Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pizza Roma Diner - North Charleston, SC

This place has been on Kari's radar for months.  We finally went in for a Sunday breakfast and were treated with a very warm welcome and a man (one of the owners, turns out) who was very enthusiastic about the specials and the menu.  We liked the decor, especially the license plates on the wall.  We also thought it was funny all the efforts around the place to get people to suggest them as a candidate for Diners, Drive-in and Dives.  We think they'd be a good one, so here's the email address to help:

The dessert case almost made us want to skip breakfast!  It was full of the most beautiful and delicious looking cakes I've seen in a while.  If the other owner, Heather, was not an experienced pastry chef, I would have assumed these to be made off-site, but they're all her creations.  We'll have to come back and give them a try. (She also does custom cakes, the pictures of which looked amazing!)

Kari had the Red Velvet Pancakes with Mini Chocolate Chips and Godiva Chocolate Syrup.  More dessert than breakfast, they were awesome!  Exactly what you imagine they would be, without knowing how it was possible.  Kari gave them a 4.0, and I agree.  She also had their grits which were near perfect - didn't need any additional butter: 4.25.  She was a bit of a pig and had the breakfast sausage too, I really don't like breakfast sausage but this was really good.  Not overly spiced like too many, Kari thought it needed more.  I give it a 4.75, Kari gives it a 3.5.

I had the Ricotta Based Breakfast Pizza with Bacon.  This had generous amounts of Bacon, with two sunny-side up eggs on top.  The yolks could have been runnier, but if they're going to be off one way or another, I prefer harder yokes to runny whites, so it's okay.  The crust had amazing flavor, and the only minor complaint I have is a difficult and common problem with pizza not served in a box: a slightly soggy crust right at the tips of the slices.  Top of the line pizza places still struggle with this, so I'm not going to whine too much.  Even with those little things, I loved it and give it a 4.5.

We will definitely be coming here for dinner in the not too distant future.  Give these guys a try, they are right off 526 at Dorchester Rd, very convenient if you're driving by.

 Pizza Roma Diner on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweatman's - Holly Hill, SC

We've actually been here twice before making this blog post.  The pictures are from the first visit.  The second visit was a post tax season get together, and since the only thing a sane person would get here is the pork buffet, I already had enough pictures (Kari is not sane, on our first visit she got the chicken plate.)  Sweatman's has changed ownership recently, and that had me a little worried.  In talking with Mark, the new owner, and tasting the food, I need not have worried.  Things that are the same:  Great pulled pork, $10 price including tax, and friendly staff.  Things that have changed, a few more sides, a better entrance layout, banana pudding included, and a one plate limit on the buffet.  I thought the limit might be an issue, but you can get an a**ton of food on the plate.  They also portion control the ribs, but I think the dark pork is the best.

For those who haven't been to Sweatman's, here's what's on the buffet line with my rating:
Green Beans 3.0
Mac and Cheese 3.5
Baked Beans 3.25
Ribs 4.25
Light Pulled Pork 4.0
Dark Pulled Pork 5.0 (The best I have ever had) 
Rice 3.0
Hash 4.0
Skin 4.25
Coleslaw 3.0
Banana Pudding 3.25
Sweet and Dill Pickles, Bread, Sweet and Unsweetened Tea
Mustard BBQ Sauce  4.75
Tomato BBQ Sauce  4.0
Vinegar BBQ Sauce  4.0

The dark pulled pork is the essence of all that is good and wondrous about the pig.  It has lots of delicious bark, tender, big chunks of meat, wonderful flavor without sauce, and an amazing mouthfeel caused by the breakdown of fat and connective tissue.  I believe they are open now, I may not finish this post before I have to go get some!

Kari had the chicken platter and enjoyed it, but she should have had the buffet.  She gave it a 3.0

I admit that I am a transplanted Yankee who only "discovered" Barbecue 12 years ago, but I attest that, to me, Sweatman's is the best I've had, and I've had a lot!  It is worth the trip to get this food!  Stop in at Beidler Forest for a good swamp walk if you need another excuse to get to this particular middle of nowhere. 

Sweatman's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 27, 2012

Butcher and Bee - Charleston, SC

This one has been on our list for a while, and we finally made it in.  I was happy to find ample parking and a friendly staff who seemed very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the food.  The atmosphere is great, with canning jars filled with goodness lining the walls.  The setup is unique and homey, with lots of communal seating - it's interesting to see how some people separate themselves from strangers while others sit right next to them.  It's like watching a social experiment with great food!

We started with the Romanesco appetizer.  It's a smaller, more stalky broccoli that has great flavor.  It was served with caramelized onions and chili peppers.  Very good and unique.  We scored it a 3.75
 I had the Pork Belly sandwich and it was awesome!  The belly itself was perfect and the sandwich had so many great surprises like mustard seeds and whole olives.  Really great!  I gave it a 4.5.  Kari had the Falafel.  It was homemade, wonderfully hot and crispy on the outside, and the Pita was perfect.  The Roman Salad inside with the Hummus was quite good.  It could have used a little more Tahini.  We gave it a 4.25.  Both meals came on quarter sheet pans with homemade pickles and the pork belly came with pickled cauliflower - yum!

Speaking of Pork Bellies, I refuse to participate in the Facebook 100 foods challenge until pork bellies are added to the list - I mean, seriously!

We will definitely return here to see what other quirks the menu produces.  I highly recommend these guys!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roti Rolls - Folly Beach, SC

We were rolling into Folly Beach for a walk on the pier and some food, but hadn't decided where to go when we spotted the distinctive Roti Rolls truck.  If you've been living under a rock, Roti Rolls is one of the many food trucks making Charleston's food scene even better than it's already awesome level.  They specialize in "Farm to Truck" cuisine, meaning they source most of their food directly from local farmers.  Ask them where the food came from and they'll tell you the exact farm, and often, whether you can get it your self.

Much of the food is served on Roti, an Indian Flatbread.  We didn't come as prepared as we should, so the details of what we ate may be sketchy, but it was all delicious.  This is one of our highest scoring visits in Bumblechick history! 

Paul had a hot dog roll that was awesome.  Like everything we had, it featured homemade Kimchee.  I'm not a huge Kimchee fan, but this was awesome.  The hot dog was crisp and roasted to perfection.  We all agreed that this was a 4.25
Kari had the Funky Farmer.  This was a curry based vegetarian roll with potatoes, carrots and other goodness.  Delicious!  We gave it a 5.0
I had a pork based burger with kimchee and pimento cheese.  The burger was perfectly cooked - he didn't ask how I wanted it, just cooked it the way one should be!  We gave this a 4.5.

Overall a great experience.  They were friendly and knowledgeable and made a point of answering all our questions.  Despite the fact that we got their before he was officially open, he went ahead and fed us, then finished writing up the menu.  The truck will be at Folly Beach most of the summer, but check their website for other great locations! Roti Rolls (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bad Computer!

Power supply failed on computer so reviews are piling up in the backlog - hope to get them done in the next week.

My new excuse is tax season - too busy doing peoples taxes - more posts after 4/17!