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Local food scene headlines NY Times & LA Times coverage

Our food lover's paradise

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The NY Times spent 36 hours in Charleston recently, and their Sunday travel feature spotlights an interesting collection of attractions in town, including a couple of our favorite things to do.

Hominy Grill, FIG, and McCrady's get the requisite nods for their James Beard Award-winning chefs, but reporter Shaila Dawan also mentions Glass Onion, Wild Olive, and Cypress. She recommends Sticky Bun Sunday at WildFlour Pastry and grabbing a macaroon on John Street.

Charleston Grill gets singled out for its cool jazz lounge vibe, but it would've been nice to see the unsung Chef Michelle Weaver get some much deserved attention for her amazing food.

On Saturday morning, Dawan recommends the farmers' market and offers some good advice: "Be prepared to fight your way through the throngs buying their week's supply of groceries or lining up for fresh crepes."

Apparently, milliner Leigh Magar is the current face of Charleston. She was just featured in a big Food + Wine magazine spread and figures prominently in the 36 Hours feature as well.

LA Times writer Jessica Garrison also penned a travel feature on Chucktown with a catchy headline: "Charleston, S.C., is a food lover's paradise." On the advice of Matt and Ted Lee (the current ambassadors for all things Charleston) she and her husband stop by Po Pigs Bo-B-Q on Edisto along with FIG and Hominy Grill downtown.

It's funny to read her take on Po Pigs, considering this was her first encounter with real Southern food: "Tray after tray of things I had only read about in books or seen in movies: chicken stew, pork hash, red rice, lima beans, and yes, of course, hush puppies. Now, I realize these are not rare foods. Anyone who has spent even five minutes in the South — I had not before this trip —has eaten them."

Despite plans to eat her way through Charleston, Garrison peters out after a "memorable" dinner at FIG. She makes one last stop at Hominy Grill for brunch before heading for home.

All in all, it's nice to see Charleston getting some play in the national media, even if it is the same places over and over again. But here's a question, do these writers ever consider just coming to town and exploring their options before copying the other media coverage?

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