Good looking out

My whistle stop tour of TFS country

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Since I still haven’t shaken the habit of checking out every restaurant in the Charleston area, a practice picked up over eight years as food editor and critic for the local paper, the last thing I ate before setting out from Charleston to tour my new beat was a blueberry cake doughnut at the newest location of Hero Doughnuts & Buns.

It was a more prescient choice than I realized at the time. As I chugged from one major Southern city to the next, I realized a pan-Southern sameness is taking over downtowns, courtesy of chains such as Hero, Big Bad Breakfast, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and representatives of The Indigo Road brand: I was discouraged when the first two restaurants I saw after leaving the station in Raleigh were Oak and O-Ku, a steakhouse and sushi bar that got their starts in Charleston.


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