Charleston, SC – 6/10/16 – Xiao Bao Biscuit, Bar at the Spectator Hotel, the Ordinary and the Belmont

Xiao Bao Biscuit
After several hours of very warm biking around Charleston we made our way to Xiao Bao Biscuit for lunch.  The Okonomiyaki lives up to the hype and is completely fantastic.  But the pork candy takes it to another level entirely.  This stuff is absolutely addicting.  I have no idea how it is made, but why is nobody else doing this?  Brilliant.  Our other dishes were delicious but admittedly overshadowed through no fault of their own.

Okonomiyaki – Japanese cabbage pancake with pork candy

Pad Kra Pow – minced beef, beans, thai chili and basil over rice with farm egg

Bo Bo Ji – Sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion & peanut salad over rice with a roasted sesame flavored sauce

Bar at the Spectator
We stayed at the Spectator hotel which I cannot say enough good things about.  The rooms were absolutely lovely and the service top notch.  Addressing guests by name always makes one feel special and was done in such a warm manner that you immediately felt that you were friends with the entire staff.  Room service breakfast was included in the room rate which I thought was a great touch especially as the rates did not seem inflated to compensate and the choices were perfect.  Butler service was also provided to all rooms and upon arrival our first butler David took my dress to be steamed and returned not only with my dress, but with a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate my birthday.  I would have been quite happy to move in and cannot imagine staying anywhere else in Charleston.

The bar is beautifully decorated and I had read glowing reviews prior to the trip.  The cocktails were indeed quite good  And as Bravo’s Southern Charm is one of my many guilty pleasures, I was excited to see that Gentry bourbon actually exists and was on the menu.

The Ordinary
I’m still kicking myself for not choosing this for my actual birthday dinner.  The Ordinary is housed in an old bank building and it makes me so happy when these structures are re-used.  It was my mission to overdose on shrimp this weekend and so it makes an appearance here.  An all seafood dinner which at the end of day 2 of Charleston summer temperatures was exactly what I wanted to eat.  And a first for me with wahoo crudo which was a lovely dish.  Unfortunately I have forgotten the ingredients in our desert but that seems bound to happen to me at least a few times per trip.

Ordinary Hawaiian Rolls, Sea Salt Butter

Peel & Eat Shrimp
Jumbo Lump Blue Crab, Grapefruit, Avocado

Wahoo Crudo, Corn, Summer Truffle

Black Bass Ceviche, Avocado, Cucumber

Steamed Snowy Grouper, Porcini Ragout

The Belmont 
A perfect nightcap at the Belmont.  Despite the bouncer outside we only had to wait a few minutes to get inside with seats at the bar.

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