Monday, October 17, 2011
After our disappointment with Husk and our totally awesome meals at Marta Lou's Kitchen and J.B.'s Smokeshack I was prepared to be let down by Cypress. If fact almost cancelled the reservation. However, we were totally impressed from start to finish. The drinks, service, decor, food, and wine were all first class. It was a very Southern high end Hospitality place. If you want to do Charleston's best I recommend Cypress.
Unlike Husk they were not trying to be down home Low Country - they were an uptown, local, seasonal, class act.
After reading about Husk in Bon Appetit it was the first reservation we made when planning our trip to Charleston. Seemed like the place we had to go to experience the new high end of Low Country Cuisine.
It is a very nice restaurant in a great part of town. The vibe and buzz were fun and the food was just fine. It wasn't, however, even close to the best new restaurant I have been to recently. There are better in any food city in America. I presume someone at Bon Appetit has only been out to eat once this year in a new restaurant!
Part of the problem with Husk is that even a very good high volume restaurant can't really compete with a Martha Lou's Kitchen or a J.B.'s Smokeshack in Low Country Cuisine precisely because of it's size and "niceness". This kind of food is best cooked and passed directly to you by the cook on a paper plate. When you fancy it up you are missing the whole point in my opinion.
This was the 4th best meal we had in Charleston - which isn't bad but it isn't "best" either.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
So, we kept driving by J.B.s Smokeshack going to and from Seabrook Island and Charleston. After our awesome Lunch at Martha Lou's Kitchen we decided we should give the Smokeshack a try to see how really low , Low Country Cuisine stacked up to Husk and Cypress.
For an astonishing $11.50 ea for dinner we pigged out on ribs, Chicken, cornbread, Corn pudding, mac and cheese, an array of low country sides, and the best banana pudding with nilla wafers I have ever had. Everything was cooked in small batches, and the attentive crowd was just waiting to descend on each dish as it arrived fresh at the buffet.
I was pretty full and happy after thirds on everything. Don't miss this place if you are within a hundred miles!
Having read about Martha Lou's in Saveur and the NY Times we decided we had to try it out to see what the real low end of Low Country Cuisine as all about. TOTALLY AWESOME - that's what.
Martha Lou, who is about 85, was our hostess, waitress, cook, busser, and cashier. This lady can really cook.
When you order she starts with fresh uncooked chicken and pan fries it individually. When it is done she instantly serves it with really yummy sides. This is the secret to great fried foods - fresh and served within a minute of being done.
As you see from the menu it is pretty simple, $8.50 for a heaping plate of delicious food and an iced tea. Can't be beat.
It is between the airport and downtown Charleston Stop on your way in or out of town.
You will not be disappointed - take your time and enjoy real cooking.