08 December 2009

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is - One Foodie's Quest to Buy Local this Christmas

This year, I have been inspired. Inspired to start my own business, inspired to stay in a city that I love for no other reason but the fact that I love it, and inspired to take action on the causes that I believe in most.

This year, I have fervently embraced buying local. Nonprofit oganization, Lowcountry Local First, gets much of the credit for motivating me to consciously act on the conviction that buying locally is a selfish act really -  not only am I putting my own hard-earned money back into the community which I love and live, but as a small business owner, I am profiting from the generation of more local commerce.

So then, why wouldn't I? It's good for everybody else, too. Local farms, restaurants, small businesses of all kinds - we share this common interest in the state of our local economy. In a world where we as individuals fail to impact our national or global economic situation, we can embrace the opportunity as a community to significantly affect our local economy. Below are examples of my switch to the 'Local Mentality'.

 - Need a key made? Can of spray paint? Go to Jantzen, Hughes or True Value Hardware, not Lowe's or  Wal-Mart.

 - Want the perfect holiday card? Check out the RSVP Shoppe or mac & murphy, instead of Hallmark or online card stores.

 - Ordering a birthday cake? Need a holiday pie? Skip the Publix bakery and go to WildFlour Pastry (save money and taste heaven at the same time!)

 - Have to do your grocery shopping? Piggly Wiggly is locally owned/operated and the Vegetable Bin offers the best selection of seasonal fruits and veggies at a very reasonable price. Ted's Butcherblock sells all natural meats, cheeses from around the world.

 - Need a cup of coffee and some wi-fi? Starbucks is played out and you PAY for the wi-fi. Try one of dozens of coffee joints locally owned and operated - Alchemy Coffee, Kudu, City Lights, Kronic Coffee, Muddy Waters and more.

So, as I begin my Christmas shopping, I will document here my efforts to buy them all locally. I will do my best and let you know how I fair. Good luck and BUY LOCAL!

07 December 2009

La Fourchette - Fine French Food in the Heart of Downtown Charleston

For Mackenzie's 25th birthday, we ventured to La Fourchette at 432 King St. A cozy French bistro, La Fourchette proved to be a worthy venue for a celebration. Most of us had not tried the restaurant before, but we were all immediately drawn to the French culinary staples.

The formage plate featured a balanced mix of French cheeses including truffled goat, brie and roquefort and served with the appropriate accoutrement. Housemade duck pate was accompanied by pickled gherkins and crusty bread. The pommes frites (fried in duck fat) were probably the most decadent and memorable selection from our first course, truly redefining the meaning to the words "french fries".

Our next course featured eggplant, red pepper, zucchini and goat cheese tortes, boeuf bourguignon and steak frites. We skipped desert, having planned ahead for our birthday girl, and indulged in a one-of-a-kind cookie cake courtesy of WildFlour Pastry. The evening was decadent to say the least, but La Fourchette is high on my list of places to return. Let me know what you try!

La Fourchette on Urbanspoon