I have this weakness for Waffle House's hash browns, maybe because of nostalgia, so before dropping off V at the airport, we had a quick breakfast there and the hash browns were as satisfying as I remembered. AG, A and I also decided to have a quick whirl around the Tanger Outlets - I love shopping with boys as it is so ridiculously efficient. We all loaded up on exactly what we needed, and then headed off for Folly Beach to enjoy the sun.
We took a long stroll down the sandy beach before finding the Folly Beach Crab Shack (26 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439) which seemed like a good sunny spot to enjoy a cold beer. The waitress also recommended the crab dip so we ordered it - what arrived was this mix of artificial crab, cream cheese, and some spices, which sounds like something I would usually hate, but instead it was surprisingly good on club crackers - we polished off the whole plate very quickly.
On our way back to Charleston proper, I noticed that we would be passing by Melvin's BBQ (719 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412), and in the interests of educating A on the difference between South Carolina BBQ and North Carolina BBQ, we stopped for a plate of ribs and pulled pork. Fries and mac & cheese were the two sides we selected - neither of which were amazing - but the ribs more than made up for it. AG and A were both delighted and A spent the rest of our US trip looking for ribs but nothing was as good as these.
While we usually don't go back to the same place twice in one trip, we had noticed that there was a jazz happy hour at High Cotton that advertised a gypsy jazz / bluegrass band (complete with electric mandolin player!). Since A and I both play gypsy jazz and have recently ventured into a bit of bluegrass as well, we couldn't pass it up - and the $5 cocktails certainly helped.
One more happy hour at Cypress (167 E Bay St, Charleston) - they do $5 burgers (but we hadn't even made it to dinner yet so we didn't partake). Instead, cocktails were ordered, including a twist on a mint julep for A, and fried mac & cheese (I know! Fried! What?!)
Last but not least - Xiao Bao Biscuit (224 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC) for dinner. While we were at Husk the day before, we started chatting with a couple who spend a lot of time visiting Charleston and eating well, and they highly recommended XBB (and especially the okonomiyaki, a cabbage pancake) to us. It's in an old gas station that's been painted in this beautiful shade of mint green and has a lot of exposed brickwork - perfect for their fusion Asian "soul food". I will second the recommendation - and definitely get the okonomiyaki.