As I reflect on my recent trip, I really have to give snaps to the south. Of all the places I’ve been, nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE I’ve been takes their sweets as seriously here in the US as they do in the Charleston/Savannah region. I mean dang. I find myself running for the treadmill as I look over my photos and recall ALL the delights I indulged in…
I had but one cup of coffee my entire trip. The rest of the time I was chugging sweet tea. It’s NOT the same when I make it here in California. it’s just not. It must be the water or something – because sweet tea is just BETTER in the south. If sweet tea was an option – I was drinking it. At the Army base, restaurants, wherever. I was all in. *LOVE*
They have some great traditions in candy down there, Pralines being one of my personal favorites. I preferred the River Street Sweets ones over the others I tried (oh yeah, I had them daily).
Charleston was FILLED with delights. Here’s my personal highlights…
Now while not unique or anything, I also found a cupcake shop (called Cupcake) and their stuff was FANTASTIC. I got a box to-go for us to enjoy up in Columbia – and we all loved the goods! I especially recommend the caramel apple cupcake.
Every restaurant in Charleston had a good dessert menu far as I could tell, even the delis (like Caviar & Banannas the upscale deli/market I popped into) had all kinds of killer sweets!!
The Sugar Bake Shop had so many amazing things + super cool people working there. I had a few delights from them but this pecan crusted treat made me nearly swoon as I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for my aunt’s airplane. TRUE LOVE!!
If you’re in Charleston though – you’ve got to pop into Jestine’s Bake Shop. ADORABLE little spot + off the hook goodies.
I brought darling Jason home a Coca-Cola cake… though looking at this photo he and I both wish I’d brought one of everything! What is Coca-Cola cake and why is it special? Well I had been told I simply HAD to have it at Jestine’s so that’s where I had lunch (around the corner at the restaurant) and wow. it’s…
It brought my love of chocolate + sugar + butter + coca cola + pecans together into one soul searing, eye crossing, diet destroying good time. WOW. Upon returning home I discovered that I actually have a Paula Deen recipe for this cake so I’m going to give it a whirl sometime in the future. I also have a recipe for Hummingbird cake – another specialty (but one I didn’t get to try on this trip) that I’ll have to test out.
I fear I must tell you that I simply MUST return to Charleston. I didn’t even make it through half of my dessert “to eat” list!!! I ate at both Jestine’s Kitchen and the Hominy Grill (both places I HIGHLY recommend for lunch or dinner!) and BOTH had so many choices I wanted for dessert… and there were many more restaurants I’d have liked to try but didn’t have time! Oh my. I think I’d double in size if I lived there.
Oh wait, but we have to talk about Savannah…
I was only there for about 2hrs… and it was painfully wonderful. I *LOVE* Savannah. It’s the #1 most prettiest (yeah, that’s what I said) garden filled historical city I’ve ever visited and going back really made me never ever want to leave.
Well ok, soon as heat + humidity hit I’d have run myself back to California… but still. *LOVE* the garden district. It was a perfect day, made utterly exquisite by getting to meet & spend time with Stephanie Howell whom I adore more now than ever. Truly – I could not think of a more beautiful place to meet her face to face for the first time, nor think of someone I’d rather have a lovely girls lunch & shopping with there in my beautiful Savannah.
Stephanie took me to the Paris Market – and it was an experience beyond description. Truly. Imagine a place where all things are pretty, vintage, antique, and awesome… it’s… just dang. Add on top the fact that they sold beautiful cookies & treats – including a fleur de lis frosted cookie that I decided HAD to be my plane ride home cookie. Was fantastic. If you’re in Savannah – GO there!!
Then for lunch my one request was that we PLEASE go somewhere girly. After 48hrs on an Army base at the mercy of the food requests of a soldier who’s tastes ran more towards deli sandwiches and burgers… well I really wanted girly food. She suggested the Gryphon Tea Room and I squealed. Why? Well back in ’02 when Jason & I were in Savannah he REFUSED to go into a tea room to eat. Somehow I’m sure when we go back to Savannah he’ll happily join me there after seeing the photos I teased him with!!
His loss. Food & service were FANTASTIC – and our waiter recommended this Lemon Chiffon cake (we split it) and it was over the top fantastic. I believe we scraped the plate clean.
Now I’m back home in California… and back to a mostly low-fat, low-fun diet + daily exercise. I’d blush a bit thinking about how much dessert was consumed on my trip – but I can’t be bothered to truly care. Not only did I get to indulge my sweet tooth to the fullest, stopping only when I didn’t want any more but I also got to spend time with a lot of really great women – from my aunt to good friends to new & old friends alike at the scrapbook store too. It was amazing, and every calorie was worth it.
Perhaps I’m part Southern Belle…