Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Glass Onion and The Sea Biscuit Cafe

Michael and I love to try new restaurants and when we are on trips we are always on the look out for places that were featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  We have eaten at several and they have never steered us wrong.  No matter where we have been or what type of food they serve, we have always had amazing meals when we visit places from the show.  

Charleston has several of them but The Glass Onion is the one that I picked to visit for lunch before we headed home.  They have a great website and the description of their "soul food" sounded awesome.  Their website states that their menu is full of southern style choices heavily influenced by New Orleans and the Low Country and they use as many local ingredients as possible from farmers and fishermen.  This place was nothing short of amazing.  Seriously it could not have been any better....OK maybe the deviled eggs could have been...

Located in part of a strip mall, the store front beside them was empty and boarded up, this would not be a place that you would think to stop just in passing...but boy would you be missing out!

We went at an odd time like 3:30, in between regular meal times, so they were not busy and we didn't have to wait at all.

Kellan and I with a picture of an onion :)
 One of the foods featured on the show was the Smoked Pork Loin Po' Boy and the video is located here.  Michael ordered this with a side of mashed sweet potatoes.  I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes but these were so good I believe I could easily eat them everyday.  He also got a side of deviled eggs...they weren't really either of our favorites, but everything else was phenomenal.

Fried crispy chicken legs was another food item featured on the show but since their menu changes it wasn't an option on the day that we were there.  The link to the video from the show were the owner is making those is here if you want to check it out.  I got their fried chicken sandwich with a side of mashed potatoes and both were wonderful.  So that we could try both of them we halved our sandwiches and shared.

Don't worry we both shared with Kellan.

As if our meal wasn't enough we had to order dessert because they are all homemade and had way too many good choices.  We went with the strawberry cobbler and I do believe it is in the running for one of the best foods I have ever eaten in my life.  I'm not was extraordinarily wonderful.  

We sat at the table under the "Guy Ate Here" sign :)  If you are in the Charleston area please eat will be blown away.
Another restaurant that we tried was the Sea Biscuit Cafe.  It is not a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives restaurant but I still wanted to mention it because it was really good as well.  The whole family ate here for breakfast on our last day.  My brother-in-law Shannon found it online and said that it had good reviews so we decided to try it out.
It is a really small place with just a few tables but the food was really good.

They use fresh, local produce and my veggie omelet was delicious.

Michael really enjoyed his banana pancakes, eggs, bacon, and corned beef hash.  We would highly recommend this place too if you are over in the Isle of Palms area in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  Great find Uncle Shannon! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

I'm still catching up on my posts and its taking me a little (ok a lot) longer than I had anticipated.  I still have one more after this one and at least I will be done with our Charleston trip that was in Easter!!!  Easter people.  I'm so far behind.  *sigh* I'm going to try to do better.

I have mentioned before that we are collecting National Park Passport Stamps for Kellan back when I blogged about our trip to Crater Lake.  We are always on the lookout for National Parks when we are on trips and there were two located in the Charleston area.  The whole family visited the first one, Fort Sumter, with us and Michael, Kellan, and I visited the second one, the Charles Pinckney House, on our last day before we headed home.  Here are a few pictures from our visits.

This was our ferry that took us over to Fort Sumter.

You can also tour the USS Yorktown and it sits in the same harbor as the ferry.  We didn't tour it this time.

Riding the ferry :) It was chilly and a little rainy.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The battle at Fort Sumter was an important one to our nation's history because it is the battle that began the Civil War.  On April 12, 1961 Confederate forces opened fire on this Union fort causing Union troops to surrender 34 hours later.  They tried to reclaim it for 4 years but never succeeded.  If you are interested in learning more you can visit the Fort Sumter National Monument page on the National Park Service website.
Approaching Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor...

It was REALLY windy!

Front entrance with a cannon hole to the left.

Overlooking the cannons and a side wall of the fort's remains.

These are the remains of the officers quarters and if I remember correctly it is where extra artillery and black powder were stored.

6 flags flying over Fort Sumter.  Two of them are the flags of the Confederacy during the Civil War, one is the U.S. flag from 1865, the South Carolina state flag and of course, our current American flag.

The family minus my sister who was taking the picture.
Here are a few pictures from our trip to the Charles Pinckney House.  He was a signer of the United States Constitution and is considered to be a "forgotten founder" which means his contributions to the building of our nation's early government often goes unrecognized.  This site was once one of his family's country properties known as Snee Farm.  George Washington visited the plantation in 1791.  

Inside the house is a museum that gives more details about Charles Pinckney, his family, and the signing of the United States Constitution.  There are also several exhibits sharing artifacts from the slaves that lived on the property including information about their Gullah culture and their influence on the Pinckney family.

Kellan was fascinated by the informational video that we watched inside the house.

Kellan's favorite part was exploring the grounds around the plantation.  We took a walk down to the wetlands and a boardwalk over a tiny creek.  The trail also leads you to an archeological site of what was once a Slave Community.

Kellan's Passport Book stamps from 2 South Carolina locations :)