The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Once inside, buckets of gourmet ice cream, crafted on site from Marble Slab?s original French recipe or flown in directly from ice-cream mines high in the northern Himalayas, entice the eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team that arrives at events with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.
Dessert refuses to be an afterthought at Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe. More than 30 ice-cream flavors—repeatedly lauded by the Charleston City Paper and Moultrie News—pile atop cones or blend into milk shakes, and classic banana splits make mouths water with their pecans and cherries. The café’s scoops of amaretto cherry or java chunk are generous, living up to the vision of Rod Lapin, who opened the first Ye Ole Fashioned in 1972 with the idea of making customers’ jaws drop at the size of his portions.
Today, at more than half a dozen locations, including one helmed by his daughter Becki and her husband, that hasn’t changed. Ten strips of bacon layer the café’s signature BLTs; chili-laden, all-beef hot dogs weigh down their buns; and the plates are required to start lifting weights regularly before they’re allowed to carry double-decker sandwiches or burgers.
Although his only experience in the food industry was assembling sub sandwiches, Joe Fischbein dreamed of owning his own restaurant. To prepare himself, Joe literally worked his way up from dishwasher to prep cook, meeting future partner and professional chef Casey Glowacki along the way. Though their paths diverged, Joe's dream came true in 2004 when Casey asked him to help run his new eatery: Five Loaves Cafe. Since Casey first established the café, it's evolved faster than a tadpole's opinion of legwarmers. Salads and sandwiches dominate the menu, highlighting cold cuts carved from house-roasted meats and dressings made in-house in small batches. Dinner entrees showcase grass-fed, hormone-free beef from Meyers Farm, free-range chicken from Tanglewood Farms, and vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, as well as fresh-cut local pastas from Rio Bertolini's.
Tasi sails on seas of blended fruit with its selection of smoothies ($4.15–$4.75). Lou Ferrigno impersonators can opt for the Hulk, a fabric-ripping monster of soymilk, peanut butter, banana, and honey, while Californian coconut collectors can jumpstart their mornings with the peach-mango-strawberry kick of the Triple C. Those preferring more punch in their pureed potion can get a power smoothie ($4.55–$5.35) with a shot of whey protein or espresso, while mountain-lion tamers and hangover havers can juice up the bio-batteries with an energy smoothie ($5.89–$6.60). Tasi also offers customizable raw juices ($4.25–$5.19), coffee ($1.50, $1 if you bring your own cup), and wheatgrass shots ($2) for those looking to imbibe liquefied energy in an unsmoothed way.
Great Harvest specializes in baking tasty delicacies and healthy, homemade breads that are high in fiber, free of preservatives, and crafted every day with freshly milled flour. The bread selection changes throughout the week according to a monthly schedule; previous offerings have included Tuscan herb, spinach-feta, and Dakota bread, which is a baked bundle of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and millet ($5.50–$7.50). If you seek something stratified, layer the loaf of your choice with your favorite sandwich fillings such as ham and swiss ($5.75) or harvest veggie ($6.95). The bakery always has slices on hand to sample, giving unsure tongues a chance to try on different styles before committing to a particular meatsuit. Sweets such as fresh-baked scones ($2.50), muffins ($2.75), cookies ($1.25), cinnamon rolls ($3), and bars ($2) not only make excellent meal ends but also aromatic bookends and slightly sticky juggling tools.
Christophe Paume, a third-generation Chocolatier, learned the art of cocoa manipulation as a child in his father's pâtisserie in Toulouse, France, and has been crafting sweet masterpieces ever since. His current shops form all of their mouthwatering morsels on site, subbing pesky preservatives for sweet, chew-activated infusions of children's choir harmonies. Hand-painted, molded, and flavor-filled chocolates come in 19 tongue- and eye-dazzling varieties, including lavender caramel, mango rum, fresh mint, and earl grey tea. Truffles seduce sweet teeth with tastes ranging from topical coconut to rich and creamy cappuccino cheesecake. Opt for an assortment (starting at $9.95 for four pieces) if you're feeling indecisive or like to use sweet-smelling boxes to capture spare noses.