Same Day, New Day, More Eats in CWV
By Danny Forinash
I awoke again, coincidently enough, to the clock radio playing “Get Found.” Strange. Did the station play this every morning?
Regardless, I was pumped for a second full day in CWV.
So I hit the snooze bar, and I’m experiencing déjà vu for some reason. But I decided to explore. Charleston is thawing, and I’m excited to see what the city has to offer.
Across the street is Charleston’s urban mall, the Town Center. I grabbed some coffee at Starbucks and began my search for breakfast. … Wow. This is familiar.
Charleston’s a friendly place. I received some friendly hellos, including one from Rod Blackstone, the deputy mayor, who I passed at this exact spot yesterday.
“Good morning to you!” he said. Same thing as yesterday. Odd.
I stepped in an icy puddle –again – but soon found warmth just a couple blocks away in a chill, cozy store called Taylor Books.
And I was starting to get a hankering for fried feta at Adelphia.
Something was off. I checked my phone. I know it’s crazy, but the date hadn’t changed. It was yesterday. Yesterday was today. I was reliving it.
Check out my “first” day in Charleston. It was happening again.
I’d switch it up. Instead of another coffee at Taylor Books, I’d explore.
I continued down Capitol Street, enjoying the winter scene for a few blocks, and ended up at Capitol Market, a quaint farmers market developed from an old rail yard and train station. It includes a wine shop, a grocery store and gift shop carrying a wide variety of local products. (I was especially excited to find some unique Blenko Glass pieces.)
I grabbed a fantastic expresso at the Mea Cuppa Coffeebar and then discovered the Charleston Visitors Center, where Rekko with the CVB offered a long list of suggestions for places to go and sites to see. Whatever had happened with the day, I was happy to have more time in this remarkable city.
I relaxed at one of the Market’s table and enjoyed today’s – er, yesterday’s – Charleston Gazette-Mail. Suddenly, lunchtime had arrived, and Johnnies Fresh Meat Market caught my eye. I could make my own sandwich there and choose the ingredients. I went with a buffalo chicken sandwich on grilled sourdough, and I can’t emphasize enough what a fantastic choice I’d made. I have a feeling all the sandwiches are excellent.
Delicious food – it reminded me Restaurant Week was in full swing. I had some nearby options.
I wish I could experience all the locations – and the way the week is going, that might happen. The menus for Soho’s (also at Capitol Market) and Bricks & Barrels at www.cwvrestaurantweek.com were enticing, but I opted for Paterno’s, located at Power Park.
I caught a movie at Park Place Cinemas downtown, which features a colorful, revamped lobby and allows you to pour and butter your own popcorn.
Then I moved on to the beautiful Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, which hosts a variety of excellent performances throughout the year and houses the Avampato Discovery Museum. They have some wonderful art on display, including a quilt exhibit – appropriate enough with the cold weather.
On to dinner. The Restaurant Week deal is three courses for $30. I started with Paterno’s citrus spinach salad, which perfectly combines fresh produce and a tangy dressing. I could eat this every day for lunch.
One entrée option is filet mignon and balsamic glazed salmon over a polenta cake, trufle mashed potatoes and asparagus. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to go with the other choice – a pasta trio.
I don’t regret it.
That dish features sausage and pea rigatoni, spaghetti and pasta niki, along with a meatball. This is Italian at its best. The flavors fit together seamlessly, and the presentation is wonderful.
I was stuffed, but I made room for delectable tiramisu.
Do not miss the tiramisu. I repeat - Do not miss the tiramisu.
Charleston’s developing Warehouse District is peppered with great dining options. I’ll be back for more.
Depending on what happens tomorrow, I might be back today.