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Kiss My Grits

The first time I met grits I thought they were disgusting. It wasn’t really their fault, it was how they were dressed. Like most people, I first encountered grits at a diner, a glutinous pile of ooze sitting on my plate and glaring at me with an evil-looking pat of greasy butter melting on top of its head. Gloopy and gluey, it tried to grab my fork with its rapidly-congealing body every time I took a bite. It wasn’t until I was in South Carolina that I made my peace with grits.

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Grits are the official food of South Carolina and the grits I had down there made me a convert. They were rich, filling, had a slight flavor of corn and a chewy, rough texture. But no matter how good grits are they’re really just a delivery device for something else: butter, hot sauce, cheese. The ratio should be about 1:1 of grits to topping. The Stone Ground Grits at Dirt Candy are made with corn and have kernels of corn inside of them. Grits are basically just broken dried corn so we’re topping corn with corn. We also throw in some quick cooked greens, pickled shitakes and we surround it with creamed corn and little black dots of huitlacoche, a Mexican fungus that grows on corn and tastes like corn truffles. The dish winds up being corn, on corn, on corn, surrounded by corn, with a poached egg on top that we’ve covered in tempura batter and deep fried so that it breaks open and flows over the grits like rich, yolky lava.

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In the middle of winter, when all around is dark, this is a dish that will restore your soul. A 1952 article in Charleston, South Carolina’s newspaper, the News and Courier, puts it best:

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“An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.”

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Amen.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Spinach $13
spinach & grapefruit mille-feuille,
with smoked pistachios and ricotta

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll $10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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