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.
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.
With the historic town of Summerville as its backdrop, Firewater Grille situates fresh, local products at the core of its menu. Chef Perry Stone and his staff join forces to craft classic American dishes, most recently adding a steak and seafood spread that includes grilled T-bones and Dr. Pepper BBQ baby-back ribs. Throughout the week, diners can combine bites with specials and live entertainment, such as karaoke and acoustic music. Comedians seize the spotlight during free standup performances on the weekends, and on weekdays, happy-hour discounts melt stress into puddles that can be collected, frozen, and launched at an overbearing boss's car.
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.
When a hot summer hit in 1984, Bob Tumolo wanted to help his neighbors cool down. But instead of crafting traditional ice cream or sticking a straw into a fire hydrant, he decided to formulate his own recipes for Italian ice, using fresh fruit to craft each batch. Ices in a wide range of flavors filled chilly cases at the original Rita’s Ice shop, and those recipes still form the treats at franchises across the country. The shops also offer up scoops of creamy frozen custard customized with toppings such as sprinkles, hot fudge, and caramel, or layer the custard with Italian ice to create the store’s famous gelati.