Mercantile and Mash

Culinary destination, established 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.


By Hope S. Philbrick

The tagline for the new Mercantile and Mash, located in Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Cigar Factory on East Bay Street, is “Gourmet Foods Emporium. American Whiskey & Beer.” True, but that doesn’t even cover it. This foodie haven is also a deli, charcuterie and meat market, a coffee bar, a cook- bookstore, a place to indulge in some truly addictive creative fare, where to immerse yourself among locals, and a place to get served by some of the friendliest staff members you’ll ever meet in a restaurant—even in The South where hospitality rules.

On a recent lunch visit, it took mere moments for me to warm up to the place: The rustic dining room was vibrating with the energy of its eager patrons. Regulars stood in line at the order counter, some debating what to order but most not even looking at a menu, presumably eager to sink their teeth into familiar favorites. I opted to try a few popular dishes.

Mercantile and MashMercantile and Mash

Sweet corn soup is true to its name, sweet and sunny yellow with just a timid touch of heat from sweet pepper chow chow and scallions. The roast beef sandwich piles juicy meat inside a soft ciabatta along with tangy horseradish cream, tart pickled onions and spicy baby arugula. A new salad tops greens with spicy fennel and radish plus candied pecans and tangy goat cheese.

Every bite impressed, but what most made my taste buds jump with joy was the chickpea and feta side salad. That little bowl of savory goodness was sheer yum.

Mercantile and MashMercantile and Mash

I also fell in love with a little Vietnamese nitro coffee concoction that was savory and sweet, icy and spicy. I have no idea what they put into that beverage, but it was a decadent treat at the end of the meal. “Some folks order it and add it to black coffee,” said one staffer. I could get on board with that line of thinking, but it’s also lip-licking perfection on its own.

Mercantile and Mash is a great place to tap into contemporary casual Charleston cuisine.

More Information…

Mercantile and Mash
701 East Bay Street
Charleston SC 29403

Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Mercantile and Mash hosts adults-oriented events including live musical entertainment, CAB Prime Rib Mondays, happy hour deals, late night menus and more. It was also picked by Playboy for its “Best Bars 2016″ list.

Odds of Encountering Children: Possible, but low. I saw none during my weekday lunchtime visit.

– Photos © HSP Media LLC

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

HSP15Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. She’s reviewed restaurants for several Atlanta-based newspapers and magazines for decades. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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