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Triangle Char and Bar: Try Finding a Spot, Then Try Everything

on Tuesday, 16 October 2012. Posted in Magazine, Eat This Fall! 2012, LOCAL Bites, Restaurant Spotlight

Triangle Char and Bar:  Try Finding a Spot, Then Try Everything

West Ashley’s most visible outdoor spot gets another look

By Patrick Graham 

     It’s tough to find parking in the Avondale district.  It just is.  An unfortunate truth, but it speaks to the vibrant nature of the area.  Few places on the Charleston map jam together such an eclectic mix of styles and tastes in a two-block radius, and right smack-dab in the 


middle you will find perhaps the most famous former gas station in West Ashley.

A year and a half ago, I was at Triangle Char and Bar, fulfilling an annual bucket list.  I have to make it at least once a year to that bustling outdoor café area for drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres (kinda like urban tailgating).  The thing is, I never thought twice about returning with any more frequency than that, as Avondale Station (an avant-garde Cuban experiment) and a prototypical version of Triangle didn’t ask me to come back anytime soon as a result of some previous experiences.  

     The easiest way to get me to forget those experiences at a restaurant is to let empirical amenities do their work for you.  If you have a casual and clean outdoor setting, a sub-80-degree early fall evening, and a good craft beer available, that’s a hell of a start.  Triangle provided all three right off the rip.  Craft beers have taken greater Charleston by storm in the past few years, and a pint of something called Hazed and Infused from Boulder Brewery did the trick.  It is one of more than a dozen drafts in a lineup that goes from the usual Fat Tires and 420s to the seasonal offerings of  Pumking by Southern Tier and Octoberfest from Sam Adams.  They even offered a Somersby Apple Cider by the Carlsberg group that struck my wife’s fancy—very refreshing with a slight amount of rocks included.

     Ubiquity, thy name is chicken wings.  The obvious appetizer that are these labor-intensive poultry snacks are everywhere, for better or worse.  Luckily, I hadn’t had wings tri2in quite a while, and I was ready for something solid.  I got excited about the presentation right away.  These were beer-brined “full” wings, as in the “drummy” is still attached to the “flat”, the way they oughta be.  I don’t know how, but Triangle has captured the sauce flavor (and the wing configuration) that my college campus watering hole served out of their kitchen twenty years ago.  If you want the best traditional Buffalo wing in town, I suggest you head here.  Notice I said Buffalo wing—the hot wing with a butter-based pepper sauce. 

Okay, see if you can follow me here.  If you’re a former music student, then this mnemonic device might ring a bell: All Cows Eat Grass (ACEG).  The little memory aid that helps music readers learn the bass clef is just as likely to be found in a young child’s textbook as it is in a copy of “Trombones for Dummies”.  All Cows Eat Grass stuck with me for a while as a kid, but having been raised in the Midwest, I realized all cows don’t eat grass.  The vast majority of cattle produced for the beef industry are grain-fed, specifically with corn.


    tri3 Such is not the case at Triangle Char and Bar.  Grass-fed beef is a bit of a novelty in these parts, and it forms the backbone of the burger menu.  Provided by Hill Creek Farm in Darlington, it has a fuller, deeper flavor that is evident in all of the beef burger preparations (including the Wilbur, with pork belly and cheddar, and the Yank, with crimini mushrooms, swiss, and horseradish mayo).  Couple that with fresh-cut fries (some sweet potato fries snuck onto my wife’s plate) and you have yourselves a happy belly.  I actually went for the bison burger, because I thought I was one of maybe three people in Charleston that had not taken advantage of the leaner and more savory meat of the American buffalo, and it was a great decision.  That and a big fat onion ring on the top with bacon, cheddar, and barbecue sauce makes for a mandatory doggie bag situation.

Tempting fate, we had to have some Mississippi Mud pie to make this gluttonous picture complete.  No less than five desserts are made on site by their pastry chef, and this one won out just because we heard a good one and jumped on it.  Clearly we made a good choice.


After all was said and done, it started to get dark.  So as hard as we worked to find a 

parking spot, and as gleefully as we worked through our plates, we had this view at the end of the night, bringing us back to why we went here in the first place:  outdoor seating.  We figured after all that work, we should rest for a little while.

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