Sunday, April 27th, 2014
I’m not an early riser so I’m not likely to make it to breakfast. But I can make it to brunch that curious meal for people who can’t make up there minds between breakfast and lunch. I cooked brunch at the Soho Charcuterie in New York on and off for 8 years, and there are certain things that I’m particular about. French toast and corn beef hash.
I was in Charleston, an amazing culinary destination, and decided to forgo the complimentary hotel breakfast of muffins and do-it-yourself waffles and take in brunch. But where to go? I was familiar with a number of establishments for dinner but was at a loss for meal at 11:30 AM. I decided to check out the brunch at Poogan’s Porch (see my post about my experience at the James Beard House) as they had french toast, although I was more in the mood for hash.
I turned onto Queen St. Passed the Porch and turned into a parking lot. When I emerged from the parking deck I saw an inviting awning and a long alleyway leading into a restaurant. It reminded me of New Orleans but a lot of Charleston reminds me of the Big Easy. On a fluke I checked out the specials listed by the entrance of 82 Queen. There it was, Corned Beef Hash. Kismet. The restaurant wasn’t crowed but that was to be expected. It’s mere steps from Husk and Poogan’s Porch. But I’m not a patient person and they had corned beef hash. Did I say corned beef hash, I meant the best fricken corned beef hash I’ve ever had.
When Mike set the the plate in front me by jaw dropped. It was beautiful. The perfectly cooked poached eggs rested on a pile of moist chunks of tender corn beef and three types of potatoes; Yukon Gold, Peruvian purple and sweet potatoes. To add the color were red, green and yellow peppers and red onions. A toasted slice of marbled rye finished the dish which came in handy for sopping up the egg yolk and delicate hollandaise sauce. Was it just the corned beef hash? I quizzed the 3 women at the table next to me and aked them what they had and it they enjoyed it. It was 3 for 3. The women said they come there often as they love to dine in the amazing courtyard.
Next time you find yourself in Charleston and want to avoid the crazy brunch crowds head over to 82 Queen street and relax in the courtyard and sip a pomegranate Mimosa. Back on Queen Street I overheard a tour guide driving a carriage full of tourists say that 82 Queen had the best She Crab Soup in Charleston.
ABOUT 82 QUEEN: Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the restaurant is spread throughout three buildings with eleven quaint dining areas including a turn-of-the-century courtyard featuring a mammoth Magnolia tree. 82 Queen is a three time winner of the ‘Best City Restaurant’ award from Southern Living magazine and five time recipient of the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Consistently called-on as a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike, this 300 year old address represents both the history and the cuisine of the Lowcountry.