Time was, a trip to the mall meant hitting up the Orange Julius, ducking into GameStop (or Babbage's), then maybe, just maybe, swinging by Foot Locker. What's that? The new Barkleys are out? I'll take two pairs, sir ...
Now, we've got a better reason -- a full-fledged, grown-up reason -- to visit.
Sesame Burgers & Beer opened shop in December at Citadel Mall, offering the same house ground burgers and homemade condiments that made its North Charleston location a favorite among burger devotees.
Of course, they've got beer, too: Allagash White, Magic Hat #9, Stone IPA, and about 40-odd others. That's a big deal.
There's good energy here, the restaurant tucked into a corner at the entrance to the food court. Counting a thriving lunch crowd, a sprightly, attentive wait staff, and the eatery itself, which is decked in light wood, owner Casey Glowacki has succeeded in assembling a smart, slick outfit in an unlikely space.
Much of that has to do with the cooking, like the Blue's Corn ($3.75) on the cob appetizer, which is charred on the grill, then dressed in chipotle butter and Cotijo cheese. It's a bright, crunchy, sweet treat.
But certainly, the burgers keep the booths full. Served on pillowy-soft sesame buns, they're half-pound marvels, rife with flavor, and all sorts of toppings (numbering 40-plus as well).
We're fond of the Down South (caramelized onions, bacon and American cheese) and the Colorado (homemade chili and grated cheddar). All varieties also are available as black-bean burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches.
And now, you can even get a milkshake from Sesame, exclusive to the Citadel Mall restaurant.
So to you, Mr. Julius, my regrets. I know what I'll be sipping on my next trip to GameStop.
Sesame Burgers & Beer
Address: 2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., West Ashley; 4726 Spruill Ave., North Charleston
Phone: 766-7770 W. Ashley; 554-4903 N. Charleston
Hours: Noon-9 p.m. Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-until Fri.-Sat., W. Ashley; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., North Charleston.