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I have been trying to get over to Basico for months -- and to be fair, I've driven over there, parked, and then not been able to actually get a table twice before we decided to give up on a weekend dinner and give it a go for brunch. I've been told that other people have not had such difficulty in getting a table there, so maybe we have always tried to go at inopportune times. Regardless, we finally went for brunch this weekend.
The restaurant sits next to the pool in the Mixson Bath and Racquet Club, and the decor reflects that. Bright, airy, clean, and beachy -- it's easy to forget from the inside that you checked to make sure your doors were locked twice in the parking lot.
I have expressed my displeasure about the dying art of service in our fine dining restaurants here in Charleston many times, but terrible waiters are just as prolific, if not worse, in the casual dining scene. I'm happy to report that our service at Basico was great, though. We were greeted and seated as soon as we walked in. Our group was fairly large (7), so our waiter quickly gathered three tables together and a high chair for our youngest diner without complaint. I was delighted that he was neither obnoxious and overbearing, nor did he abandon us. Plus, the drinks and food came out fairly quickly.
Speaking of the drinks, I am something of a margarita enthusiast, so I was really excited to try something from their drink menu. They have a wide variety of margaritas, and some new takes on traditional favorites, like the Frozen Cocojito, a frozen mojito made with fresh coconut milk. YUM. The Bloody Mary is also worth calling out, and it's not listed on the drink menu from their website. It's a build-your-own version, with all of the fixings served in a little caddy alongside the base drink of vodka and what tasted like an in-house Bloody Mary mix. I had a Spicy Grapefruit Margarita (pictured at the top of this page) that was fabulously tart, although maybe just a little lacking in the "spicy" department. It was delicious though, and I would definitely order it again.
The food ... surprised me. I expected it to be good, or we would not have gone there in the first place. I also expected it to be a little, well, greasy, since the Mexi-Spanish influenced restaurants tend to lean that way, but it really wasn't. In fact, everything was significantly less heavy than I expected it to be. Obviously, this isn't diet food, but we didn't leave feeling weighed down. The Brisket Hash my husband ordered ( which sounded like a whole lot of heart attack and greasy mess in a bowl to me ), was delicious. The brisket wasn't greasy -- it was tender. The patatas ( aka fried potatoes ) were also not greasy; they were simply crisp, as they should be. I ordered the Chilaquiles -- a sort of green mole chicken on top of a house-fried tortillas with queso fresco, a little bit of crema, and the crunchy, light addition of ( pickled? ) radishes in with the mix. Great on its own, although we probably could and should have split the dish, the flavors were amplified by the various hot sauces on the table ( which we had to ask to be brought to us ).
Overall, a great experience. We will definitely be going back for dinner, and if we get back for brunch sometime, I have a feeling I'll have to try the Chicken and Churros and the Vegetarian Hash.
* all food descriptions under the photos were taken directly from the menu.
The menu reads heavier than the food tastes. Everything was rich, but fresh. Fabulous drinks.
Brisket Hash, Chilaquiles, and ask for their hot sauces.
Spicy Grapefruit Margarita, Make-your-own Bloody Mary
4399 McCarthy Street
North Charleston, South Carolina 29405
Off of Durant Street, at the Mixson Bath and Racquet Club.
In the gravel lot across the way from the Restaurant, or in one of the few (free) parallel parking spots on the road.