Annual NC Pilgrimage: Charleston, SC in 6 Hours {3 of 3}

My mom & I have perfected the Charleston day trip from Charlotte. We arrive for lunch, exploration, dinner, and get back by around 9 PM. This time, Will stayed home with Grandaddo for "man time" (read: eating wings :-D) so we were just THE GIRLS! Mom researched the highest rated places via Bon Appétit, and then I went through all their menus to find the best two to suit our moods (& Annelise ;-)) that we'd never been to before.

Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen was our lunch stop. "You went to Charleston for Chinese?" YEP! And it was GREAT: I had an Asian kale salad with cold, 5-spiced chicken, roasted cashews, & caramelized onions. Annelise's "plain" chicken fried rice blew my & mom's minds - the chicken chunks were like PILLOWS! I can't even explain it. I know that Chinese chicken is velveted, but this was masterful. The décor, by the way, was also fantastic!

My Chinese truth ;-)

We were then thrilled to try Sugar bakeshop, another stellar place we saw on our fave Cooking Channel show, "Unique Sweets" - one mint chocolate & one coconut lime curd cupcake! (+ a ginger molasses cookie to go, b/c GINGER!!!)

Satiated for now, we went to explore a little...

So moved, paying our respects at Mother Emanuel AME Church. We walked in the same basement side door that hate did a year ago this same week... My stomach dropped at that realization. But everyone in that room was HAPPY - doing a voter registration drive! ❤️ We then climbed the stairs to the GORGEOUS sanctuary and happened upon choir practice!!! An even more joyous peace washed over me, and I sang my heart out with them (from the pew - I didn't ask for a mic ;-)) for 15 minutes while they rehearsed "Amazing Grace"! God is alive and well there!!!!! How perfect:
"Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home."

After feeling the Spirit, we went to our beloved City Market on a mission to replace my mom's purse. There are always so many cute wears to explore...even if you don't buy any. ;-)

Our last culinary adventure of the day: Leon's Oyster Shop. Check out my exquisite heirloom tomato & peach salad with corn, onion, herbs, & a little cream sauce!
I also had an amazing barley salad with currants, diced veg, parmesan, & pecans, and of course, the fried chicken they're famous for.

Another 6 hours of Charleston day trip success!


  1. Just goes to show what the culinary scene is like here - I live just outside of Charleston, and have never been to any of these places! I'd heard of Sugar, but don't know anything about the other two....well, until now! :) Glad you enjoyed your visit!!

  2. Critically-acclaimed restaurants are my biggest hobby in life! :-D


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