Taking the Neverending Day West
By Danny Forinash
I’m waking up to the same day over and over, but this ain’t Punxsutawney.
I’m in Charleston, WV!
It’s weird, I know. How am I so sure the day's repeating?
Check out the pieces I’ve written already about CWV.
The Marriott’s radio alarm wakes me at the same time each morning.
Same song – “Get Found.”
Same weather, same people on the streets, same greetings. “Good morning to you!” Same icy puddle as I’m headed to the same store, Taylor Books.
I first noticed the phenomenon yesterday and tried to switch directions, visiting new places in the city and eating at different restaurants.
Still, I find myself in the same spot, trying to diverge once again.
So, this morning, I went west – literally, to Charleston’s West Side.
On Lee Street, I noticed a Tudor’s Biscuit World. I’ve heard from some who’ve visited Charleston before, and they rave about Tudor’s. I ordered the Mountaineer – ham, potato, egg and cheese – and I gotta say, it’s fantastic.
The West Side is a growing neighborhood in Charleston. I saw new – and newly renovated – shops, and I hear more are on the way. It’s a beautiful area, too, with striking murals splashing walls and even pillars beneath the nearby Interstate.
(By the way – I learned about OktoberWest – an outdoor celebration of craft beers, food and music – and plan to return in the fall. … If I ever escape January.)
Charleston’s Restaurant Week – www.cwvrestaurantweek.com – includes West Side spots, so I decided to stick around. By late morning, though, I was craving some more CWV dishes, so I elected to pay an early visit to Dem 2 Brothers & a Grill in the Five Corners area. The Restaurant Week deal wouldn’t be available yet, but I was in the mood for good comfort food at lunchtime.
Ribs, pulled pork with slaw, mac n’ cheese. Incredible.
If you’re ever within 1,000 miles of the West Side, make some time to stop at Dem 2 Brothers. They take comfort food to a new level – let’s call it luxury food. It boasts a full bar and wonderful staff.
I could’ve taken a nap, but I continued exploring what was quickly becoming one of my favorite cities.
How about a haircut? Sure, why not. I don’t know if hair grows during perpetuity, but Bully Trap looked like a cool place. (You might be noticing a theme – Charleston’s got a lot of cool places.)
Michael – owner and one of the barbers – told me the place is relatively new. It’s something out of the past but has a definite contemporary edge, pardon the pun. It’s a comfortable place to enjoy a cut and some laid-back conversation.
From Tesori, with its vintage furniture and wonderful antiques, to Fountain Hobby, with its masks and, well, just about everything – the West Side was a rewarding venture.
And it was already time for dinner. Could I have subsisted on that awesome lunch? Sure.
But I’d been celebrating Restaurant Week, and I wanted to keep it going.
With that goal in mind, I found Mi Cocina de Amor. Translated, that’s “My Kitchen of Love,” and it offers authentic Mexican cuisine that nicely compliments the overall Restaurant Week menu.
Three courses for $30 – that’s the Restaurant Week deal.
I started off with grilled shrimp and lobster bisque with roasted bell pepper pico de gallo. Creative and delicious.
The seafood theme continued on into the main course, with sautéed sea scallops in dill lime mayo over house-made calabacitas, a la veggies. Again, the selection was imaginative, and it worked. Scallops can be tricky, but Mi Cocina has this recipe down pat.
For dessert – tres leches cake. It’s wonderful.
Time to end the day before I exploded.
I made my way back downtown, and while the Marriott’s been a splendid experience, I’ve decided to take my lodging just a block away to Embassy Suites.
Maybe the change in venue will bring about a different tomorrow.