June 7, 2018 § Leave a comment
Cast Your Vote Today!
Have you nominated your favorites yet? Toast of Charleston, Toast of Summerville Tabbuli Grill – Mediterranean & American Eli’s Table Queology FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar Charleston Hospitality-Group and Charleston Hospitality Catering are all on the list. Make sure you head on over and click away on all of your favorite places to dine in the delicious Holy City.
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May 29, 2018 § Leave a comment
The National Trend Includes Charleston
It’s not uncommon to see lines of people wrapping around popular breakfast and brunch destinations in Charleston and around the country. This is true not only on weekends, as we saw more in the past, but during the week, as well.
Several factors are driving the trend, going back to 2008 and the Great Recession. During that time, people were seeking a better value when dining out. Lunch, as opposed to dinner, and especially breakfast served all day, fit the bill. Changes in traditional 9 to 5 hour workforce and a burgeoning millennial and senior citizen clientele are especially drawn to the menu format. The ability to linger and savor a more diverse breakfast menu for longer periods of time also increased the appeal of indulging in a mimosa or a Bloody Mary and other less conventional “breakfast or brunch’ cocktails.
A recent report from statista.com reveals exactly what folks are looking for when they’re eating breakfast or brunch at a restaurant forecast by professional chefs for 2018. Leading the list are ethnic inspired breakfasts. In the survey, 63% of respondents are interested in “ethnic inspired” breakfast items that might include Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes. Forty five percent cited avocado toast, 39% cited traditional ethnic breakfast, 36% cited overnight oats, and 29% cited breakfast hash as likely breakfast trends this year.
But the hottest of all is perhaps one of the oldest favorites on the breakfast books, the humble potato. Side Delights reported potatoes as a favorite growing brunch trend as consumers continue to embrace brunch beyond the weekend. According to Side Delights, “Brunch is a top food trend in 2018 for restaurant goers and home cooks, with the four top breakfast components being eggs, potatoes, bacon and bread.”
We conducted a survey with 5,000 of our Facebook followers (almost all based in greater Charleston) asking them what they look for in brunch or breakfast when dining out.
Here are some of their responses:
Dewey Kirkland: “Bacon and booze. Rich Hollandaise over cured meats and crunchy, buttery, toasted bread. What’s not to love?”
Stephanie Philips: “I love brunch! I mainly eat it on the weekends, but would eat it any day. I don’t know a girl who doesn’t love a mimosa or any variation on it. I agree on bacon and am also a big fan of country ham.”
Kimberl Drake: “Brunch is awesome, but breakfast for dinner is the absolute best. As a southern girl, bacon makes breakfast.”
Stephen Ulak: “Something on the light side and different. Maybe avocado toast, an open-faced egg sandwich, something with an egg on top and the yolk runs all over, cornmeal pancakes, breakfast sandwiches with a variety of bread choice and vegetable based rather than bacon, sausage or ham, and bowls with fruts, nuts and yogurt.”
Genny Smoak: “Shrimp and grits for both brunch and for dinner. Mimosas with brunch.
Judy Bernstein: “I’m not a huge brunch person per se, but there are times when breakfast food is just what you need. After a long day of travel, I want a warm, gooey omelet. When I’m sick, cinnamon toast is my comfort food. When I need something light, it’s scrambled eggs. For these reasons, I love places that serve breakfast all day.”
Melanie Neichin: “I find it romantic to dine with someone after sleeping in and going out for yummy food. Eggs Benedict, bread basket with strawberry butter, omelets with potatoes and great coffee and I am in.”
Judith C. Johnson: “I think that brunch as an all day affair should include veggies. I love omelets with lots of greens and cheese, too. Here in the South, be prepared to be served buttery grits or even cheesy grits.”
Shelley Mahon Wood: “My favorite brunch item is eggs Benedict. A gourmet omelet bar is nice as well. If I were to have a cocktail, it would probably be a good Bloody Mary.”
Responses to similar questions from Toast! General Manager Andrew Abernathy reflect the opinions and preferences of those queried here and general national trends. At Toast, which serves breakfast all day (along with Toast of West Ashley and Toast of Summerville), Abernathy says Mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s are the most popular beverage. Eggs Benedict, Eggs Meeting Street (an indulgent stack of fried green tomato, a crab cake, poached egg and remoulade sauce), and the garden omelet are the most popular breakfast choices. Stuffed French toast and surf and turf are also very popular with the Toast crowd, which he describes as “customers of all different ages and from a variety of countries.” Every day peak hours are from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Nearby Eli’s Table also serves elegant breakfast options seven days a week and it is served until 3 p.m.
For more information, visit toastofcharleston.com or elistable.com
May 23, 2018 § Leave a comment
A Favorite Recipe from Toast’s! Kitchen
Sleek and so fresh they practically squeak, zucchini are flowing from farmers market baskets and local fields this time of year. Wonderful grilled, sautéed or roasted and finished with a bit of fresh basil or lemon is a delicious way to enjoy this seasonal vegetable. But muffins work, too, preferably warm from the oven and slathered with a bit of butter.
These moist, tender muffins come from the kitchen of Sharon Egri, Toast! Brand Ambassador and a veteran employee of Charleston Hospitality Group.
“This recipe was handed down from family members and it is an awesome recipe that everyone should make. I have a special loaf pan that I bought from Target and I make mini breads from the batter,” says Sharon. This recipe calls for muffin tins to make muffins, which takes less baking time and thus yields an even more tender bread. The trick to keeping quick breads tender is to avoid over-mixing the butter, which leads to tough muffins. Blend the dry ingredient just enough to combine once you’ve whisked together the wet ingredients.
(Yields 16 – 20 muffins)
6 large eggs
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose baking flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups grated, raw zucchini
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk eggs, sugar and oil together. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix together gently until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, distributing evenly throughout the batter. Pour into well-greased muffin pans and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan gently.
May 22, 2018 § Leave a comment
Nicely Priced Libations and Tasty Small Bites Available at Multiple Charleston Hospitality Group Locations
Subdue the pressures of rising temperatures and increased high season traffic with a bite and a drink at one of our many happy hour locations, ranging from Ladson to downtown Charleston.
Barbecue fans will enjoy Queology’s Happy Hour, which runs from Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It features $5 barbecue nachos, fifty cent brined and slowly smoked chicken wings (6 or 10), $3 Bud Light draught, $4 local draughts, $3 well drinks, $3 wines, and $4 Rumple, Jager, Jameson and Fireball drinks. Quelogy is located at 32-C N. Market Street, downtown.
Lovers of authentic Mediterranean fare will revel in Tabbuli’s breezy, waterside infused Happy Hour, Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hummus, Mediterranean dip, mixed olives and a selection of lamb, chicken, veggie and falafel single skewers (each served with two sauces) are $5 each. Wash it all down with $5 wines, $3 well drinks, and $2 domestic beers. Tabbuli is located at 6 N. Market Street, downtown.
East of the Cooper, get cozy at Fill Restaurant & Piano Bar’s Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. The delicious, internationally inspired menu includes mariachi bites, bacon bombs, phyllo baked brie, and loaded mac ‘n cheese ($6 each) and mini-quesadillas and burgers for $5 ($1 extra for bacon or cheese on the burger), and a side salad for $4. Champagne ($1), domestic drafts ($2), house liquors ($3) and house wines ($3) go down easily at FILL, 1150 Hungryneck Boulevard, Mount Pleasant.
The elegance of Eli’s Table’s secret garden Happy Hour beckons Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fried green tomatoes, California burger sliders and crab cakes are just $6, and a hot cup of creamy tomato bisque and cool oyster shooters are $4. Eli’s signature Bloody Mary ($6), ultimate mimosa ($6), house vodka, tequila, and rum (each with one mixer, $6), 7 Moons Merlot ($5) and Hahn SLH Chardonnay ($5) seal the deal. Eli’s Table is located at 129 Meeting Street, downtown.
Toast!, 155 Meeting Street, downtown, serves specially priced Smirnoff, local and domestic beers ($4 -$5) at its Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Toast of Summerville, 717 Old Trolley Road, and Toast of West Ashley, 2026 Savannah Highway, both host Happy Hours Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring specially priced drinks (ranging from $2.50 to $5) and Toast of Summerville includes $5 bar fare served at the bar and on the patio.
Kick up your heels at HonkyTonk Saloon’s countrified Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday with $3 tequilas, $2 Corona cans, and $2 tacos. HonkyTonk Saloon is located at 192 College Park Road, Ladson.
About Charleston Hospitality Group (CHG) – CHG is a restaurant and entertainment group comprised of several venues in greater Charleston.
May 16, 2018 § Leave a comment
Mimosas are Delicious, Fun and Surprisingly Healthy
The mimosa is a simple cocktail consisting of equal parts Champagne (though sparkling wine may be substituted) and chilled, fresh orange juice. Served in a tall Champagne flute, it is a staple of the American brunch and morning weddings. It also frequently appears on First-class service menus for airlines and railways. The prevailing theory is that the Mimosa was invented sometime around 1925 in the Hôtel Ritz Paris by head bartender Frank Meier.
What’s less well known is that mimosas have distinct health benefits. Freshly squeezed orange juice is full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and A, to folate, fiber and potassium. As for Champagne, it contains proteins that improve short-term memory and antioxidants, which diminish bad cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and reduce blood vessel damage. Moderate consumption can also help prevent dementia and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
To celebrate, both Eli’s Table and Toast! are serving $2 momosa singles and $7 mimosa carafes all day long today. Eli’s Table is located at 129 Meeting Street, downtown. elistable.com. Toast! is located at 155 Meeting Street, downtown. ToastofCharleston.com. Have a Toast! worthy National Mimosa Day with us.
April 20, 2018 § Leave a comment
Four for $4 Meal Deals Served April 16 through April 20
In honor of its fourth birthday, Toast of Summerville is celebrating with several specially priced menu items.
From April 16 through April 20, Toast of Summerville will be serving four separate specially priced menus. $4 breakfast (available all day) pricing applies to your choice of a short stack of buttermilk pancakes served with bacon, sausage link, sausage patty or country ham, tropical fruit parfait, or a chicken biscuit filled with southern fried chicken breast and your choice of stone-ground grits or home fries. $4 lunch (available from 11 a.m.) pricing applies to your choice of meatloaf with mushroom Cabernet gravy, house salad and soup of the day, chicken strip basket with fries or a fried flounder basket with fries. $4 shared plates (available from 11 a.m.) pricing applies to fried green tomatoes topped with sweet pepper relish and pimento cheese, chicken quesadillas, pimento cheese served with toasted French bread, and green tomato bruschetta. $4 specialty lattes (plain, vanilla, mocha and caramel), two for $4 mimosa singles and two for $4 cupcakes will be available all day throughout the four days of the event.
Toast of Summerville is located at 717 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, 29485. For more information, call 843.900.4422 or visit toastofcharleston.com
April 17, 2018 § Leave a comment
Mother of Billie Littles, Kitchen Manager at Toast! of Charleston
Betty Grant is a no-nonsense person. Ask her who raised her four children (one girl and three boys) and she will tell you she “raised half of those years with their father and half of them without him.” The motherly constant for the Pulaski, GA native was a simple but firm and loving formula. “I tried to raise them to eat right, go to bed on time, get up on time, and go to school. The most important part was going to school. I got them through high school and they did the rest on their own.”
Another component Grant felt was important to teach her children, was the importance of God. “I believe in going to church. Always give God a little bit of me. I always thought for me and the children, to remember to think of Him before you act, you may not get into trouble and make mistakes.”
Grant used to work at night and work on the house and the garden and raising her family during the days. She also used to enjoy cooking, especially baking pies and cakes, and stewing vegetables. “Now, I’m retired and can enjoy the garden I worked so hard on years ago from my window.”
A reap and sow message of sorts. It seems to have rubbed off on her children. She describes Billie as a hard-working little girl. “Like me, she works hard and stays busy.”
Show Moms & Grads Some Love!
Charleston DIGEST’s May issue will feature a Love Lines for Moms & Grads page where readers will have the opportunity to write a gratitude or love note to their mothers, grandmothers, or recent graduates. Interested participants simply need to compose up to 144 characters. Visit charlestondigest.com and click on the PayPal link. The love line fee is $5 for the words and $10 for the words + a photo. CHG’s marketing department will follow up with an email to you to receive your love note and photo (if desired).
We look forward to hearing from you and spreading the love! Submissions due by May 1st, 2018. We will randomly select a name to receive a signed, complimentary copy of Holly Herri’s latest cookbook, The New Charleston Chef’s Table (Globe Pequot, May 15, 2018).