Holy City Style

September 2, 2008

Notes: 09.01.08

I spent my Sunday evening tucked smackdab (don’t you love that word?) between my two favorite Charleston bloggers, Brian of DubiousOne and David Heiser of DH is Good, reveling in the Richard Blaise tasting dinner at McCrady’s.

The entire experience can be summed up in two very elloquent, very ladylike words: effing brilliant. Eleven courses of perhaps the most interesting cullinary compositions I’ve yet to see. By far my favorite dish of the night was the fois gras “rocks” served with pancakes, maple, and figs. A most disarming combination of flavors and I’ll never eat pancakes without fois gras again.

Also, not to be forgotten, was the green tomato gazpacho served in a soup can…which another guest at the table and I promptly pocketed after dinner. The cans, not the soup. How brilliant.

I’ll have a full review soon, with pictures.

In other news, I’m formulating a list of Fall must haves. They include…

1. Skull Cufflinks

I’m in a French cuff phase right now. There is something so incredibly chic and put together about this look. I do like the look of a simple cufflink, but think a whimsical touch couldn’t be more perfect.

I’m picturing these with a crisp white shirt, and red pencil skirt paired with silver gladiator wedges. However, the ones pictured above are a cool $395, so I believe I’ll be looking for the bargain route.

2. Suspenders

This must be a men’s wear phase I’m going through, but I would love to have a pair of suspenders. Paired with an oxford and fitted tshirt over dark wash jeans and I might just be in love. Or perhaps a skirt? dress shorts? Too many options to count.

I also love the combination pictured to the right (compliments to loou on Flickr). Huge fan of the ankle boots, and is that a feathered headband I spot in the subject’s hair? I think so!

3. Cocktail Rings

I’ve gotten a little lazy about wearing jewelry lately. And by lazy I mean not wearing it at all. This season…no more! I am on the hunt for interesting…and sparkly…baubles for my fingers. Loving this foxhead ring which can be found for $300 here. But I suppose once again I’ll be looking for the affordable version. And so the search continues…

4. Ankle Boots

I’m giving in. I will no longer accept my disdain for ankle boots. Loving this pair from Forever 21 (and at $25, how could you not?). They remind me an awful lot of

the pair I saw on the Madewell website. Has Forever 21’s style swiping struck again?

I suspect so, but love it regardless.

5. Diana Camera

Mmmm. Pretty. Not practical, but pretty. Plus you get pictures that turn out looking like this and this.

2am ramblings are not for the feeble minded. Off to bed, love always.

Advertisements

June 20, 2008

8 Things That Mean Summer & How to Use Them

Filed under: fashion,Food,makeup — carolime @ 2:20 am
Tags: ,

Love it or hate it, summer is here in Charleston. Below, my favorite summer icons and how to use them…

Laundromat by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is the cleanest scent you’ll ever spritz on your wrist. So light and perfect for summer. Okay, so I started wearing this cologne back in January–but that was just out of spite to winter. Laundromat has that crisp, clean smell of laundry (who would have guessed?) that goes absolutely perfect with all thing summer.

The Flip Flop

The official shoe of summer, perfect for tossing on as your prance down pool or beach side. I allow myself one pair of super cheap rubber flip flops each summer…but this year I bought two since I couldn’t decide between black or brown. I’m not a fan of Wal*Mart but they have the perfect rubber flip flop for only $2.44. You can buy them in store or their website.

The Sun Hat

So effortless glamorous, so effortlessly smart. A well placed sun hat makes you instantly look chic and put together. Plus, you’re being sun savvy…and that counts for something, too. I found this jaunty yellow sun hat on Urban Outfitter’s website for $28.

The Espadrille

The other official shoe of summer. The espadrille dates back to the 14th century, and hasn’t been out of style since. I love this Kate Spade incarnation of the classic. It doesn’t have the iconic woven rope heel, but the woven wicker gives it a sophisticated air. You can find this shoe at Zappos.com

Pink Pedicures

I rarely veer from my usual dark purple piggies (Lincoln Park at Midnight compliments of OPI), but summer time begs for pig toes that can be wiggled in the sand. OPI has an awesome line of beautifully intense colors inspired by India. Check them out on OPI’s website.

The Linen Dress

Minus the wrinkles, it’s perfect. In fact, I think if they could somehow make linen that didn’t wrinkle it would be the super fabric of the world. In its dress incarnation it can effortlessly adapt to office, brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, or just lounging by the pool. Bravo linen, bravo.

Lemonade

Spike it with what you want or drink it the old fashioned way (like you did when you were nine and summer just meant a break from school and Popsicles for dessert), lemonade is perhaps the official drink of summer. Tasty!

Iced Tea

The official drink of the South…or so I hear. And as if it couldn’t get better, Firefly Vodka has debuted new Iced Tea vodka. Mix it with a bit of peach flavor and garnish as you want. Heaven in a glass.

xxx

Caroline

May 16, 2008

Restaurant Review: Brunch at the Glass Onion

Filed under: Food — carolime @ 5:44 pm
Tags: , ,

The Glass Onion seems more than a bit out of place in that rough stretch of Highway 17 in West Ashley that boasts more dull and dusty than fun and bright.

My better half (or usually better) and I had driven past The Glass Onion a few times, each time passing back and forth on whether it might be a good place to stop and eat. We finally availed ourselves on this option last Saturday when we stopped in for brunch.

The parking lot was nearly full, with only a couple of spots to spare (nice to note on a restaurant so new). We parked and immediately noticed the drastic difference in the building since it had been renovated from it’s former second-hand book store incarnate to this now folksy “down home” restaurant.

The interior is clean and new, with dashes of whimsical art on the walls and a no-frills but still very cool demeanor–if a building can have such a thing. The Glass Onion’s menu is displayed on a massive chalkboard next to the counter. It’s a bit hard to read, but really added to the over all ambiance of the place.

I immediately noticed the the Radler…an interestingly combination of beer and lemonade that looked so  Southern it hurt (Yes, I know it’s actually from Europe…I read my Wikipedia article). I’m not a beer kind of girl, but I really might be tempted to taste this at some point.

I settled on the BLT Po’ Boy (I seem to always order BLT’s, but they’re really my favorite sandwich) and a regular Coke. Something about these restaurants always makes me forget to be dainty and modern…but if you’re going to eat at a restaurant like this, you might as well go for the Classic Coke.

The Oyster Benedict with Creamed Greens and Strawberry Pancakes with Toasted Pecan Syrup also caught my eye, but seemed a bit too heavy for my taste at the moment. I will however try both of these soon.

I love the idea that you place your order at the counter and are given a card sporting a vintage cartoon character (we had Snoopy portraying Joe Cool) for the waitress to find your table. Much better idea than the standard-issue and quite boring number-on-a-card. Likewise with drinks, you place your order and then get what you want from the fountain.

The food arrived promptly, and I must say I was a little bit disappointed to see that the $8 sandwich was just that–a sandwich on a plate garnished with two pickle chips. I really would have liked to see a side of something accompany my lonely BLT.

The sandwich itself was quite tasty though. It’s made with Benton bacon (read: massively thick), local bib lettuce and hydroponic tomatoes. The lettuce was tasty, but I missed the crunch of Romaine lettuce on my sandwich. I liked the idea of using a baguette for the BLT, but part of me also missed the soft feel of sliced bread. I liked the sandwich, but wish the elements might have been a bit more harmonious together.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at The Glass Onion. I’ll have to go back and try them again for a more substantial meal. I find great solace in the fact that they are so reasonably priced. None of the brunch items are more than $14–which is very nice for a ::cough:: “young professional”. And since I really do try and make an effort to eat local foods, The Glass Onion helps in that regard too. Nearly all of their produce is locally grown. Tasty!

The Glass Onion is located at 1219 Savannah Highway in West Ashley.

They’re open Monday through Friday 11-8pm and Saturday for brunch from 10-4pm.

April 29, 2008

Boulevard Diner

Filed under: Food — carolime @ 8:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Moving means two things. First, that you spend two weeks recycling about three different outfits because everything else is still packed. And second, that you forgo trying to cook anything because your pots, pans, and other utensils have also hidden themselves in the dark recesses of moving boxes.

A girl has got to get creative with food…and dining out quickly becomes second nature.

My better half and I stumbled upon Boulevard Diner as we were out and about trying to find furniture for my new apartment. I suppose it wasn’t so much of a stumble, as he knew exactly where it was…but we’ll say so for the sake of the story.

This Mt. Pleasant diner is truly a hidden gem. Anyone just driving by might be tempted to shirk the restaurant’s no frills facade–the building used to be a Dairy Queen, and that evidence is found in the sign which has been altered to look more like a fish…and less like the trademark Dairy Queen sign.

The interior has that familiar diner feel that is refreshing to the haute-cuisine Charleston scene. Settle into a booth and you’re greeted by a smiling waitress and two menus.

We picked the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer (although the chili sundae looked awfully tempting). The tomatoes were perfectly fried–crisp and just a hint of that tart bite a green tomato should have. Delicious.

Being a reformed vegetarian, I just had to order a  hamburger with pimento cheese for my lunch. I heard an NPR story about this delightful combination and its popularity in the South, so I just had to give it a try.

The hamburger was a healthy portion of ground beef, and when combined with the flavorful warmth of melted pimento cheese, became the be all and end all of my hamburger dreams. The sandwich was served with french fries, which although standard, still had that delectable fried crunch you only find in a diner.

My beau had the famous Cajun meatloaf everybody raves about…and again for good reason. Perhaps the best meatloaf I’ve tasted…aside from my mother’s of course.

Perhaps the best part about this meal is its tiny cost–less and $30 for two people to eat healthy portions. A refreshing check among Charleston’s high priced restaurant world.

Boulevard Diner is locally owned, too. So you can feel good about contributing to the local economy.

Holy City Style gives this diner, two perfectly manicured thumbs up!

Extras…

  • You can read more reviews of Boulevard Diner in the Charleston City Paper.
  • Boulevard Diner is located at 409 W. Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant

April 9, 2008

Cook Like You Can

Filed under: Food,Uncategorized — carolime @ 2:11 pm
Tags: ,

I rarely get to cook anything much beyond my weekly dinner-time staple of brown rice and veggies (who wants to be elaborate when you get home at 8:30?)

So Saturday night when I stumbled upon this recipe on Food.com my culinary instinct kicked in.

Now, the real recipe is done almost entirely on the grill. But being the modern girl that I am…I have no idea how to make one of those ridiculous things work. I did however, adapt the recipe for the confines of the average kitchen.

It’s an awesome pizza, completely different than what you’ll find at your usual run-of-the-mill pizza haunts. The pizza makes a perfect meal for two.

I don’t use specific proportions in the recipe, just eye-ball it and cook to your taste.

Ingredients:

Pizza
Italian Sausage
1 Red Pepper
1 Purple Onion
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Pizza Dough – forget making your own that’s a pain, the roll out kind is perfect
Fontina Cheese – one chunk (technical cooking word) should be fine
Ricotta Cheese
Oregano (fresh or dried)

Vinaigrette
Basil (fresh or dried)
White Wine Vinegar – about two splashes.
Black Pepper
1/4 c. Olive Oil

Roll out pizza dough on cookie sheet, brush with olive oil. Place under your oven’s broiler until lightly browned. Take out, flip over, brush with olive oil and put under broiler until other side is also lightly browned.

Roughly slice the onion (about 1/4 inch thick) and red pepper (good sized strips), sautée with olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.

Cut 2 Italian sausages down the center and cook until done. Remove from heat, let cool, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Grate fontina cheese (this is a great job for a boyfriend, girlfriend, or other to do since it’s kind of a pain in the ass).

Assemble pizza starting with grated fontina cheese, onions and red peppers, and finally Italian sausage. Put in 400* oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

While pizza is in the oven, combine about 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, a few splashes of olive oil, and a few shakes of oregano leaves. Stir until smooth.

Combine ingredients for vinaigrette to taste. Don’t bawk at the idea of putting honey on your pizza and go ahead and put a full tablespoon in your mixture. Whisk.

When pizza comes out of onion drizzle with vinaigrette and scoop small spoon fulls of ricotta cheese on top. Let sit for five minutes, serve warm.

April 5, 2008

Restaurant Review : Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Filed under: Food,Thrifty — carolime @ 3:51 am
Tags: , , ,

So when your summer figure isn’t the first thing on your mind, and you don’t want to think about the amount of calories you’re consuming in one meal…Five Guys Burgers is an excellent choice.

Really, not the most glamorous restaurant in the world. You won’t find girls in chic black dresses delicately picking at their cheeseburgers. Although I suppose they might, but just not the night I was there.

You will, however, find seriously good burgers. Not the frozen and nuked stuff you get at McDonalds, nor the overgrown artery-bombs other fast food chains, like Hardees, boast.

Five Guys features a menu that’s everything a burger joint should be…simple. No variations, no combinations, just burgers (well, hot dogs, too).

A local told me to go for the little cheeseburger (the regular sized are apparently as large as my head). With everything, it includes grilled mushrooms and onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, ketchup, and mustard–no calories there, obviously. Paired with a side of barbeque sauce and cajun-seasoned fries, I was set.

First bite…heaven.

Everything you could want a burger to be. Excellent flavor, perfect texture, and superb bun to burger to toppings ratio. That is, until the burger fell apart into a heaping hunk of deliciousness on its spread out wrapper, and even then it was awesome. The fries, too, had excellent flavor and texture–and a serving for two was even too large for my date and I to finish.

Total meal price for two little cheeseburgers, one order of fries for 2, and two sodas? About $13.

Cheap date material? Definitely

Five Guys is the go-to place when you want a tasty burger (no Pulp Fiction pun intended) with no fuss. Don’t pay attention to the calories, just enjoy the food, and you can thank me later.

And for the record, I had a Diet Coke with my meal. Don’t hate.

March 19, 2008

Restaurant Review – Wasabi

Filed under: Food — carolime @ 6:28 pm
Tags: ,

Now I know this sushi/hibachi joint is a favorite of the down town group because of it’s close proximity to, well, everything. But Wasabi tops my list as about one of the worst Japanese restaurants in Charleston…in my all too humble opinion, of course. Allow me to elaborate.

My poor experience with this restaurant began almost as soon as I sat down at the table. The waitress neglected to bring half of our party water, and we spent the majority of the meal dying of thirst and chomping feebly at our ice cubes in hope of getting something to satisfy our thirst.

The portions at Wasabi are considerably smaller (and considerably more expensive) than any of the other Japanese steak houses in the surrounding area–in fact all members of our party polished off their portions of hibachi delicacies. Usually, you’ll find a portion  of rice so large you don’t worry about food for the rest of the week (a blessing on the college student budget). Wasabi’s was not the case.

The food itself was decent at best. I’m a huge fan of soy-ginger dressing, so when I ordered it for my salad I was expecting the familiar sweet zing rather than the watered down imposter I was presented with. The flavor of my hibachi chicken was excellent, and while the vegetables tasted a little underdone and poorly seasoned…they were somewhat palatable.

Now for the kicker in the night.

After waiting almost half an hour for our check, the waitress mangled each person’s respective tab so much that we waited another hour for the restaurant to sort them out. I can understand perhaps a mistake happening one time with one check, but to continually present wrong tabs to customer is unacceptable.  One member of the party was presented the wrong check five times, and at one point his check was (for some reason) run on my card.

A restaurant would at this point, usually give some discount to their disgruntled customers…or at least free sake…but apparently not Wasabi. All our party got was an aloof “we’re sorry”. We asked to speak to a manager were snubbed off (“There is no manager here, sorry”), and again snubbed when we ask to speak the owner (“He’s very busy right now, sorry”).

In the end no discount for a two hour wait, mediocre food, and a very sour taste of Wasabi.

Holy City Style Overall Rating *

Blog at WordPress.com.