Lewis Barbeque Restaurant Review – Courtesy of KitchyLiving

By Sarah Snyder AKA KitchyLiving / Photo by Sarah Snyder
By Sarah Snyder AKA KitchyLiving / Photo by Sarah Snyder

The long-awaited Lewis Barbecue of Charleston has finally opened its doors! Or should I say screen doors…

People have been oohing and aahing over this new Charleston establishment since they opened last month. The masters of Texas heat and meat are quickly becoming a city favorite in the booming NoMo area of Downtown.

The famous John Lewis of Lewis Barbecue built his cult following in Austin, Texas where he dabbled in creating his signature flavor profile. He then took what he learned from helping his friend Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) and formed La Barbecue in Austin, TX in 2012. Then in March 2015, Lewis moved to the Holy City to impart his Texan barbecue wisdom on the humble Charlestonians.

So what makes Texas barbecue “TEXAS” barbecue?

Well, I can’t really give you a definitive answer. Texas barbecue is what you’d call the mutt of the barbecue family. The half breed. The amalgamation of many years of history, legends, and traditions. Every region of Texas has a different take on what makes it quintessentially different from the rest. That being said, I’ve found this article to be particularly helpful in answering this question (via Southern Foodways Alliance). What I’ve gathered from scouring the internet: beef cuts are paramount in Texas style barbecue and each region of the state is choosy about their wood smoking techniques.

Like any good barbecue menu, Lewis’ is simple, straightforward, and heavy with the meats. Beef brisket, beef short ribs, pork spare ribs, pulled pork, turkey breast, and Texas “hot guts” (sausage) are just a few of his meaty offerings. Naturally, I wanted to taste a little bit of everything to say I’d had the full Texas barbecue experience. So my fellow foodie friend and I asked for “one of everything”. I wish I was kidding, but Charlotte and I ate the biggest plate of meat and sides I’ve ever seen and it was everything we’d hoped for and more.

Photo by Sarah Snyder
Photo by Sarah Snyder

My definitive ranking of…

Lewis’ meats:

  1. Pulled pork
  2. Hot guts
  3. Beef brisket
  4. Beef short ribs

Lewis’ sides:

  1. Green Chile Corn Pudding
  2. Cowboy Pinto Beans
  3. Creamy Lemon Slaw
  4. Buttermilk Potato Salad

Lewis’ sauces:

  1. Green Chile
  2. Tangy
  3. Spicy

The pulled pork was hands down the favorite of all the meats. Tender and juicy bursting with fatty flavor. No sauce necessary, however I did still try each of their three sauces on the pulled pork. The hot guts (aka sausage) was a close second because of just how spicy it was. I love spicy sausage, but most barbecue places don’t make it nearly spicy enough for my taste. The green chile corn pudding and cowboy pinto beans tied for my two favorite sides essentially because they were different. In my South Carolina family, no one ever made corn pudding at Sunday lunch or Thanksgiving dinner. However if corn pudding is a traditional side item in Texas, I’m moving there ASAP. Moist, rich, and comforting. I’m coming for you, John Lewis, because I need your pudding recipe!

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Instagram – KitchyLiving

The sauces were incredible, even though they say quality cooked meats don’t require sauce. I loved the Green Chile sauce because once again it was different. It gave the meat that Tex-Mex flavor I expected from Texas barbecue.

Overall…

The pit crew who helped us choose the best meats and sides were energetic and hospitable. We were never in want of water since their wait staff was constantly refilling our cups. We even had prime indoor seating before the mad dinner rush and got to chat up everyone waiting in line. The decor inside was what I’d call rodeo minimalism with lassos and horseshoes adorning the walls and Mexican tile flanking the main meat counter.

Tips…

Expect to wait a while for your meats. All their meats are ordered by the pound. Disregard their shouts of how much their meats are costing you. It will all be worth it in the end. If you are only ordering a sandwich and sides, you can cut the line (or just order at the bar).

If you are a Charleston native, this is going to be unlike any other barbecue experience you’ve had before. I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Lewis Barbecue so I can sample their cocktails and try their Green Bean Salad, the one side item I missed. Welcome to the neighborhood, Lewis! Charleston is thrilled to have you here.

Read more from KitchyLiving.com

 

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Instagram – KitchyLiving

 

Beach Day Essentials

By Sarah Snyder - KitchyLiving
By Sarah Snyder – KitchyLiving

Let’s go to the Beach-each, let’s go get away!

Summer has arrived! And that means beach season is HERE along with sandy toes, salty hair, and sun-kissed skin. I’ve lived in Charleston for over 10 years, so I’ve got packing for the beach down to an art. Here are my list of non-negotiable beach essentials for your next day in the sun:

1. Sunscreen/Sunblock

SUNSCREEN: chemical kind of sun protection that penetrates the skin to absorb UVA rays before they reach the dermal layer of your tissues

SUNBLOCK: physical kind of sun protection that sits on the surface of your skin blocking, reflecting, and scattering harmful UVB rays
Most formulas you find at the drugstore are a combination of the two which allows for broad-spectrum protection. However, there are formulas that are better than others! Dermatologists strongly recommend wearing a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV radiation, whereas SPF 34 block almost 97%. Apply at least 1 ounce of the formula (shot glass size amount) to your body before going out into the sun.

2. Lip balm

My lips get so chapped being out in the sun, so I try and bring something to reapply throughout the day to keep them hydrated. I love Sweet Mint EOS chapstick because it’s 100% natural and it actually keeps my lips smooth, but it lacks sun protection. So I would recommend using something with SPF while at the beach to protect your lips from sun exposure.

3. Good reads

If you are flying solo at the beach, this is a necessity. Pick something that is engaging, so you don’t nod off and forget to reapply your sunscreen. Here are a few books I’ve read recently and think are perfect beach reads: Make It Happen, The Nightingale, The Choice, Me Before You, and Party Girl.

4. Headphones/Speakers

Whether you’re going alone or going with a group, be sure to bring something to help you crank those tunes. No one wants to sit on the beach in silence for hours on end. Well, I know I don’t.? Find that perfect mix to get you pumped while at the beach.

5. Sunglasses

DO NOT FORGET THESE. You will be so uncomfortable if you do. Also you may not realize, but sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV exposure. Think of sunglasses as being the sunscreen for your eyes, blocking out harmful radiation to preserve your eyesight long-term. People with blue eyes have a higher risk of getting UV damage so take necessary precautions when you are outside for extended periods of time.

6. Healthy snacks

I have fond memories of going to the beach as a kid munching on Nekot crackers, Pringles, and potato sticks. But now that I’m an adult and have to watch what I eat, healthier snacks are my go-to for beach days. Filling up on pre-packaged snacks can be convenient if you are crunched for time, but they often make me feel bloated and no one wants that when they are wearing a bikini. My favorite snacks include carrots, almonds, tortilla chips, hummus, guacamole, celery, apples, oranges, grapes, turkey wraps, homemade chicken salad, dried fruit, and popcorn.

7. Water

When you are outdoors in the heat of the day, you need something to replenish and rehydrate. I love bringing my reusable water bottle with me, because I can refill it if there’s a fountain near the beach entrance and then I’ve not creating more waste with plastic water bottles. I’ve recently discovered LaCroix sparkling water (Grapefruit, Cherry Lime, Peach Pear, and Coconut are my favorites), and it’s a great alternative to soda without all the added sugar, sodium, and calories. Plus, it’s a great way to get in that extra glass of water each day!

Thank you to contributing writer Sarah Snyder, creator and owner of KitchyLiving.com.? Click this link to see more of her incredible Charleston lifestyle and food writing and ideas.