a century later on May 3rd, 1995 that Clive Cussler and his National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) team finally found the submarine. On August 8th, 2000, after careful planning, the Hunley was raised from the seabed and transported to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston where it was “placed in a 75,000 gallon steel tank filled with chilled, fresh water to help protect and stabilize the submarine.”

At the time we visited the Hunley, conservationist were still working on stabilizing and preserving the Hunley. A detailed description of the work that has been and continues to be performed can be found on the conservation page at Hunley.org.

Visiting the H. L. Hunley was the highlight of this trip. It touched all of my good buttons: a part of history, old, decaying, rusting, conservation, and future restoration. I would definitely revisit it to see the progress that has been made since this trip in 2013.

After arriving back in Charleston, we did some more shopping, but since it was the height of the summer in the south, severe thunderstorms periodically rolled in. We took shelter when necessary.

Before finally heading back to our hotel, we went to Eli’s Table for dinner. I ordered a Shrimp Po’boy with the aioli on the side.

This sandwich looked simplistic, but the flavor of the fried shrimp was layered with briny, salty goodness. The texture of the toasted bread added a nice consistent crunch. I enjoyed the heck out of this sandwich.

Arriving back at our hotel just as the light from the sun started to kiss the horizon, another thunderstorm rolled in. I enjoyed the show that mother nature put on by watching the lightning from the comfort of the spacious living room that led to our private rooftop deck. It was a relaxing way to end the day.

Winter S., Savory Sweet Neat

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