I posted this tweet expressing my excitement last year on moving day bound for the Lowcountry.

I posted this tweet expressing my excitement last year on moving day bound for the Lowcountry.

Life is full of curveballs. One year ago on this very week, I was packing my bags for Charleston, so excited to begin my new job in a brand new city. I wrote to update you on my whereabouts; you may remember the post “All Things New in 2015; Some Kinda Good Greets the Lowcountry.” Today, I find myself packing yet again, this time for a city not-so-brand-new, and with feelings more somber than excited.  Continue reading “When My Job Quit Me”

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Mastering the Art of the Fried Chicken Sandwich

Boxcar Betty’s sits right off of Hwy 17 on the left headed toward Folly Beach.

Boxcar Betty’s 
Charleston, South Carolina

“This place is like a fancy Chick-fil-A,” said Kurt, my good lookin’ husband, as he took a juicy bite of his “Build Your Own” fried chicken sandwich at Boxcar Betty’s on Saturday afternoon. Kurt has a way of putting everything in layman’s terms, so there’s no mistaking the meaning. I thought his perception was spot on, as this “purveyor of gourmet fried chicken sandwiches” is known for its high-end take on a classic Southern delicacy. Their philosophy is simple: Pair the best chicken with locally sourced ingredients. They take one thing – fried chicken – place it between a soft bun – and offer a variation of toppings and sauces so customers can customize their sandwiches. This is a place where only FRIED chicken – not grilled, baked or roasted – reigns supreme.

A large menu is front and center on the wall, as customers stand in line to place their orders.

As a resident of West Ashley, I had driven by the place a hundred times. Intrigued by the look of the outside, and the inviting words “Chicken Biscuits” that often appear on the sign, we pulled in to discover a real delight. Upbeat music plays over the speakers, and regulars bring books to read by the window as they await lunch.

Fried Pickles between an order of sweet potato fries and a chicken sandwich.
Fried Pickles between an order of sweet potato fries and a chicken sandwich.

We started the meal with an order of fried pickles, served with house-made ranch dressing. With just one look, I could tell they were done right. Crispy with a thin coating of seasoned flour, the recipe starts with cucumbers sourced from Joseph Fields Farm in Charleston.  Just $4 will get you an order. Check out Food Editor Hannah Raskin’s take on these pickles in The Post & Courier. The handcut fries (pictured below) are seasoned while they’re hot and have a nice crunch. Growing up at home, my dad would make them like this and let them drain on a paper grocery sack on the countertop.

A custom fried chicken sandwich with handcut fries.
A custom fried chicken sandwich with handcut fries.

Here’s how it works: You can choose from three predetermined sandwich options – #1 The Boxcar including pimiento cheese, peach slaw, house pickles and spicy mayo; #2 The Chicken “Not So Waffle” with bacon jam, maple syrup, pimiento cheese and tomato; or #3 The Buffalo with blue cheese sauce, tomato and bibb lettuce. If the three of those don’t get your mouth-watering, opt to Build Your Own, with toppings such as Kentucky beer cheese, sweet chili sauce or shallots. There’s something for everyone! Kurt built his own and kept it simple with Swiss cheese and honey mustard and an order of handcut fries, and I chose The Chicken “Not So Waffle” with sweet potato fries. That bacon jam combined with pimento cheese and the crispy skin of that fried chicken was SOME KINDA GOOD, now! With a big bite of my sandwich, I happily bobbed my head to the beat of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” as the lyrics perfectly echoed my emotions toward the sandwich.

Inside the restaurant, antique, exposed wood creates a retro vibe while a mix of colorful boxcar wall art and modern lighting combines old with new. Guests can sit on bar stools or at tables in the quaint dining area. Nothing on the menu is over $7, and aside from the chicken sandwiches, the menu offers chicken tenders for kids, and a few salads. Pecan pie is served in a cup and floats are also available for dessert.

Chicken + Bun = Some Kinda Good!

When you eat at Boxcar Betty’s, you’re also helping the environment. All the materials on your tray come completely compostable. You’ll find the chicken + bun stamp on everything from the paper-wrapped sandwiches and order numbers to the front doors. If it’s fried chicken you seek, Boxcar Betty’s does it well. It’s refreshing to discover a place that takes pride in every ingredient. Dine here for a truly unique and memorable meal – they’ve genuinely mastered the art of the fried chicken sandwich!


Food Enthusiast Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser
Food Enthusiast Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser

Now based in Charleston, South Carolina, Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” she is the former Statesboro Herald food columnist and past host of the television program Statesboro Cooks. From 2012 – ’14, she appeared regularly as Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market and wrote as a guest blogger for Visit Savannah and The Local Palate. In addition, Faulk’s work is published in Moments magazine and Connect Statesboro. Her culinary accomplishments are recognized in two publications: She is a featured alumna in Georgia Southern Magazine (Spring ’14) and the “Go Girl!” in Moments magazine (March 2104), a tabloid for Moms and Modern Women. To learn more, visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk.

Boxcar Betty's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Whiskey Fit For A King

image003
Contributed photo

What do you get when you combine a bunch of food and beverage lovers, a beautiful venue and exquisite whiskey? One hell of a SOME KINDA GOOD Tuesday evening! The high was 96 degrees in the Lowcountry, without a cloud in the sky. We met on the roof of Stars Rooftop and Grill Room in downtown Charleston on historic King Street for one reason: to explore two new variants recently introduced by Crown Royal Canadian Whisky. Here I would meet Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, the brand’s first-ever blended rye whisky, and Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, a drink which pays homage to the brand’s signature smoothness.

The crowd turned out in true Charlestonian fashion -- dressed for a proper night on the town.
The crowd turned out in true Charlestonian fashion — dressed for a proper night on the town.

During cocktail hour, waiters circulated the rooftop with trays of summer tomato-mozzarella skewers and shaved salmon crostini with capers and cream cheese. I met other marketing professionals and beverage connoisseurs, among them Susan Lucas of King Street Marketing Group, representatives from The Local Palate, Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell of the Cocktail Bandits (super fun girls!) and Robin Rodriquez of locally owned Egan’s Spirits.

Meet Brandon Verkaik and Bud Huber, the two mixologists who created the four signature cocktails of the evening: Holy City Brunch Punch, Royal Shandy, The Light Dimmer and Wild Flower Whiskey Sour. I can’t wait to share one of the recipes with y’all! Choosing a favorite of the four cocktails is a bit like being partial to your best friends or family members…you appreciate them each for what they bring to the table. If I had to choose one though, I’d pick the Wild Flower Whiskey Sour. This drink features Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, known for its oak flavor with spicy notes of vanilla and a hint of butterscotch.

For the guided whiskey tasting portion of the event, we made our way into the air-conditioned (thank you, Jesus!) Wilkinson Room on the second floor of the restaurant where we were enlightened by Master of Whiskey Stephen Wilson. At one point, this guy asks if anyone in the room is a fan of country music. Are you kidding!? Without hesitation I raised my glass and in my sweetest Southern accent, said with fervor, “You can’t be a whiskey fan and not love country music!” He later asked how we enjoyed whiskey best, and I told him “To the tune of George Jones.” Is there any other way? Maybe a Jack Daniels audience would understand this better. 😉

Master of Whiskey Stephen Wilson teaches us how to sniff and taste the libation for its full pleasure.
Master of Whiskey Stephen Wilson teaches us how to experience the libation at its fullest. Contributed photo. 

I was pleased to learn Wilson first discovered Crown Royal Deluxe in none other than the beautiful Savannah, Georgia. Here’s a guy who grew up on the Tennessee Virginia line, and says he “fell into” a career as a Master of Whiskey and now works for Diageo, the company who owns Crown Royal. He said, “There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy whiskey. Good conversation over a glass of good whiskey is what it’s all about.” Sounds like we share the same philosophy! He taught us that Crown Royal was first created as a gift for the King and Queen of England to celebrate their visit to Canada in 1939. The iconic purple bag which the whiskey is purchased in is a concept from the original packaging! It was developed to suit the royal occasion and outfitted with gold drawstrings, a tradition that continues to this day.

A decadent chocolate cake in the form of a whiskey bottle! What's not to love?
A decadent chocolate cake in the form of a whiskey bottle! What’s not to love? Contributed photo

The attention to detail at this event was unmatched! Dessert was a moist, rich chocolate cake shaped like a bottle of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye whiskey. Who knew eating whiskey could be fun too? HA!

Tastemakers sampled three varietals during the evening: Crown Royal Deluxe, Northern Harvest Rye and Hand Selected Barrel.
Tastemakers sampled three varietals during the evening: Crown Royal Deluxe, Northern Harvest Rye and Hand Selected Barrel. Contributed Photo

I’ll leave y’all with this: A refreshing concoction suitable for any summertime happy hour, courtesy of the mixologists mentioned above. Thanks to Taylor Strategy for an evening really well done, and a valuable education on the top-selling Canadian Whiskey in the United States.

This is the best whiskey sour I've ever had.
This is the best whiskey sour I’ve ever had. Contributed Photo

Wildflower Whisky Sour

2 oz. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

1 oz. St. Germaine

.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse

1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Wildflower Honey Syrup

Stir together ingredients. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Harbour Town at Dusk

The Crazy Crab
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Nestled in the heart of picturesque Harbour Town in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, The Crazy Crab is a popular seafood house where you’ll always find a crowd.

With two waterfront locations on each end of the island, The Crazy Crab features lunch and dinner menus with selections like broiled and fried seafood, steamed shrimp and seafood pots, and of course The Crazy Crab Boil including snow crab legs served with baked potato and corn on the cob. Not only do they serve seafood, but chicken and steak too!

The menu design suits the relaxed atmosphere to a tee and the prices are adequate for the portion sizes.

After a day on the beach followed by shopping at Harbour Town, listening to the live entertainment and enjoying a cocktail at sunset on the marina, nothing says ‘Take a seat’ like the welcoming, nautical table above.

I couldn’t visit The Crazy Crab without ordering something showcasing crab. I chose Crab Cakes from the Broiled Seafood category for $23.95. Served with a spicy chipotle sauce, they were filled with jumbo lump crab meat and it was a shame I was too full to eat them both. Some Kinda Good y’all!

There wasn’t an empty table in the place! The windows surrounding the restaurant provide gorgeous views of the yacht basin in the casual, friendly atmosphere.

The bar area is always a happening spot!

If you ever visit Harbour Town, be sure to dine at The Crazy Crab, and let me know how your experience goes! I’m sure it’ll be a meal to remember.

Crazy Crab on Urbanspoon

Sunday Brunch Dockside

The Black Marlin Bayside Grill
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 

Nothing says vacation to me like Sunday brunch dockside, and The Black Marlin Bayside Grill in the Carolina lowcountry delivers. Breakfast is a meal I don’t make time to enjoy often, so when I do, it’s a real treat. After a weekend of lounging in the sun, The Black Marlin with its casual, welcoming atmosphere was just the place to dine.

 A wide variety of menu options are available with very reasonable prices.

A good drink always has a proper garnish. On the left, this isn’t just any old Bloody Mary. This is a Cucumber Bloody Mary made with Effen Cucumber Vodka. It was peppery and smooth and everything I had hoped it would be. At right, a refreshing Mimosa.

I ordered the Dulce De Leche French Toast with bacon. Dulce De Leche literally translates to “candy of milk,” I later learned. It’s basically a caramel sauce. The french toast was garnished with passion fruit. How awesome it that? Definitely a step up from your average french toast dish. The bread was the perfect thickness and no syrup was needed.

I also enjoyed coffee with cream. I had it all!

Every table was packed. Even my Shih Tzu, Ewok, was welcome to sit on the deck!

The Black Marlin has a self-serve Bloody Mary bar! How cool is that? You basically order a Bloody Mary, then you bring your drink over to the bar and flavor and garnish it however you like. Very cool.
This is the hurricane bar which opens for lunch and dinner.

After a delicious brunch, Ewok and I took a stroll on the Palmetto Bay Marina to admire all the yachts. We will definitely visit The Black Marlin again!!

Do you have a favorite restaurant or brunch spot on Hilton Head Island? Given the chance, what would you order for brunch?

Black Marlin Bayside Grill on Urbanspoon