Summerville Launches Food Tour by Trolley

Sweet tea is apparently the ideal accompaniment to Greek salad, chili and cupcakes, according to a recent culinary tour itinerary from the City of Summerville.

To promote its newly-designated Sweet Tea Trail, Summerville is hosting a monthly “Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail Trolley Tour,” featuring snacks from 10-12 local restaurants. In addition to the items offered on March’s tour, the menu sometimes includes liver pudding, boiled peanuts and shrimp-and-grits. All of the food is served aboard the trolley.

The 90-minute tour, scheduled for the third Friday of each month through August, costs $27. It starts at 10:30 a.m., and is led by Tim Lowry. For more information, visit lowcountrylooptrolley.com.

Fish Opens Early for Runners (And Their Cheering Fans)

racedayAccording to nutritionists, the best foods to eat after a strenuous workout include quinoa salad; scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast with avocado. But if your tastes run more toward lobster croque monsieur, Fish has got you covered on Cooper River Bridge Run Day.

In honor of the race, which annually draws upward of 40,000 competitors, the upper King restaurant is opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Apr. 5. The restaurant is limiting its morning service to small and medium plates, with mimosas and bloody Marys priced at two bucks with the purchase of a dish. Continue reading

Sushi Dogs, Frog Legs and Sangria on RiverDogs’ Menu This Season

carrotdogThe Charleston RiverDogs are taking charge of their barbecue offerings this year, installing a mobile smoker and grill near the entrance to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Brisket, tri tip and frog legs will now supplement the park’s pulled pork, which will continue to be provided by Sticky Fingers.

“We prefer to concentrate on the less traditional items,” says John Schumacher, “food guru” for the team’s ownership group.

In addition to the beef and frog extremities, the smoker station will serve a daily special, and local chefs will occasionally be invited to man the pit. Continue reading

North Columbia Festival Salutes Cornbread

steveajohnsonThe North Columbia Business Association settled on throwing a festival before it figured out just what it wanted to celebrate.

“The area we’re in, the 29302, is going through some changes, and we wanted to invite people back to see what’s going on,” the association’s executive director, Sabrina Odom, explains. “We came up with cornbread because our state vegetable is collard greens. And a collard greens festival already exists.”

The second annual South Carolina Cornbread Festival is scheduled for Mar. 29; in addition to live music and mascots, the 10 a.m.-8 p.m. event at the corner of Main and Newman streets includes a cornbread cook-off; cornbread toss; cornbread eating contest (a speed trial featuring four cornbread muffins) and a “cornbread lane,” along which cornbread will be sold for a buck a slice. Continue reading

How Good Were Your Wine + Food Phone Pics?

jouleInveterate Instagrammers who were vindicated by a recent study suggesting that snapping a picture of a dish before eating it could enhance their food enjoyment* now have another reason to keep up their plate-rearranging, friend-testing habits:  A West Ashley financial firm could make them famous.

On Mar. 26, the second annual Food Phone Photo Show at Jericho Advisors will exhibit the 20 best images submitted by eaters nationwide.  The top three winners will receive unspecified prizes and trophies.

To enter the contest, submit a photo via Twitter (@foodporn2014) or Instagram (@jerichoadvisors). Only photos taken with mobile devices are eligible. All entries must be uploaded by Mar. 21 at 11:59 p.m. Continue reading

Lowcountry Cajun Festival Scheduled for Apr. 6

crawfishThe Lowcountry Cajun Festival, now in its 23rd year, features jambalaya, etoufee, alligator, hot dogs and funnel cakes, but eaters show up for the crawfish, according to a Charleston County Parks press release.

“Visitors are encouraged to sign up for the (crawfish eating) contest when they arrive at the festival,” emphasizes the Apr. 6 festival announcement.

The festival at James Island County Park runs from 12 noon-6 p.m. The eating contest is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

For a detailed schedule, including information on the music acts, visit ccprc.com. Admission to the event is $10 a person, with children aged 12 or younger admitted free.

 

Old St. Andrew’s Announces Tearoom Dates

churchThe tearoom at St. Andrews Parish Church will operate from Mar. 24-Apr 5 this year.

Described as Charleston’s oldest tea room, the original pop-up lunchroom will serve she-crab soup, okra soup, chicken salad and shrimp paste sandwiches from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., every day but Sunday. Packaged food items will be available through the gift shop.

The church’s female members 61 years ago developed the tearoom to feed hungry tourists in the midst of plantation visits. Proceeds from the tea room and gift shop benefit programs sponsored by The Church Women of Old St. Andrew’s.

The tearoom doesn’t accept credit cards, but it takes reservations for parties of six or more eaters: Call 766-1541 or e-mail office@oldstandrews.org.

Four U.S. Vegetable Lab Findings on Melons and Collard Greens

sweettatersIn 1937, a year after the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory opened in Charleston, the News & Courier ran a story about goings-on at the facility, explaining “the exact purpose and duties of the station are not usually quite clear to the average person.” Nearly 80 years later, that observation still holds.

But while perceptions of the Savannah Highway lab — and Clemson University’s neighboring Coastal Research and Education Center, which focuses on regional agriculture — haven’t changed much, the nature of the resident scientists’ work has evolved dramatically.

The lab’s staff scientists continue to puzzle out responses to crop threats posed by pests and diseases, but now they’re doing so with the aid of state-of-the-art equipment, such as gene sequencers. (Although they’re not opposed to low-tech solutions: A team working to fight off fruit rot grows its trial phytophthora in rice saturated with V8 juice.)

“Agriculture is a science-driven industry,” supervisory research geneticist Mark Farnham says, contextualizing the lab’s contributions to a sector that’s worth $34 billion in South Carolina alone. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Cooking Classes at Trident Technical This Spring

jeffkubina

Jeff Kubina

One in three Americans is trying to follow a gluten-free diet. And whether or not they’re snubbing the grain protein for valid health reasons – fewer than one percent of the population is coping with celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance – their desire for eggplant parmesan, gravy and mac-n-cheese that don’t taste like sawdust is understandable.

Trident Technical College is trying to appeal to those discerning eaters with a pair of new workshops: Gluten-Free Kids’ Favorites and Gluten-Free Dinners. Both classes feature entrée overviews and a recipe exchange. Continue reading

Magnolia Plantation Hosts French-Themed Tea Party for Michaux

garlandcannon

garlandcannon

Tea is typically associated with the United Kingdom, but the drink has occasionally cropped up in coffee-loving France – most famously in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, in which the narrator drops a crumbly cookie in his cup and 3000 pages of reflections ensue.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is hoping to stimulate garden archaeology, not unbridled sentimentality, with its upcoming French Tea. The Apr. 6 event will benefit the Friends of André Michaux Charleston Garden Project, an organization studying the site of the 18th-century French botanist’s Charleston-area home. Continue reading