Having lived in Charleston for 5+ years, and having visited 4+ times/year since 2011, I usually don't write trip reports, as going to Charleston is less of a trip for me, and more of a home-away-from-home experience.
That being said, I'll write a brief one for anyone interested, as I did a lot of "new" things (as opposed to going back and back and back again to places I already know I love).
For this trip the wife and I stayed at Zero George. The reviews were spectacular, so we weren't too worried about some sort of an epic fail, but being that the location is on the fringe of the HD, we were a little concerned. For instance, it's easier to walk to Harris Teeter than it is to get to the Market, East Bay, the Battery, and most of King Street. That being said, we had a fantastic stay--so much so that we are seriously considering making it our go-to hotel in Charleston. Having stayed at nearly every single hotel in the HD, I'm happy (and surprised) to say that Zero George is the best hotel we've tried. The staff was pleasant, helpful...really quite extraordinary. The rooms were designed perfectly (not too big, not too small) with complimentary bottled water, benne wafers, and sparkling beverages (forget the name of them--they sell them at Starbucks--at Zero George they're free). As far as the location goes, it is about a 10 minute walk to anywhere the average tourist would want to see. This may be a turn off for some, but for us it was fine. Also of note: the check in reception area was in a kitchen (or was the kitchen in the check in area?)...the food was outstanding...I mean top notch.
1) Bit the bullet and went to the Ordinary. Took me awhile to work up enough interest to go...most people (I've come across) say one of two things: (1) the plates are too small, and (2) it's too expensive. Both of those things are more or less true, but it was entirely worth it. The razor clam dish was one of the best dishes I've had in Charleston, period. The raw bar was also one of the best, if not the best, I've had in Charleston. Everything from the product, to the service, was so good that it far overshadowed the price. As for small plates, we were OK with that, as they warned us the plates were on the small side, and recommended bigger plates if we were hungrier or did not want to share. All in all it was a perfect meal. Probably the best seafood meal I've ever had in CHS. Will go back. (p.s., travelers: they do not have a single meat dish on the menu. If you don't like seafood, don't come here.)
2) Butcher and Bee. This one is a bit out of the way for most tourists (need a car--not really walkable). These people have to make some of the best sandwiches in the city...I mean really...no idea where to get a sandwich even close to what B&B is pumping out on King. Not only are the sandwiches unique, but they're tasty and reasonably priced. Will go back.
3) Bull Street Gourmet on King. This isn't exactly "new"--but it's my first time at this location. I've been to the location on Bull Street maybe 150 times. I kinda like this reincarnation of BSG...a lot more of a grocery scene than the Bull Street location. Otherwise, nearly identical as far as quality of food goes. I will say that I don't remember BSG on Bull ever making such a good potato salad...wow. Not too sure how BSG on King stays in business, as nobody was really in there the half dozen times I walked back, and I can't imagine a lot of people would go there to get actual shopping done. I'd recommend this place for a quick snack on the run--not a full service meal.
4) Dellz Vibez. This is a smoothie and juice bar right across from the Ordinary. Went here with the wife after a yoga class at Charleston Power Yoga. Not the best smoothie I've ever had, not the worst. Convenient location for those who, on a hot day, find themselves that far down King. I wouldn't go out of my way to come back, but if I were in the 'hood, I'd go for it (I hear Dellz Deli is better).
Places I've been going forever:
1) Bagel Nation :) Best bagel south of the Mason-Dixon line!
2) Fast and French...sadly disappointed here. One of my favorite spots in Charleston for lunch, bar none. Everything we got lacked flavor. Hoping we came on an off-day versus the food just going downhill.
That's all folks!Edited: 19 May 2014, 21:21