chseats

The Newest Restaurant to Roll Into James Island — Rollin’ South Kitchen

By Tyler Sexton

 

From the first turn onto Folly Road to the ocean, we drive past dozens of delicious restaurants.  Veering off at one of the side streets is where we find the local treasures.  These are the places where we won’t bump into tourists, because these spots aren’t on the direct path to the beach.  The newest addition to this small list of restaurants is Rollin’ South Kitchen.

Rollin South’ just opened up a short two weeks ago in the building that was formerly The Sloppy Cow.  With a fresh paint job on the outside and an open and welcoming interior, this new diner has been bringing in crowds from all corners of James Island and the peninsula.  Their lunch menu starts with Jim Island Snacks, which includes traditional comfort foods like Chuck Town Chips and Folly Fries, and then progresses through salads, hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, and options from the grill.

The interior is decorated in our Charleston beach fashion, with comical life lessons painted on old wooden planks, and the dishes have witty names like the Fatty Patty Melt, Bubba’s Bacon, and the Reuben You The Right Way.  Considering that they’ve only been open for such a short time, the staff were very knowledgeable about the menu.  They were able to point out and explain their favorites from each category of food on the menu.  The Reuben You The Right Way got the highest recommendation, and I opted to go with pastrami over the corned beef at the managers suggestion.

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The name fits.  The pastrami was tender and juicy, and it brought a pleasant bit of spice to the sandwich without over powering the other ingredients.  The tartness of the sauerkraut paired wonderfully with the kick of the pastrami, and the melted swiss cheese worked well at everything together.  Thousand Island dressing brought that familiar zest while the toasted rye kept all the flavor of the pastrami from escaping.

The fries are done just right here as well.  They cut them in house and fry them to perfection, leaving them with a crispy golden outside and flaky white inside.  If malt vinegar is your thing, they’ve got you covered here.  If not, you can’t go wrong with ketchup.

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The portions were perfect.  I was completely content after cleaning my plate, but I was so satisfied with my lunch that I couldn’t help but to ask about dessert.  My server said that the key lime pie is her favorite, and she hadn’t led me astray thus far.  I love key lime pie because of the pairing between the tartness of the lime and the sweetness of the graham cracker crust, and this pie fits the bill.  Just when you are about to pucker up from the sour filling, the sweet crust balances out each bite.

With their welcoming and hospitable staff and the delicious food options, Rollin’ South Kitchen has kept their tables full since the day they opened.  It looks like the newest addition to the James Island food scene is here to stay.

Located at 1023 Harbor View Road, Charleston, SC

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Categories: Charleston Daily, chseats, Food review | Tags: | 1 Comment

You’ll Find Morning Sunshine at the Sunflower Cafe

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Charleston has a rich culture of breakfast and competition is fierce among the well-known establishments as is evidenced by long waits and rising prices. Luckily, there are still a few hidden gems that have quality food and reasonable prices, like The Sunflower Cafe. This quaint diner in West Ashley is a step back into the family kitchen and offers a relaxing dining experience.  As you walk in, you are greeted by a busy but friendly staff and decor of sunflowers and patriotism.  The walls are covered with stories of local patrons. Overall, the ambiance is cozy.

We know you yearn for an omelet or waffles, but we highly recommend starting with the beignets.  At $3.95, they are a steal for three large puffs of golden brown dough, generously dusted with powered sugar, served with a side of maple syrup for dunking. That first hot bite is heaven and will make you understand why so many feel they are the best in Charleston

The breakfast and lunch menus are well categorized and concise.  For breakfast, the choices include benedicts, pancakes, eggs and omelets.  Make sure, if they are not included with your selection, to sample the potatoes – sautéed with just the right amount of spice and onions. They are mouth watering.  The grits are also an outstanding side – they are rich and creamy.

The spicy sausage, peppers and onions benedict is savory and explodes with flavor.  The portion is generous and will satisfy the most ample appetites. The fresh crab and fried green tomatoes benedict is a unique creation that will not disappoint.

Sweet pecan waffles are a great choice for the waffle lover with a sweet tooth.  They are the right mix of sticky and doughy and oh so yummy.

If your appetite favors an omelet, we suggest you lean your selection toward the sauteed spinach, over sun-dried tomatoes and feta or the crab, brie and artichokes omelet.  Both have a shower of mixed flavors and the portions are enough to cover you for two meals.

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The setting is very casual and the staff is friendly and unimposing.  If you bring a large group and want to relax, you will feel right at home.

Located about 20 minutes outside of downtown Charleston at 2366 Ashley River Road in West Ashley, the Sunflower Cafe is one breakfast and lunch experience you should add to your dining list. Come early as they are only open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM with a break from 11:00 to 11:30 to transition from breakfast to lunch and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  They are closed on Monday.

Sunflower Cafe Menu

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Charlie’s Grocery Offers a Memorable Falafel for Charleston

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Downtown Charleston is home to several corner stores but few have the rich history that Charlie’s Grocery  does. Opened in 1996 by Charlie Dabit, the Jasper Street grocery store has kept nearby residents and college students in stock with the essentials and more. Anyone who has ever experienced Charlie’s knows there is an impressive deli within. Beyond the Boar’s Head and large selection of homemade salads and jumbo pickles, there is one of Charleston’s most delicious treats, falafel. While falafel can be found at a few restaurants downtown and beyond, Charlie’s is arguably the best. The Charleston Daily (CD) sat down with Abe, Charlie’s eldest son who is now at the helm of day to day operations. We talked history, falafel and the future.

CD: Tell me about Charlie’s.

Abe: Charlie’s is our family’s store. We have been in business going on 18 years in April. The Jasper Street store was opened in April of 1996 and we recently opened a second store at the corner of Spring and Rutledge.

CD: Looks like you are running the Jasper Street store now. Where is Mr. Charlie?

Abe: My father is still around. Every morning he is at our Spring Street location. He’s very much a part of the business still. He has given a lot of the responsibility to me and my brother though.

CD: Enough small talk. Tell me about the falafel.

Abe:
(laughing) What do you want to know?

CD: What makes it so great? Whose recipe is it?

Abe: It’s just really fresh. The falafel is my mother’s family’s recipe and it hasn’t changed. It’s really simple. There is a basic ratio of chickpeas, onions, cilantro, and spices but there is no real measuring. It’s based on taste.

CD: So it’s a secret…. Would you ever considering opening a restaurant?

Abe: Yeah, especially with Middle Eastern food including falafel. Charleston kind of lacks in that area, but we have a few places around like Tabbuli and Manny’s. We have definitely considered opening a restaurant.

CD: What is the strangest thing a customer has requested?

Abe: That’s a toughie… Actually, pig’s feet! We used to carry them in jars. We had to talk my father into dropping them. People would request them, and there you are, reaching in, grabbing a pig’s foot, stuffing it in a bag and sending them on their merry way. Disgusting.

CD: What is the biggest challenge Charlie’s has experienced?

Abe: Finding trustworthy, good help. My father is very old fashioned. It’s very difficult to walk away and allow someone else to do this job.

CD:
What does Charlie’s mean to your family?

Abe: Charlie’s is ours and we take care of it like it is a child. It’s everything to us.

On that note, I dove into the falafel pita Abe had carefully prepared for me. The pita was generously stuffed with flattened orbs of fried falafel and refreshing cubes of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. The falafel were crispy on the outside and tender inside. Where so many falafel are dense, these were light and bouncy. The optional hot sauce was no joke, even for me. The creamy hummus was a welcome option and it gave the sandwich a layer of depth that made it a satisfying meal. This falafel, like the many others I have enjoyed from Charlie’s, was perfection.

Charlie’s original corner store and deli is located at 1 Jasper Street. Charlie’s second location is open at Spring and Rutledge. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 10am -6pm. Falafel and other sandwiches can be ordered ahead from the Jasper Street location by calling: (843) 853-0351

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