It’s no secret that many students at College of Charleston are interested in eating fresh, healthy, and sustainable diets. It’s also no secret that the dining halls here sometimes fail to meet that standard of freshness we desire in our food choices. In addition, many students here follow a Kosher, vegetarian, or vegan diet, and it’s hard to maintain those and still be a regular at City Bistro.

Fortunately for all of you who relate with these problems, the Jewish Studies Program here at CofC is adding a new dining hall onto the existing Jewish Studies center, and it will serve Kosher, vegetarian, and vegan food. It’s called Marty’s Place, named after Marty Perlmutter, the director of CofC Jewish Studies, and it’s gonna be awesome.

Photo courtesy of College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program

I had the privilege of representing CofC Spoon at a menu tasting event for Marty’s Place, and I got to experience some of what they will be serving first hand. Here’s a picture of me cheesin’ it up in front of the welcome sign to the event.

Photo courtesy of Mark Swick

We were given 3 full courses throughout the tasting, and each was truly delicious. The first course included a mezze platter with pickled vegetables, pitas, and hummus. Next, the black bean torta with avocado and vegetables was the star of the second course. Finally, the third course included some mac and cheese that was downright amazing.

Overall, the food was healthy and light, while still being interesting with layers of flavor. My two personal favorites were the black bean torta (perfect balance of crunchy/soft textures and spicy/savory flavors) and the sriracha roasted cauliflower (the spiciness was addictive). Some other homeruns were the portabella burger and the vegan matzo ball soup, which someone described as “as good as their Nana’s” (if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will).

marty's place

Photo courtesy of Mark Swick

The mission of this new dining hall is to “create a space that recognizes the great power and importance of food in bringing people together and creating a true sense of place and community,” according to the College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program. Open to the greater Charleston community in addition to CofC students, it will remain open all day and will allow diners to buy individual items, as opposed to the structured meal times and all-you-can-eat style of our existing dining halls. Also, it will accept cash/credit in addition to CofC meal plans and dining dollars.

Marty’s Place opens January 10th at 1:30 pm. The dining hall, located at 96 Wentworth St., will celebrate its entrance to the Charleston community with a launch party open to everyone. We’re excited to see what this addition does for the future of Charleston dining, both for college students and for the community around us.