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 herringbone pattern of the bricks on the street just outside Eclectic Chef seems to point wandering feet right in the restaurant’s direction. In warmer months, the eatery’s patio welcomes guests beneath its large, red umbrellas, which offer shade as customers bite into crisp salads tossed with sliced strawberries or wild gathered greens. Guests can also feed on hot or cold sandwiches comprised of warm roast beef and slow-roasted barbecue pork, or paninis filled with barbecue chicken. In addition to the cozy café’s offerings, Eclectic Chef also offers personal-chef and gourmet to-go services, allowing busy diners to feed themselves and their families hearty, healthy meals.
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.
Every Thursday evening, freeform jazz melodies drift between tables as diners quietly chat and sip cognac, scotch, and global wines. Meanwhile, chefs cook up thick Black Angus steaks that they cut in-house, craft hearty sandwiches, and grill sea scallops to serve with risotto. Between the lounge's brass chandeliers and polished wood dance floor, guests cut a rug on salsa nights or take in a show during open-mic and comedy nights. Pilot Lounge & Bistro's chefs also cater special events, such as weddings or celebrations of surviving a buffalo stampede.
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.
Matt and Chris Yeates grew up together in the Empire State; New York-style pizza's in their blood. It's become their mission to bring a hand-tossed slice of their childhood to South Carolina. At both Pizza Dept. stores, the brothers use a special rotating stone oven to insure even cooking for calzones and the eatery's more than 15 specialty pies. Patrons can also opt for amply-stacked hero sandwiches and zesty wings available in hot, BBQ, or garlic butter.