Travelling takes me out of my daily grind, but there’s no vacation from my one-track-mind, so wherever I go, I take my insatiable appetite with me. My latest parental visit to Florida started out with a mini road trip in Charleston, SC. Less than an hour after landing, I walked to Big Gun Burger for some late night noshing. It’s one of the most inventive burger spots I’ve ever visited. Owner/chef Austin has stocked the menu with several intriguing options, like pulled pork, catfish, and duck confit burgers, plus several beef-based varieties. I tried the Southern Hospitality, the “everything Southern” burger, with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, chow chow, and bacon. Find out how it went in my review on A Hamburger Today.

The next day, breakfast was an indulgent duck salad sandwich at Caviar & Bananas (for A Sandwich a Day) and five pastries at WildFlour, all hand-picked by owner Lauren Mitterer.

Savannah was a particularly short stop-over, just enough time for lunch and a serving of bourbon bread pudding from Back in the Day Bakery. I thought I knew bread pudding, but until I sunk my fork into that glorious mound of sugar-saturated bread and crammed a too-big bite in my mouth, I really had no idea what I’d been missing all of these years. See what I mean in my Sugar Rush post on Serious Eats: Sweets (there’s also a link to a recipe).

ej-eats-steak-and-shake-holiday-shakes

Once in Florida, I took the opportunity to pay a visit to Steak ‘n Shake, one of my favorite fast food chains, for some holiday shakes (eggnog, white chocolate, and peppermint chocolate chip) and oh yeah, “real food” — namely the newest burger release, a guacamole ranch, jack cheese, and tortilla-topped number called the Santa Fe Steakburger. If you live within reach of Steak ‘n Shake, it’s worth trying, especially at only $4.99, with fries. The full review is on A Hamburger Today.

Aside from chains, and a cheap & cheerful Mexican spot called La Esperanza, the food scene was pretty sleepy in the Port Charlotte/North Port area, but several locals praised Abbe’s Donuts, which was a real find. Check out the gigantic apple fritter and the whoopie pie-esque peanut butter cream on Serious Eats: Sweets.

My last stop was a quick pop-over to concourse B in the Atlanta airport, en route back home, where I ingested enough pecans, caramel, chocolate, and corn syrup to make my teeth shake. See how many Southern sweets $11 buys at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen on Serious Eats: Sweets.

Now that I’m back home, I’m itching to expand my burger coverage for AHT beyond San Diego. Could be time to take another scenic trip up Highway 1.

One Response to “Food Tripping: Bites and Sips in Charleston, Savannah, and Port Charlotte”

  1. Paul on January 6, 2013

    My folks are just north of Port Charlotte, in Bradenton. Chains and uninspiring food galore. Glad you found a few good places in PC. Love Savannah and Charleston though!

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