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.
The Red Pepper is a single Italian eatery with rich roots. The owner first learned the ropes of the restaurant business at his grandmother's Italian restaurant in Rochester, New York. As he developed his skills, he and his family began opening their own eateries across the country, each time granting the locals with their own Italian cuisine. Eventually, the family settled in Summerville and The Red Pepper was born. There, red umbrellas and baskets of flowers dot an outdoor patio, drawing diners into the fresh air for alfresco meals composed of classic Italian cuisine including pizza, panini, and cold and hot hoagies. In the kitchen, chefs craft savories from ingredients such as tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella. The dinner menu abounds with seafood and pasta dishes, and for dessert, the owner’s wife handcrafts treats from Old-World recipes his family has cherished for generations.
Famulari's Pizzeria doesn’t play favorites when it comes to tossing dough and slathering on sauce. The eatery instead lets diners choose between New York–style and Chicago-style crusts, both of which are made by hand and can be topped with the same gourmet ingredients. Crowned one of Charleston City Paper's staff picks, Famulari's deep-dish measures about three inches high and “ooz[es] with meat and cheese.” To enhance pizzas, diners can choose from a library of meats and veggies, eight different cheeses, and eleven sauces, including Thai peanut, hot sauce, and secret-recipe red. Guests can also nosh on pasta and sandwiches.
Opa Cafe offers traditional homemade Greek eats delivered by a courteous staff in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Jump-start jaw jamming with a gyro pita plate accented with Greek potatoes, french fries, or greek salad ($7.99) from the dinner menu. Lunch options provide downscaled versions of their opulent counterparts including savory chicken souvlaki skewers ($5.49), also available as a package deal with a salad or fries ($7.25). Diners craving American fare can scarf a shaved rib-eye Philly cheesesteak ($5.75), cheeseburger ($5.19), or capitalism canapé. Opa Cafe is also a convenient spot for refueling food tanks after a shopping outing at the nearby Oakbrook Square Shopping Center.
Try an East Coast eat without leaving the state and order the Jersey Shore’s Favorite served Mike’s Way—generous slices of provolone, ham, and cappacuolo get layered with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, and a sprinkling of oil and spices. Hot options include various takes on the famed cheese-and-steak combination, as well as a chicken parm and meatball and cheese. On a lighter note, Jersey Mike’s also serves wraps and salads. Prices vary by location and size, with cold mini subs ranging from $4 to $4.75, cold regular subs ranging from $5.75 to $6.75, and giant regular subs ranging from $9.75 to $10.75. Regular hot subs run from $6.25 to $6.75, and giant hot subs run from $10.25 to $10.75.