Cinco de Mayo Lunch at Kitchen 208

Ryan Gessner

Ryan Gessner

Cinco de Mayo is more of a drinking holiday than an eating holiday in the U.S. (where the independence celebration is observed far more fervently than in Mexico.) But Kitchen 208 is playing the teetotaling card with a five-buck lunch.

On May 5, the downtown restaurant is serving a smoked beef brisket quesadilla and a non-alcoholic drink for $5. The meal is available from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kitchen 208 is located at 208 King St. For more information, visit kitchen208.com, or call 725-7208.

Halls Chophouse Plans to Open The Other Halls This Summer

hallsOne of the perpetual complaints about downtown Charleston dining is the dearth of upscale lunch options: The problem’s particularly pronounced on Upper King Street, where burgers reign at midday. But a forthcoming lunchroom from Halls Chophouse may mitigate the problem.

According to an application filed with the Board of Architectural Review, the steakhouse wants to transform the former La Fourchette space at 432 King Street into “The Other Halls.” Although general manager Tommy Hall was reluctant to release any details, he revealed that plans include fine dining lunch service: The menu is still being developed. Continue reading

Southern Season Launches Weekly Shopping Trolley

Southern Season is off the path typically beaten by tourists, so the gourmet retailer is launching weekly trolley service to the store.

Starting today, Southern Season is offering a $45 Wednesday package which includes transportation to and from the Charleston or Mt. Pleasant Visitors Center; a demonstration of “regionally-based recipes”; lunch and shopping time.

The trolley leaves Charleston at 9:30 a.m., and returns at 12:30 p.m. It swings by the Mt. Pleasant Visitors Center at 9:45 p.m.

For tickets, visit zerve.com, or call 416-1240 for more information.

Tropical Kitchen Express Speeds Up Service

steamtable

Tropical Kitchen Express

Nobody ever seems to quibble with the quality of Tropical Kitchen Express’ pernil, mofongo or chicken fricassee. The time it takes the Goose Creek restaurant to prepare its dishes, though, was a longstanding complaint from the lunch crowd.

Earlier this month, Tropical Kitchen strengthened its claim to the “Express” modifier by installing a steam table. The move drew more than 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook. “About time,” Julie Vasquez wrote on the restaurant’s wall. “I hate waiting.” (Proving her point, she added, “I can’t wait to eat there again.”)

Owner Evelyn Irizarry says fans of her Puerto Rican cooking aren’t restricted to the premade dishes, which recently included roast pork, cubed pork, yellow rice and white rice. “We still have a la carta,” she says. “But, for lunch, we can serve them faster.”

Tropical Kitchen Express at 104 Saint James Avenue is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. every day but Sunday. For more information, call 553-7557.

Rising High Cafe Apparently Says Goodbye

risinghighRising High Café has been closed for more than a week, and there’s currently no indication the East Bay Street sandwich shop intends to re-open .

“Those of us who work in the neighborhood miss it,” a reader writes.

There’s a handwritten “closed” sign taped inside the restaurant’s door, and no person or voicemail system picked up numerous calls to the restaurant. Owner Cliff Lowder, who two years ago took over the business, did not return e-mail or cell phone messages. Continue reading

Sunrise Bistro Express Open on Spring Street

sunrisebistroSunrise Bistro’s downtown Charleston location may be significantly smaller than its Johns Island digs, but the menu is far from puny.

The café, which opened this week, offers 19 breakfast entrees (not counting bagels and egg sandwiches); 15 sandwiches; 10 salads; three quesadillas and a half-dozen different desserts. There’s also an espresso program.

Open every day but Sunday from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunrise Bistro Express is the second restaurant to try making a go of it at 116 Spring St since The Black Bean Company moved out last year. Continue reading

Charleston Restaurant Week Adds More Lunchtime Options

codaCharleston Restaurant Week’s Fall 2013 lunch initiative was so successful that sponsor Greater Charleston Restaurant Association (GCRA) is repeating the program, with 13 restaurants scheduled to serve midday meals during this month’s edition of the popular dining event.

Butcher & Bee, making its Charleston Restaurant Week debut, is one of the restaurants offering lunch: Its sample three-course menu, priced at $30 for two people, includes matzoh ball soup; kale slaw and grilled cheese.

Other first-timers among the 142 restaurants serving up prix-fixe menus from Jan. 8-Jan. 19 include The Lot; Indaco; Coda del Pesce and McCrady’s, where diners will have their pick of dishes such as beef tartare; snapper with Carolina Gold rice polenta; aged duck and savarin oat cake for $40.

Reservations are highly recommended. For a complete list of restaurants and featured menus, visit GCRA’s website.

What’s For Lunch at Jubilee

Details about food and drink at this weekend’s Garden & Gun Jubilee have been scarce, but The Glass Onion has released the menu for its pop-up lunch counter.

Soups, salads and sandwiches dominate the menu, which will be available during Made in the South marketplace hours. Attendees have their pick of chicken and sausage gumbo; pork cheek chili and a garden salad, each priced at $8. Shrimp remoulade, chicken salad and beef tongue will be served in salad ($7) and po-boy ($9) form. Other listed savories include duck liver mousse, pimento cheese, collards, red rice and deviled eggs. Continue reading

Sunrise Bistro Takes Over Tiny Cafe on Spring Street

sunriseA four-year old Johns Island restaurant is picking up where Austin’s Food & Drink left off, returning breakfast and lunch to the pint-sized nook at 116 Spring St.

“I don’t think she had the concept of what people wanted,” Sunrise Bistro co-owner Jessica Welenteichick says of the café which this fall failed after a few short months. Welenteichick and her partners acquired the 14-seat restaurant in a turnkey deal, with plans to open Sunrise Bistro Express by early 2014.

“That lady, she was like an interior decorator wanting to go into restaurants,” Welenteichick continues. “We’ve built ourselves a reputation.” Continue reading

Rue de Jean Launches Lunch Deal

MainEblastImage_NovDowntown diners concerned about the impending demise of Fish’s daily lunch deal may want to transfer their noontime routines to 39 Rue de Jean, which this week started offering an $11.99 lunch special.

During the week, the restaurant will serve a choice of featured soup, salad or entrée for the promo price. Coffee or iced tea is included, but a glass of house wine costs an extra $4.

The special runs from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and the week’s menu will be posted on Rue de Jean’s social media outlets. This week, customers have their pick of the day’s soup; a mesclun salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and grilled pork tenderloin with orange marmalade and braised kale (which sounds like the surest way to get your money’s worth.)