Welcome back, drunken readers, to this crafty edition of the Pot and Pan Handlers slightly literate blog where we tour this great nation one plate at a time. Today we’re in the American south where we armed ourselves to the teeth and found brilliant local eats at nearly every turn and Craftsman Kitchen and Tap was no exception.
The American south
Soon enough it was time for lunch, but as this is the American south, Charleston, South Carolina to be exact, we would have to properly arm ourselves. After all I imagine it’s probably against the law not to be properly armed here. Furthermore I suspect that defiance could result in a small, very large, fine, or a public flogging by the town elders, in front of a jury of our peers, and ever present Confederate flag. Or perhaps the punishment might be more lenient than all that and just result in an uncomfortable and inhospitable southern public shaming. Either way it’s easier to make sure I got my hand canons, Blam and Mindy with me, besides the smell of ammunition will help conceal the lingering aroma of Yankee still found within our clothes.
Before getting into the car we also put the bazooka in the trunk, next to the shotguns because, ISIS. Or any number of horrifying things we could encounter such as General Sherman, the Flu, falling home prices, unarmed black kids, a drop in the dow jones, or cockroaches multiplied by spiders armed with little light sabers. Terrifying, I know, right?
Even worse, we could encounter a more theological terror in Satan himself. I even think I saw him once, disguised as a plastic bag floating in the wind. Obviously the dark magic of Satan was at work here. Otherwise how did the plastic bag, get out of the other plastic bag that it was jammed into, in my closet at home? Where, the bag should be dutifully waiting, with the other plastic bags to be recycled by me, sometime at a later date. Not flitting around lazily, showing off in the wind. How’s that old saying go, idle bags do the devil’s work? It seems that saying is true. Those, brave readers, are just a few of the reasons to arm yourselves for dinner. Now, let’s go eat.
Yelp I think I need somebody
Since we’ve been to Charleston, old friends, Yelp, Triple D and recommendations from a Chapel Hill chef were thus far our guiding lights to the foodscape of this city. With the exception of one walk in, at the Early Bird diner (which turned out to be a triple D joint as well, we just didn’t know it, yet.) With this early success in mind, we figured we’d give the old walk in a try at the Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap.
Upon entering, it is clear that the Craftsmen have got their finger on the pulse of the hipster. The mostly male staff were all appropriately bearded and inked in the full sleeve variety favored amongst hipster restaurant staffs, NBA players and rappers. The interior of Craftsmen was properly retrofitted with reclaimed wood and bricks presumably all salvaged from a different hipster restaurant, the reason for the failure of which is still not understood. Perhaps their staff didn’t have the requisite amount of tattoos?
We make ourselves at home at the bar that resembles what you’d think a bar would look like in a remote ski cabin, somewhere in “I’m way richer than you, so fuck off”, Colorado. We order a couple of New Belgium Snapshot wheat beers from sleeves the bartender, who informs us of the fact that it’s happy hour, which means cheap food… Sweet.
What was that? Oh right, some of you are fortunate enough to live in states where happy hour means cheap drinks. That’s not how the puritanical Bible belt rolls, you can’t give discounts on drinks for an hour or two in Charleston because, um, well… the devil. I guess, (told ya’ it’s a good thing we armed ourselves). You’d think that there are more evil things in the world than cheap drinks, but maybe not… Frankly, I fail to see the correlation; you’d think half price drinks would be an indicator that there is a God and that he loves us… But I digress, cheap food is good too.
They’re crafty and they get it right.
We ordered the pork spring rolls (appropriately house crafted, of course) and the house made bangers, served on a house made pretzel bun, with house crafted whole grain mustard, alongside home-made (Are ya’ starting to see a pattern here?) thick sliced chips.
Everything was freakin’ stellar, the spring rolls, moist with a textbook balance of sweet, spicy, savory and acidic. The Bangers were artfully made and the perfect companion to the whole grain mustard and the pretzel buns alike. The chips, oh man, those chips. Thick cut, superlative, they are more like fries than chips. Crisp on the outside, and chock full of soft and potatoey deliciousness on the inside.
Best of all including the two beers, we walked out of here only spending $23.60 and that included two freakin’ beers (not included: a small, very large tip)! That’s absolutely frugal, if we ever arm ourselves and make it to the crafty hipster joint called Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap in Charleston, SC again, it won’t be soon enough.
Coming soon: the Taco Tuesday Take Down continues and it’s the semi-finals baby! Then glorious readers, we say goodbye to the American South and try the windy city on for size, we’ll see ya’ there. -Pot and Pan Handler