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Archives for: April 2006

04/05/06

Permalink 01:34:44 pm, Categories: $ Value Priced  

One Center St. Oceanfront Bar - Holiday Inn - Folly Beach SC

Oceanfront Restaurant Bar on Folly Beach
Alicia's Review - Good:One Center St Bar - Folly Beach

One Center Street
1 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
(843) 588-6464

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UPDATE: 6/01/06
This review has been downgraded from Excellent to very good due to the firing of the manager that made it what it was, Mel

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I love, love, love One Center Street, also known as “that downstairs bar at the Holiday Inn”. What do I love about it? First of all, I love the beach and I am always happy when I am looking out over the water, listening to the waves crashing and smelling the salty, ocean air while enjoying a nice, cold beer. There are surprisingly few restaurants/bars where you can do this in Charleston so this is a unique and special spot. In the summer, they even have a Tiki bar where you can get a beer or drink to quench your thirst on those hot, humid days at the beach.

Secondly, I love the casualness of One Center. You can go in there in a pair of sweats or shorts, a bikini top or t-shirt and flip flops or even just your swimsuit and sandals – whatever – and you’ll feel comfortable. Along with this, and granted, I do go there a lot so I have gotten to know everyone who works there but I am going to make the bold statement that I don’t think you will get better service anywhere. I go there with different friends and many of them drink the same thing every time so my favorite gal, Caroline, sees them and just pops the top of their usual drink. For me, I switch things up a little so she’ll confirm and there it is in front of me within moments. Even better, you never have to ask for another one, she watches you and keeps them coming until you tell her you’re finished. That is what I call anticipatory service! Caroline is darling although I must be fair and say that Mel, the manager, has done a fabulous job building a great team. Heather is another one of our favorites and we have a great story about Heather. One night, we shut down the bar and the very next morning at the crack of dawn, we had to be at a company meeting at the Holiday Inn. We had had a few drinks that night and we asked who would be working in the morning. Lucky for us, Heather was and she promised she’d make us Bloody Marys if we wanted them. We were laughing about that story a couple months later and she told us, “And I would have, too!” Once again, that is what I call excellent service! I love a girl that will sneak cocktails into the company meeting for us! So, as I said Mel has built a team that is friendly, fun, great at what they do, and they always make you feel at home.

Last, but certainly not least, the food at One Center is great bar food. To be completely honest, I must admit that it isn’t always consistent but that is OK because 95% of the time, it’s great and the people and environment more than make up for that 5%. Some of my favorites are the Beach Burger, an 8 oz cheeseburger ($7.45 - I have had this many, many times and it’s a fabulous burger), the Buffalo Shrimp ($6.95), the Fried Flounder sandwich ($7.95), Fried Calamari served with Jalapeno Jelly ($6.60, I have always loved this one, although my friends have had it on a night when it wasn’t as great), the Killer Club Sandwich ($6.95), and the Mahi Mahi Bites served with honey mustard dipping sauce ($7.95). The Peel and Eat Shrimp are great if you want a lighter meal (1/3 lb for $6.95 or ½ lb. for $11.50), and the salads ($5.50 for the house) are very fresh and tasty, either as a starter or, for a meal if you add Chicken (additional $2) or Shrimp (additional $3.50). Enjoy, have fun, and say hey to Caroline, Heather & the girls for me!

04/04/06

Permalink 02:37:39 pm, Categories: $$$ Expensive  

11 Center St. - Folly Beach SC - Wine and Tapas Bar

11 Center St. Folly Beach Wine and Tapas Restaurant and Bar
Alicia's Review - Wine List - Excellent:11 Center Folly Beach Wine Bar
Alicia's Review - Food - Very Good:11 center street folly beach sc
Alicia's Review - Overall Experience - Fair:11 center restaurant folly beach sc

11 Center St. Wine and Tapas
11 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
1-(843) 588-9898

11 Center is sort of an anomaly in Folly Beach and, for awhile, I went there virtually every night for a dinner of tapas and good wine. They have a lovely wine bar with a great painting, and beautiful lighting, which makes for a pretty ambience.

The wine list is fabulous. It’s extensive, most of the servers are somewhat knowledgeable, and, one thing I really love is that they have a market downstairs so you can pop in and pick up a bottle to take home with you – or take home a bottle of wine that you had with your dinner and loved so much you’d like to have another glass once at home. The prices are decent considering it’s a retail store. You can find better prices elsewhere, of course, but it’s definitely fair considering the convenience factor.

The food is fair to good. I really like the Tuna Tartare ($9) which is fresh sashimi, ginger, pineapple, red and green peppers and cilantro served with black pepper encrusted crackers. The Pan Seared Lamb Chops ($10 for two) served with wild mushroom risotto are also pretty good, as is the Antipasto ($7), marinated and grilled artichoke hearts, supersoata, salami, and smoked provolone cheese. However, I would pass on the Gourmet Cheese plate ($9) as there is nothing gourmet about this cheese plate. It came with the tiniest portion of cheese I have ever seen (and I have been to France too many times to count and am accustomed to small portions), along with way too many candied walnuts and grapes to go with the miniscule morsel of cheese they served. Speaking of French, we took some friends of ours from France there one night and they ordered the Steak Tartare ($8), had one bite and didn’t touch the rest so, while I didn’t try it personally, I wouldn’t recommend that either.

The reason I don’t go there with the same frequency as I did in the beginning is I don’t feel the sense of hospitality as some of the other places I frequent. I have also written about One Center – a totally different crowd, totally different ambience – and, to be honest, I would have thought I would want to spend more time at 11 Center based on my personality and taste. But there is something to be said for feeling special when you’re a regular and you just don’t get that here. So for a more upscale experience on Folly Beach with “gourmet” food and wine, this is a fabulous spot to try.

Permalink 02:11:34 pm, Categories: $$ Moderately Priced  

Saint Johns Cafe - John's Island, SC

Saint Johns Cafe Johns Island SC
Alicia's Review - Very Good:St John's Cafe John's Island SC

St Johns Island Cafe
3140 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island, SC 29455
1-(843) 559-9090

My best friend was in town for a visit so I had an excuse to do lots of eating out last week and I have some fabulous new favorites.

We had a wonderful brunch at St. John’s Café on Sunday morning. We arrived just before the church crowds but, even still, this is a popular place and we had to wait a couple of minutes for our table. We all wanted to have the same “entrée” so we decided to start off with an “appetizer” of raisin French Toast, served with an apple, cinnamon whipped butter as well as regular butter. It was light, fluffy, sweet – but not too - and delicious.

We followed up the French Toast with Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict. It was delightful. The crab cake was fresh, the hollandaise wonderful. My eggs were cooked perfectly, although my friends were a little overcooked. Our waitress was having a rough morning so we didn’t ask her to take them back and we had plenty of food so I am not sure she even made it to the second egg anyway.

Because my best friend was in town and we did our fair share of “celebrating” her time here, I wanted to have a Bloody Mary with my brunch but they don’t serve adult beverages on Sunday so if you like to have a Mimosa or Bloody Mary with your brunch, try St. John’s Café on Saturday instead. During the warmer months, you can sit outside on the patio, which is a pretty setting.

Oh, I almost forgot. We had a star sighting while there…as we were leaving, we spotted Richard Davis from Flip This House having brunch with a small group. I am not much for getting excited about stars but A&E is my favorite station and I love Flip This House so it was kind of fun to see him having brunch at St. John’s Café.

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Rachael is a well traveled and discerning connoisseur of good food and tasty libations. She gives an honest review of restaurants in Charleston SC.

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