Cross Country Road Trip 2012: Charleston, South Carolina (food highlights)

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Part 3 of my family’s Summer Road Trip 2012 (part 1 here and part 2 here): a visit to Charleston, South Carolina- with food highlights, of course!

So we started in San Diego… drove all the way to Florida, and then we made our way up the Eastern coast to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

We only had one afternoon and evening here, so we made the best of it by going to the highly regarded Magnolia’s restaurant for dinner.  We sampled many amazing menu items here, so I must share them all!

This was a special cocktail: a Southern Mojito, I believe… made with sweet tea vodka.  Lordy, it was good.

I had been hearing about the Blue Crab Bisque, so we ordered that to start.  It didn’t disappoint. So creamy and wonderful.

These were Pan Fried Chicken Livers with Caramelized Onions and Ham in Madeira Sauce.  If you are typically a fan of chicken livers, you’ll like this dish.

I couldn’t visit the south without trying Fried Green Tomatoes, could I?  These are served with white cheddar and caramelized onion grits, country ham and tomato chutney.  Absolutely to-die-for.

RecipeBoy’s dinner: Parmesan- Crusted Flounder with jasmine rice and creek shrimp pirloo, sweet corn, tomato & asparagus salad, lump crab and citrus beurre blanc.  I’d have been very, very happy if I had ordered this.  My son loved it too.  He even asked the waiter to ask the chef how to prepare it at home (and then he came back to the table and told us!)

My husband’s dinner:  This must have been a special because I can’t find it on their menu… but it was some sort of beef tenderloin with sauce, green beans and (I think) fried oysters.  Again- completely wonderful.

MY dinner:  Shellfish over Grits– sauteed shrimp, sea scallops and lobster, creamy white grits, lobster butter sauce and fried spinach.  Would it be horrible to tell you that I ate every single bit of this dish?  It was everything I hoped it would be.

If all of those dishes weren’t enough, we had to order dessert too: Southern Pecan Pie with bourbon caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.  I don’t even like pecan pie all that much, but the waiter insisted that we try it… he told us it was the best ever.  HE WAS RIGHT!  We all totally loved it (and we’re not even much of a nut family either).

One dessert wasn’t enough, so we ordered another: Peach and Blackberry Crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.  This one was pretty darn amazing too.

We were completely and totally and uncomfortably stuffed after our dinner at Magnolia’s.  But I definitely recommend this restaurant with 100% confidence that you’ll enjoy it if you are ever in Charleston.  It was a little on the expensive side (especially since we ordered so many things, but it’s totally worth it).

Charleston itself is a quaint little town with tons of shopping.  We stayed at the Kings Courtyard Inn.  My husband picked it out on the internet after viewing some photos and seeing that it had a good location in regard to the shops and restaurants.

We reserved a Parlor Suite, which had this very comfortable King-sized canopy bed in one room…

…and a separate living room area too (separated by a door).  We got a rollaway bed for our son and placed it in the living room for him.  It was a very nice hotel- reasonably priced for the area, and I would definitely recommend it.  They also offered a free 5pm Happy Hour with wine and treats each night.

Before we headed out in the morning, we stopped at this much-talked-about place:  Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts.  We were told to get there as early as we could, because the way this place works… when they’re sold out for the day, you’ve missed out!

This crazy, delicious thing is an Apple-Bacon Fritter.  It was my husband’s doughnut of choice.  YUM.

The Cookies n’ Cream was my son’s doughnut of choice.  He was pretty happy with it.

And I ordered up a Maple-Bacon Doughnut.  THE BEST EVER!

If you’re ever in Charleston, this doughnut place is a must-see-and-taste too!

This was my first time in Charleston, and I already want to go back.  I told my husband that if he’d ever like to surprise me with a vacation, I’d be very happy to find out that we’re going to Charleston, South Carolina.  It has been my favorite city on our Summer Road Trip 2012 so far 🙂

Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • J H wrote:

    I just returned from Charleston and dined at Magnolias. I had the parmesan crusted flounder and am looking for the recipe for the dish. Could you please share it? It was delicious. I especially enjoyed the vegetables – the roasted corn was to die for. Please share!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t have it! Wish they would share the recipe though- so good!

  • Bev wrote:

    I just found your blog this morning and since my husband and I travel extensively in our motorhome, I’ve been reading your cross-country trip posts. Before I retired, I was fortunate to attend an annual conference in Charleston and ALWAYS ate, at least one time, at Magnolia’s. Of all the fabulous restaurants I’ve eaten at in that gorgeous city, Magnolia’s is far and away my favorite. Next time, try the Spicy Shrimp & Sausage in the Small Plates section of the menu.

    We live near Chicago and winter in AZ near our grandchildren. Next month we are going to Charleston on our way to AZ…primarily to savor the tastes of Magnolia’s and enjoy the beaches…driving to the east coast on our way to AZ…how’s that for a recommendation?

    I’m enjoying getting acquainted with your blog this morning!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      How fun! Loved hearing from you, and enjoy your travel!

  • barb g wrote:

    We visit Charleston every year as a day trip. We stay for a week out on Edisto Island and a visit to this wonderful city is a must! We treated ourselves last year to lunch at Magnolia’s, food and presentation was incredible. Walking tours along the battery are great as is a carriage ride. You are headed to my neck of the woods, can’t wait to read about your experiences! Enjoy.

  • jane wrote:

    Did you post yet the recipe for the delicious Parmesan crusted flounder from Magnolia’s?I to had it and it was delicious. best Restaurant ever!!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      We haven’t tried it yet! maybe one of these days!

  • Heidi @foodiecrush wrote:

    Oh my laws, that Shellfish Grits dish is to die for! And your photos make me want to visit for sure, how cute and quaint. Nothing like the South.

  • Linnea @ Swede & Savory wrote:

    Wow this was so great! Beautiful pictures, making me so homesick for the South! Have really enjoyed this series!

  • Carla @ Carla’s Confections wrote:

    Oh I need those doughnuts!!! Sounds like an awesome trip!!!

  • Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen wrote:

    Thank you for this delicious tour of Charleston. The food alone looks worth the trip. We are hoping to go sometime in the fall and spend a couple of nights and tour some homes along with lots of restaurant sampling. I’m so glad to see where you stayed, as I’ve been doing the same thing your husband did on the internet.

    I’ve read a lot of Dorthea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Sidden books and am dying to go to Shem Creek for shrimp and seafood.

    I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog from Kim’s Stirring the Pot. You’ve given me inspiration to get on with this project and start making reservations. Happy weekend.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Excellent! You’ll have a great time!

  • Debra wrote:

    Thanks for posting about your road trip. I have totally and completely enjoyed reading the reviews on hotels and food and it’s been almost like being there!

  • Kendall Jones wrote:

    I love this post, Lori! It brings back great memories of the delicious food we ate there, too. I’m still dreaming about the fried green tomatoes at Magnolia’s and that divine doughnut at Glazed! We loved it so much we went back every morning for the rest of our trip 🙂 If you make a trip back, other places we loved for dinner were Blossom and Amen Street.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Oh yay! Glad you commented- it was so nice to meet you. I can’t wait to go back and try your recs too!