Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C.

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

I mentioned in an earlier post that Greenville's food scene is what first attracted me to the city. It's been covered by the likes of Esquire magazine and is a regular in regional pubs like Garden & Gun. But beyond these third-party reviews, I knew little about Greenville's local flavor. So, I decided to head down and get a taste for myself. And...it was delicious.

You'd expect a city like Greenville to have plenty of tasty takes on Southern cuisine (and you'll definitely find it here), but because the area is home to headquarters for global companies like BMW, there's also plenty of international influence. So far most of Greenville's tourism is a result of the meetings and conventions crowd, but that's quickly changing thanks to its great restaurants and lively Main Street.

I have to start by saying that my favorite meal, hands down, came from Soby's. Unfortunately, we had a major delay in our flight and ended up spending 12+ hours at LaGuardia here in New York City (YAY!), so we missed our reservations at the restaurant and I subsequently have no pictures to show. But I'd heard such great things about Chef Shaun Garcia's food that we decided to order takeout.

Even delivery at midnight, the food was amazing.

Chef Shaun was born and raised in the area and his Soby's menu mixes old Southern staples with contemporary and international techniques. I can't even begin to describe the joy that is Chef Shaun's homemade spicy pimento cheese. It comes with baguette chips and pickled okra, and eating it was a downright religious experience for me. Other highlights included watermelon salad with local feta cheese, crab cakes with sweet corn and a chocolate peanut butter layer cake (with caramel popcorn!). Unreal.

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Recent changes to alcohol legislation have made it easier for microbreweries and distilleries to operate in South Carolina, and Greenville has plenty to offer by way of booze. We made a stop at The Greenville Growler Station to taste local and regional beers. I could have stayed and talked with "Big Jon" all day long. He's just a really cool guy and a great host.

The station is set up like a coffee shop up front so you can kick back with your tastings and there's also a row of refrigerated craft brews as well as taps for filling up growlers. Big Jon also leads Greenville Brew Tours, which we didn't have time to try but I'd definitely spend a few hours with him!

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Our last full day in Greenville was rainy and chilly. So, lunch at Nose Dive was the perfect comfort-food meal. We did a round of grit "tots" topped with pulled pork and chili jam for an appetizer and then I moved on to the massive, delicious Mason-Dixon sandwich - New England lobster salad with fried scallops in a dill vinaigrette. (Pictured at the top.)

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Afterward, I walked off the sandwich and its accompanying sweet potato fries all the way down the street to Dark Corner Distillery, where I proceeded to taste and buy homemade moonshine and whiskey. It's owned by a husband-wife team and is a great place to pick up some souvenirs that you'll actually want to take home. (If you're able to hold on to the bottles that long.)

We topped the week off at American Grocery, which is more of a fine dining experience. Like all of the restaurants we visited in Greenville, American Grocery uses local fruits, veggies and cheeses as well as goods from artisan producers around the country. The menu changes frequently, but my favorites were steamed mussels in a smoked paprika cream and a Caesar salad with Parmesan croutons that tasted like a giant, freshly baked Cheez-It...but even better.

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Destinations: Eating & Drinking in Greenville, S.C. - Style Jaunt by Katarina Kovacevic

Of course one of my personal highlights of the entire trip was taking a cooking class with Mark Pollard at Charleston Cooks. And other spots I'd definitely recommend are Roost for breakfast and Blues Boulevard Jazz for live music and drinks.

PHOTOS BY: Stjepan Alaupovic
MORE INFO: Yeah, That Greenville

3 comments:

  1. loooove Greenville Eats so much! I always have to stop by and grab a biscuit from Tupelo Honey :)

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