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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Charleston, SC - 5.30

  • Toast Restaurant
  • Heyward-Washington House
  • Edmondston-Alston House
  • Savanna Bee Company
  • Jestine’s Sweet Shop – coconut pie
  • Slightly North of Broad 

Today was our last day in Charelston.  Toast restaurant was a 5 minute walk from our hotel.  It had excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.  It seemed to be quite popular every time we walked by.  We decided to check it out for brunch.

After a short wait, we got our table.  H ordered "Eggs Meeting Street", a fried green tomato with crab cake, poached egg with low country remoulade sauce.  I had "Low Country Eye Opener", shrimp etouffee served with grits and fried green tomato.  I was not sure if it was all the low country cuisine had gotten to me or we just ordered the wrong dishes, but I was not impressed with Toast at all.  The food was greasy and heavy with too much sauce.  Honesty, I felt the restaurant is more of a tourist trap.  In comparison, I enjoyed our breakfast at Joseph's the first day much better.

After breakfast, we definitely needed to walk off all the calories we consumed.  We walked through Church street on our way to the Hayward-Washington House.  It was such a lovely quiet street with beautiful trees and quaint houses.  Charleston downtown is truly charming and romantic.   Every corner was picturesque.

Before we knew it, we had arrived at Heyward-Washington House, another historical house built in 1772.  Unlike other historical houses we saw, this one allowed us to take pictures inside.  The restored 18th century kitchen was also the only one open to the public. The house also had a lovely garden in the back.

After the tour at Heyward-Washington House, we walked towards Battery park.  Once we turned to East Battery street, the houses turned to grand mansions.  We soon arrived at the Edmondston-Alston House.  Edmondston-Alston House was the most grandiose among all the houses we saw.  

We continued walking to Battery park and turned back on King's street.  We took many pictures along the way.  The walk was so relaxing and enjoyable.  We went shopping on King's street and came across an interesting store, Savanna Bee Company.  The store sold all kinds of honey bee related products.  There were many different flavors of pure honey that you could sample.  After tasting every flavor, I bought Tupelo & winter white honey.  (Unfortunately the 12 oz honey did not pass airport security in the carry-on suitcase, and we had to check in our luggage.)

We stopped by Jestine's Sweet Shop to get a coconut pie as recommended by our hotel bartender, and got some coffee at Starbucks for a much needed break.  The coconut pie was light and creamy.  I wanted to go back to the shop to get a second pie.

After the coffee break, we headed back to the hotel to pick up the car and drove around different streets of Charleston.  Before dinner, we stopped by Charleston Cooks.  I was interested in taking their cooking class but did not book one because I was not sure if we had enough time.  Looking back, I wish we could have taken the cooking class.

Tonight's dinner was at Slightly North of Broad, with modern twist of Low Country Cooking.  We had Gazpacho and Pork Belly for appetizers, Duck breasts and Grouper for main courses, and Chocolate pie for dessert.  The Pork Belly and the chocolate pie were delicious, but everything else just fell short.  The Gazpacho was sour, the duck breasts was chewy, and the grouper was bland.

After dinner, our trip to Charleston was officially over.  We returned the car at the airport, checked into Sheraton hotel, and hung out by the pool for a while before we called it a night.  The next day, we would have an early morning flight to catch and a full day of work waiting for us in New York.

Charleston is a perfect destination for a long weekend or girls' getaway. Car is optional depending on how long you stay and how bad you want to visit the plantations.  The visitor center has many combination discounted tickets for the historical houses and coupons for other tour companies so it is worth making the visitor center your first stop.  If there is any popular restaurants on your "Must eat" list, be sure to make reservations a few days in advance. 


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