Butcher & Bee Named to List of Best Sandwich Shops

bbintThe author of a new Thrillist round-up of the nation’s 21 best sandwich shops has very definite opinions on which sandwiches to order: the muffaletta at Cochon in New Orleans; the Caribbean Roast at Paseo in Seattle and the Parmageddon at Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled. But when it comes to Butcher & Bee, he suggests getting “whatever’s available.”

“Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich,” Adam Lapetina writes.

Although Lapetina doesn’t outline his sandwich criteria, his list introduction alludes to freshly-baked bread and sauces good enough to drink.

Butcher & Bee’s menu today lists roast beef, grilled cheese and beef tongue. The shop at 654 King St. is open until 3 p.m.

Jason’s Deli Closes One of Two Area Locations

The first Jason’s Deli in the Charleston area has again become the only Jason’s Deli in the Charleston area.

Citing “unsatisfactory negotiations with (the) landlord,” a franchisee this week closed the sandwich chain’s location on Northwood Boulevard. The restaurant was in business for 10 years.

The remaining Jason’s Deli at 975 Savannah Highway, which opened in 2000, will absorb the shuttered location’s catering orders and the majority of its 50 employees.

“We were blessed to have incredibly loyal customers,” franchisee Peyton Robinson is quoted as saying in a release announcing the closure.

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

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

Austin’s Food & Drink Calls it Quits

austins2Austin’s Food & Drink, which this summer took over the Spring Street storefront previously occupied by Black Bean Co., this weekend closed up shop.

A note taped to the front door didn’t explain the reasons behind the closure, nor did owner Debby New provide additional information on Austin’s Facebook page, but the restaurant was often eerily quiet for much of its near-daily 9 a.m.-8 p.m. schedule. Extending hours on Friday and Saturday nights, adding Sunday brunch and serving beer and wine didn’t seem to help cultivate the crowds: A staffer was at least once stationed on the sidewalk to ask passersby whether they’d tried Austin’s. Continue reading

Casual Mediterranean Chain Zoës Kitchen Comes to Mt. Pleasant

img42After opening 94 locations, most of them in the Southeast, Zoës Kitchen is opening its first South Carolina store in Mt. Pleasant.

Zoës Kitchen at 1242 Belk Drive is hoping to pique anticipation for its Oct. 10 debut with a Facebook contest in which 500 free meals will be awarded. The contest gets underway today, and runs through opening day.

The Zoës chain started in Birmingham, Ala., where Zoë Cassimus in 1995 opened a casual lunch counter emphasizing fresh ingredients and Greek flavors. The current menu includes salads, pita sandwiches and kebabs. Zoës also offers takeaway prepared meals sized for four eaters and side dishes packed in pints. Box lunches and party trays are available through the restaurant’s catering division.

Beer and wine will also be sold at the Mt. Pleasant store, which has indoor seating for 76 people and a patio which seats 50. The restaurant plans to open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Charleston Chefs Bring Bologna and Peanuts to Feast Portland

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Jay Friedman

Feast Portland, which serves as a coastal and calendrical bookend to the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, wrapped up this past Sunday, but not before impressing its lowcountry contributors.

“The scale, the walkability and the pacing were great,” reflects cookbook author Matt Lee, who along with brother Ted demonstrated oyster and peanut stew on the festival’s main stage and guest cheffed a Sunday brunch at Higgins Restaurant and Bar. “A ton of terrific things to try and do, but not so many you felt torn in eight directions.”

Like the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, Feast Portland draws the nation’s top kitchen talents to a town with a culinary reputation disproportionate to its size. But Feast is a much newer affair, having debuted just last year. Still, a few sessions have already emerged as classics, including the Night Market (deemed “brilliant” by Matt Lee, the event features chefs such as Aaron Franklin, Hugh Acheson, Chris Cosentino and Andy Ricker riffing on street food for a global bazaar format) and the Sandwich Invitational.

“South Carolina chef Sean Brock raised the ante with fried bologna,” The Oregonian reported in its coverage of the competition. Yet Brock’s sandwich, pictured above, ultimately lost out to a pair of homegrown entries: Portland’s Laurelhurst Market wowed the judges with its smoked beef tongue and pardon peppers on a roll, and Country Cat won the audience prize for its lamb cheeseburger. Continue reading

Hungry For a Free Lunch?

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Newk’s Eatery

A Jackson, Miss.-based fast-casual chain is celebrating its entry into the Charleston-area  market with a “first menu item free” deal. The password is “Brack.”

Newk’s Eatery has opened dozens of location since 2004, when founder of the McAlister’s Deli chain first unveiled their new concept in Oxford, Miss. Industry publication QSR last year named Newk’s as one of the nation’s best franchise deals, citing its “combination of high-quality fare and low prices.” The Newk’s menu features salads, pizzas, soups and toasted sandwiches (I can vouch for the pimento cheese, having made a snack run to the original location when a Southern Foodways Alliance luncheon was unexpectedly delayed.)

In addition to its café seating, Newk’s also offers catering trays, party platters and a “grab-n-go option, where ready-to-go sandwiches and salads are available for immediate pick-up,” according to a press release.

The Newk’s at 210-D Azalea Square Blvd. in Summerville’s Azalea Shopping Center is one of five planned by franchisee NPR Food Services, headed by Todd Pennington, Jim Newton and Brack Rowe.

The promotion named for Rowe will run through the end of next week. Just drop his name at the counter to claim your free food.