The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Charleston Restaurant Week = $500,000 Impact

Did you hear the great (CHA-CHING!) news about Charleston Restaurant Week, which recently wrapped up its third year with a record 20 participating establishments?

Buzz Foods, the event’s brainchild and promoter, calculated that more than 10,000 meals were sold during this year’s Restaurant Week. Those meal costs – plus tax, gratuity, bar sales and parking – add up to an estimated economic impact of around $500,000 for those 6 days alone.

I believe it.

There wasn’t an empty seat in the house most places I visited, with several restaurant owners and chefs saying it was their best and busiest Restaurant Week yet. And that’s despite bad weather than hampered some travel (and closed at least one participating restaurant) at the start of the week.

Nice work, Buzz!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s efforts to honor local employees, restaurants, businesses and hotels in conjunction with National Tourism Week.

After weeks of the public nominating – and then voting on – their favorites in a variety of categories, winners are being announced TONIGHT during a reception at the Charleston Civic Center!

In the food-related categories, honors go to …

  • Favorite Restaurant – Pies & Pints
  • Favorite Specialty Drink – Sangria, Lola’s
  • Favorite Food Dish – Black Bean Pie, Pies & Pints
  • Best Restaurant Employee – Dana Mindrescu, Marriott
  • Best Frontline Ambassador – Aaron Clark, Bridge Road Bistro

Congrats to all!

Ring in the New Year with free (FREE!) Champagne

Charleston’s Bridge Road Bistro is offering a pretty sweet dinner deal this Friday for New Year’s Eve. If you start enjoying the South Hills restaurant’s special multi-course dinner between the hours of 5 and 6:30 p.m., you’ll receive a complimentary 375 ml. bottle of Canard-Duchene Brut French Champagne.

On the menu …


  • BRB Crab Cakes with Corn and Edamame Succotash, Smoked Tomato Buerre Blanc
  • Bacon-Wrapped Carolina Quail Breast with Sweet Potato & Shitake Mushroom Medley and Red Wine Gastrique
  • Grilled Atlantic Jumbo Prawns with Bistro Cocktail Sauce
  • Maine Lobster Bisque with Vanilla Chantilly


  • Baby Bibb with Toasted Walnuts, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Pears & Blue Cheese with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
  • Baby Lettuces with Fresh Chevre & Mushroom Strudel, Roasted Beets, Dried Cranberries and Pickled OSO Sweet Onions with Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • Seared Alaskan Halibut with Lobster and Baby Leek Ragout, Yukon Golden Whipped Potatoes and Lobster Buerre Blanc
  • Grilled Petit Filet “Oscar” with Lump Crabmeat, Asparagus, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms & Dauphinoise Potatoes, Hollandaise Sauce and Natural Demi
  • Grilled Double Lamb Chops with Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Truffle Scented Pancetta Risotto, Fried Artichoke Heart & Baby Carrots, Balsamic Roasted Shallots and Rosemary Jus
  • Portobello Mushroom & Grilled Vegetable “Wellington” with Baby Winter Vegetables & Parsnip Puree, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


  • Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake with Espresso Ice Cream and Raspberry Coulis
  • Morgan Orchard Apple Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce
  • Bistro Cheese Selection of Irish Cheddar, Hudson Valley Camembert & Mountain Gorgonzola 

And in addition to free bubbly and always-awesome food, Ryan Kennedy and Co. will play live music in the bar area. The cost is $85 per person, plus 6% tax and 20% gratuity. For reservations, call (304) 720-3500.

Highlight on New Blossom Deli Menu is a Real Killer

If you missed my review of the newly revived Blossom Deli in today’s Daily Mail, well, shame on you. But you can still check it out here:

In the story, you’ll notice that I wrote about an unbelievable sandwich that’s now offered on the menu. Here’s what I said:

“There’s also this frighteningly intriguing new creation called “The C-A-B-G.” You can’t make this stuff up, so in the menu’s own words …

“Only a select few truly know what it stands for, so please keep it to yourself. All you need to know is that after only one bite your heart will literally skip a beat. We begin with a classic Blossom grilled cheese on Texas toast, any style you like. Next, we top it with four Buzz Buttered Steaks, Applewood bacon, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayo before we finish construction with another Blossom grilled cheese on top.”

As if four burgers stacked between two grilled cheeses weren’t enough, you can also “double” or “triple” it for a few bucks more.

Is this some kind of joke? The C-A-B-G must stand for Calling All Big Guys. Or Croak At (Once) By God.

But wait, there’s more!

One of the new owners, Jim Nester, wrote in to say: “I have to say you’re stab at the CABG acronym made me laugh out loud…you should hear some of the guesses we’ve had.  You did forget that it has a fried egg and slices of thick bacon 😉   While we expected to sell one a week given the grandeur of the CABG, we’ve been surprised that we’ve sold at least one every day we’ve been open – including a few doubles.”

All of that and fried egg and bacon, too??!! I’m not sure if I’m horrified — or marching right down there tomorrow to get one!