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Eat This Tonight: green papaya salad, fresh kale, steamed buns, and falafel

Keep it Light and Cool

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It's hot out there, which means you'll want to avoid overcrowding, overeating, and overheating this weekend. We've rounded up a handful of our favorite, off-the-beaten path restaurants where you can get a refreshing light bite or two while you try to survive this stultifying heat wave.

Out at Folly Beach, The 'Wich Doctor will be featuring gourmet sausages like a chicken and apple sausage topped with caramelized onions and spicy maple mustard, or a spicy jalapeño and habañero sausage topped with cardamom coleslaw and their signature mango ketchup. They'll feature a new sausage special each weekend. You can also find some cooling salads and cold noodles at the Doctor. The Vietnamese banana blossom salad made with banana blossoms, daikon, shredded chicken, plump shrimps, lime juice, and fish sauce dressing, comes topped with chili, herbs, peanuts, and shredded mint. The Thai green papaya salad is made with Som Tam, green papaya, daikon, carrot, bell pepper, chicken, and the same fish sauce and lime juice dressing with a lot more spice. Also starting this weekend they will have salmon and shrimp ceviche over a classic Mediterranean tabbuli.

Korean Hot and Sour Cold Soba Noodle Salad at the 'Wich Doctor
  • Korean Hot and Sour Cold Soba Noodle Salad at the 'Wich Doctor

Caviar and Bananas, right on the edge of the College of Charleston campus, is a great grab-and-go gourmet deli. Their best seller is the kale salad, made with Ambrose Farms heirloom kale, grape tomatoes, roasted almonds, dried blueberries, aged gouda, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. This weekend you can try the Beet Trio Salad, an mixed greens salad made with goat cheese, candied hazelnuts, red, golden and chioga beets, grapefruit segments, fresh lemon, fresh herbs, and a beet vinaigrette. They also have a sweet lineup of fresh pies, including the Black and Blue (made with Ambrose blackberries and blueberries), strawberry rhubarb, and apple walnut.

Octobachi in the Cannonborough neighborhood recently revamped their menu. Chef de Cuisine Adam Jones is running steamed bun sliders special, brought back by popular demand. You can fill up your steamed, whole-wheat buns with seared salmon, pork braised in amber ale, or duck braised in the New Belgium Cocoa Mole, a chocolate, chili, and cinnamon beer — or try all three. The buns are served with bread and butter pickles, hoisin, and sriracha. They'll also have marinated hanger steak lettuce wraps with thinly sliced hydro bibb lettuce, kimchi, and a ginger scallion sauce.

Chef Abraham Dabit at Charlie's Grocery on Jasper Street has been using his mother's falafel recipe for the past 20 years. He smashes up fresh chickpeas, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and secret spices imported from his family members in Palestine and Israel. The falafel is made fresh daily and served in a pita with homemade tahini (his signature sauce), cucumber, tomato, lettuce, lemon juice, with a choice of hot sauce, and you can add hummus for an extra buck. "We make a mean chicken tender sandwich, too" says Dabit.

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