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The Biggest Dining Grievances of 2019: High Prices and Small Business Struggle

What irked food writers this year?

Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

n keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What was your biggest dining grievance of 2019?

Stephanie Burt, writer and host of The Southern Fork:
I can’t stand cooking as a transaction to tourists. It’s a language, and the only thing you’re saying is “this is who you ‘think’ Charleston is, so give me your money.” That doesn’t mean don’t cook traditional Southern/CHS standbys if it’s you, but if it’s not, it’s usually obvious and makes me mark off a restaurant as “not for me.”

Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
It’s enormously frustrating how much time new Charleston residents spend griping about not having the exact same food choices they had back home, instead of exploring what makes Lowcountry cuisine so special.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
Why hasn’t chef BJ Dennis been able to open a restaurant in Charleston yet? Give this talent a place to show off Gullah Geechee cuisine.

Marion Sullivan, Food editor Charleston Magazine:
Portion size is often too small for its price.

Jenn Rice, Eater Charleston contributor:
The continuation of seeing small businesses struggle and also many overhyped bigger restaurants with horrible service and mediocre food. I think there’s a big identity crisis at many restaurants at the moment and constantly hear from chefs the lack of being able to find applaudable line cooks and dishwashers even.

Kenneth Andrews, Eater Charleston contributor and pop-up enthusiast:
I shed a single tear every day that goes by where Pink Bellies Vietnamese coffee doesn’t once again course through my veins.

Barbara Skidmore, Eater Charleston contributor:
Turnover + NYC prices