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A TOWN KNOWNFOR GREAT FOOD

Charleston gets prime billing in Southern Living's December issue with "Taste the Flavors of Charleston: Eat, drink, and be merry in a town known for great food." Writer Annette Thompson chronicles the culinary tours of Amanda Dew Manning, president of Carolina FoodPros and Holiday Culinary Walking Tours. The article raves about the tour's stops at the farmers' market, Kennedy's Market and Bakery, and FIG. The writer also hopped on a carriage for the Circa 1886 Progressive Dinner. First she says that "the festive atmosphere and cheerful carriage rides make it a high point of Charleston's holiday season," then she called the Circa 1886 entrees "just average." --Katherine DuPre

BOHEMIANSOUTHERN STYLE

The new Lulu's Bistro on Maybank Highway has a philosophy: they want to add another room to your home. Co-owner Ahmed Abdul-Kareem, whose past work experience includes stints at 39 Rue de Jean and The Trawler, loves the bohemian feeling and wants to create an atmosphere where anyone came come in for local flavors and leave with some money still in their wallet. Chef Jeremiah Jackson, who was executive chef at Poogan's Porch for over three years, agrees. He calls the menu "American eclectic cuisine spiked with southern influence," and includes Johns Island growers and local Saffron bread, but wants to keep the menu at low prices and offer specials such as half bottles of wine. Some of Jackson's favorite menu items are the pistachio-encrusted duck and lavender meatloaf. Their Sunday brunch includes a bacon cheeseburger omelet and a new omelet with candied apples, walnuts, brie, and maple syrup. Jackson says that he hopes the food is "the best of Poogan's Porch and then some." Visit Lulu's at 1956 Maybank Highway (Cynthia's old location). Call 406-4989 for more information. --KD

AREA CHEFS INVITED AROUND THE COUNTRY

Two local chefs are traveling this week to show Florida and New York what Lowcountry cooking is all about. First, Sienna's Ken Vedrinski is heading to 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale on Friday for a "Kids in Distress" benefit. Vedrinski was picked as one of the five nationally-known chefs to participate in the restaurant's event, which raises money for the prevention of child abuse and care for abused and neglected children. On Monday, Chef Brett McKee of Oak Steakhouse is appearing once again at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. McKee's menu mixes Lowcountry history and flavor with traditional Italian cuisine and wine. Make us proud, gentlemen. --KD

PALMETTO CAFE ANNOUNCES NEW CHEF

Following a year as sous chef at Palmetto Cafe in Charleston Place, Enan Parazo has been upgraded to head chef. Parazo has often been praised for his creative dishes, which might take an even more prevalent spot on the AAA four diamond-awarded menu. Some of his own favorite dishes include "calamari three ways" and a crawfish po' boy. "Chef Enan" graduated from Johnson and Wales University and gained experience at the Club at Seabrook Island and Indian Pavilion. Call 722-4900 for reservations. --KD

RELAX INWEST ASHLEY

For over 40 years, 1117 Magnolia Road has been the location for the Tackle Shop. Now there are new owners, and under the tag line "No Bait. No Tackle," co-owner Yates Dew says that West Ashley Bait & Tackle serves "everything from boiled peanuts to shrimp and grits." Of course, if you also want a grilled natural hot dog, shrimp po' boy, fried green tomatoes, or a ribeye steak, you can get those for a reasonable price, too. The restaurant is different from many other West Ashley spots in that there is no indoor smoking (but there is a heated outdoor smoking patio, don't worry) and no bar food (not even buffalo wings). Dew also brings in live bluegrass music on the weekends and promises to offer charm, good food, and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. Visit the restaurant 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sat. or call 556-1828 for more information. --KD

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