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George Motz’s Southern Burger Odyssey: Charleston Edition

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past half-decade you know that the foodscape in Charleston is at a fever pitch. Most of the newish offerings in town place emphasis on great, chef-centric food making use of local ingredients. Butcher & Bee fits the bill on all counts.

The place you are looking for sits in a part of Upper King street that was, not long ago, a far-out spot for a restaurant of this caliber (partly because it’s located inside one of the Ravenel Bridge’s off ramps). When you step into the restaurant look for options written in chalk on your left. The menu at Butcher & Bee changes daily (available as an update on their Twitter page) but whatever you choose on any day will be great (seriously). Fortunately the burger is a constant on the menu on the weekends, including Monday, with some of its biggest fans scarfing them down late night Friday and Saturday.

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Butcher and Bee of Charleston, SC. Text and Photo by George Motz

Where most newly-conceived burgers tend to err on the thick-patty side, with toppings that range from the cute to the bizarre, B&B keeps things very straightforward with a solo burger offering. The burger comes as a double, centered on 2 smashed-thin, griddled fresh-beef patties enveloped in melted American cheese. The result is a pair of patties that gain that salty, crispy crust that can only be achieved by direct contact with a hot flattop. The patties are added to a toasted, house-made brioche bun with chopped onion, pickle, lettuce and a special sauce. To that B&B adds an interesting flair – a soft, roasted tomato that alters the flavor profile and texture dramatic results.

So make your way to Butcher & Bee for a burger, but bring a group of friends so you have the option to order the entire menu. I’m jealous of those that live nearby. I’d be there more than should be allowed.