New In Town: Flavorful Grits and Rolled Ice-Cream: Restaurant Reviews

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Article and Photo Credit to Alyssa Zaponski

As Charleston grows, plenty of restaurants are popping up to feed its hungry inhabitants. This past week, I had the pleasure of checking out two new spots. The first is Grace and Grit, located at the foot of the Bridge in Mount Pleasant. The building itself is eye-catching from the moment you pull into the parking lot. The building is modern, sleek, and enticing. The outdoor patio is lined with tables and features a lounge area as well. The first thing I noticed inside was a table near the bar. It displayed different flavored jams, crackers, and sweet tea. It’s important to note that if you want to sit inside, make a reservation.

The locally-inspired menu features grit flavors in two categories: The Grit (pimento cheese, gumbo, brussels pesto, and homemade bacon) and The Grace (peaches n cream, blueberry, local brie, and truffle). These are ordered a la carte or added to a Chef’s Creation dish. I enjoyed mine smothered in Grace and Grit’s shrimp and veggies. Talk about a must-try food!

If you aren’t interested in seafood, or grits, you can find as much flavor in their Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The seasonings here were unlike anything I’ve had in a fried food. It was filling but didn’t leave me feeling grease-filled or gross. Try with a side of bacon creamed corn.

If you’re still hungry, try their spin on the grilled Caesar salad. Instead of chopped lettuce in a bowl, Grace and Grit slices their romaine in half before tossing it on the grill. It’s then dressed with traditional anchovy Caesar. Who knew those creepy little fish could taste so good?

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A new spot on Lower King street creates one of social media’s newest obsessions: rolled ice cream. When you first see Ice and Pan, you may think you’re in the wrong spot. The storefront and window signage is dingy, at best. ?Yet, what their exterior is lacking, the interior makes up for. Inside, artist Colette Miller has painted a stunning mural of technicolor angel wings. If you wait your turn, you can jump in for a picture with them.

One of the best parts of Ice & Pan is the Plexiglas window which allows patrons to watch the magic happen. Even at 2:00 pm on a Tuesday, I had to fight for a spot to see the employees do their thing. In fact, it was so busy that it took almost 55 minutes for my order to appear. So, if you’re going to stop by Ice and Pan, make sure to clear your schedule first.

The ice cream flavors are as unique as the technique used to make it: coco pineapple, salty caramel latte, matcha madness, cookie monster, pistachio, and more! Each bowl comes with your flavor, three toppings, whipped cream, and a drizzle!

If you’re not into the craze, you can instead get a variety of specialty drinks – some even come in a large light bulb. Yes, you read that correctly: a light bulb. There’s no lack of options in the array of milk teas, bubble teas, espresso teas, fresh teas, and smoothies. Bonus Points: the wait for these treats is significantly shorter.

Check out both restaurants below:

Keep following us here at for more on the best local eateries.


Best Shrimp and Grits Recipes on Pinterest


Sometimes you just don’t want to go to one of the hundred plus restaurants in the Lowcountry that offer Shrimp and Grits.? There are those days where you feel you creative juices flowing and you want to convert your kitchen to a Southern cooking paradise.

We found some of the best Shrimp and Grits recipes on Pinterest to share with you.

Grab the one you love or some close friends and impress them with a great Southern? dinner.

Happy Cooking.

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits –

Cajun Shrimp and Grits –

Smothered Shrimp with Andouille Sausage and Creamy Parmesan Peppercorn Grits –

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits –

Bobby’s Lighter Shrimp and Grits – Deen Bros

Southern Style Shrimp and Grits –

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits –

Shrimp and Grits: A Lowcountry Classic –

Spicy Shrimp and Grits Casserole with gouda cheese –

Gouda Grits with Smoky Brown Butter Shrimp –

Caribbean Shrimp and Grits –

Three Cheese Shrimp and Grits –

Cajun Shrimp and Grits with Garlic Kale –

Bon Appetite





Are Grits Good For You? – Charleston Daily Health and Food Tip

By Dr. J.
By Dr. J.

The doctor is in and this time I’ll try to answer the eternal health conundrum: are grits really good for you?

Coming from a hash-brown father and a polenta mother, grits were infrequently on our Missouri table. After moving to South Carolina, I tried my first taste of properly prepared grits at the late Anson Street Café. Those bites changed my world. The creamy, buttery warmth made me suddenly happy. There is solid medical evidence that happiness improves one’s sense of well-being and mental health. Logic follows that grits are, at least somewhat, good for you.

However, the nutritional content of grits is relatively dismal. I will spare you the details of the individual packets of cheese- or butter-flavored instant grits. Don’t eat those. Ever. The word “instant” means place directly in a trash can.

The two other types of grits found in grocery stores are quick grits and slow-cook grits. They are both available in canisters in the cereal aisle. Among the slow-cook grits are packages of stone-ground and heirloom varieties from purveyors such as Anson Mills and Adluh. These products have larger grit size, and for reasons I explain below, are healthier than fine grain quick or slow-cook grits.

If you are familiar with the movie My Cousin Vinny, you know that, simply put, grits are corn. Corn is mostly carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugar. And sugar is bad, right? We are raised to believe sugar rots the teeth, causes obesity and contributes to diabetes. All true. However, carbohydrates are a ready source of energy for the brain. They can be used immediately by neurons and keep the brain mentally sharp unlike the slow release of energy that occurs while in ketosis, i.e. in a state of starvation or while on a low carbohydrate diet. What I am saying is, my patients are in better hands when I have grits for breakfast as opposed to a hard-boiled egg and sausage. Thus, grits are good for the mind.


Finally, while calories matter, a phenomenon known as the Glycemic Index is important as well. I have personally read and referred my patients to read the Glycemic Load Diet, by Cardiologist Dr. ?Rob Thompson. This diet plan has yielded great results in weight loss and diabetes management for many of my patients. The rationale is that the quicker carbohydrates are broken down from food into glucose, the faster and higher the resultant insulin spike is produced by the pancreas. High and fast insulin spikes leads to insulin resistance, heralding obesity and diabetes. The numerical value measuring the rate at which glucose is released from a food is called the Glycemic Index (GI). The higher the GI, the faster the blood glucose and insulin spike. The GI of pure sugar is 100. White bread is 99. Instant oatmeal is 83. Lettuce is 10. Any food above 69 is considered to have a high GI and should be avoided. Grits prepared with water has a GI of 69.

Fortunately, it is known that the less food is processed and cooked, the lower the GI it retains. Thus the larger the grit size, the lower the GI making course, stone-ground grits preferable. Likewise, cooking foods with fat (i.e. butter and milk) lowers the GI as well. Finally, yellow corn is slighter lower in calories than white corn and thus preferred where health is concerned.

It follows that yellow, stone-ground, slow-cook (less-processed) grits cooked with butter and milk have a lower GI than instant grits prepared with water making these more delicious grits relatively healthier. Make no mistake, they are loaded with calories (up to 300 calories per cup), but they have a moderate GI and they make us happy. That combination is good. Thus, grits are good for you.

So help yourself to a modest helping at your next brunch and until we meet again, be well Charleston.

-Dr. Jay

Sunrise Bistro Xpress – Start Your Day Right with Fresh Ingredients and a Smile

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By Mark A. Leon

Sunrise Bistro Xpress is located at 116 A Spring Street.? Located in the heart of the re-birth of Spring Street, this is the offspring of one of John’s Island’s favorite dining spots (As well as one in Summerville, SC).? Serving breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, Sunrise Bistro Xpress offers a uniquely intimate dining experience.? This small and cozy restaurant is donned with fresh vegetable and spice plants in the windows, post modern art on the walls and a fresh aroma of dark roast coffee in the air.? With a beautiful outdoor area on the side of the building, a cozy bar and six indoor tables, you will feel as though you are a family dinner.

Before we delve into some specific menu items, it is important to mention that no breakfast is complete with the fresh herb homemade bread.? These squares of heavenly delight give Sunrise a unique edge.? Prepared with a rich blend of spices including rosemary and complimented with olive oil, the bread alone is enough to make you want to return.

Though it is a side addition to a number of the breakfast items, it can be used to make an exceptional breakfast sandwich.? Though the tomato melt is traditionally served with a bagel, we chose to have it served on the herb bread and it was exceptional.? It was the type of breakfast sandwich you eat in small bites and savor.

Shrimp and grits.? This is a tricky topic as it is a fan favorite in Charleston.? Sunrise, will not disappoint.? I would even be so bold as to place it in the top ten.? Their three meat shrimp and grits is a hearty combination of sausage, ham, bacon, shrimp, onions and peppers in a bed of grits made in a secret house sauce.? Without flaw a breakfast masterpiece.? We shared this memorable dish.? It isn’t an overwhelmingly large portion, but the portion of proteins make it a filling experience.? As you can see from the picture, the shrimp are jumbo and ready to please.

The open face omelets are a special offering from Sunrise.? Why do all omelets have to be folded or wrapped like a blanket?? Sunrise does not feel that way.? All their omelets are served open faced (If you feel passionate, you can get it prepared rolled).? It is like a breakfast pizza and who doesn’t love pizza.? There are seven options or a customized omelet, but we recommend the Jessica Ann and the Smoked Salmon with capers and onions.? With fresh basil, onions, tomato and feta cheese, the Jessica Ann omelet is a mild and delicious way to enjoy breakfast/brunch.? If you love smoked salmon, this omelet will leave you so satisfied.? By going light on the egg and providing a healthy topping of smoked salmon, onions, capers and cheddar cheese, each bite is to be savored.

We want to give a personal acknowledgement to the staff.? Their careful spirit, considerate customer attention and service with a smile was a comforting bonus to our visit.? With such small quarters, that can be tricky to please guests, maintain wait list and keep providing attention with a smile.

If breakfast isn’t in the cards, enjoy one of the fresh sandwiches that are prepared with fresh local ingredients.? From the Basil Grilled Cheese to the Cajun Shrimp Wrap, Sunrise Bistro offers winning options for lunch as well.

You have many choices when you think about breakfast and lunch in the Charleston area.? If you travel just a bit out of the way, go to Spring Street and take in one of the best small breakfast and lunch spots on the peninsula.