Before I get to my review of The Artisan Meat Share, I’d like to take a quick aside. It’s no secret that I have a HUGE crush on Charleston and its incredible food and beverage scene; however, my original concept for Holy City Handcraft was on the things that I create or bourbons I’ve discovered. Which is why the sub-title of the blog is ‘whiskey. provisions. cocktails. blog.’ and why my posts have covered things like a viral pot roast recipe, a local collaboration on a cocktail and that whiskey you’ve never heard of at your local liquor store. Until now, I’ve kept the “provisions” part pretty ambiguous. Provisions by the way means:
pro·vi·sion (prəˈviZHən) v. – to supply with food, drink, or equipment, especially for a journey.
This post is my way of extending my definition of provisions from not only the food I create, but also to the food I eat and love at restaurants in Charleston- i.e. I’m entering the Charleston food scene! I know that I’m joining a large (but supportive and talented) group of Charleston food bloggers that are already doing this, but I will in no way be competing with them. On the contrary, don’t be surprised to see some collaborations between me and other Charleston bloggers very soon. This new chapter for Holy City Handcraft is my way of getting to know the chefs, bartenders and establishments in the Holy City while also sharing all of the city’s culinary experiences with my readers.
“In the fall of 2009, Cypress debuted the Artisan Meat Share – a CSA-like concept with various pick-ups throughout the year. The contents of the package depend on seasonality and what’s most readily available, local and fresh. Cypress’ Artisan Meats have always had a dedicated section on the dinner menu, in addition to a home on the bar menu. Now, Artisan Meat Share offers Chef Craig Deihl’s award-winning meats to customers on a daily basis, plus the welcomed addition of gourmet sandwiches, fresh butcher shop products, house-made condiments and more.”
These cured meats are sliced to order for their sandwiches. They can also be purchased by the pound for that monster sandwich you’ve been dreaming about or to make your own impressive charcuterie board. I should add AMS also has meat boards to enjoy in the restaurant or to go.
The Food (Full Menu)
Since I knew my fiancé and I would be walking around downtown for a few hours afterward (#bridalbootcamp), I knew I would want something that would leave me feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed. Trust me, it was a tough few minutes, just staring at the menu trying to decide what to get. With items like the Hot Fried Chicken & Biscuit ($10) which featured
Up first was the Black Garlic Congee with the Crispy Fried Tripe. If you’ve never had black garlic before, I suggest you go on Amazon right now and try to order yourself a couple bulbs (affiliate) or make it yourself. Its texture is creamy, similar to that of a slow roasted garlic. The flavors are soft, delicate and a very similar taste to a sweet balsamic syrup. This flavor played well with the Congee, which is made with rice and has a porridge like consistency. The Congee is then garnished with what seems to be crushed peanuts soaked in Szechuan chili oil and chopped scallions, which added only a moderate amount of heat (it didn’t blow my head off) and a nice contrast of texture with the crunchiness of the peanuts. The tripe… Oh the tripe… aka the second stomach of a cow. Listen, you’re going to have to take my word and step outside your comfort zone, I’ve eaten tripe almost my entire life (I’m Filipino), but this is some of the best prepared tripe I’ve ever had. This tripe had to have been braised or pressure cooked for hours to tenderize an otherwise very tough, inexpensive ‘cut’ of meat. It was then lightly breaded and fried and served on top of the Congee. I have no idea why Filipinos have never thought to bread and fry tripe, but it was incredible. It was the perfect accompaniment to Congee, which was the real star of the show.
Again, this wasn’t my first time at Artisan Meat Share, I wish I had been a food blogger a year ago so I could’ve shared some of the amazing food/meats I’ve had here. But Chef Deihl’s James Beard Award nomination is no fluke- he and his team know what they’re doing with the cured meats and dishes being served at AMS. Our total bill came out to under $35, which included our two meals, two ‘starters’ and two coffees. We had a great meal, left satisfied and didn’t break the bank and didn’t feel overly stuffed before our 2 hour walk. Next time we come back, we’ll be taking advantage of their happy hour special which includes a charcuterie board and a bottle of wine (or 4 servings of beer from their taps) for only $30. Or if any of you try, let me know what you think!