The past few weeks, I’ve been finding myself heading up Spruill Avenue in North Charleston and frequenting quite a few of the many eclectic restaurants this street is home to. The restaurants on this street serve up such a wide variety of cuisines, it would be hard for someone to find something that didn’t appeal to their tastebuds. From Chinese American cuisine to Cincinnati chili, there’s truly something for everyone. Not to mention much of it is budget-friendly!
Jackrabbit Filly is owned by Shuai and Corrie Wang, who originally were the owners of the Short Grain food truck. When the word got out about their incredibly delicious rice bowls, their business started building up crazy momentum and soon enough, their brick-and-mortar, Jackrabbit Filly was born.
During my visit to this restaurant, I had the opportunity to try multiple different dishes. My favorites were the fritters ($7) and the biang biang noodle bowl ($14). The fritters are made of a cornmeal and chickpea batter and are topped with wasabi aioli, a tangy soy sauce, and finally are sprinkled with bonito furikake. I was completely obsessed with these fried balls of sweet and tangy flavors. It’s a good thing I decided to share them with a friend because I probably could have eaten the entire bowl in a matter of minutes.
The biang biang noodle bowl was complete with thick, wheat pappardelle noodles and was mixed with shaved cucumber, radishes, bean sprouts, chili oil, and a sweet and spicy noodle sauce. The dish was finished with peanuts sprinkled on top. This dish had so many delicious and unique flavors I couldn’t stop eating it! It was definitely up there on the spiciness level but it didn’t stop me. I loved the spicy and sweet flavors that blended so well together in the dish. The nutty flavor provided by the peanuts sprinkled on top provided an excellent third dimension to this dish.
Jackrabbit Filly switches out menu items frequently and therefore, they unfortunately do not currently have the biang biang noodle bowl on their menu. They do however have a chilled noodle bowl complete with roasted banana peppers, cucumber, pickled daikon radishes, herbs, peanuts and chili oil to take its place. They also still have the fritters on their menu so make sure to get a bowl of those ASAP while they still have them!
Coney Island Park Circle
This restaurant is something I just happened to stumble upon recently, and boy was I happy to find it! It is located not far down the road from Jackrabbit Filly and offers a unique experience. The restaurant has walk-up counter service and a small bar area as well.
If you’ve never been to Cincinnati, OH before, you probably have never heard the words “cheese coney” before or tasted what Cincinnati locals call a “3-way”. Let me enlighten you. A cheese coney is a hot dog topped with a thick, slightly spicy and very meaty chili, which is then topped with a heaping mound of shredded cheddar cheese. A 3-way consists of spaghetti noodles topped with that same meaty chili, which is then also topped with a heaping mound of shredded cheddar cheese. Think this all sounds weird? The good news is that you can find all of this at Coney Island Park Circle. Get ready for your mind to be changed forever!
I went to college in Cincinnati and was a frequent visitor to Skyline, where they served up these cheese coneys and 3-ways. I was intrigued to find out how Coney Island’s chili recipe would compare to Skyline’s. Its safe to say I’d probably still pick Skyline over Coney Island, but Coney Island still has a pretty fantastic chili. It hits perfectly on the spice level and meaty texture. The noodles however, were a bit too greasy for my taste. I think if they weren’t quite as greasy, I could potentially say that I like them better than Skyline’s 3-way.
A 3-way at Coney Island will cost you $7.49 and a cheese coney will cost you exactly the same. If you get a coney, your drink is included in the price! Can’t beat that price point.
Holy City Brewing
Holy City Brewing is tucked away right around the corner from Coney Island. Not only do the serve up delicious, freshly brewed beer, but they also have a delicious food menu and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Upon a recent visit to the brewery I had the opportunity to try a few different beers as well as a couple of their food options.
Holy City Brewing has the perfect, casual and relaxed atmosphere and combines it with fresh, delicious food and beer. I tried the Holy City Pilsner as well as the Bubba Blonde Ale. The Holy City Pilsner was the perfect, crisp summer beer and the Bubba Blonde Ale was light, crisp and had hints of citrus flavor. As for the food, I tried the succotash (about $7) which they were serving up as a special that day. I also tried the tater tots ($5 for a basket) and the falafel burger ($10). The tater tots were perfectly crispy and had just the right amount of spicy seasoning on top. The falafel burger was served on charred pita bread. The falafel patty was perfectly crispy on the outside and seemed to melt in my mouth as I bit into it. The patty was topped with a roasted red pepper walnut spread, lemon poppy yogurt, mixed greens and alfalfa sprouts. The toppings provided the perfect complimentary tangy flavors and crunchy texture.
The prices of some of the food items at Holy City may seem a bit hefty for the portion sizes, but if you stick to items on their appetizer/snack menus, you’re sure to find more affordable items. If you shoot for an entree, just know its definitely worth the slight splurge!
There are many more eclectic food options not mentioned in this blog post on Spruill, such as a restaurant known for its fish and chips and a great spot to get your brunch on. Most have outdoor seating and have great COVID-safe procedures. I’d tell you what they are, but I think I’ll leave you to the exploring.