Riding out of the rain, shins soaked from the wet road, we landed in the “World’s Best City,” Charleston, South Carolina. Historic, beautiful and known for its restaurants, this overnight stop promised everything weary travelers craved.
Luggage loaded on the bellman’s cart, Louise headed inside to check into the Double Tree Suites. I jumped back on the bike and followed the parking valet’s directions around the corner and down the block where I found the entrance to the underground parking garage. The only other option was to park across the street in a public lot. With more rain heading our way, we gladly paid for the valet service, even though I parked the bike myself.
We showered, changed clothes, and headed out to explore Charleston by foot. And here came the rain. We waited under an awning for the shower to pass. Feeling a little road-worn and tired, our patience with the Sunday night crowds was quickly waning. Cocktails in the hotel room before dinner sounded like a better plan, and it gave Louise time to search for a restaurant.
The search paid off. She found a place a block and a half away called Lowcountry Bistro. A quick walk past the busy Charleston City Market, and we were there – just in time for our 8 o’clock reservation. The bistro is in a stand-alone three-story brick-faced building on S. Market St.
The interior is rustic, inviting, and a whole lot bigger than first impressions would indicate. Off of the first floor dining room is an indoor patio with communal window seating – a mirror of the balcony above, which is accessed from the upstairs dining room. The bar is on the first floor. We scored the table by the front window, and the friendly server welcomed us with a warmth that quickly made the wet afternoon a distant memory.
We started with bourbon and moonshine flights. This is where we discovered William Wolf Pecan Bourbon, which was presented along with Bulleit Rye, and Crown Royal. The moonshine offerings were Blueberry, Caramel and Apple Pie. The winner… Caramel Apple. Yeah, we mixed a couple of them.
Now, let’s talk chicken and waffles. I had never tried them, but had always wanted to. This was the place, and I am still addicted. They are so good, even Paula Dean raved about them. Bone-in chicken sitting atop a delicious cornbread waffle, drizzled with a bourbon reduction, and pecan butter. Pecans in the bourbon, pecans in the butter – that’s the Lowcountry for you. Oh… did I mention that there is bacon in the batter? You’d better believe it.
Lowcountry Bistro is Part of the Queen Street Hospitality Group of restaurants in Charleston. Next time we are in town, we will have to give some of the others a shot – and, hopefully, the weather will be a little drier. For now, I am still on the quest for a better Chicken and Waffles. Louise’s are pretty darned good, but nothing compares to those I had at Lowcountry Bistro in Charleston, SC.