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Nigel's Good Food, Charleston

A Change in Plans

Step 1: Sexy Nerd and I have way too much going on to even think about planning a vacation, so we will just browse through our photos of our trip to Savannah and Charleston last year.

Step 2: Wow, that place was amazing. The food! The cute houses! The friendly people and the pretty dresses and the towering trees and the history! 

Step 3: Work be darned. It's time to plan a vacation!

While reaching this epiphany, it occurred to me that I said I'd share our Charleston, SC photos here on my site but never did. No biggie because I'd already sorted the ones I want to post...oh, except there are a whopping 175 to share! It really is an incredible place to visit.

My 'work be darned' attitude applies to blogging too. Who has time for that when there's a vacation to plan? Here's a quick summary of our Charleston trip, as well as all 175 photos.

Update: It turns out 175 photos in a single blog post is overly ambitious. Here are photos of the most important travel experience - the food!

1 Week in Charleston Highlights

When you're in the Charleston area, be sure to eat at Nigel's Good Food. We had Lowcountry Ravioli ("Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Collard Greens, Black-eye Peas, Roasted Corn, and Cheese-stuffed Ravioli tossed in a Whiskey Cream Sauce" - amazing!) and Bam's Gumbo, aka the best gumbo ever. 

We also spent a day at the incredible Brookgreen Gardens, which we almost skipped because it's a bit of a drive from Charleston and the admission seemed kinda pricey ($20 per person) for what we thought was just a sculpture garden. We're glad we didn't skip it! 

There's no need to skimp on the good stuff because there are plenty of other ways to save money on a trip to Charleston. Another highlight of our trip was simply taking a walk. With cobblestone streets, a waterfront, the prettiest homes, (humanely treated) horses pulling carriages, and history everywhere, even my anti-stroll husband enjoyed himself.

Best Places to Eat in Charleston

Food at the Historic Charleston City Market
All Charleston tourists end up at the Historic Charleston City Market. When there, we recommend grabbing a bite at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. When you're not there? Check out their online recipes.

Nigels Good Food
Nigels Good Food - Fried Green Tomatoes (which we learned are actually not Southern - surprise!) and Bam's Gumbo

Charleston beaches
The next day, we took our leftovers from Nigels Good Food to the beach.

Gobble Gobble turkey burger
At Palmetto Brewing Co, I insisted we order a Gobble Gobble turkey burger, which is rumored to be the best turkey burger in existence. Sexy Nerd thought it sounded like a lame choice. As he pointed out, even the best turkey burger is still just a turkey burger. He loved it.

Palmetto Brewing Co
Of course, you can't visit a taproom without having a beer, right? Or 4 smallish beers?

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
After we were both disappointed with Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah, we were wary of trying Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Would it be all hype like the other?

Best ice cream in the world
I love Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams! A trio is not enough. Next time, I'm ordering a flight so I can taste every flavor. Brambleberry Crisp and Raspberry Rose Jelly Donut, I'll be back for you.

Glazed Gourmet Donuts
With my sweet tooth satisfied, you'd think we'd have walked right past Glazed Gourmet Donuts. Ha, ha.

Best donuts in Charleston
Like we would skip the best donuts in Charleston. Our donut scene in Albuquerque is impressive, but I've never seen a donut with cranberry jam, goat cheese glaze, and candied rosemary (The Red Nosed Goat), one with sweet corn custard, blueberry glaze, and corn lemon shortbread (Sweet Corn Blueberry), or one with cardamom pistachio filling, and mango glaze (Kulfi). Those are just the normal ones. There's even a donut called Curry Up, which features curried cocoa and candied ginger.

Columbia Craft, South Carolina
If you have time to explore outside of Charleston, Columbia Craft has inspired us to build a fun brewery just like this one in our backyard. You know, one day, probably. Sours are my favorite beer but most places only offer 1 or 2, if they have any at all. Columbia Craft has enough to create an entire flight.

Summerville, SC
Another great stop outside Charleston is Summerville, SC. It's a charming small town of boutique shops.

Wine and Charcuterie
We enjoyed creating a custom charcuterie selection at Accent On Wine, which included a few surprised. I'm still not 100% certain what that green thing with the long stem is, but it was tasty.

Accent on Wine
Pimento cheese! We're going to move to the south one day and when asked why, my answer is going to be pimento cheese.

Wine and Charcuterie
No rental car? No problem. Accent On Wine has several locations, including in Charleston.

Verde salads
There are wonderful historic sites, nature preserves, and plantations to visit all around South Carolina. Where allowed, bring a picnic lunch by picking up Verde salads. These were huge! We should have just shared a single salad. The lid I'm holding says 'Kale them with kindness' and I love it.

Christophe Artisan Chocolatier
Back in downtown Charleston, I popped into Christophe Artisan Chocolatier on a whim.

Best baked treats in downtown Charleston
I'm a cheapskate, so I don't usually go into stores like this. Sexy Nerd didn't even come inside, complaining that he knows I'm not going to buy anything. Imagine my surprise - the prices are reasonable!

Gourmet candy shop
I bought some pastries, a giant meringue, and even a fancy coffee. I think my total was something ridiculous, like $13.

Pastry in the park
Sexy Nerd couldn't believe it. I'd even bought a pastry for him. He totally got to eat some of it.

Charleston Farmers Market
On Saturday, we enjoyed the Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square. Our vacation was mid-May and the weather was perfect.

Biggest grapes
Why a photo of grapes? Because they're absolutely gigantic. Compare them to the plums in the next bin. GIGANTIC!

The Grit Counter
We may have gotten slightly carried away when ordering from The Grit Counter. Would you have been able to decide between Smoked Gouda, JalapeƱo Cheddar, Pesto, and Pimento Cheese grits? It's probably for the best that they don't have a location in New Mexico or we'd be eating grits for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Oh, that would be a good thing because grits are healthy! That goes double for the ones with pimento cheese, I'm sure of it.