Saturday, April 9, 2016

Eating Vegan in Charleston, South Carolina

The land of the best barbecue in the world (nay, the only barbecue in the world, in my opinion): mustard-based Lowcountry BBQ, and of shrimp and creamy grits is not what you might consider a vegan paradise, but my husband did quite well eating out on our trip and we have two new food recommendations to share. 

First, Dellz Uptown, a funky cafe at 511 Rutledge Avenue on the peninsula.  I love the revitalization happening in the slightly-upper-peninsula region.

Anyhow, Dellz is cute and noisy and happening.  They have a great selection of food--it's not just a vegan cafe, but they also have pizza (Finn got the gluten-free and said it was great, and he's particular) and meat dishes (my father got the shrimp tacos!).  My husband and I split a "chicken cordon bleu" wrap and a Thai bowl--both were so delicious. I confess I am still dreaming about the wrap, and have already made a plan to try to re-create the bowl at home. 

Second, Sesame Burgers and Beer.  Another urban revitalization story, and this one close to my heart: the old North Charleston town center, which 20 years ago was a boarded-up, depressing collection of run-down buildings, is making a huge comeback.  Back when my grandmother was growing up on O'Hear street, and taking the trolley down Spruill Avenue to Meeting Street all the way to the College of Charleston (she graduated at the age of 19 with an English degree), North Charleston was a bustling town.  Park Circle was being developed.  Then the slump hit and things were bad in the 70s and 80s...I remember driving through with my grandmother and thinking "this is horrible, what a waste." I hadn't been to old town North Charleston in two decades and was stunned by the change: it's cute, full of "watering holes" (my father likes The Digg, if you're into that kind of thing), and even has a yoga studio!  Old Town North Charleston/Park Circle is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance and I know my grandmother would be thrilled at the change!

Anyhow, we went to the Park Circle location and my husband and I both had the black bean burgers, whereas our family members had regular burgers. I love the choices of toppings (endless) and combinations--I think I got caramelized onion and avocado on mine, nothing too can get fig and bacon jam! 

I'm sure there are more great vegan spots but these are the two gems we found on this trip (we were only there for three days, after all...and one night my Dad and stepmom had to have the obligatory "gang's all here" dinner party with the relatives and neighbors who wanted to come celebrate our presence....Charlestonians are so fond of parties) and I recommend them both!

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