Breakfast on Spring
Another bakery is setting up shop on Spring Street, this one helmed by a pair of recent Art Institute of Charleston grads.
Sweet & Savory Cafe at 100A Spring St. is a joint project of baker Jessica Wilkie and her fiance, chef Logan Scott. Wilkie has worked at The Kiawah Island Golf Resort since finishing school in 2012, while Scott has worked in different restaurants, "learning to accommodate the local neighbors here in Charleston," according to the cafe's website.
"We're trying to bring in a good Southern breakfast," Wilkie says.
Breakfast will be served all day. Menu items include French toast with amaretto, cookies-and-cream pancakes, s'mores waffles and a breakfast burrito. More recognizably Southern touches show up on the lunch menu, which features a fried shrimp po' boy, a pimento cheese sandwich with fried green tomatoes and a barbecue sandwich. The menu is rounded out with fresh pastries from Wilkie, who sidelines as a wedding cake baker.
There's seating for 30 at Sweet & Savory, and Wilkie says the Wi-Fi's free.
"It's just a neat little place," she says.
Wilkie estimates the cafe will open within a few weeks.
French tea at Magnolia
Tea is typically associated with the United Kingdom, but the drink has occasionally cropped up in coffee-loving France, most famously in Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past," in which the narrator drops a crumbly cookie in his cup and 3,000 pages of reflections ensue.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is hoping to stimulate garden archaeology, not unbridled sentimentality, with its upcoming French Tea. The April 6 event will benefit the Friends of Andre Michaux Charleston Garden Project, an organization studying the site of the 18th-century French botanist's Charleston-area home.
To give the tea party a French feel, Fork chef Wendell Edwards is preparing a four-course meal featuring carrot soup, a vegetable Napoleon and chocolate tarts. A flutist, violinist and cellist will provide the classical French tunes.
Tickets to the tea are $65, and can be purchased through magnoliaplantation.com. The tea runs from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Tapio bubbles up again
Bubble tea retailer Tapio is still on the search for a permanent home, but owner Terry Hung writes to say his team is now accepting private gigs.
"We are offering orders of our milk and fruit teas for friend gatherings, special events, company parties, or even pot lucks!," Hung emails.
Tapio had hoped to open downtown by the end of last year, but ran into lease trouble.
"Be assured that we are still dedicated to bring you the best boba tea ever," Hung writes.
For more information on Tapio's services, call 695-7252 or email email@example.com.
Future for Farmbar?
Unless The Farmbar Provisional applies for and receives an operating permit, last Friday's spaghetti dinner may have marked the pentultimate instance of the ad hoc cafe cooking and serving food.
The roving culinary concept last month settled into a shipping container parked at 1600 Meeting St., announcing a standing schedule of daily lunchbox pick-ups and twice-weekly meal service. It celebrated its opening with a menu featuring duck fat hash and roast chicken.
"The Farmbar has not received a permit to operate," S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Jim Beasley explains. "The facility did, however, run a special promotion after contacting the department."
As state law defines it, a special promotion is conducted on private property by a private business promoting a good or service. Businesses may hold four one-day special promotions over a 12-month period; the clock starts ticking at the first event.
According to Beasley, The Farmbar was approved to hold its third special promotion on Feb. 14.
"They're using up their promotional events pretty quickly," Beasley says.
But the fast pace doesn't worry founder Tara Derr Webb, who's looking to schedule The Farmbar's fourth special promotion during the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. She's confident she can devise a creative solution that will allow for continued food service.
"We are truly WAY-out-of-the box renegades trying to create an innovative experience," Webb emails. "Despite our raw beginnings, we've had tremendous loyal supporters who are patient, enthusiastic and forgiving. They have become part of our evolution and narrative, which is quite special."
Webb declined to elaborate on her plans, but revealed DHEC approved the relocation of The Farmbar's kitchen from the shipping container to a permanent structure on the property. Webb says the move will pave the way for a "more robust kitchen ... and potentially an ABL license for wine and beer. The FARMBAR installation outside of the building will then have more room for seating, market and retail."
The move is scheduled to occur by the end of next month.
Without an operating permit or special promotion clearance, retailers are only allowed to "dispens(e) non-potentially hazardous beverages or non-potentially hazardous prepackaged food," meaning food prepared in a permitted commercial facility and delivered in a hermetically sealed package.
On non-special promotion days, The Farmbar typically serves coffee and baked goods: A recent Tuesday's meals included Brown's Court Bakery schnecken and scones for breakfast, Brown's Court focaccia for lunch, and Brown's Court focaccia and pie for supper.
One in three Americans is trying to follow a gluten-free diet.
And whether they're snubbing the grain protein for valid health reasons - fewer than 1 percent of the population is coping with celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance - their desire for eggplant parmesan, gravy and mac-n-cheese that don't taste like sawdust is understandable.
Trident Technical College is trying to appeal to those discerning eaters with a pair of new workshops: Gluten-Free Kids' Favorites and Gluten-Free Dinners.
Both classes feature entree overviews and a recipe exchange.
Gluten-Free Kids' Favorites is scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon on March 22. Gluten-Free Dinners will meet from 6-9 p.m. on April 30. Each class costs $59.
To register, call 574-6152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shad roe season
Shad roe season came early this year, according to Lia Sanders of the Old Firehouse Restaurant.
As detailed in a recent Post and Courier Food section, shad roe is a seasonal Lowcountry delicacy.
Often served for breakfast, the herring egg sac is not particularly good-looking, but it's very rich.
"We have shad roe and have been serving it for the last 11 years," writes Sanders, who reports the ingredient is now available at Crosby's Seafood.
"We offer it the traditional way, wrapped in bacon and deep fried, or poached in cream for a more delicate approach."
The Old Firehouse Restaurant is at 6350 Highway 162 in Hollywood. It's open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, call 889-9512 or check out the restaurant website.