Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Soul Food

Somewhere along the line I read a column about Hong Kong being a foodie Utopia. At the time, I can remember thinking to myself, hmm. I didn’t have any earthly idea that Hong Kong was critically acclaimed as a foodie destination, but the article was intriguing. The piece even referred to Hong Kong as being the food lovers equivalent to Hajj and that all foodies should make the trip there once in their lifetime. I think of Charleston much the same way, and where else would you find a restaurant that showcases locally grown and harvested fish, all-natural poultry and vegetables producing a classic lowcountry cuisine inspired by Southern roots obtained by growing up in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, with a name inspired by The Beatles White Album? Charleston, but of course and The Glass Onion never fails to satisfy.

I have been a fan of The Glass Onion since Thanksgiving 2008 when my wife happened across an article in the local newspaper featuring a classic cornbread and oyster stuffing from, you guessed it, The Glass Onion. On a visit there over the Christmas Holiday with my sister and her family visiting from West Virginia we stopped by The Glass Onion on a Tuesday night on our way to see the Holiday Lights at James Island County Park. I had bragged about the restaurant to my sister and niece and had spoke of all of the culinary accolades heaped upon the joint, even being mentioned recently as deserving of a James Beard Award. One of the appetizers that the group decided upon was macaroni and cheese, and once we had all sampled the cheesy casserole it was a unanimous decision, “that be some good stuff. So good in fact, we all decided that the Glass Onion Classics Cookbook would be worth the purchase price just in order to get the recipe; that is until our server told us that the recipe isn’t within the cookbook. After thinking about it for a few moments my sister spoke up and said, “You know, I bet it’s just made with Velveeta cheese, that’s what it tastes like.” Well, I was almost offended by her comment, and I quickly scoffed, “I hardly think that a possible James Beard Foundation winner is going to serve a macaroni and cheese made with Velveeta.” When the chef came by our table to ask us how we liked our supper, my sister spoke up and asked him why the mac-n-cheese recipe is not in the book, to which he smiled and replied, “oh, that? It’s too simple; it's just made with Velveeta cheese.” You could have heard a pin drop at our table, except for the loud thump as my chin hit the floor…

But honestly, if you know anything about the Glass Onion, you will know that it is not their style to throw together dishes by using a bunch of esoteric and exotic ingredients presented on a menu with names you can’t confidently pronounce when placing your order. The finished product is very exotic, in its own right, try it I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Once you do you will understand why Monday evening after attending our son’s high school baseball game in James Island we detoured on to the Savannah Highway to stop and have dinner at The Glass Onion. And of course, it was awesome.

If you missed their recent appearance on The Food Network's, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives I thought I would put together a little photo expose of our visit last night to the Glass Onion.

All-natural chicken and pork is a trademark of The Glass Onion, and you can taste the difference.

The menu board changes everyday.

A classic "out of the garden" salad, topped with pickled okra and pickled green beans.

Housemade Pickles, page 96 in the Glass Onion Classics cookbook, buy it here.

My entree this evening, SC Triggerfish over Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Turnip Greens. Yummy!!! Can't say enough about fresh Triggerfish out of the local water.

Three owner-chefs with resumes that include Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans, FIG in Charleston, Johnson and Wales University, SNOB in Charleston and a philosophy to offer a meal that satisfies the soul, as in "Soul Food." The Glass Onion, nice.


  1. We love the Glass Onion......especially their grilled pimento cheese sandwich!

  2. Used to be my favorite used book store.

  3. Loved the story Uncle Doug...I can totally picture it :-)


Comment and Enter To Win A One-Year Subscription to AZALEA