Just outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a restaurant named La Casita Blanca was buzzing on a Saturday night in late May. After seating diners at indoor and outdoor tables overlooking a quiet neighborhood street, a server would haul over a large chalkboard with the day’s offering. Conversations in Spanish echoed throughout the converted single-story dwelling, filled with Puerto Rican locals and a handful of tourists sharing platters of carne guisada (stewed beef), aguacates relleno de camarones (shrimp-filled avocados) and chuletas fritas (pan-fried pork chops).
More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What’s everyone talking about? While the Eater 18 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, “Have you been yet?” Try one of these newbies today.
Among the tide of tiny heartbreaks the pandemic wrought was the shuttering of downtown’s Minero in spring 2020. Would we ever see the likes of the glorious griddled cheese burrito in Charleston again? Happily, yes, the latest iteration of the casual Mexican spot opened in June in the former Fat Hen on John’s Island with a contemporary dining room, lively indoor-outdoor bar area, and vast covered patio with a bank of TVs. The burrito is back, along with the charcoal-grilled wings and tacos with house-made tortillas. Executive chef Shamil Velázquez has also livened up the menu with a Yucatan-style local catch (black grouper on a recent visit), a showstopping tomahawk pork chop, and a delightful Mexican chocolate-passionfruit mousse with mini churros. Three frozen concoctions are on offer, including a frosé sangria, but we’re here for the margaritas, no? Diners are invited to customize their own, but the spicy signature version hits the spot.
Things slow down late into the hot Charleston summer, but August is still a great time to catch delicious in-season South Carolina produce and try to sneak into a new spot you haven’t tried yet, like Vern’s on Bogard Street downtown. Or if you’re still all-in on a staycation summer, head to the beach and try Sullivan’s Fish Camp, or find one of our favorite under-the-radar menus in Charleston at Jack of Cups Saloon on Folly Beach.
The very first thing you sense when you walk in to dine at Minero Mexican Grill & Cantina at 3140 Maybank Hwy is ‘am I in Johns Island South Carolina’. The new upscale yet affordable and ultra-casual Mexican grill and cantina from The Neighborhood Dining Group has the feel of a restaurant that you would find on a tropical island including appropriate decor, background music, and more importantly their menu.
For those who frequented Minero during its tenure on East Bay Street, driving from downtown Charleston to Johns Island for charcoal-grilled chicken wings, cheese-crusted burritos and catfish tacos might not feel right.
That is until you pull into the spacious gravel parking lot and walk through the large covered patio to the hostess stand where you’ll put your name in the queue. A wait is almost guaranteed — especially as the new restaurant works through an industry-wide staffing shortage — but Johns Islanders and others who made the drive on June 22 didn’t seem to mind.
Charleston’s favorite gourmet burrito spot Minero has found a new home on Johns Island, and this time, the Mexican cantina is bringing so much more with it to the oak-lined enclave. An extension of the former downtown restaurant, the Johns Island location will continue the long-established tradition of making corn tortillas from scratch daily, as well as other familiar Minero staples, including tacos, burritos, wings, and freshly juiced margaritas.
More than two years after the closure of downtown Charleston burrito spot Minero, Neighborhood Dining Group, will reopen the Mexican restaurant at 3140 Maybank Highway on Thursday, June 9. Chef Shamil Velazquez (also of Delaney Oyster House) will bring back Minero favorites like the charcoal-grilled wings covered in Valentina hot sauce, benne salsa, and the super-stuffed burrito covered in Oaxaca cheese.
A restaurant that is nearly two years in the making is opening soon on Johns Island.
Minero, the former East Bay Street restaurant that reached cult-favorite fame before closing in 2020, will open June 9 in a newly renovated space that was previously occupied by Fat Hen.