Popular Mt. Pleasant Eateries Have Become Family Friendly Dining Experiences
By: Jeff Walker, Restaurant Review
Just a stones throw off Coleman Boulevard on Simmons Street, next to the Moultrie Plaza Shopping Center, sits a mini family-friendly, food and beverage compound catering to three specific tastes. Vintage Coffee Cafe and Coastal Crust & Creamery are a comfort food triple threat, serving up distinctive cups of java, awesome wood-fired neopolitan pizzas, and old school ice cream favorites. As an added bonus Coastal Crust carries select wines and local brews to accompany their bill of fare.
Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Brian and Shelly Piesner, the genesis for Coastal Crust began with a dream back where Brian grew up in Long Island New York. His family owned a retail quick lube business, while his grandparents ran a bakery. Building on those two foundations, combined with Brian’s love for pizza and restoring cars, he quickly came up with the idea of a catering business designed around pizza, all served up out of a 1950’s vintage food truck. The dream hit the road in 2013.
Maybe you’re asking yourself, ‘how did Brian make his way to Charleston?’. A gifted athlete Brian played college soccer for Rutgers University in New Jersey, and upon graduation he was drafted by our very own Charleston Battery in 2001. As divine intervention would have it, Brian met his true love (Shelly), and after travelling a good bit, they decided to start a family and make Charleston their permanent home. The couple have three children all involved in soccer, with Brian coaching as often as he can.
With the family’s humble beginnings out of the way, let’s return to our regularly scheduled food & beverage story. 2013 found the very first Coastal Crust food truck hit the streets. The authenticity and quality of the product led to niche catering events, and before the Piesner’s knew it, they decided a brick & mortar location was now part of their vision, and in 2015 Vintage Coffee & Cafe threw open its doors at 219 Simmons St., with the mobile pizza oven still ‘wood firing’ all over greater Charleston.
As Vintage Coffee began to brew up a storm and become a fixture east of the Cooper, the Piesner’s soon realized they needed to open a Coastal Crust that was just as concrete, thus a small comfort food dynasty began to take shape. Keeping with the charm and family friendly atmosphere, Brian converted a small shack into a workable kitchen, adding a outside dining pavilion complete with a vintage truck doubling as a playground for young pizza lovers. An adjacent building provides office space for their growing empire, and helps secure the more personalized late night dining courtyard, that is equally ideal for hosting private events up to 40 people comfortably.
Although visiting Brian’s wonderland would be a trip back in time, and set the tone for a relaxing meal with family and friends, without superb food & drink it wouldn’t be a complete dining experience. Not to worry, whether you’re dropping by for coffee or pizza, three of your senses including smell, taste, and sight will be totally captivated with the allure.
Whether you prefer traditional lite bites, or those a bit more healthy, Vintage has you covered. Open 7-3pm daily, Vintage offer handheld edibles, salads, and the ever popular acai bowls that are ideal for breakfast, brunch or a late lunch. The Classic Waffle is served up oozing with honey butter, maple syrup, and a side of scrambled eggs. Their namesake Breakfast Sandwich comes complete with fried egg, crispy prosciutto, muenster cheese, roasted tomato, caper aioli, on toasted sourdough. Both complement a great cup of coffee.
Eight signature sandwiches in all, including a unique twist on the Classic Grilled Cheese, using sharp cheddar layered inside a brioche bun. At just $5, it’s perfect for kids of all ages. Vintage’s two Acai Bowls start with puréed frozen açai berries and home-made granola, with the Classic laced in fruit and honey, and the Peanut Butter Cocoa slathered in shaved chocolate and creamy peanut butter. Freakin’ awesome!
Cups of piping hot joe and cold brewed treats are the real reasons early risers flock to Vintage. 10 year old Perc Coffee Roasters out of our sister city Savannah is the coffee bean provider of choice at Vintage, with exotic beans from Africa, Central and South America grinding daily to satisfy your caffeine fix. Whether your elixir of choice is a hot or cold brew, iced lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiattos (with double shots of espresso), or any of their six signature special drink concoctions, the baristas at Vintage serve it up with a smile, and to perfection.
Tea lovers are not left out of the mix. Vintage offer up seven specialty loose leaf variations both hot or iced, including a few with southern appeal. The Scarlett is a distinctive herbal blend with hints of hibiscus, rose hips, cherries, mango, blueberry, orange peel, and passion fruit. The Jasmine Pearl and the Peach Blossom (an organic white tea blend) reflect the genteel sipping nature of the low country. Both are ideal for sipping on the front porch.
Keeping with their laid back family friendly approach, Vintage carry Joe Tea, an American style iced tea brewed in the Garden State (NJ). With bold flavors such as raspberry, peach, lemon, and ginseng as well as a classic 50’s era truck on the label, it’s no small surprise Brian opted for Joe Tea. Perhaps you crave fermented teas using ingredients from South Carolina farms. 10 year One Love Kombucha from Johns Island has grown in popularity with unique flavors such as butterfly lavender, turmeric trio, and strawberry basil. Sip, relax, and repeat.
Just across the Hudson River from Joe Tea, NY based Boylan Bottling Company supply Coastal with their cane sugar gourmet soft drinks which come in an assortment of flavors, as well as diet varieties. Every beverage on the menu is $5 or under, unless you’re enjoying a bubbly mimosa for $8. Come in with friends and split a carafe of classic or specialty mimosas for just $28. Goes great with a pizza or an appetizer.
Speaking of pizza, Coastal Crust throw open their ovens doors from 4pm til 9pm Monday through Wednesday, and 11am until 9pm the rest of the week. What that means is, four days out of the week you can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, and dinner at Vintage and Coastal Crust combined. Old school Italian neopolitan style wood fired pizza is what they are known for, and the staff at Coastal Crust do not disappoint.
Ten signature pizzas await you at Coastal, with a the Classic Cheese coming in at $13, and sufficient enough to feed two or three hungry types. A couple dining in will easily have a couple of slices to take home. The Charred Veggie complete with roasted garlic oil, broccoli rabe, red onion, zucchini, and whipped ricotta will tastefully satisfy non meat eaters.
But for those with a carnivorous appetite, I recommend the Meatball Ricotta topped with homemade meatballs, or the Supremo, covered in pepperoni, housemade sausage, caramelized onions, and Calabrian (spicy) peppers. Both will arouse your taste buds! Hell yes, Coastal Crust offer up gluten free and vegan cheese alternatives for those with sensitive palates. No matter how you get your pizza, they all come with that slightly charred crust, meaning they are wood fired to perfection.
Not in the mood for pizza (God forbid), Coastal Crust serve up three Insalatas (salads), and two ‘must have’ antipasto (appetizers) dishes that are as they say ‘to die for’. The Classic Italian and the Caesar salads are as imagined. However, the Arugula Salad is its own taste sensation. Caramelized onion, baby heirloom tomato, toasted pine nuts, whipped ricotta, and pesto all laced with balsamic vinaigrette.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Coastal’s two appetizers. The Polpetto Al Forno is Italian for ‘incredibly oversized ideally seasoned baked meatballs smothered in house-made marinara, with a hint of basil’. Freakin’ awesome. A meal in itself. Teeming with sliced salami, artisanal cheeses, house pickles, artisanal nuts, pepper jelly, house-made hot honey, and house-made focaccia (flat oven-baked Italian bread), The Peasant is Coastal’s charcuterie plate. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a royal treat, ideal with any of the more than dozen Italian wines listed on the menu. Sip by the glass or the bottle.
What good would pizza be without beer. They have been paired for centuries and Coastal keep it local with a rotating selection of low country based brewers. They work closely with Edmund’s Oast, Commonhouse, Revelry, Munkle and Westbrook. Those five local breweries and their selections of beers continually rotate on tap in the restaurant, and on their mobile eatery trucks.
Adding Coastal Creamery & Candy Shop to the mix was the dream of Brian’s kids and completes the comfort food trifecta. Although they don’t make the ice cream they serve up, adding the renovated 1973 Airstream adorned in pink and white to the coffee and pizza shops further enhances the overall concept of family togetherness. Step inside the vintage RV for a cup, a cone, or maybe a cold milkshake, while the little ones scoop some of their favorite candies.
Vintage Coffee and Coastal Crust don’t have extensive menus. They focus on what they do best, and do it to perfection. They serve up breakfast sandwiches and pastries from early morning to mid afternoon, alongside pizza, salads, and appetizers starting midday, all that complement their extensive beverage list (coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer & wine). With the addition of the appropriately decorated 1970’s Airstream serving up cold and creamy delights, the entire complex is a nostalgic adventure.
Vintage Coffee Cafe is ideal for jump starting your day, whereas Coastal Crust is ideal to just come and chill. Enjoy your first date here, or several dates. Bring your kids, bring their grandparents, bring your church, social and civic groups, or maybe treat the team to some pizza and ice cream after the big game. First and foremost Vintage and Coastal are about good food & drink in a family friendly environment. Enjoy great pizza, appetizers, and salads while the young ones are playing on the vintage playground.
Vintage Coffee and Coastal Crust are homegrown and a welcome neighbor in Mount Pleasant. And while Vintage is set in stone, Coastal Crust has three sister locations, with one at 979 Harbor View Road in James Island, 5802 Palmetto Drive (Wild Dunes) on the Isle of Palms, and 1254 Pendleton Street in Greenville. Eat and repeat! Looking for a super cool way to spice up your weeding party or next event, try them on for a unique catering experience. For more on Coastal Crust visit https://www.coastalcrust.com/
On a side note, while coffee and pizza fill Brian’s food & beverage dreams, he stills loves to remodel classic trucks from yesteryear. When he’s not spending time at any of his locations, or with family, you can find Brian remodeling trucks for fellow food truck entrepreneurs. Ready to start your own private mobile catering venture, than let Brian help you ride in style. His creative genius will blow you away. For more visit https://www.coastalcrustdesign.com/
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