Saturday night, we died — or at least we dressed like we did — at the Pint of Hope Zombie Pub Crawl, which raises money for Lowcountry AIDS Services. Thankfully, we weren’t alone as we wandered the streets of Park Circle with our fellow walkers. It was your average pub crawl — make your way to eight bars (The Barbeque Joint, The Brew Cellar, DIG in the Park, EVO, Fratello’s, Madra Rua, The Mill, The Sparrow) and have a pint of Holy City suds. At our check-in at DIG, we were handed a card to mark our progress through the night and a ticket to sample Holy City’s Brain Squasher, brewed just for the event. The peppery beer was the perfect start to the evening. Well, that and staring at all the other zombies who came out in themed costumes. The pug zombies, Alice in Wonderland zombies, and the cast of Gilligan’s Island zombified, which included CP’s own graphic designer Déla Breyne, all motivated us to get our drinkin’ on.
To be fair, we started the crawl a little late, but making it to all of these bars seemed damn near impossible. It also probably would have helped if we had a plan, but instead we just shuffled around, making it from DIG to Fratello’s. At the Italian restaurant, we felt a little odd trying to make our way past all the diners to the bar. As people enjoyed their chicken parm, we tried to hurriedly sip our suds so as not to make any more of a disturbance than we already had. After a quick stop in The Brew Cellar, we needed food and something other than brains. EVO it was. As we were noshing on pistachio pesto pizza, the crawl was coming to an end. We hadn’t done very well, visiting a measly four spots before calling it quits. But if the life of a zombie is all about suds, pizza, and shuffling, than it’s not so bad.
On Sunday, we made our way to The Barrel on James Island for its Oktoberfest celebration. And sorry y’all, we’re about to gush. If you haven’t been to the new J.I.-bar, you need to get there stat. It sits right on the marsh and you can bring your pups, so it’s a doggy-drinking haven. As we bellied up to the bar, we had to stop about seven times to ooh-and-ahh over all the canine companions. Dog owners let their furry friends run off leash, so we were making friends left and right. Plus, The Barrel’s beer selection is pretty on point, offering selections you won’t find at most bars. For the Oktoberfest event, the folks at The Barrel had The Hans Schmidt Band playing some German jams. And in keeping with the theme, Hot Links brought their sausages to appease the masses. Although things got a little tense when a pack of five pups went on a scavenger hunt searching for some delicious wieners, they were promptly and authoritatively shooed away from the cart, knowing better than to return — well, at least not for another 15 minutes.
As the sun dipped behind the horizon it got chilly so we left to stay warm. But we can’t think of a better place to end a Sunday than watching the sunset along the marsh with a good brew in hand.
When is soft serve more than soft serve? When you willingly wait in line for two-plus hours for it. The iconic New York truck Big Gay Ice Cream is on a rollicking Deep South tour en route to Oxford, Miss., and they parked outside of Butcher & Bee Sunday afternoon for four glorious hours, hawking Salty Pimps and Bea Arthurs and gently abusing the block-long line of patrons eager to throw their money at them. The team is all sassy fun — anyone who can make the idea of standing in a parking lot for multiple hours seem like a good time has to have a few tricks up their sleeves. Big Gay withheld ice cream until those in line did voices and tricks or told cute stories about summers past. In a queue that long, you’re going to make some friends, and we were lucky enough to be sandwiched between a couple of sweet sisters who came armed with a list of preferences and a mom who made her three kids take turns holding their spot in line while the rest of the family got dinner. We gave one kid five bucks to count the number of people ahead of us in line, and we definitely got our money’s worth: she reported back every 20 minutes until we could do the counting ourselves. By the time we reached the vaunted truck, we were beside ourselves with merited excitement. This is really, really good soft serve. We opted for a “pecan gobbler,” a sundae that runneth over with bourbon butterscotch sauce. Worth the wait? Oh, hell yes.
Have you heard of this guy, Sean Brock? Let us fill you in: he runs this tiny, obscure little mom-and-pop place downtown, way under the radar. Strictly locals only, kind of a dive. It’s really a shame critics and foodies don’t give the place the time of day, but you should seriously go check it out before it blows up. Ole Sean put out a cookbook, Heritage, and we think it’s really going to put him on the map. Since we’re sure you didn’t know that was going down, we went over to McWhatever (Connell? Callister? Busk? Musk?) and got us a copy to do the legwork for you. Gotta say, for a non-famous chef, it’s a gorgeous volume, full of good-looking dishes photographed beautifully. About 200 sweet people showed up at Brock’s Celebrate the Launch of Heritage party Sunday night — probably paid extras? — to buy a copy, drink some kind of punch, and eat his humble offerings of pig ears and marrow toasts. Very low-key, practically in someone’s basement. If you missed this little party, seek out Heritage at Blue Bicycle Books, but be prepared to dig. The booksellers probably don’t even know they have it