Back to Home About Mango & Tomato Contact MePublicity & News Hire Me!Portfolio


Where to Have Brunch in Charleston: The Grocery

One of the first things I do when planning a vacation, after booking my flights and hotel, is figure out where I will be dining.

My recent trip to Charleston, SC, however, was a little different. Because I stayed at my friend Melissa's gorgeous beach house, my culinary adventures were split between eating out and cooking in. With two full days and two half-days in Charleston, I had to plan carefully.

Of course, not only was last weekend the start of spring break, but there was also a big marathon in Charleston: basically, the places I wanted to check out were 100% booked.

I pouted.

Then, I was saved by Twitter!

How? Well, both Bonnie Benwick and Craig Rogers recommended I try The Grocery. I'm so glad I listened to their advice and checked out The Grocery's brunch this past Sunday.

First, the restaurant is located on a side street, so make sure not to miss it! Once you walk in, the space is vast, open, minimally decorated, and yet incredibly inviting. There is an open kitchen and shelves stacked with pickled vegetables and fruits and colorful Le Creuset dishes {oh how I wanted to take them all home with me}.


I decided to start my brunch with a white sangria flavored with strawberries. The color of the sangria was a beautiful pink blush and it packed quite a bit of flavor: let's just say one was enough for me!

My friend Pankti ordered some toast served with persimmon jam (made at The Grocery) to nibble on while we looked over the menu.

In the end, we both decided to get Huevos en Cazuela: Chorizo, Confit Potatoes, Two Sea Island Eggs, Manchego, and Green Tomato Salsa Verde. Pankti, however, got hers sans chorizo because she's a vegetarian.

{I'm starting to salivate slightly as I type out the ingredients in the dish and looking at the photographs!}

I loved how the dish was served in a pretty brown shallow bowl instead of on a white plate. In fact, the majority of the dishes served came out in individual Le Creuset baking containers.

As soon as the dish arrived at our table, I checked to make sure the potatoes were crisply on the outside and completely cooked through, and then broke into the eggs. The yellow yolks oozed out slowly, coating the potatoes and mixing in with the salsa verde and Manchego cheese.

And then I received a message {on my new smart phone!!!} from Craig telling me to order "Lam Ham." You see, Craig is the owner of Border Springs Farm and supplies lamb for a zillion restaurants, including The Grocery. How could I not listen? Alas, "Lam Ham" was not available on the brunch menu.

Then, all of a sudden, a tall man came over to our table, carrying a plate. This is the plate he brought:

It turns out the man was Kevin Johnson, the owner and executive chef of The Grocery!!! After clapping my hands from happiness {I'm not even kidding} and thanking Kevin for the lovely gesture, Pankti and I chatted with Kevin and asked him about his restaurant.

The restaurant is named The Grocery because it's a "neighborhood gathering place featuring ingredients from our favorite farmers, fishermen, foragers and artisans." Also, Kevin's three sons have names that start with the letters G, R and O! How clever.

And I'm sure now you want to hear about this "Lam Ham." Well, it's Border Springs' leg of lamb that has been cured and thinly sliced, served with shaved asparagus, pickled grapes, feta and pecans. Since Panki is a vegetarian, I had to  eat the entire dish by myself. Poor me ;)

We could not leave without dessert. OK, we could, but we did not. We shared an order of churros with three types of sauces: chocolate, salty caramel and creme anglaise.

If you live in Charleston, or are planning to visit this lovely city soon, please make sure to stop by The Grocery! Not only is the chef talented, friendly and approachable, but the food is dynamic and filling.

Stay tuned for a few more posts on what I ate in Charleston, but in the meantime check out my photo essay of buildings, flowers and the beach!


SKR said...

What a great review! :] Everything looks so delicious.. I have heard Charleston is quite the foodie town.

Megan said...

Alright, I'm coming on vacation with you next time. The lam ham sounds lovely! What a great surprise.

Nicole said...

The Lam Ham sounds awesome! I like ham, but I like lamb more -- this sounds like the best combo ever!

Sasha said...

I love when desserts are served with a variety of sauces :)