If you’ve ever visited Japan–or other large cities around the US–then you have probably been to or seen a cafe and deli called Dean and DeLuca (DD). While wandering the streets of Charleston, South Carolina on a rainy Saturday I found an American version of DD–however this cafe was DD on steroids.
This modern and clean cafe/deli called Caviar & Bananas (CB) was full of hungry college kids getting their morning pastry, sandwich and coffee fix. There are four different stations at CB; a sandwich, salad/sushi/breakfast and a coffee and pastry station all surrounding the packaged snacks and goodie station incorporated into the pay station.
Their menus are very simple and easy to comprehend. Each station has its own menu where you can build your own salads or sandwiches. They also have freshly made sushi, pasta salads and other delicious sides at their deli counter. I had my eyes on their kale salad filled with feta, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes and topped with a zesty lemon dressing, but I wasn’t hungry for a salad at the time. All of the signs for the deli items state if they are gluten-free or not. They actually have a lot of gluten-free sides that I would try if I went back. Looking back at the picture I took there are a lot of pasta dishes in the photo…I should have taken it from the other direction where more gluten-free options are, but oh well.
It was quite busy when my mom and I ordered breakfast, but it did not take long to get our food. They even have a sign on the breakfast board saying “please allow 10 minutes for your food to be prepared.” They were out of gluten-free bread when I ordered my over-medium eggs so my mom and I ordered one of their daily featured gluten-free muffins. Today’s flavor was a white chocolate and raspberry muffin topped with sugar crystals.
They offer other gluten-free pastries too including banana bread with a peanut butter glaze, macaroons, and tarts. Sadly, I didn’t notice the banana bread until we were heading out the door. ): I could tell this muffin was gluten-free because of how dense it was, but it was still very good. It was moist on the inside and didn’t crumble when I picked it up. It did however, lack flavor so I added a little butter to the piece of muffin I tried.
My mom and I loved our breakfast so much we decided to go back for lunch before our flight left to Houston. CB has two locations in downtown Charleston, one near the College of Charleston campus and one within the historic market area. The latter of the two is much smaller and only has two tables for seating because it’s located in the center of the hustle and bustle of the old trading market. I really enjoyed their main location; it was so lively and everyone was so friendly and organized.
We both weren’t very hungry because we ate a late breakfast so we split a custom sandwich on their gluten-free baguette rolls. Their custom and original sandwiches look great and taste even better. I filled my custom sandwich with roasted turkey, provolone, baby spinach, roasted tomatoes, broccolini and basil pesto and then had it grilled like a Panini. The custom sandwiches are a little over 9 dollars which isn’t too bad but I would think its a little pricy for college kids.
My mom and I loved our sandwich! The favors blended perfectly–but that’s also because I thought long and hard about what ingredients to put into my sandwich. Although it wasn’t completely hot and toasty like a Panini, it was still good. I think the chef should have pressed the Panini press down harder so the cheese could melt and the insides could warm up, but hey I’m not complaining. That was by far the best gluten-free sandwich I have ever had. I was so thankful the bread didn’t crumble to pieces after my first bite. I managed to make it through the whole half of my sandwich without having to use a fork.
If you visit Charleston you HAVE to go to Caviar & Bananas! Seriously! Take my word for it, it’s absolutely delicious!