Visiting Charleston and skipping brunch is like going to New York City and not having a cupcake from the famous Magnolia Bakery. Charlestonians love to make brunch a part of their weekly routine, which means there are many great restaurants to choose from when you want to start your Sunday with some Eggs Benedict or French toast. But in Charleston, you’re going to find your old favorites revamped, re-imagined and sometimes unrecognizable. The Grocery, located at 4 Cannon Street, adds whimsy to their brunch dishes and even takes a cue from Dr. Seuss.
Kevin Johnson, Executive Chef and owner of The Grocery, has transformed some of the mundane Southern favorites and diner staples to give them a more upscale feel. Chicken and Waffles becomes Southern Fried Quail perched on top of lightly golden browned triangles of brioche French toast, all nestled in a warm pool of Orange-Sorghum Syrup. In the Hangtown Fry, fried green tomatoes, which I wasn’t aware could get any better, get the brunch “makeover” with the addition of fried oysters, a farm egg frittata and smoky salty bacon. For those who are more interested in indulging their sweet tooth, the Brioche French Toast with apples and spiced pecans will fit the bill.
But the dish that really stands out is the Green Eggs and Ham. Sure, the concept of recreating Dr. Seuss’s famous dish is not new to restaurants but the way that The Grocery does it is really something special. With layers of flavor, the dish starts with two cornmeal- cheddar griddlecakes, which are topped with smoked ham and then the “green” eggs get added and that’s when the magic happens. These aren’t your normal poached eggs; they are actually poached inside the shell and then cracked on top of breadcrumbs and herbs, tossed until coated and then flash fried so they have a crispy “shell.” As a finishing touch, punchy mustard vinaigrette is drizzled around the plate, taking the place of boring hollandaise.
Top your brunch off with one of The Grocery’s zippy charred tomato bloody mary’s or a “Death by Mimosa” and you have yourself a breakfast of champions. Make sure you make brunch at The Grocery a part of your vacation when you stay with us at Zero George!