After months of wishful thinking, I FINALLY made it to The Workshop! It’s been on Eater Charleston’s Heat Map for a while now, and I’ve heard nothing but good things in my local community. So, Valerie from Thyme and Joy and I met up there for a late lunch this week and boy , I’m so glad we did.
The Workshop is a food court. But, what’s different about this food court is that it kicks ass. No pizza that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for hours, or mounds of Chinese food that’s been swimming in a pool of grease. We’re talking restaurant quality meals that are served to you in 5 – 10 minutes or less. Super fresh. Super yummy.
There are six rotating kitchens that make up The Workshop. Right now there are four restaurants in the main building, and a coffee shop and pizza place in the same courtyard. Valerie and I went in the middle of the afternoon – after the lunch crowd and before the dinner rush – so there weren’t many people there. I chatted it up with the server at Beech Test Kitchen, and she said their “rushes” are intense. So if you visit The Workshop during the more traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner times – expect crowds. Big ones.
I started checking out the space and of course, the menus. I wasn’t in the mood for pizza (Slice Co.) or coffee (Bad Wolf Coffee), so I made my way around the other four kitchens.
Valerie went to Pink Bellies – which serves “Vietnamese Goodness” according to the menu. She ordered the garlic noodle bowl with a poached egg. Here’s what she had to say, “I loved the pork and the presentation of the sriracha around the bowl. All of the flavors married together well and brought me back to my time living in Hawaii where I fell in love with true Asian cuisine. I’m excited to see what kinds of innovative foods pop up at The Workshop in the rotation!”
Next up was Kite Noodle, which serves up noodle and rice bowls. I asked the gentleman at the counter what his favorite dish was, and he said “the Japchae noodle bowl”. It’s made with sweet potato noodles, and has veggies topped with marinated beef. It definitely sounds like something I would love (and I’m sure it’s fabulous) – but I wasn’t in the mood for noodles, so I moved on.
Before I came to The Workshop, I had my heart set on getting something from Juan Luis, which features Tex Mex dishes. John Lewis of the Charleston hotspot Lewis Barbecue runs the place. I grew up in Texas, and I miss authentic Tex Mex. Plus, I’m obsessed with Mexican food. I mean, I could have a problem-level of obsession. But, I didn’t go there either.
To my surprise, I went with the Hawaiian poke bowl from Beech Test Kitchen. I had the salmon poke, which was served with brown rice and a crunchy seaweed salad, topped with a creamy sriracha sauce. It was really tasty – I definitely would order it again. And the portion sizes at Beech Test Kitchen are very generous. I could easily split my bowl with another person and I wouldn’t leave hungry.
I can’t wait to go back to The Workshop. So many more yummy dishes to try! I think I need to “feed my obsession” with some tamales and a margarita…or two…just sayin’.