Calliope Writing


Graffiti Magazine Volume 2 Issue 13
November 3, 2009, 8:44 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , ,
Graffiti - Dinner and TunesDinner & Tunes


Library Restaurant & Rooftop

23 Vendue Range, Charleston

The Rooftop is one of my favorite places to get a drink and listen to some great music.  The panoramic view of the harbor is fabulous.  You can soak in the sunset while checking out the Ravenel Bridge.  Nothing could be more romantic.  And the food and booze are pretty damn good, too.  There’s always a great crowd at the Rooftop, so people watching is one thing you can do if your date is boring you.  Another thing you can do is order another martini and a seafood appetizer off the menu.  Or just sit back and listen to the music.  The Rooftop has live music nightly, ranging from jazz to soul to easy rock.  No matter what you do while relaxing on the Rooftop, you’re sure to have a good time.

Fonduely Yours

853 Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant

Fonduely Yours offers you and your significant other (or hookup for the evening) with an interactive way to eat a good meal.  Choose what kind of fondue package you want, and then get ready to have a blast.  If this is your first time visiting a fondue-type restaurant, don’t despair.  The servers at Fonduely Yours are knowledgeable and patient; they will walk you through everything you need to know to make the right cuisine choices.  My favorite courses are the cheese courses and dessert, of course.  Great jazz music is the backdrop for your intimate dinner, and the dim lighting in the restaurant makes it easy to give your date “the look” over a boiling fondue pot of oil, cheese or chocolate.  This is a great way to start—or end—an evening.  I only wish I could take the chocolate fondue course to go . . . it would definitely start a revolution in the bedroom.

Coco’s Café

863 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant

If you and your date are in the mood for something delectable, you need to swing by Coco’s Café.  Their French cuisine is tasty but affordable, which is nice if you’re the one laying down the dough for the bill.  Be sure to try the lobster bisque.  It’s to die for.  And boys, this is the time to impress your dates by using those French courses you took in high school.  All of us girls melt when a guy speaks in a different language, even if it is French.  Seriously, though, the atmosphere of Coco’s is elegant, romantic and relaxed.  Their dress code is casual, so you don’t need to steam clean the one suit you own, either.  The highlight of Coco’s is the wine, I have to say.  The first thing you should do is order a kickass bottle of wine and get the number for a cab, just in case one bottle turns into two.

Have an idea where I should go to get some grub? Contact me at www.myspace.com/girlonthetown.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 2 Issue 7
November 3, 2009, 8:28 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , , ,

Graffiti - Hatchells

Girl on the Town:  Gourmet Flavor Hits the Mount Pleasant Scene


My day job is located in Mt. P, and I’m always on the look-out for new, rockin’ spots for happy hour.  Six months ago, Hatchell’s, located in the Town Centre, wouldn’t have been high on the list.  But now, the joint has new management, a re-vamped flavor, and a whole new attitude.

Booker Urista, the new manager of Hatchell’s, has a motto:  “Just be real.”  From the minute he steps foot inside the bar to the moment he leaves, he is constantly go, go, go.  Booker stops by every single table in the restaurant, just to chat it up with the customers and make sure their experience is a personable, fun one.  Even though he’s from the north, don’t hold that against him:  he’s full of southern hospitality, all the way.

Booker is trying hard to make over Hatchell’s and bring five-star flavor to the tapas menu.  He revealed that he and kitchen staff are in the process of re-writing the menu.  This girl on the town can’t wait to try out the new munchies.  If my experiences at Hatchell’s are a sign of the future, I hope they hurry and write that menu soon . . . like tonight.  Because this girl’s getting hungry.  And their kitchen has all the right stuff.  Booker let me and a few of my good friends taste some of his specialties, including a crab bisque that made me drool all over my sweater to pork medallions served with a potato puree that I can only guess was laced with an unknown, very addictive substance.  It was that good, and I’m jonesing for some more now.  The salmon was great, and so was the tuna.  And, of course, as my faithful readers know, I am a beef whore.  The Hatchell’s crew whipped up some killer gorgonzola beef tenders that made me gyrate in my seat.  And the dessert—the dessert!  Crème brulee, I want to rub you all over my body.  You are that heavenly.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  My alcoholic side wants to talk about the drinks!  Hatchell’s has an awesome happy hour menu.  All draft beer—not just the cheapies—are $2 during HH.  There are just fewer than twenty beers on draft, so close your eyes and take your pick.  If you don’t like it, try another—it’s only two bucks.  House liquors are three bucks, and Red Bull is a low four dollars.  While you’re slugging down cocktails, ask Hatchell’s extremely friendly and knowledgeable bar staff to throw together their signature shot.  It’s called Fun Dip and tastes just like the Fun Dip candy your mom wouldn’t let you have when you were a kid and your teeth were rotting.  But Mommy’s not going to be at Hatchell’s, so order up and indulge!  The tasty shot contains Red Bull, Three Olives Greek Vodka, and a secret ingredient that the bar staff wouldn’t tell me, no matter how much I bribed them.

All I can say is this:  Hatchell’s, I love you.  And I can’t wait for the many crazy, drunken nights I foresee in our future.  Fun Dip shots, look out!  Girl on the Town is coming to eat some kick ass food and slam some drinks.  And you’d better be ready.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 2 Issue 4
November 3, 2009, 8:27 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , ,
Graffiti - T-Bonz
Girl on the Town: Drinkin’ at a Steak House

 


What could be better than a steak house with a killer bar?  A steak house with a killer bar that brews its own beer.  Oh yes—you heard me right.  Sound appealing?  Head over to Tbonz Gill & Grill.  They have three locations in the Low Country:  Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, and downtown Charleston.

The main attraction is, of course, the food.  Their steaks are only the choicest cuts of beef, and their seafood is fresh and local.  But if you want to start a meal out right, you need the perfect appetizer.  Don’t you worry—Tbonz has you covered with their kickass Tommy’s Texas Cheese Fries Deluxe.  Just be careful not to fill up before the main course, kiddies.  The friendly staff also has you covered with soup, stew, and chili on those rare cold and raw days we have in Chucktown.  But when you want something filling, order one of Tbonz’s self-proclaimed “finest steaks known to man.”  My favorite is the bacon-wrapped filet.  Bacon and beef—what could go wrong?  But Tbonz doesn’t stop there.  They’ve got chicken, ribs, sandwiches, and tons of seafood.  And if you happen to go to either the downtown or Mt. P locations, their sister restaurant Kaminsky’s is located right inside.  Prepare yourself for the best things you will ever put in your mouth.  Rockin’ cakes and desserts.  That’s all I’ve got to say.

I know, I know.  You’ve all been waiting for information about the alcohol.  If you’re a wine girl (or guy—whatever floats your boat), this place has all kinds of grapes to fit your needs.  If you’re more of a beer chick or guy (like moi), put aside your normal order of Bud Lite and try one of their home-brewed flavors.  They range from the mild Waccamaw Blonde to the full-bodied Rocket’s Red Ale to special seasonal beers.  Walk in, sit at the bar, and ask what’s on tap.  Then indulge your beer fantasies.  And for all of you liquor drinkers, no worries.  Tbonz has an extensive liquor collection for your consumption.  Enjoy.

Fun, interesting fact that will make all you tree huggers cream your shorts:  Tbonz recycles and never uses Styrofoam.  They cook a mean steak, brew a killer beer, and help to save the environment while doing it.  They are like Superman.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 1 Issue 22
November 3, 2009, 7:18 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , ,

Graffiti - Alcohol GuidelinesGirl on the Town: Guidelines for Alcohol Success in 2007



 

1-Time and Food are Essential

We’ve all done it:  we have the whole day off from work.  The clock strikes eleven in the morning, and we decide that a nice appetizer to lunch would be a nice, cold brewsky.  Terrible things start this way.  Beginning to drink too early in the day has a snowball effect:  for every hour that goes by, you get just that much drunker.  So watch yourself, cowboy.  Oh—and don’t take shots on an empty stomach unless you want to spend the night with you cheek pasted against the cold toilet seat.

2-Tequila Does Not Equal Love

Just because you’re feeling tipsy does NOT mean that every warm body you encounter is your soul mate.  Restrain yourself from giving your number out to every hand willing to take it—I sweat to God that you’ll regret it in the morning when “Gretchen” calls you to continue your illuminating discussion about lampshades.

3-Not All Alcohol is Equal

…so don’t think you can drink beer, wine, and liquor all in the same night with no consequences.  I’m not a scientist or nutritionist, so I can’t explain why mixing the three is so awful.  You’ll just have to trust me based on my experience.  Spend an hour puking up red wine, draft beer, and vodka; then tell me if mixing alcohol is good for you.

4-Pimps Gots to Have Moolah

As do we all.  Two words, girls and boys:  BRING CASH.  Wherever you plan on going, life in unpredictable.  Add alcohol to the mix, and it’s F-ing off-the-wall spontaneous.  So bring cash.  You don’t want to be the one loser out of your friends who can’t get into a bar because you can’t pay the cover charge.

5-Patience is a Virtue

Your mom was right. Patience comes in handy, especially when you’re being shoved back and forth in line at a bar waiting for a damned beer.  Suck it up, big boy.  That guy—he’s not pushing into you because he’s disrespecting you.  He just wants a drink like everyone else.  Bottle up your anger and wait for a good time to let it out—like at your therapist’s or some good old-fashioned road rage.

6-“Extra-Curricular” Activities Are Bad News

Name your poison:  Ritalin, wacky tobacky, titty bars open until four in the AM.  All of the above will get you in trouble, ESPECIALLY if you break my other guidelines.  Keep an eye on yourself and don’t become a spectacle . . . unless you just don’t give a shit.  I’m just warning ya.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 1 Issue 21
November 3, 2009, 7:18 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , ,
Graffiti - Stupid Mike Pub Crawl
Stupid Mike’s Pub Crawl

 


I have officially been de-virginized.  Before the evening of November 23rd, I had never . . . been on a pub crawl (and you thought I was talking about sex—silly rabbits!).  Stupid Mike’s 3rd Annual 21st Birthday Pub Crawl gave people, including me, good reason to drink.  For ten bucks, I got a t-shirt and was able to take part in drink specials at every bar we hit up.  And it was for a good cause—portions of the proceeds went to My Sister’s House, a charity for battered women, and MUSC Children’s Fund.

 

But I was nervous.  Almost as nervous as when I was penetrated for the first time.  So much pressure!  Could I last through the whole thing without passing out?  Would there be pain?  Palms sweaty and throat dry, I basically chugged my first beer at Charleston Beer Works.  The special was $2 Bud Lights, and I ordered one, as it is my brand of beer.

Stupid Mike himself didn’t put my concerns at ease.  In between gulps of cold beer, he confessed that he didn’t survive the entire crawl last year.  The man himself only made it about halfway, and then passed out in a drunken stupor.  This year, he promised to make it to the end by pacing himself like a sound adult.  Pacing yourself?  The words were, and still are, foreign to me.  I put the notion out of my head, though, when the Charleston Scottish Pipe Band revved up their bagpipes and led the way to our next destination.

The next stop was the Kickin’ Chicken, where Coors Light was only $2 . . . and I got a, Bud Light.  I could tell I was well on my way to trashed—I’ve never laughed so hard at a grown man dressed in a chicken costume.  Poor guy.  It’s a dirty, demeaning job, but someone had to do it.  My drunk status was confirmed when I not only mistook a man for a woman but felt the need to inform the she-male of my mistake.  This girl on the town doesn’t know when to keep her big trap shut.

The bagpipes roared, we chugged the remainder of our beers, and walked down the chilly street to our next stop:  Cumberland’s.  It’s one of my favorite bars, and if you want the full scoop, dig through your Graffiti back-issues and read my review in Volume 1, Issue 18.  The highlight of this stop was a ridiculously trashed guy lecturing to me how awful it is to lose a credit card.  “You have no idea what it’s like!” he kept slurring.  I just nodded my head.  Right.  As if I’ve never misplaced my Visa.

Maybe I should have followed Stupid Mike’s advice and paced myself.  Because Cumberland’s was my last stop.  Everyone else proceeded to Wasabi, Market Street Saloon, and Wild Wing.  Not me.  I admit it, I am a pussy.  But next year, this chick’s gonna make it all the way through.  You can bet on it.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 1 Issue 20
November 3, 2009, 7:17 pm
Filed under: My Magazine Articles | Tags: , ,
Graffiti - Salty Mikes Girl on the Town:  Salty Mike’s

 


Want to hang out with some down-to-earth Charlestonians?  Check out Salty Mike’s Deck Bar on 17 Lockwood Drive.  Situated next to the City Marina, the bar offers a place for local boaters to pull on up and enjoy a few beers (but no drinking and driving, sailor).  The crowd ranges from your typical middle-aged boat resident to your freshly twenty-one college student.  Your life (or favorite bar) lacking variety?  Spice things up with the crew at Salty’s.

 

The outdoor deck provides an amazing view for those still sober enough to enjoy it.  Before the sun goes down, it’s a prime place to watch the boats, water, and patrons who have a few beers under their belts.  It’s most popular in the spring and summer, but we all know Charleston’s winter is short, and spring will be here before you know it.

For those of you tired of looking at the Lowcountry’s water (you guys are few and far between), another view can be found behind the Salty’s bar:  the bartenders.  Our bartender of the night was a cute blonde with a t-shirt that proudly proclaimed: “Jesus Loves the Hell Outta Me.”  Gotta love a girl with a sense of humor.  If you’re lucky, boys, you’ll stop by when the beer babes are there.  For those of you out of the loop:  beer babe=hot girl promoting a specific brand of beer.  The babes are typically friendly and usually wearing something that nicely displays their, should we say, assets.

Away from the T-n-A talk, perverts.  If scenery and chicks aren’t your thing, you’ll love the food.  Awesome fried shrimp with either tarter or cocktail sauce.  And lots of fries.  Let’s be honest:  what is fried shrimp without fries?  Be sure to get the crab dip for an appetizer.  The crab is fresh, and it’s extremely yummy.

And, of course, there’s the beer.  Lots of beer.  And liquor.  Lots of liquor.  How else could Salty Mike’s claim to be a deck bar?

There’s tons of entertainment to be found at Salty’s:  pool tables, acoustic performers, and computer games.  Yes, I said it:  computer games.  I, the drunken Girl on the Town, am a computer game nerd.  I can spend some money on computer games, especially trivia and word searches.  Fellow dorks, find these games—and more!—at Salty Mike’s.

So get off your ass, grab a few bucks, and get on down to Salty Mike’s.



Graffiti Magazine Volume 1 Issue 19

Graffiti - Carolina Coastal Fair

Turkey Legs, Carnies, and Roller Coasters


When I was growing up, the fair was an annual event to pig out and ride rides.  Now that I’ve “grown up,” I realize that there are a lot more reasons to go to the fair.  But the food is still a huge attraction.  Corn dogs, turkey legs, fried candy bars, funnel cakes, elephant ears—I’m about to wet my pants just thinking about it (take that as you will).

 

The Coastal Carolina Fair gives all of us kids at heart an opportunity to scare the shit out of ourselves by riding some of the crazy rides.  My all-time favorite this year was the Mega Drop.  Imagine it:  you get lifted up off the ground a couple hundred feet (sue me if I’m exaggerating) and get dropped.  It was F-ing awesome.  My rump got lifted out of my seat, we were falling so fast.  My first reaction after walking off the ride was:  “Let’s do it again!”  But not everyone enjoys rides like I do.  Some have testy stomachs and end up vomiting.  I was lucky enough to witness one such event.  One of the ride’s attendants ran towards the mess with a bucket of water and ending up falling right on his ass.  This provided laughter for at least a good half hour.

Maybe I was laughing so much because of the beers I shot-gunned before leaving my home for the fair.  Or maybe it’s just my amazing sense of humor.  You decide.

Now that I’m an “adult” (note the quotation marks), the carnival is an opportune time for me to make fun of other people.  Sure, it sounds heartless, but it provides me with hours of entertainment.  It is a scientific fact (or should be) that the fair attracts the weirdest kinds of people.  I counted about a dozen mullets (and good ones, too), and I couldn’t even tell you how many people were wearing their camouflage.  I didn’t realize they allowed hunting at the carnival.

But they do allow fair-goers to buy cows, horses, chickens, pigs, and the like.  The agricultural area of the carnival was another way for me to feel like a kid again and pet some fuzzy animals.  I never realized until this year how large cow’s poop is.  It made my butthole hurt just looking at it.  I also got to see a newborn goat hopping around the pen, happy to be out of his mother’s womb.  It was pretty cool.

But not as cool at the sideshow acts.  Wow.  You want to see the world’s smallest woman? How about the world’s smallest horse or a man-eating snake?  Oh, yes.  Check out the carnival.

Last but not least, the highlight of each year’s fair for this writer is the group of carnies.  I get a special kind of joy listening to them rattle into their microphones, trying to persuade me to waste money on their games in hopes of winning a prize.  And I never tire from guessing how many cigarettes they must smoke in one evening.

If you missed out on the fair this year, be sure to check it out next year for the kid and sick adult inside you.  Check out www.coastalcarolinafair.org for more info.


Graffiti - Spirit Line Cruise
Girl on the Town:  Spirit Line Dinner Cruises

 



 

Tired of the same old evening out at a smoky, crowded, noisy bar with your significant other?  Ready to have a kick ass time and a good chance of getting laid by your date after the evening is over?  Check out Spirit Line dinner cruises.

In fact, all of the food was knock-me-over-the-head and get-me-another-stomach-to-fill-up-on good.  We started out with the best nutmeg and sherry-laced She-Crab Soup I have had as of yet in the Lowcountry and moved on to the “SpiritLine Salad” that featured yummy chunks of bleu cheese.  You get a choice of five entrees that each sound and taste magnificent.  Be sure to tell your date to get something different so that you can pick off of each other’s plate (this is also a good starting point for foreplay—feeding each other and whatnot).  My all-time favorite is the Beef Tenderloin plate.  What can I say?  I love cow meat.  And it was cooked to perfection—tender and pink on the inside:  medium-rare, how a steak should be cooked.

Besides the food, the ambiance of the entire yacht is awesome.  There are two decks where dinner is served.  On each deck, there is musical entertainment and a bar.

The observation deck was the highlight of the evening for me.  The servers intentionally spread each course apart from the other so that the diners have time to drink, fool around on the boat, and check out the sights from the observation deck.  Towards the end of the three-hour long cruise, we traveled underneath the Ravenel Bridge.  It was pretty cool, especially after driving on it so many times.  It was a great moment to appreciate the beauty of the mammoth structure and also that of the Lowcountry’s scenery.

Enough of the touchy-feely stuff. On to the booze.  I was very impressed with the extensive wine list.  I’m a red wine fan, and I fell in love with the Rodney Strong cabernet sauvignon.  It was smooth and didn’t have that bitter, acidic aftertaste that a lot of red wines can have.  They also carried liquor and, of course, my favorite:  beer.

The dinner cruises run nightly during the on-season; be sure to contact for availability during the off-season.  During the week (Sunday through Thursday for those of you not acquainted), the cost is $43.95 per person; Fridays and Saturdays, it’s $48.95 per person.  Tax, gratuity, and dessert are not included in these prices, so be sure to bring a little more—especially for dessert!  Their pumpkiny, spicy cake tasted like autumn and was killer.

Looking for something to do New Year’s Eve with that “special someone”?  Call up SpiritLine and ask about their cruise that evening.  I’m told it includes a surf-n-turf dinner, a midnight toast, and lots of dancing.  For more information, go to www.spiritlinecruises.com.




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