Friday, June 20, 2008

Joseph's - Good enough for Rachel Ray, good enough for me!

After walking what was supposed to be 6 blocks but turned into about 12, our first stop in Charleston was at Joseph's for lunch. My friend Toni had recommended this restaurant because she had seen it on Rachel Ray's $40 a Day. Both and Toni and Rachel ate there for breakfast and had their sweet potato pancakes but we were there at lunch and I thought it should be good too. I was right, it was worth the walk. They had a very diverse and creative menu. Yes, it was mostly sandwiches but it wasn't just your typical turkey or ham sandwich. As we were waiting (which is always a good sign to me), we got to see several plates go by. The resounding similarity was the size of the portions - they were HUGE! Mom and I quickly decided that we would split a sandwich. Now the tough decision of which one. We managed to narrow our choices down to the Creole Classic (grilled shrimp, spicy remoulade, romano cheese on pumpernickel), the Wicked Forest (black forest ham, swiss, fried green tomatoes, and a chipotle aioli on a croissant), or the 129 Meeting St (roast beef, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, balsamic syrup on a croissant). You see the dilemma! We ended up choosing the Wicked Forest and it was delicious. It was plenty big enough to split but when the waitress heard Mom and I saying that we were going share, she went ahead and divided the sandwiches for us and gave us each our own side. At this point we thought she was just being very nice and accommodating but then when we got the bill we saw that we had been charged for her niceness. Oh well, it was just $1.50 so we figured that was the price of the additional side. The sides are also good. We chose the pesto pasta salad and ate every bite. The other choices are potato salad or fries. Wes got the Pastrami and fries. The portion of fries was obscene! Don't worry, he managed to eat almost every one, despite the large sandwich. He thoroughly enjoyed his sandwich as well. Most entrees are in the $8-$10 range.

We did see several other plates that went by that also looked quite tasty. The shrimp po' boy sandwiches were enormous! I seriously think they piled a full pound of fried popcorn shrimp on each roll. The salads were also quite large but we didn't see any pizzas. I think that about rounds out the menu.

Of course we did go back for breakfast later in the week. Do you think Mom and I could pass up Sweet Potato Pancakes? Seriously. Well they weren't all that I had hoped for. There was actually a little wang to them that wasn't quite distinguishable. I think there was too much baking soda in the batter. No, my palate is really not that refined, I'm only speaking from experience! In an old US Weekly, there was a little sidebar that told some famous people's favorite foods. I can't remember who it was, but someone said they like to cook pancakes with their boys on the weekends and one weekend the boys cooked them alone. They wanted them to be really fluffy so they added a ton of baking soda. At the time I didn't know that baking soda would make pancakes fluffy so I had to try it. The first time I added just a little and they didn't rise enough. I took care of that the next time and literally had "cakes"! They had a funny taste and I determined it must be the excessive amount of soda I used. But I digress. I did overhear another patron say the pancakes tasted funny and they didn't taste like that yesterday. I was too shocked at the fact that they came there 2 days in a row and ordered the same thing, pancakes no less, to say I conquered. I have no doubt this was just a bad batch and that they are really quite tasty. I mean with toasted pecan butter how can you go wrong?

Lunch - 4*
Breakfast - 2* (realizing that's probably an unfair rating but I only have that one meal to base it on)

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