Sometimes you just need to get the hell out of dodge for the day…

Some times in life you just want to run away. Run away from people, places, things and sometimes even yourself. That’s what I did yesterday and I took a friend along for the ride. Where did we go? Where else would you go when you want to escape? No, not Margaritaville for all you “parrotheads” out there….the beach!

Folly Beach

So I have been without a car for quite sometime due to an unforeseen life situation (one of the ones I was running from). My family, so eagerly and graciously, has allowed me to use their vehicles, carpooled with me to work and driven me all over like Miss Daisy. I am extremely grateful for that. However, I decided to rent a car to give myself the illusion of independence for a week. I was going to rent a jeep wrangler but I would’ve had to get a part time job in addition to my current one to afford that (my dream is one day to own a jeep). Anyway, when I arrived at the rental place the gentleman who was checking me in said “We have an upgrade for you. I promise, you’re going to like it.” I said okay, signed the contract and outside we went. Well, when he walked me over to the car I thought there was a mistake. I pulled out of the lot in a BMW SUV! Now, not only am I physically running away from my problems but mentally running away from my current economic status thinking I’m a Kardashian driving around in this car.

Wow right?

So I have my wheels, now all I need is good tunes, some company and a cup of coffee and all will be right with the world. Donna has been out of town for quite some time and has taken our car with her so she doesn’t need to hitchhike around town. This is why I am without a car and the reason why I needed to recruit company. Now you get it? Good. Let’s move on…

So after I figured out how to work this fancy space car I am now in possession of, I head out to pick up coffee and my friend. We decided our first stop would be Charleston, to take in some sights and more importantly get some delicious, FRESH seafood.

One of the best places to get seafood in Charleston

Now I’ve been to Hyman’s at least twice before and each time I’ve been there the food has been absolutely divine. Today was no exception. We ordered an appetizer and 2 entrees.

Fried Green Tomatoes

The only problem with the fried green tomatoes was that it took the waiter some time to bring us out the cajun mayo that came with it. They are made with local Wadmalaw Island green tomatoes. The breading was light so it didn’t overpower the dish. I enjoyed the taste of the tomato itself and the canjun mayo was good because it added just the right amount of spice without the heat.

Hush puppies

I am sorry Donna had to miss this. These by far are the BEST hush puppies I have ever had. Seriously….They were so good I took whatever we didn’t eat home. (I actually had some for breakfast with my coffee this morning!) They were fried to a deep golden brown and had a firm outer crust but a smooth, not grainy, texture on the inside (kinda like me…hard on the outside but soft on the inside) To eat these with any type of condiment would be almost criminal. Eat them plain and let your senses taken in all the deliciousness that these little puppies have to offer.

Calamari, crab cake, fried okra and hush puppies.
Shrimp & grits

I decided to order way too much food and went with the trio of calamari, shrimp & grits, crab cake with a side of fried okra and of course more hush puppies. I barely finished the whole thing (some of the fried okra was sacrificed due to my stomach not having the capacity to fit it all) but all that I did eat was great. The shrimp were crisp and firm to the bite, probably being that they were just pulled from the water. That’s what is so great about eating in Charleston. All of the seafood is harvested right there, locally. The grits were smooth, on the thinner side and creamy. The calamari could’ve had a thicker, crispier crust to them but the taste itself was very good. The crab cake had just the right amount of breading which allowed you to fully experience the flavor of the crab. The fried okra was just that…fried okra.

Crab cake, Mac n’ cheese and hush puppies
Salmon & grits

Michele was smarter that I being she only selected the entree with 2 items unlike gluttonous me who picked the one with 3 items.

We exited the restaurant via the gift shop. Yes, Hyman’s has a gift shop. As we were perusing, a woman that worked there said being we dined upstairs we were entitled to a free magnet. Well, if it’s free it’s for me so I took my magnet and here is what it said. I placed this magnet on my fridge so it can be a daily reminder for me.

To burn off some of the calories from lunch we strolled over to the Charleston City Market on Market Street to do some shopping. I ended up buying a Rice Beads anklet. I never knew the story of the Rice beads. If you don’t know it either here is the story…

Rice Beads

Where to next? Folly Beach. I started out with shorts and a tank but ended up with sweats and and tank due to it not being as warm as I would have liked. I refused to put on a jacket with hopes I could will the weather warmer by wearing a tank top. Not so much. Regardless, hot or cold, the beach is wonderful. Just sitting back on a blanket mesmerized by the ocean is my meditation. It truly puts everything in perspective. How very vast that ocean is and very how tiny I am. I am but a small cog in the big wheel of life. I am not as important as I think I am.

Folly Beach

Dessert and coffee please! We turned that beemer around and headed back to Charleston. Next stop Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe.

Almond Joy cake with vanilla ice cream and a cappuccino with a shot of mocha
Mixed berry pie with vanilla ice cream and a cappuccino with a shot of vanilla

Anytime there is a line outside that is a sign of either one of two things…either that is the only place to eat or the food is that good. I was grateful it was the latter that the line was long outside of Kaminsky’s.

My cake was soooo good but I was confused by the name of it because there was no coconut to be found in it. Plenty of sliced almonds but no coconut. The mixed berry pie had strawberries, blueberries and blackberries with a delicious crust which reminded me of Thanksgiving with hints of nutmeg in it. After I took my last sip of my cappuccino I was done. The sweetness of that drink pushed me me right over the edge. Oh brother am I full.

I could not have asked for a better day. Even though it didn’t warm up as much as we would’ve liked and we were missing a friend that was supposed to come with but wasn’t able to, it was picture perfect. The food was delicious, the sights were magnificent and the laughs were oh so needed. Two chicks beach bound in a BMW, escaping the monotonous ups and downs of everyday life….that is the stuff that movies are made of, no? Netflix, I’ll be waiting for your call…. 😉

Food crawl Friday!

As luck would have it, I was gifted with getting to work a 1/2 day today! So of course I called my sis to see if she wanted to check out someplace new for lunch. She suggested that we go get a pedicure first. My second gift today was my big sis picking up the tab for making my toes pretty. How lucky am I!

While relaxing in a massage chair, having someone rub our legs and feet with a sea salt scrub we thought about where we should go to eat. Being we were in Lexington we decided upon The Root Cellar. Kelly had heard good things about this restaurant so we decided to give it a try.

I liked the place from the moment we walked in. We were greeted and seated by our server Janice. She was friendly, funny and quick on the water refills (which is such a pet peeve of mine). The menu had a wide variety of choices which made it hard to pick but we managed to narrow it down.

We began our meal with the Southern Egg Roll as an appetizer. This was house made pimento cheese & pulled pork rolled in a spring roll & lightly fried. It was served with a side of Root Cellar BBQ sauce. A little on the greasy side but nontheless very tasty.

Each of the dishes we selected came with a salad. I picked a balsamic dressing which also tasted house made as well as delicious.

We picked 2 different dishes so we could share. My pick was the Grilled Chicken, Swiss & Avacado Sandwich served on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion & pesto ranch sauce. We decided on the sautéed Brussel sprouts as the side for this. That was one of the best chicken sandwiches I have ever had! The brioche bun was extremely fresh, like it was made in house. You could decipher all the different flavors that built this sandwich. So very, very good.

Kelly’s pick was the Shrimp and Grits. Talk about depth of flavor. The Tasso cream sauce was rich and smooth, the jumbo shrimp were firm and crisp to the bite and the consistency of the grits were spot on.

To complete our meal we ordered the special of the day…The Canegie Deli Cheesecake. As a former New Yorker I’d put that up against any NY cheesecake.

From the hospitality of the staff, cleanliness of the restaurant and the delicious food, we definitely give The Root Cellar 2 thumbs up!