[image-1] New Jersey natives Marc and Elizabeth Hudacsko started missing the food they grew up on shortly after they flew south to Charleston four years ago. They fell in love with the Holy City while on their honeymoon and made Charleston their permanent home when Marc got the call to help open Little Jack’s Tavern. Elizabeth also found a home at Little Jack’s as a bartender, but about a year and a half in, the couple decided they wanted to join the pop-up craze.
“We started We Flew South two years ago and would set up in the parking lots of breweries and bars. We would bring the griddle, folding tables, and all the ingredients in our car,” says Marc, who explains that the pop-up’s OG dish was their Reuben. Later, the We Flew South cheesesteak, a riff on the original you can find in Philadelphia (Whiz and all), gained a cult following. Things were going well, but the itinerant lifestyle became too much for the couple, so they called things off for a bit in February 2019.
Just over a year later, Marc and Elizabeth are back with a slightly altered concept, as they prepare for a residency at The Daily starting Fri. Feb. 21.
“We missed it, but we wanted to find a home where we could provide more of a restaurant experience this time around,” says Marc. The couple’s new “red sauce” concept furthers the type of dining experience they hope to create. Just like their Reubens and cheesesteaks, the newest offering is an ode to New Jersey. “Italian dining in New Jersey is not the same as it is in Charleston,” says Elizabeth. “Here, it’s chef-driven, seasonal, and thoughtfully curated which is great, but we missed the chicken-parm-hangin’-off-the-plate types of places we loved back home.”
With this in mind, Marc and Elizabeth created a new menu with dishes like linguini in clam sauce, Marc’s famous meatballs, homemade focaccia, and of course chicken parmesan. Elizabeth also came up with a new tiramisu recipe in honor of her husband, who is obsessed with the Italian dessert.
“The biggest thing I learned when developing the recipe is that the ladyfinger cookies, which are dipped in a rum and coffee mixture, should be cocktail party tipsy not frat party drunk.” According to Marc, she’s found the perfect combination, and the dessert will be a staple during their residency at The Daily. As for beverages, pop-up attendees will be able to choose from mostly Italian wines handpicked by the Hudacskos along with a selection of imported Italian spritzers and local craft beers.
The real driving force behind We Flew South’s red sauce concept is simplicity; not necessarily in technique but more so in flavor profiles. “Classic is classic for a reason,” says Marc, who notes that his front-of-house experience has taught him to take grandiose ideas and turn them into reality. The couple hopes the pared-down offerings will allow the house-made ingredients to shine through, and the service will match the cuisine. “I want to make people feel like they are eating in our house,” says Elizabeth. Fans of the famous cheesesteak and reuben are surely wondering if they will be making an appearance at The Daily.
“We definitely want that, but we don’t want to lean into it right away,” says Elizabeth. “Right now, we are planning to give the cheesesteak its own special night. We want to give our red sauce menu the chance to shine for the first couple of weeks.” If the couple’s two-day takeover at Daps Breakfast & Imbibe back in 2018 is any indication, the new menu will be a hit.
We Flew South isn’t the first concept to set up shop for an extended period of time at The Daily. Sichuan eatery Kwei Fei spent over a year at the daytime destination before finding a full time home on James Island. Spanglish, a West Ashley Cuban eatery, also used a stint at The Daily to propel their concept. Marc and Elizabeth don’t shy away from the idea of eventually owning a brick and mortar restaurant, but say they want to take things slowly for now.
We Flew South will be stationed at The Daily on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 to 11 p.m. through the end of March. Most entrees fall in the $18 to $22 range, and the Hudacskos will also feature several appetizers that are in the $10 range. Based on their red sauce roots, we can imagine the portion sizes will not leave guests hungry.