Smoke on the Lodge Keeps Food on Crowded Weekend Menu

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The first weekend in April doesn’t lack for organized events: More than 200,000 people flock to the Flowertown Festival, and another 40,000 people compete in the Cooper River Bridge Run. Thousands more attend the Family Circle Cup. But for leisure-seekers who care most about food, Smoke at the Lodge may well be the weekend’s marquee gathering.

Now in its 11th year, the hotly-contested barbecue contest is the Summerville Masonic Lodge’s biggest fundraiser. While it occurs on the outskirts of the Flowertown Festival, it’s not affiliated with the event: It’s a stand-alone campaign to raise money for the Masons’ chosen cause (this year, juvenile diabetes is the beneficiary.) Gregg Griffiths, master of the lodge, is reluctant to say just how much money the two-day event generates, lest he spoil the surprise when his lodge presents its donation at a district meeting, but suggests the figure’s in five-digit territory.

For attendees, though, the value is apparent. The night before the Boston butt competition is judged, the 25 participating teams enter an “anything but” cook-off, in which the only rule is “no pork.” The teams sell samples for $1 apiece, making the Friday night food fair one of the area’s most affordable culinary events. Continue reading

Two Bar Crawls Scheduled for March

In case drinkers need more incentive to hoist a pint during St. Patrick’s Day week, the Folly Association of Businesses is again hosting its holiday pub crawl to  raise money for local charities.

The beneficiaries of the Mar. 15 event haven’t yet been announced, but the roster of participating bars and restaurants includes Loggerhead’s, Woody’s, Folly Brew Pub, Drop-In Deli, Planet Follywood, Crab Shack, The Grill and Island Bar, Surfbar, Blu, Rita’s Seaside Grille and Snapper Jack’s.

Each of the Folly Beach venues will offer food and drink specials from 12 noon until 5 p.m. For more information, check out visitfolly.com. Continue reading

Mex 1 Collecting Used Winter Coats

Although the recent weather hasn’t been especially compatible with winter coat-wearing, it’s critical that kids have the right outerwear when winter strikes, which is why Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is collecting coats for Communities in Schools.

If you bring a gently-used coat to Mex 1 on Dec. 18, the West Ashley restaurant will chop 15 percent off your bill. And if you’re looking to win gift certificates, Mex 1 is awarding prizes for the evening’s best ugly sweaters.

The event starts at 6 p.m. For more information, visit Mex 1’s Facebook page.

Top Chef Two-Timer on Roster for No Kid Hungry Dinner

Graffiato Restaurant Mike IsabellaIn addition to the two dozen local chefs already announced as participants in the four-course Charleston No Kid Hungry Dinner, the evening’s line-up now also includes Top Chef vet Mike Isabella.

Isabella, chef-owner of three Washington D.C. restaurants, will prepare hors d’oeuvres for VIP guests.

The Nov. 3 dinner at L’Atelier de Le Creuset benefits Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger. Tickets are $125, but you have to shell out $200 if you want to taste Isabella’s apps. The VIP reception starts at 5 p.m. Reservations can be made online or by calling 808-7859.

Grab Your Knife: The Latest, Greatest Oyster Roast Benefit Calendar

And off we go with the oyster roasts! Coming up next:

(Roasts are all-you-can-eat and don’t include drinks, unless otherwise noted.)

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WHAT: SC Aquarium Sustainable Lowcountry Oyster Roast

WHERE: Mingo Point, 876 Kiawah Island Parkway, Kiawah Island

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 12, 4 -7 p.m.

WHY: Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the South Carolina Aquarium.

WORTH KNOWING: The menu includes yellow fin tuna crudo; hickory-grilled Picanha steak; local white shrimp and swordfish; All of the dishes are paired with Palmetto Brewing ales. Reservations are required.

COST: $65

MORE INFO:  768-2790 Continue reading

Support Grow Food Carolina by Dining Out Tonight

5-percent-growfoodHaving trouble deciding where to eat tonight? We can narrow your choices down to 23 worthy restaurants.

The following restaurants are donating five percent of sales to Grow Food Carolina, which supports local farmers, eaters and chefs by systematically addressing the logistical marketing and distribution challenges faced by area growers: All you have to do is eat.

Place your generous orders at Blu Restaurant, Burwell’s, Cru Cafe, Glass Onion, Green Door, Hank’s Seafood, Heart Woodfire Kitchen, High Cotton, Hominy, HUSK, Langdon’s, McCrady’s, Mercato, Basico, Opal, Peninsula Grill, Republic Lounge, SNOB, Ted’s Butcher Block, The Lot, Tristan, Verde or Xiao Bao Biscuit.

Publix-Sponsored Healthy Eating Fundraiser Underway

A national Publix charitable campaign which last year raised $105,000 for schools is back for a second run.

From now until Oct. 30, Publix shoppers can contribute to “Healthy Families, Helping Kids” by buying select fruits and vegetables. Based on sales, participating produce suppliers will make a cash donation supporting classroom nutritional projects.

Publix last year funded 420 projects, including projects at James Island Elementary School and West Ashley High School. The grocery chain is urging local teachers to apply for funding through donorschoose.org; eligibility requirements are posted here.

Surfers Healing Fundraiser in Folly

Surfers Healing, a foundation which promotes treating autistic children by putting them on the front end of a surfboard, is hosting a fundraising breakfast this weekend in Folly Beach.

At The Grill and Island Bar’s “Feed Yourself, Nourish a Soul”, which runs from 9 a.m.-12 noon on Saturday, $10 will buy a breakfast plate. Non-alcoholic drinks are included, but the bar’s also offering $2 mimosas and a $4 bloody Mary bar.

For more information, call 633-0143.

Cupcake Camp’s Call for Bakers

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Cupcake creators are a dime a baker’s dozen these days, but Cupcake Camp Charleston’s on the hunt for pastry artists willing to serve up at least 24 cupcakes for free.

Now in its fourth year, Cupcake Camp is a community benefit for the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program. Originally created in 2008 by a San Francisco populist scientist, the event’s since spread to cities around the world. There’s no charge for the cupcakes – organizers describe the Camp as a chance “for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment – but donations will be accepted online and during the event at The Alley on Nov. 10 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Continue reading

Three Foodish Ways to Support Charleston’s Parks

parkpicAs the weather becomes more bearable, Charleston eaters have three edible ways to support local parks:

1. The Charleston Parks Conservancy this Saturday hosts its Party for the Parks, a street fair-style celebration on Ashley Avenue at Colonial Lake. A $65 ticket includes tastes from restaurants including The Rarebit, Indaco and Sugar Bakeshop, but event-goers can further support the parks advocacy group by bidding on a variety of culinary-themed auction items. Among the experiences on the block are an at-home dinner party for 10 prepared by Cypress’ Craig Diehl; dinner for four at The Ordinary and dinner for six at Oak.

Continue reading