Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Taste of Charleston

This has been one of the busiest weekends we've had in a long time. It's pretty much the last weekend before Sean has to start studying for his final test (well, study more than he already does, which is A LOT).

Anyway, Friday evening we went out with his coworkers for one of their birthday's. We had dinner at this VERY authentic Mexican restaurant, and Aiden was very daring and tried all of the food. It was delicious and we came home with enough food to last into the week.

Saturday we went to the beach with Steinn. It had been in the lower 70's for the past couple of weeks but this weekend it jumped back into the mid 80's, so the weather was perfect for one last trip. When we got there the whole place was flooded with surfers and we realized it was a big surf competition. They even had a DJ playing music and announcing the winners, so we listened and watched while Aiden built a big train made out of sand.

So, because big Mexican fiestas and surf competitions aren't enough fun for us crazy Evanoff's, we ran out that night and bought tickets for the Taste of Charleston food festival, which happened today.

I have to thank Steinn for tipping us off about this one, we had no idea it was going on. I was on the fence about the whole food festival thing because my best friend Laura has been to many and they can really vary in quality, and frankly, the tickets were pretty expensive. It was held at Boone Hall Plantation, a place I'd been wanting to visit but was reluctant about paying the rather exorbitant entrance fee to get into (I must sound very cheap, it's really just Sean rubbing off on me), so I figured I'd at least get into the plantation and get some free food so it wouldn't be a total loss.

Well, we figured it would be a few hundred people and some free samples, but we new we'd missed something when THOUSANDS of people flooded into the place carrying chairs and tables and blankets and tents. Turns out the trick is to come early, claim a little patch of shade and send a designated runner to the various food stalls to get the goods. We were stuck rambling around seeking a shady piece of dirt where ever we could. None the less, it was a blast.

There were about thirty local restaurants that had stalls, each stall had two or three dishes special to the restaurant. The portions are deceptively small, you think you have a little taste of food but it's so rich and fresh and delicious that it's very filling. We ended up trying shrimp scampi, a cake of fried grits covered in cheese, a prime rib sandwich with sauerkraut, fried shrimp, barbequed ribs and homemade chips. And she-crab soup. Oh, and the piece de resistance: dirty pie. Dirty pie is a big wedge of key lime pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate and frozen. It was the closest thing to heaven I've ever tasted.

Not only was it a food free-for-all, there was a live band playing Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles, the local firemen brought a couple of trucks for the kids to climb on and, the thing that I was totally excited for: South Carolina's largest sno-cone!!!

Yes, I purposefully sought out this exhibition and made Sean and Steinn stand in the sun as we watched a man fill a plastic koi pond liner full of shaved ice and syrup. It was glorious, and truly, the largest sno-cone I have ever seen. The best part was when they handed out plastic cups and we all got free sno-cones! Seriously, I loved it, and you're never too old for giant ice treats.

Koi pond liner full of shaved ice...

sno-cone bonanza (also, very cute little girl in pink cowboy boots)

Once we were full to bursting with the lowcountry's finest foods we decided to explore the plantation house and gardens. I have to confess that, although I've been wanting to visit Boone Hall for the rich history, I kind of just wanted to see the house that the movie The Notebook was filmed at. Steinn and Sean obliged my wishes and took a few pictures for me.

Here I am enthusiastically posing in front of the house used for Ali's summer home (free sno-cone in hand)

Here I am pointing at the very gate Noah crashes into after Ali leaves for the city (still working on the sno-cone)

We've been ready to head back to New York for awhile now, we can't wait to see our friends and family and enjoy the tail end of fall. However, now I'm starting to wonder how I will get on in a life where the beach isn't twenty minutes away, and there aren't palmettos and sun everywhere, and don't even get me started about the total lack of fresh crab. I guess it'll be worth it to be back with loved ones. Probably.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and the food festival would be something worth flying back here for. Yes, this has been one of those weekends that we need a weekend to recover from, and it was totally worth it.

1 comment :

Tierney said...

Pumpkins, and coffee dates, and fall weather, and all of us will make up for it. Probably.