9 AM: Plane.
12 PM: Plane.
3 PM: Finally getting off the plane!
6 PM: After driving though what I’m told are uncharacteristic billows of thick fog, I settle in for my first taste of Charleston, SC at The Glass Onion.
Inside, The Glass Onion is homey, comforting, and vaguely retro. Its quirkiness and devotion to local, sustainable, quality soul food is immediately evident, from the refrigerator full of farm-fresh milk for sale, to the wall art, to the menu, which changes daily.
First the server delivered a tender slice of cornbread with honey. Then I dug into this plate of Tamworth hog headcheese, delicious and meaty with a smear of hot housemade mustard, and a heaping side of assorted pickles ($9). Spicy green beans, crisp okra, sweet-tart cucumbers, slivers of carrot and garlicky red bell pepper and white onions, all vinegar-bright and fresh. So good I didn’t need the crackers.
Next this beautiful plate arrived ($17). On the bottom, a layer of Anson Mills Grits, blanketed with creamed kale so sweet and tender I could barely believe it was kale. Sprinkled atop the lovely pile were morsels of smoky Benton bacon. And on top of that, like the crown jewels themselves, a fleet of James River Oysters perched, briny in their feather-light crusts.
I had to take a few minutes to digest before I could handle dessert, but luckily there wasn’t much of a rush on this chilly (for SC) evening. The waitress kindly let me read my novel awhile before bringing me a cup of coffee and this bread pudding with whiskey sauce. I like my bread pudding doughy and dense, a bit more like bread than like pudding. This version was more of a custard. Not my preference, but a very good rendition if you like it that way. The sweet flavor of vanilla really shone, and who doesn’t love a mini ceramic crock?
Gadzooks, what a welcome! Can’t wait to see what else Charleston has to offer.
9 PM: Marathoning Touch on Netflix. I like it a lot, even though approximately 40% of Kiefer Sutherland’s role is to run after someone shouting their name with great urgency. “Jake! Jake! Damnit! Jake!” “Amelia! Sweetheart – Amelia!” And sometimes he doesn’t know who they are so it’s “Hey! You!” (Another third of his part is telling someone that they don’t know him and he sounds crazy, but to please, just listen. Sometimes this then transforms back into part #1: “Lucy! Just listen to me! Lucy!”)
The Glass Onion
1219 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407