Kitchen 208 is the sort of place that should inspire confidence. After all, it’s run by the Charming Inns hospitality group.
The same team also oversees historical venues such as the John Rutledge House, Fulton Lane Inn, Wentworth Mansion and the always excellent Circa 1886 restaurant.
Kitchen 208 impresses aesthetically, too. Exposed brick walls, heart of pine flooring and a well-shaded outdoor area heighten the restaurant’s appeal.
Serving breakfast, brunch and lunch, the restaurant’s menu charms, as well.
The sandwich board receives top billing, stoking appetites with buttermilk fried chicken, house-smoked turkey and brisket, local shrimp, meatloaf, and fresh ground peanut butter and house jam.
To wit, there’s the well-layered Pickleback ($9), made with pork loin, pickled green tomatoes, Bibb lettuce, bourbon fig jam and goat cheese heaped onto sourdough bread.
The Belle-Gem ($9) is no pushover either, containing fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, whole grain mustard aioli and Swiss cheese, the whole thing held together by a bacon-flavored waffle.
Then there’s the Smokey Joe ($9), a brisket offering with caramelized onions, aged cheddar cheese and pickles on Texas toast.
All of it sounds pretty incredible, right? Only, the sandwiches don’t come together as imagined.
The brisket is mild, the fried chicken is on the blandish side, but more likely, the sandwiches tend to suffer from ingredient overkill.
It’s difficult to taste or glean the flavors from the individual pieces.
Breakfast promises tasty egg dishes, biscuits and more, while Sunday brunch offers the best of the breakfast and lunch menus.
And criticism aside, the restaurant is worth revisiting. Given Kitchen 208’s lineage and the obvious care invested in the restaurant, it’s easy to picture these early wrinkles as distant memories.