Monthly Archives: March 2015

B-Sides in Charleston with PeanutPimpMama!

Let’s face it, therephoto is nothing like a good bar-hop to get to know a city. I usually like to include one bar hopping experience per trip. It helps me cover ground and grasp the local cocktail scene and the appreciation for micro brews indigenous to the area. I like remembering what beers I’ve had in what cities. They are like liquid souvenirs you can experience over and over again no matter where you are. You can just pop open a bottle and you’re instantly back in time. I also like expanding my skills in “beer snobbery” while schmoozing with like-minded folks. Perhaps this appreciation comes from my days working at one of Manhattan’s finest beer-bars (and Greenwich Village institutions)Peculier Pub.

521We had decided to set out for a night on the town (Charleston-style) with a horse and buggy tour by Red Barn Carriage Tours. Before we departed, we were able to check out all of the adorable animals inhabiting the Big Red Barn. They had lots of horses (of course) and many other barn-related creatures for our enjoyment.


 Our tour guide was quite the animated type.


He showed us all of the historical sights including The Old Exchange Building. Here many slaves were sold next to the exact balcony the Declaration of Independence was read from. #irony


He drove us by the creepy haberdashery guy which might have been scarier than all of the ghost stories combined. There are six hats that make up this little man. Can you see them in my bleery-pic?


After our history lesson it was time to explore Charleston by new heights. PeanutPimpMama is a big fan of rooftop bars since they can give you a whole new perspective on cities. An oasis in the middle of skyscrapers can be oddly magical…You feel on top of the world.

580While The Vendue might not need to be as high as most (since most of Charleston is minus giant skyscrapers) I loved it all the same. You can see all of the pretty the bridges and church steeples of “The Holy City“. The drinks are pretty tasty too! 572

Sadly it began to drizzle and we had to take our party inside where we were entertained by the GIANT Pinvendue. Why didn’t we hashtag this again?


Our second stop earned a PeanutPimpMama Notable Mention: The Griffon -One, because it reminds me of Griffon doggies (We know I have a soft spot for those). Two, because PeanutPimpMama also has a soft spot for dive-bars with a great beer selection. I felt like I was at home in this delightful grit. The bar staff was super friendly and gave honest advice when my beer choice was offered in both draft and can. You can visit their website below and check out their sturdy pub-grub and 360 degree virtual tour! #DOLLAHS! Seriously how many are taped up on those walls? #CRAY

imageThe inevitable happened and we were hungry. We decided to head over to Closed for Business for a late-night nosh. I tried to take pictures of the interior (which words cannot describe) but the cosmic red lighting did both my camera and my phone no favors.


I decided to have their “Jimmy Serrano” veggie burger which I was able to customize. What I ended up with: Veggie patty of butter beans, red bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, carrots, toasted almonds, Serrano pepper sauce along with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion on a perky little sesame seed bun… This was topped with farm egg, mushroom and pimento cheese of course! If they offered it, I added it. Then I asked for blue cheese dressing for dunking purposes. I’m always keeping things light.


Closed for Business also had an incredible beer list, but I was really in it for the eggnog served in a moose head.

imagePeanutPimpMama had her heart broken when she wanted to purchase the glass as a souvenir to find out they were not on sale.


I was talking about this moose before I even got on the plane to Charleston. So much for honesty.


We had our final nightcap at The Cocktail Club located at 479 King Street. You know you’re old when you need to hold a candle to the menu to see the ingredients on the drink list. It’s a hidden and curious space that has really awesome fans and Gothic chandeliers hung in rooms that have never been sheetrocked. You can see all of the beams in what would be the ceiling and walls. It’s a great date spot and also accommodates larger groups in the lounging area. If you are here to lounge, trust me you can barely see a thing. You can’t even see the entrance to the place.


The waitress was kind enough to let me play mixologist when I couldn’t find anything that would burn my mouth sufficiently. I ended up with a muddled jalapeno margarita. I like tequila and jalapenos in hidden dark spaces.


The End!


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OUTTA my HUEVOS – Charleston- SC


Gosh winter months are pleasant in the south. It’s nice that you can go to the park for a walk at the outdoor food market while listening to live music without any frozen precipitation falling on your head. It’s really the simple things in life that make PeanutPimpMama happy. My experience at The Farmer’s Market in Marion Square was especially pleasant and tasty at that. The market is comprised of your typicals- lots of tasty stands to get breakfast and lunch munchies at as well as local crafts and handmade clothing items and housewares. It was where I had the pleasure of experiencing Outta my Huevos. Not only was it the morning but I had to go see about some huevos after reading that adorable play on words.


The Experience:

Not gonna lie, they’re serious about serving animals. They offered a salad, but there was no way I was walking away from this situation with a bowl of greens. I decided to order the Huevos Rancheros: Crispy corn tortilla, red peas, saffron rice, house chorizo, two slow-cooked eggs, salsa fresca, lime and crema, cilantro. When I looked at the menu and thought about omitting the house chorizo I decided against it because I wasn’t certain of what form it would come in. Maybe it would be avoidable? See the naughty vegetarian in me really wanted the flavor from the chorizo, but to not actually have to consume it.

417 I placed my order (as-is) and waited patiently. As I was on the line it grew longer and longer at an impressive pace. It seemed that I had picked their most popular item since only one out of every three people were changing it up. #winning

416Woomp there it is! This was one hell of a beautiful and tasty dish but the consistency was way less manageable than I had anticipated. There was no way that chorizo would be avoidable ground up into a chili form. So I did what I had to do. I started with the eggs and then I passed it off to my friend who helped me with the chorizo. #TrueFriendship

421(The good samaritan she is.) Afterwards I took it back to eat some of the rice. (#IndianGiver) The little sicko in me was so excited that the chorizo-juice was still left in the bottom of my paper plate since it gave the rice such an amazing savory and spicy kick. They know what they’re doing here.

423After the Huevos Rancheros was mostly gone, we had some time to listen to the cover band and look at all of the crafty things. I definitely recommend this market for an economical brunch or lunch alternative if weather permits. It’s also a great place to go for a gander and some alternative Charleston souvenirs.


My meatlovin’ friends must hit this up when they’re in town. PeanutPimpMama sure knows tasty meat when she eats the juicy remnants.

~PPM and another cute Dog in Charleston


For More Information:

Outta My Huevos
Claire Masingill & Tim Logan
Brunch using local eggs & produce

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The Gin Joint – Charleston- SC

photoGin, it tastes like Christmas trees. Next time you sip your gin and tonic, you’ll think of PPM and evergreens. Gin doesn’t only make me think of Christmas trees, it also makes me think of Snoop Dog and “Gin and Juice”, rolling down the street smokin’ (JK) etc. etc. You know those types of things. Then of course there’s prohibition and the bathtub-gin and of course the beloved speakeasy-theme which has reshaped the inescapable cocktail scene of America. (Thanks Petraske) Seriously, you don’t go to a “real bar” unless you enter the establishment to see so many exotic fruits, veggies and potions that hit you with a wall of herbal euphoria to swear that someone’s Nutribullet must be near by.


I poppped into The Gin Joint after quite the indulgent meal and was ready for a sipper. Behold the 1920’s inspired, vest wearing, cocktail shaking potion pouring herbal picking bar of deliciousness awaits you!

414Living in NYC you’ll see this theme brought to extremes. You’ll find speakeasies hidden behind telephone booths and magical sliding bookcases. You have to walk down dark alleys and give passwords to strange people guarding dodgey doors which open to a haven of utter debauchery humbly serving booze in teacups. Charleston is a little different… They like their crazy to be cozy and out in the open, not necessarily super mysterious or 1920’s-y feeling.

402 - CopyHere at The Gin Joint they certainly have a sense of humor about things. When I opened the menu my eyes instantly gravitated towards the cocktail “Banana Hammock” featuring: Flor De Cana 7, Zaya 12, Banana, Pineapple, Vanilla Cordial, Lemon, Orgeat, Walnut and Angostura Bitters. Truth be told, my character as a human was once ever-so-harshly judged by using that phrase. On a different occasion I’m pretty sure it helped me lose the little respect of an old roommate I had. Not my fault of course, he was sporting a wee ONE (and ONLY that wee little Hammock) around the apartment. Confrontation of the matter got me blocked on the FB! Yet ironically he had a huge complex about me wearing shoes inside. (Go figure?) I’m baffled by this behavior until this very day. We’ll chalk it up to “cultural differences”. (Memoirs of a Sad Banana Hammock by PeanutPimpMama)

411After I ordered this drink I was so excited to see that it was garnished with my favorite flower, a hot pink orchid! The presentation was so playful, like it was meant to be. Luckily I was ready for dessert and this bevvy filled the sugary void in my life…Well, that and the preview of their Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar (pictured below). This tasty chocolate concoction consists of: Pretzel, dulce de leche, Pop Rocks and Bulls Bay sea salt. (Yes, the pop rocks popped on my tongue.) Upon first glance we were a little confused by the size. Eventually the rest of our slice made it out to the bar as well. By that point we were so full of “all the delicious things” that we boxed er’ up and sliced n’ diced her as a sweet treat for our afternoon party the next day. It fared well.


Those poor innocent bananas. Since this phrase hits home in such a way, I’ll never look at those fruits the same again…or hammocks. Ah f*ck it I love them both! (Just not on my roommates.)


Here is a cute Charlestonian dog to get your mind off that junk.


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The Ordinary – Charleston- SC


If there were ever a meal I was happy to get fat over, THIS was IT. After hearing a lot of buzz about FIG before arriving, I was lucky to have the opportunity to dine at The Ordinary on King St.. Contrary to the restaurants name, the place was anything but “ordinary” with its formerly gutted old bank space adding a unique old-fashioned-Charlestonian twist to their dining experience. They have a banging menu consisting of mouth-watering aperitifs and cocktails to start, a nice wine list for pairing and a classically indulgent selection of seafood dishes from raw bar to hot mains along with their healthy-ish vegetable and starchy accompaniments. No wo-man leaves hungry.



Upon first glance it reminded me of where I held my mom’s big-50 last year in Asbury Park, NJ. The Jersey Shore also has their own reno’d-bank-resto space by the name of Bank on Mattison. The Ordinary, much like “Bank” makes good use of the space with upstairs dining on the balcony. Here one can gain a unique perspective of the venue with an almost bird’s-eye view. The boozey floor to ceiling book cases and hanging lamps fill the space while creating a sense of coziness and intimacy. There’s a nice cruising-factor here.

The Experience:


After being greeted by the friendly staff, they sat us in the main dining area where the fun began. I decided to keep it simple and started my meal off with the “Intro to Vermouth” including: Priorat Natur, Dolin Dry, Carpano Antica. When the menu arrived and I saw the Oyster Bar section, I was over-the-moon to see an oyster shooter featured alllllllll the way at the bottom. It had PPM all over it. It was going to happen… It did happen.


Oysters were the way forward. We had a beautiful plate assembled with three pairs of oysters that our awesome server suggested. While I’m not exactly a huge oyster-buff I truly appreciate the presentation and act of consuming them as a shared experience. I would like to get to a point where I understand the difference between our slimy friends and their logistical whereabouts. The only way that will happen is by consuming more of them which I seem to be quite good at.

383I particularly like the shallow oysters that are less-meaty and slip right out of their shelly-habitat and right into the back of your tongue so-easily (like it never happened). One or two chews and poof* it’s gone! I really prefer consuming them with a punchy Mignonette sauce as well as a little Tabasco. Nom* Nom* Nom*


 We were so sad when the oysters were gone. How did we finish six so fast?


The second course shared was the Squid Ink Tagliatelle: (pictured above) with clams and chorizo. There’s something about squid-ink pasta that is always eye catching, and paired with a buttery sauce makes it look even more decadent! No doubt the half-*ssed vegetarian that I am enjoyed every bit of flavor that the chorizo added to my saucy clams.


Wait wait stop here! See this prawn dish (pictured above)?! You never have to have another meal as long as you live. If you haven’t had this dish yet, you haven’t lived! (That was my excitement for today.) For serious: BBQ White Shrimp, Charred Bread… GET ON IT. Then when you have sucked every fleshy bit from these little sea floor crawling crustaceans’s exoskeletons, I want you to eat all of the charred bread that lies beneath! When that is through, I want you to continue to sop every single drip of  this precious buttery and godonlyknowswhatkindofmagical sauce that’s left. (PPM’s strict instructions)


If you need any sopping utensil inspiration please see the Baked Hawaiian Rolls (pictured above). That’s right kids… These perky little bunzies are baked with coconut milk! The velvety texture when you first pluck open their soft centers and apply that sea-salted butter- I can’t even, but I did, and like OMG, those bunz “tho”. Trust me, you’ll feel the same way.


If there is any room left in your stomach and you are daring enough to venture into the entrées I recommend the steamed triggerfish with rapini and Meyer mousseline. It’s a delicate ending to an ass-whippin’ of a feeding!


For real, you can’t leave hungry or displeased. This was one of the most memorable eating experiences I had in Charleston. Go there now and get the BBQ shrimp and those Hawaiian rolls-(if you know what’s good for you, or if you know what’s good and now you should.)




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