Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trying Not to Be Unreasonable in America’s Best City

Moe’s Downtown Tavern
5 Cumberland St.
Charleston, SC

Is it too much to ask?

I don’t think so. I think I’m a pretty reasonable guy.

There are some basic amenities I demand when eating out on the road.

A vacant bar stool. A game on the flat screen. Some decent beer. And good food.

I mean, really? Is Suit757 being ridiculously unreasonable here?

Then why the hell is it so hard to find a place like Moe’s Downtown Tavern?

Man, I love this place!

Smack dab in the middle of the historic district of my favorite city in America, Moe’s Downtown Tavern meets all my basic Suit757 requirements.

All the games in HD – with the sound on too! A mind tingling display of unfamiliar tap handles. And a menu full of delicious-sounding grub.

Moe’s is the ideal destination for an afternoon of sports, beer and gourmet bar food.

Gourmet bar food? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Not necessarily. And I’m happy to report it is a trend catching on quickly all across America. A trend that can’t come soon enough as far as Suit757 is concerned.

I mean, how many reheated cheese sticks, over-cooked burgers and scrawny chicken wings can one man consume in a lifetime?

Until this gourmet bar food trend began to take flight, Suit757 was on a path to find out. I suppose my survival (or not) would have provided a good service to science, but my intestines and taste buds are sure happy to take a detour to more interesting cuisine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Gourmet bar food is still bar food. I’m not saying it’s anything approaching healthy.

It’s just more interesting, creative and upscale.

For example, Moe’s serves a delicious take on the traditional BLT with a local twist – the Shrimp BLT.

Good thick bacon, lettuce and a fried green tomato tooth picked together on quality Texas toast with a generous portion of blackened shrimp pulled right out of South Carolina waters.

Let me tell you, it puts mom’s boring old BLT to shame.

The only non-gourmet part of the dish was the overcooked French fries.

Better still was my BLT Burger – perfectly cooked beef topped with some of that high-end bacon, one of those famous Charleston fried green tomatoes, a thick slab of earthy mozzarella and a special homemade mayo.

Try finding that at your local neighborhood dive bar.

On the side came ideally fried thick-sliced Vidalia onion rings and a spicy dipping sauce.

Suit757 is a big fan of dipping sauces. In fact, a good remoulade or honey mustard can almost single-handedly qualify bar food as gourmet in my book.

Even Moe’s bowl of chili was a notch above ordinary. Sweet and meaty, this delicious chili was an ideal accompaniment to Moe’s wide selection of local beers.

After starting off with a local brew, Coastal Kolsch, a light but tasty offering, I decided I needed to upgrade to something darker.

Like Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. On draft!

Dogfish is one of my favorite breweries in America. You can’t go wrong with any of their sometimes crazy, outlandish brews.

While Chicory Stout is one of Dogfish’s tamer offerings, it was a perfect foil to my sweet bowl of chili.

On suggestion of my waiter, who seemed to be as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about beer as me, I abandoned the expensive five buck pints and tried a $2 can of Southern Star Bombshell Blonde, the far and away most popular choice among the crowd of college kids downing beers this Sunday afternoon.

A little darker and stronger than the Coastal Kolsch, the best part about this brew (other than the price) was the can itself.

A busty blonde in a miniskirt straddling a red, white and blue bomb. How cool is that?!?!

In a town full of destination dining places, Moe’s Tavern isn’t going to make any fancy tourist guide books. It doesn’t look like much from the outside.

But it is good to know that amid the blue bloods and tourists of historic Charleston there is a place to go to hang with some local college kids, watch the game, down some cheap unusual brews and gorge on food so good it has no business being served at a bar.

High quality burgers, BLTs and bombshell blondes on beer cans. Nothin’ unreasonable ‘bout that!

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Moe's Downtown Tavern on Urbanspoon

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