Avondale Community Getting First Community Vegetable Garden

March 27th, 2014

By Gregory Woods
gwoods@abcnews4.com
To view full story, click here.

WEST ASHLEY, S. C. (WCIV) — At the Triangle Char & Bar, it’s all about cooking recipes made with local produce. The restaurant does all it can to support the community that supports them — one meal at a time.

Avondale Community Getting First Community Vegetable Garden“Even the people that paint our artwork in our building are all local,” said Michael Lotz, Director of Operations at the restaurant. “And we recycle and compost everything all the way down to our food scraps.”

So when the Charleston Parks Conservancy planned a 3.7-acre community vegetable garden blocks from the restaurant, they didn’t think twice about getting involved.

“The salads are going to benefit from the garden and we’ll be able to have a fresh vegetable we’ll be able to offer weekly,” said Lotz.

Jim Martin is the Program Director for the Charleston Parks Conservancy. He runs the garden program. Martin says when the land is ready within the next month, people in the neighborhood will be able to lease plots for $50 a year.

“You get a 4-by-8 slot, access to water, and some really cool opportunities to learn how to garden if you don’t (know how),” said Martin.

For those who can’t afford to lease a plot, there are volunteer opportunities to help maintain the garden.

“And if that day we were harvesting spinach, you would be able to take some of that spinach home. Now if you lease a space, anything that you grow in there is yours,” Martin said.

For Triangle Char & Bar, the garden will only serve to help current recipes.

“Our spaghetti squash would benefit from the garden, growing it yourself really allows us to continue to ensure that we have the freshest ingredients,” said Lotz.

On Thursday, ABC News 4 will be live from Avondale as part of the Your Neighbors series.

At 6 and 7 p.m., Dean Stephens and Victoria Hansen will be live from the Children’s Cancer Society Thrift Store. Then there will be a meet-and-greet event at 7:30 p.m. at Triangle Char and Bar where we will provide food and give-aways.

Don’t forget to drop off a canned food item for the Lowcountry Food Bank.

Best Place to Grab a Taco and Dinner for Your Kid When You’re Hungry and Stuck in Mt. Pleasant Because All of the Bridges Are Closed

March 27th, 2014

by Leah Rhyne
Charleston City Paper Staff Pick
You know those nights where some crazy guy camps out on the Ravenel Bridge with a car decorated to look like a bomb? And then all the other bridges have to close to make sure no crazy guy with a bomb-like car is camped out on them, too? Yeah, they happen, and you have to make the best of them. So next time you’re stuck in Mt. P with a hangry kid and no hope of making it home for the next three hours, head to Triangle Char & Bar, a surprisingly kid-friendly place. With crayons and a menu on which your little one can draw, plus big-girl drinks for Mommy, you’ll be able to fill both your bellies with locally grown food, and have a good time doing it. And then, when the bridges finally open, you can head home happy, knowing you’ve just had another great experience at a great local restaurant.

To read full article click here.

Triangle General Manager Extraordinaire Wins “Westie Award” by West Of Newspaper!

March 14th, 2013

(From Westof.net)…There are some businesses that exist solely to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, that is the point of business, isn’t it? But then there are those businesses that believe you can be successful and give something back to the community and the planet. Triangle Char & Bar is one of those businesses. Not only do they take pride in offering 100-percent grass-fed beef, raised by local farmers at Hill Creek and McCutchen farms, but they make a tremendous effort to recycle and compost as much their waste as possible.

The restaurant is also at the forefront of several community initiatives. Triangle’s energetic and tireless general manager Mike Lotz has been the force that has made the Avondale restaurant a favorite place to dine as well as leader in the community.

A past Westie winner, Lotz exemplifies what a Westie Award winner is all about— someone who goes above and beyond the normal call of duty to make West Ashley better. Lotz is instrumental in the organizing and execution of the annual Avondale 5K Run. In 2012 the race had nearly 500 participants and raised nearly $50,000 for West Ashley’s own Charles Webb Center, a developmental day care that serves children who have special needs

Additionally, Lotz has been the driving force behind organizing Avondale Restaurant Week. Created in the same mold as the Charleston Restaurant Week, the Avondale Restaurant Week keeps things local and draws hundreds — if not thousands — of diners to our part of town twice a year to have special pre-set menu items at a half dozen restaurants in the Avondale neighborhood.

Triangle Voted “Best Sunday Brunch” Third Year in a Row by Charleston City Paper Readers!

March 14th, 2013
“Even with two locations, Triangle has diners lining up for Sunday brunch. It could be because of the six different kinds of eggs benedict, or it might be the $1 mimosas that keep them coming (City Paper, 2013).” Whatever it is, we are stoked Charleston digs our brunch! Thanks to all of you who make it fun!

 

Triangle Dazzles at the Lowcountry Jazz Brunch for Charleston Wine + Food!

March 4th, 2013

(March 3, 2013)…From the Postandcourier.com…

Put on by The Post and Courier and Motley Rice LLC, Sunday’s Lowcountry Jazz Brunch was a feast for the eyes, ears and palate. Held at the historic Lowndes Grove Plantation, Charleston Mix bloody marys and mimosas were served to go along with a three-course seated brunch prepared by some of Charleston’s best restaurants and caterers. To accompany the hearty fare, a side of toe-tapping jazz music was performed by The Mark Sturbank Group with some help from Quiana Parlor and Quentin Baxter.

SEE AND BE SCENE: Lauren Ewers of Triangle Char & Bar adds garnish to the grass fed benedict with tomato bacon hollandaise at the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Lowcountry Jazz Brunch held at Lowndes Grove Plantation 3/3.

 

 

 

 

Triangle Char & Bar Gets Mention in the Boston Globe!

February 28th, 2013

A visit to the Holy City, so named for its historic houses of worship, pulls you back in time. Horse-drawn carriages transport tourists along cobblestone streets flanked by centuries-old, beautifully preserved, and impeccably manicured gardens and homes, many open to the public. From land, you can gaze across the harbor to Fort Sumter, where soldiers suffered the first hit in the Civil War. But Charleston comes with a fast-forward button, too. Read the rest of this entry »

3rd Annual Avondale Restaurant Week is Underway

January 18th, 2013

Don’t let your appetite wind down with the end of Charleston Restaurant Week because starting on Monday, January 21, Avondale Restaurant Week returns for its third year running.

Slated for Monday the 21 through Sunday the 27, Avondale Restaurant Week will offer diners specials such as three courses for $20 at participating Avondale-area restaurants. These restaurants include Triangle Char & Bar, Pearlz Little Oyster Bar, The Roost, Mellow Mushroom and Al Di La. As always, there will be complimentary valet parking during the busiest nights. The valet station can be found in front of Al Di La, located at 25 Magnolia Road.

The Case of the Grass Fed Beef Burger at Triangle Char + Bar

April 24th, 2012

Article from the Charleston City Paper, April 2012 Click here

I recently took on a new case to settle once and for all a most serious charge: that Triangle Char & Bar has “the most overrated burgers in town.”

That assertion was made by a friend who is, by all accounts, an accomplished eater of gourmet cheeseburgers, and it was just one of the widely varying responses I got as I polled witnesses. Some loved the burgers, some didn’t, and others could take them or leave them but went to Triangle anyway because their friends did.

No matter what you think of the burgers, there’s no doubt that Triangle is doing something right. Their original West Ashley location got off to a limping start back in 2006 as a sort of a steak and pasta house, but a menu shift to focus on grass-fed burgers and local foods spurred a remarkable revival. The restaurant’s open-air bar has become a West Ashley favorite for brunch, and a second Mt. Pleasant location, which opened last summer on Ben Sawyer Boulevard, has quickly become one of the hottest weekend destinations east of the Cooper. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, throngs of young patrons jam the patio that wraps around two sides of the building, and more line up on the sidewalk waiting for a seat.

They’re drawn in part by a generous list of craft beers (updated daily on a big chalkboard) as well as a menu that’s playfully ambitious. For appetizers, there’s a selection of egg rolls ($8.50 each) with clever fillings like shrimp and grits or pulled pork with collards and mustard-based barbecue sauce. A bowl of popcorn ($4) tossed with sea salt, white truffle oil, and fine wisps of parmesan cheese makes for a pleasing, earthy, and biting bar snack that disappears fast. Small golden-brown cubes of fried cheese grits ($6.50) are served in a wax paper-lined wire basket, and the first bite is blazingly hot from both the heat of the gooey grits and the liberal dose of diced jalapeño tucked inside. Crisp outside and creamy inside, once they cool a little, they become an addictive treat, though they really do deserve a better sauce than the ignoble cup of ranch dressing that comes alongside.

Burgers are the main event, but there are plenty of other entrée options. Ten varieties of tacos range from the expected — mahi mahi and salsa verde ($9.50) and shrimp with corn relish ($9) — to the exotic — fried gator with buffalo sauce ($10) and pulled pork with slaw and cheddar ($9). A half dozen salads and plates like seared tuna over quinoa ($14) and sweet potato gnocchi with grilled chicken ($12) offer some lighter options. On weekends, an array of omelets, Benedicts, and pancakes join the lineup on the brunch menu.

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One recent special was a grilled chicken sandwich topped, in an unusual twist, with fontina cheese and sliced plums, though the plum flavor faded almost imperceptibly away, leaving a good but unremarkable chicken sandwich. The accompanying au gratin potatoes, however, were a hit. A big cube carved from a pan of thin-sliced potatoes layered with a delicious blend of white cheeses, it’s a special that deserves to make its way into the regular rotation.

But let’s get to the meat of the matter: What about those burgers?

I think the reason opinions differ so widely on Triangle’s offerings is that, even in this era of gourmet burger ubiquity, it’s a bit out of the ordinary. Lots of places now grind their own hamburger meat from a blend of high-quality cuts. Triangle, however, makes theirs from grass-fed beef from local farmers — the West Ashley location using beef from Darlington’s Hill Creek Farms and Mt. Pleasant using Sweet Leaf Beef from Kingstree’s McCutchen Farms.

This isn’t just some “eat local” marketing gimmick. Local grass-fed beef is very different. The grain-fed diet of conventional beef results in a higher marbling of fat and a uniform but mild taste, and it’s vacuum-sealed in moisture-impermeable bags and allowed to age in its own juices. Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, has a more intense flavor, and it’s much lower in total fat — as much as one-third less. It’s also dry aged, with the carcass hanging for several weeks in a refrigerated, humidity-controlled environment where moisture evaporates from the meat, concentrating the flavors and tenderizing the muscle fibers.

The end result to the burger is huge. With wet-aged beef, all the liquid that’s trapped in the burger cooks right out when it hits the grill. A grass-fed, dry-aged beef patty doesn’t shrink nearly as much, which is why the burgers at Triangle come out as uniformly round as a hockey puck. The texture is chewier, too, thanks to the lower moisture and fat.

That difference in texture may help explain some of the mixed reaction to Triangle’s burgers. Triangle’s menu recommends patrons not order the meat any more done than medium, and that’s excellent advice for avoiding an overly chewy burger. In fact, Travis McCutchen of Sweet Leaf Beef suggests that customers cook his grass-fed beef to one degree lower doneness than they normally do conventional beef. There’s also a definite strong, grassy flavor to the beef, which some diners unaccustomed to grass-fed beef can find off-putting.

But I think the key factor is in the overall burger experience. With the leaner meat, you don’t get that big dripping explosion of fat-rich beef flavor when you first bite into a Triangle burger — a hedonistic, highly saturated thrill that seems much of the appeal of gourmet, house-ground burgers in this era of heightened food phobias.

For me, though, the grass-fed burger works. Even cooked rare, there’s a pleasing firmness to the meat, while the grill’s flames impart an appealing beefy char. The bun is not too thick (the downfall of many gourmet burgers) but still sturdy enough to soak up the juices and not fall to mush. The accompanying french fries are excellent, too, a deep-golden brown with a crisp exterior and nice body inside, and, like all really good fresh-cut fries, they hold up nicely even as they cool. And a Triangle burger doesn’t leave me waddling and bloated and ready for an all-afternoon nap.

This doesn’t mean you can’t load up a gut bomb if you want to. The Wilbur ($11) is a lardcore take on a bacon cheeseburger, with two immense slabs of pork belly atop a blanket of melted cheddar. The Hot Sh** ($11) is a flagrant double-dog dare that tops its patty with chorizo, a fried egg, and jalapeño, while the Nap ($10.50), with its patty and slices of bacon sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches, is sheer stunt food. But why not stick with the simple Plain Jane ($9.50), which comes with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onions, and a melted slice of cheddar (though you could choose Swiss, white American, or pepper jack).

These burgers, tacos, and rolls are served in an industrial-chic atmosphere with lots of wood and corrugated metal, graffiti art on the walls, and six big garage-style doors that get rolled up when the weather is nice. The music can be loud and raucous, and the crowd can, too, especially at nights and on the weekends. But really, what does one expect when chomping down on a massive Hot Sh** burger — white tablecloths?

Almost as controversial as the burgers is the homegrown chandelier. Two dozen electrical cords are plugged into outlets in the ceiling, their cords — orange, yellow, white, and black — hanging downward like octopus arms and looping back up to silver eyelets, single bulbs in a socket suspended from the end of each. I felt it was inventive and sort of cool; my wife thought it looked like something out of the living room in A Christmas Story and wondered how it passed inspection.

But back to the case at hand. From using local grass-fed beef to loading up fried cheese grits with enough jalapeños to clear your sinuses, Triangle is taking risks, and it certainly won’t play well with everyone. Topping burgers with pork belly and stuffing egg rolls with shrimp and grits may smack of local trendiness, but they do have a sense of humor about it. “All ice made in-house from fresh local ingredients,” the menu declares.

Most overrated burger in town? Not in my book. As I sit here writing this, I am seized by an urge to race right out and order another Plain Jane. And it’s just 7:30 in the morning.

That’s all the evidence I need. Verdict: Damn good burger. Case closed.

triangle char and bar opens in mt. pleasant!

June 22nd, 2011

the newest triangle is now open east of the cooper! that’s right, enjoy all of the same eats and cool drinks as you did at our avondale location. click here to visit our facebook page and check out our photo album of the new interiors. triangle mt. pleasant is open for dinner daily at 5pm; the bar opens at 4pm. kick back with 1 buck mimosas at our Sunday brunch, 11am – 3pm every sunday. we are located at 1440 ben sawyer boulevard, before you get to the bridge to sullivans (across the street from publix).

charleston city paper story “triangle plans to triangulate in mt. p”

May 22nd, 2011

MtP construction with signGrassfed burgers, outdoor dining, Sun. brunch

by Stephanie Barna

Triangle Char and Bar, one of West Ashley’s most popular hangouts, has announced an expansion. They’ll be opening a second location in Mt. Pleasant at 1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd., replicating all of the things that make the West Ashley restaurant so lovable: open-air dining, grassfed burgers, craft beers on tap, and a big Sunday brunch with lots of hangover-curing mimosas.

The new space will have six roll-up garage doors, a big patio, and graffittied walls. The expansion is a testament to the solid concept (and food) behind Triangle. When Triangle first opened in 2006, they weregoing for a steakhouse vibe, but the food was missing the mark, and they struggled to get it right. Enter the grassfed burger concept, a simple focus with great results, and Triangle found its sweet spot. A spot so sweet that it’s worth exporting to Mt. P. Owners Skipper Condon and Scott Long expect the new restaurant to be open by early June.