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
April 25, 2018 § Leave a comment
The day of the Cooper River Bridge Run dawned with clear skies, warm, comfortable temperatures, and a crowd of nearly 50,000 people waiting to share in a sense of joy and accomplishment. Or, as HonkyTonk Saloon manager Bob Shipley’s daughter Lauren Shipley (a fellow runner) describes the feeling, as an “indescribable sense of unity”. I think she nailed it. I proudly joined Lauren and the rest and crossed that bridge in an hour and 20 minutes.
Participating in the race reminded me a bit of starting this year with a large and growing team of employees who work with me and their respective teams to do the best they can do every day to keep our clients well fed, happy, and smiling. We’re looking forward to crossing that kind of finish line every single day, even as we look to expand with at least two new Toast locations in 2018.
Running in a competitive race is indeed analogous to running a good life. It reminds me of this quote by Tony Gaskins: “A relationship is a marathon, not a sprint. Many celebrate after the first mile, not realizing that the real trials come later. It’s not about how strong you start. It’s about your mental and emotional conditioning to finish the race.”
Let’s toast to that!
Sam Mustafa, Charleston Hospitality Group CEO
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 2, 2018 § Leave a comment
Here’s a summary and quick refresher on what we’re doing these days at each of our restaurants and properties. We hope you’ll keep us in mind when you’re looking for delicious food and great entertainment. Happy Spring!
Have a Toast! Worthy Day
Casual and homey, our Toast teams ensure every guest feels right at home, whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serving breakfast all day, Toast is famous for its Double Deluxe French Toast (lauded by The New York Times), Eggs Meeting Street, and enormous, flaky biscuits – made fresh every morning.
Three locations – downtown, West Ashley and Summerville.
155 Meeting Street, downtown Charleston, 29401. 843.534.0043
717 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, 29485. 843.900.4422
2026 Savannah Highway, West Ashley, 29407. 843.556.0006
Romantic Little Dining Indulgence
Tucked away in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District, Eli’s Table’s doors open onto a romantic dining room that extends to a spacious, dog-friendly outdoor dining patio. Eli’s Table’s interpretation of Lowcountry-French Bistro cuisine arrives plated in the form of Charleston red rice breakfast hash and shrimp & grits Benedict for breakfast or brunch, chicken & sweet potato waffles for lunch, or a silky, smoked Gouda fondue appetizer and day boat scallops for dinner. Live Cuban jazz every Thursday.
129 Meeting Street, downtown Charleston, 29401. 843.405.5115
Fresh, Fun & Fabulous
Located just feet from the Cooper River and Charleston harbor, people flock to Tabbuli for authentic Middle Eastern staples like lemony smooth hummus, hot, crunchy falafel, gyros, and lemon chicken & rice soup. There are hefty, juicy burgers to satisfy the American palate, too. Eclectic entertainment choices include drag queen shows, fashion shows, live music, and a bubbly hookah menu. Soak up the sea breezes from the large open-air patio while you sup and sip, the Tabbuli way.
6 N. Market Street, downtown Charleston, 29401. 843.628.5959.
Que the Que!
Low and slow smoking technique go into almost everything prepared at Queology. Fall-off-the-bone chicken wings are brined, smoked for hours, flash fried and tossed with one of four signature sauces (or try them “naked”) as well as lip-smacking smoked pork ribs and chicken. Nachos layered with barbecue sauce, queso, cole slaw and shredded smoked pork or chicken, and bacon-infused, wing-garnished Bloody Mary’s take on a life of their own. Weekday Happy Hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
32C N. Market Street, downtown Charleston. 29401, 843.580.2244
Hospitality and Goodness for all Occasions
Charleston Hospitality Catering
Twenty eight years of experience come to your event table when you let Charleston Hospitality Catering do the work. Charleston’s beautiful settings from marsh-edged waterways to stately, historic homes, invite casual barbecues, elegant parties, bachelorette bashes, and private dinners. Whatever the occasion, select from our menu of hors d’oeuvres, salads, entrees, sides and dessert or the menus of any of CHG’s restaurants and we’ll artfully craft an event that meets your tastes and budget and will not soon be forgotten – if ever.
Charleston & Surrounding Areas
Nina Koutsulis – Catering Director
843.576.4116 OR 843.860.9974
Oysters with a Side of Southern
Cove Oyster Bar & Grille
North Charleston’s only raw bar, Cove is awash with the briny, fresh flavors of local and regionally selected raw oyster gems as well as chargrilled and roasted varieties. Start your seafood feast with a creamy bowl of sherry-laced She Crab and wrap it up with an authentic lowcountry crab cake dressed with a zesty remoulade Whether seafood or southern, Cove has you covered with style in a contemporary nautical setting.
7690 Northwoods Boulevard, North Charleston, 29406. 843.580.4040
Get Your FILL
FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar
Serving up dueling piano shows and sophisticated, international dining selections every Tuesday through Sunday evening, FILL sets the stage for the ultimate dinner and a show. Some of the best local pianist talent converge to entertain the family-friendly audience while they dine on the likes of roasted corn and jalapeno bisque, shredded chicken tostadas, jerk grilled chicken, and maple crusted salmon. Reservations suggested for weekend piano shows.
Iron Gate Plaza, 1150 Hungryneck Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464. 843.800.3042
Kick up Your Heels Fun
HonkyTonk delivers two times the Western-themed fun in greater Charleston. Live country music, male revues, line dancing, mechanical bull rides, a barbecue menu straight from Queology’s pit master kitchen, and a slew of delicious brews and cocktails, HonkyTonk is an excellent place to party with friends and is also a top destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.
192 College Park Road, Ladson, SC, 29456 843.569.6000
32D N. Market Street, downtown Charleston, 29401. 843.577.2474
Toast of Summerville, FILL Restaurant Bar & Grille Celebrate Easter with Special Menus and Tabbuli’s Special Brand of Entertainment
March 27, 2018 § Leave a comment
Other Charleston Hospitality Group Properties Celebrating with Easter Egg Baskets and Free Goodies
Family-friendly Toast of Summerville will feature an all-you-can-eat Easter Buffet on April 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hot buffet will feature scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and turkey sausage, home fries, shrimp and grits, crab cakes, chicken breasts, pineapple and brown sugar-glazed ham, seasonal vegetables, whipped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and deluxe stuffed French baguette toast. Cold menu choices will include mixed green salad, pasta salad, muffins, fresh fruits, biscuits and assorted desserts. Adults are $26.95, children ten and under are $13.95 and children three and under are free. Toast of Summerville is located at 717 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, SC 29185. For more information or to make reservations call 843.900.4422 or visit toastofcharleston.com
FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar will serve a buffet of three cheese scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, French toast sticks, pancakes, and breakfast potatoes. Lunch style items will include fried chicken and gravy, honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes and green beans. Salad, dinner rolls and assorted desserts, including Easter Eggs with a Surprise, will wrap it up sweetly. Adults are $21.95 and $9.95 for children 10 and under. The buffet will be served from 9am to 4pm. FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar is located at 1150 Hungryneck Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. For more information or to make reservations call 843.800.3042 or visit fillbar.com
Tabbuli will serve an (individually priced) Sunday brunch menu of gyro eggs benedict, Mediterranean eggs benedict, Tabbuli omelet, Mediterranean omelet, Charleston breakfast, mimosas, mimosa carafe, and Ultimate Bloody Marys. Brunch will be served from noon until 3 p.m. and include an Easter Drag Brunch Show. Tabbuli is located at 6 N. Market Street, downtown Charleston. To make reservations call 843.628.5959 or visit tabbuli.com
Other Charleston Hospitality Group properties, including Eli’s Table, Queology, Toast of West Ashley, Toast! (downtown), will be serving their regular menus during regular hours and offer Easter egg baskets containing an assorted “gifts” of menu/meal cards, gift cards, t-shirts, and mugs. For more information on these restaurants and their locations, visit charlestonhospitalitygroup.com