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Charlestonian Meets the Upstate - Greenville, SC

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giddyupchowgirl Jul 23, 2010 05:33 PM

My husband and I just moved to Greenville, SC and, needless to say, we are starting from scratch when it comes to finding tasty spots to dine in the Upstate. I've read several posts on Chowhound re: Restaurants in Greenville, but am finding that many recommended restaurants, to my knowledge, either no longer exist, are tourist traps, or have very mixed reviews on other message boards. That said, I hope that by posting this topic, some of you experienced Hounders can give some good, solid recommendations or perhaps, through our dinning experiences, this will help out others who are looking for fantastic food in Greenville, SC (which I am told exists beyond my own kitchen!).

Now, no offense, but when I ask the locals where to dine, I am inevitably directed towards chain restaurants or obvious tourist traps (I find it hard to believe that Mellow Mushroom has the best pizza!?!). While I am sure they are wonderful to some, my husband and I prefer to have a dinning experience completely based around fantastic, well prepared food, not just a name, award or expensive decor.

So where should we check out? We even need the basic standbys... like where to get a good pizza on a Sunday night... a good place to get a cheese board and good wine... etc, etc!

Oh, these are the places we have tried so far...

The Bohemian - Everything we've had here has been really tasty, but a few of the items are a little too pricey (i.e. $17 for a curry dish, $12 burger).

Ristorante Bergamo - Great place to people watch, pasta was really good, but a little to expensive for pasta that wasn't handmade.

Saigon Fast Food - SO glad we went here (thanks to a Hounders recc). The bun was amazing and every dish that came out of the kitchen looked incredible. We probably will get take-out next time around.

Sweet Basil - We had the Masaman Curry & the Pad Kee Mao, both were very tasty, but a touch on the sweet side. Prices were reasonable in comparison to our fav in Charleston, Basil. We'll definitely be back...

Cantinflaus - Very skeptical about this one (umm... fries w/a burrito?!?), as this was simply a walk-in since we had friends in town that were hungry. Food was good, but we are still in a desperate need to find a good SoCal mexican restaurant. Our fav is ZIA in Charleston (FYI).

Murasaki - The sushi was Ok in my opinion. The seaweed salad was obviously dyed bright green. The search is still on for good sushi...

Luna Rosa - Killer gelato... seriously the best I've had, and that's saying a lot since I have had some delicious gelato in Italy (the good ones)!

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Saigon Fast Food
1011 N Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

Ristorante Bergamo
100 N Main St, Greenville, SC 29601

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    Littleman RE: giddyupchowgirl Jul 23, 2010 06:10 PM

    Have you been to Devereaux's for fine dining near the Westin and serving cuisine influenced by French, Asian and Southern dishes. Try it. You won't regret it. Larkin's on the River near The Peace Center has great seafood and steaks. Have dinner before a performance there. Northgate has good burgers.

    Devereaux's @ 25 East Court St., Greenville, SC 864 - 241 - 3030.
    http://www.devereauxsdining.com/
    Larkin's on the River @ 318 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 864 - 467 - 9777.
    http://www.larkinsontheriver.com/
    Northgate Soda Shop @ 918 North Main St., Greenville, SC 864 - 235 - 6770.

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    Devereaux's
    25 East Court Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601

    1. m
      McPhee RE: giddyupchowgirl Jul 23, 2010 06:50 PM

      Trattoria Girorgio downtown for Italian.
      Charlies Steak House more for the atmosphere than the food, but I like the food. the onion rings rule
      Two Guys in Simpsonville for pizza. Hands down. Place is kind of scary. try the meatball pie.
      Pita House for Middle Eastern. Best falafel ever.
      Addys for a real European experience. The food is good but not revolutionary, but they do have a great beer selection.
      Saffron for Indian.
      Las Tortas something on Wade Hampton for Mexican, or, if you're adventurous, numerous places on White Horse Road. For the latter, some Spanish would be helpful.
      I second Devereaux's

      Welcome to Greenville. The food scene is not as good as Asheville, but outside of seafood, I honestly think it compares favorably to Charleston.

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      Devereaux's
      25 East Court Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601

      Pita House
      495B S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

      4 Replies
      1. re: McPhee
        g
        giddyupchowgirl RE: McPhee Jul 23, 2010 07:34 PM

        Thanks SO much for all the recommendations, McPhee & Littleman. We are excited to check these places out!

        Good to know you both think favorably of Devereaux's... I thought that might be a good place to go when we have visitors from out of town. The menu looks good!

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        Devereaux's
        25 East Court Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601

        1. re: McPhee
          danna RE: McPhee Jul 24, 2010 04:54 PM

          I agree w/ Pita House, I agree with Las Meras Tortas (original location on White Horse at the 253 intersection).

          Could not disagree more with the Trattoria Gorgio Rec. I gave it 2 tries and it was awful each time. I hate to be so untactful about disagreeing with another 'hound, but WOW, I'm always shocked to here good reviews of that place. And "compares favorably to Charleston" ....I read that 3 times to make sure I didn't misunderstand it. You've got to be kidding!! IMO,there's practically nothing decent to eat in Greenville and Charleston is a very good food city. Oh, how I WISH I could agree, though!

          OP, for sushi, the sad truth is you are going to have to cultivate a relationship with your sushi chef to get good sushi. My first few trips to Murasake were totally mediocre until I became known as a regular. I'm just now re-cultivating friendship w/ Koji (corner of Main and Beattie) but it's coming along well. It's not right, they should give the good stuff to everyone, but apparently that's just not the way it works.

          Keep us posted on your food search, it's fun to hear reviews from people new to the area with different expectations and experiences.

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          Pita House
          495B S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

          Las Meras Tortas
          6119 White Horse Rd Ste 1, Greenville, SC 29611

          1. re: danna
            m
            McPhee RE: danna Jul 25, 2010 06:26 AM

            Danna, what I meant was, as someone who does not like seafood, I have been disappointed many times at very nice places (not just in Charleston). We'll just have to agree to disagree on Giorgio's.

            1. re: danna
              g
              giddyupchowgirl RE: danna Jul 25, 2010 09:18 AM

              Thanks for the insider 411 re: sushi. Definitely going to work on my relationship building skills with those chefs :)

              I'll absolutely keep you posted on our culinary adventure through Greenville!

          2. a
            ap65065 RE: giddyupchowgirl Jul 25, 2010 12:25 PM

            Best sushi in town is Koji (on Main) or Purple International Bistro (near the Stadium). I've been to both dozens of times at this point and haven't ever invested time to "get in" with the sushi chef, but still reap the benefits of wondeful sushi at both.

            Bangkok Thai (Pelham Road) has great Thai food.

            We get our Sunday night pizza fix from Sciortiono's (Pelham Road) which is relatively new and serves true NY style pizza (family owned a pizza joint in NY for many years and have relocated here).

            Lazy Goat offers reliable food with a creative chef (anyone who gets Thomas Keller talking about several of their dishes is fiiiiine in my book). The atmosphere is really bland and sterile though, but they have a great outdoor patio when it isn't 104 degrees outside.

            Nantucket Seafood Grill - best seafood option in town, also most expensive seafood option in town.

            Totally agree with Pita House - love it and Luna Rosa - great gelato. Luna Rosa also does a true Italian panini that is wonderful, if not a smidge pricey.

            Papas and Beer (Haywood Road) is a CalMex restaurant that is waaaaay better than any of the other mainstream mex restaurants around here.

            I haven't found an italian place in town that is worth repeating for something other than pizza....

            Saffron's Indian (off of Woodruff at Miller Road) - best Indian in town.

            Bin 112 in Greer is a fave of mine - bistro style menu, everything available in app or entree portions, good seasonal selection, and really, my fave thing is the homemade ice cream option that changes each week on the dessert menu. huge gluten free menu as well.

            Love American Grocery, though it's not an everyday dining kind of place.

            Stella's Bistro in Simpsonville is worth the drive. Doesn't look like much - in a strip mall - but great care in ingredients (local) and preparation.

            Several places in town my hubby and I get a cheese plate and wine: Devereaux's is our fave, especially on Sundays when it's half price wine night, Smiley's Acoustic Cafe, American Grocery, Lazy Goat, Bin 112.

            Les Meras Tortas! The other posters are right - this is a good one to seek out!

            Welcome to Greenville!

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            American Grocery Restaurant
            732 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601

            Devereaux's
            25 East Court Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601

            Pita House
            495B S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

            The Lazy Goat
            170 Riverplace Dr, Greenville, SC 29601

            3 Replies
            1. re: ap65065
              danna RE: ap65065 Jul 25, 2010 07:01 PM

              Nantucket Seafood Grill? where have I been? I don't think I've ever heard of it. Please fill me in!

              Purple Bistro is apparently another example of how weird and variable it is to eat sushi in G'ville. We used to eat at Murasake at Cherrydale just because of Chef Jack. Served us some wonderful stuff. He's the owner of Purple Bistro, and I have been there 3 times. He came to our table, talked about how he was free to be creative and do whatever he wanted at his own place. We ordered chef's choice, and then he sent out very, plain, decent, but decidedly not special sushi. fake crab nigiri, cooked shrimp nigiri, and something else. Blah. Same the other 2 chances we gave it. I'm just at a loss to explain it, but I guess I won't be going back. Glad you've had better luck.

              1. re: danna
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                NANCY RE: danna Jul 28, 2010 06:42 AM

                Nantucket Seafood Grill is the restaurant in the new hotel right next to the Peace Center. It's part of the Rick Erwins group. Haven't been yet.
                http://www.nantucketseafoodgrill.com/...

                1. re: danna
                  a
                  ap65065 RE: danna Aug 1, 2010 09:52 AM

                  Nancy is right - it's the new Rick Erwin restaurant in the new Marriott downtown. Very chic, very pricey, very "it" spot to be right now. We went seeking out oysters b/c you can't find decent New England oysters in this town and they were simply amazing. We also had mussels which were excellent and a couple of VERY expensive bottles of wine. I've heard good things about the entrees, but haven't done that aspect of the menu yet.

              2. slotmansc RE: giddyupchowgirl Jul 28, 2010 04:54 AM

                I really like Adam's Bistro out on Pelham also, plus you can BYOW, which saves some money!

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                  giddyupchowgirl RE: JB BANNISTER Jul 29, 2010 06:25 PM

                  WOW... thanks again for all the suggestions. I can't tell you how happy I am having so many food options in the Upstate, especially those that are recommended by food lovers! I think my hubby and I will be gaining some serious lbs over the next couple of weeks :)

                  Update:
                  Lazy Goat... I met a few new friends there for apps and drinks tonight and what they ordered for the table was really tasty! We had the shrimp app, the Spanish omlet pizza, and fries... I just nibbled, but I was really happy with every bite. The mojitos were a bit too heavy on the simple syrup in my opinion, though I hear they have some of the best mojitos in town.

                  I have a business lunch at Adam's Bistro next week - so I am glad to hear good things.

                  This weekend I hope to check out Las Meras Tortas and get a little lunch at Northgate Soda Shop... I will keep you posted on how that goes.

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                  Las Meras Tortas
                  6119 White Horse Rd Ste 1, Greenville, SC 29611

                  The Lazy Goat
                  170 Riverplace Dr, Greenville, SC 29601

                  1. t
                    tennreb RE: giddyupchowgirl Aug 4, 2010 03:21 PM

                    I am a Charlestonian and I will be working in Greenville one weekend a month, so I will need good places for Friday and Saturday night meals. Looking for something different than what I can get in Charleston.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tennreb
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                      giddyupchowgirl RE: tennreb Sep 3, 2010 02:17 PM

                      Honestly, everything I have had here is a touch different than what you can get in Charleston... I mean that in a good way.

                      There are some obvious parallels, like Hank's Seafood and Nantucket (which I actually prefer Nantucket well over Hank's), American Grocery reminds me a bit of FIG (my FAVE), concept wise, but AG's menu is completely different than anything I have seen in Charleston (both chefs James Beard award winners), Devereaux's reminds me a little of Cypress or McCrady's (pre-Chef Sean Brock), not sure why really, but it does... nonetheless they all offer a completely different culinary experience than what you would get in Charleston, so check em' all out.

                      In my opinion for something completely different that what's in Charleston, check out Lazy Goat (menu is pretty eclectic), Pita House and Bohemian for lunch, Pomegrantes (Persian - haven't been there yet but hear good things). Keep us posted on what you check out!

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                      McCrady's Restaurant
                      2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

                      American Grocery Restaurant
                      732 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601

                      Devereaux's
                      25 East Court Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601

                      Hank's Seafood Restaurant
                      10 Hayne Street, Charleston, SC 29401

                      Pita House
                      495B S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

                      The Lazy Goat
                      170 Riverplace Dr, Greenville, SC 29601

                    2. g
                      giddyupchowgirl RE: giddyupchowgirl Sep 3, 2010 01:57 PM

                      Thought I post a little update on my culinary experiences thus far.... life's been busy experiencing this new city and we're loving every minute of it!

                      Lazy Goat - I think I have eaten here 4x now and every meal has been delicious. The last meal I had there was during Foodie Fest and all of our meals were great (fish, meat, dessert...). I have to admit though, my two favorite things there are the blistered tomatoes and shrimp and the pomme frites (crave-able french fries).

                      Deveraux's- Also went during Foodie Fest and everyone we went with had an exceptional meal. My fish was a bit overcooked, but other than that the meal was spot on and definitely a crowd pleaser. We will definitely be back and will keep it as a "go-to" place when company is in town.

                      Larkins- I have been underwhelmed with the meals I have had here. This could be because their she-crab is said to be "better than anything in Charleston" and I have to beg to differ.

                      Pita House- SO happy this was recommended. I am in love. Some of the best falafel I have had in a long, long time. And the homemade hot sauce.... I could devour a bottle! The market section is really neat too.

                      Bohemian- We eat here often for dinner, but I have to say, we just tried their brunch last weekend and holy cow, it was incredible!

                      Rick Erwins-Great service, crowd pleaser, but in my opinion, the sides we had were way too salty. With that said, we will definitely be back.

                      Nantucket- Hands down my favorite restaurant so far. Great service, fantastic dinning room and food was great. The bar scene looks enticing too. I will definitely bring out of town guests here.

                      Sushi Koji- My favorite sushi spot so far and they have great happy hour specials (on sushi and beer).

                      Thai Sky- Have ordered take out twice and both times delicious and bit more on the lighter side than other thai I have had in this city (not as greasy).

                      Adams Bistro-Their hummus has to be the best hummus I have ever had. While the entrees we had were a bit heavier than I am used to, the food was delicious!

                      Two Chefs (lunch)- Great little lunch spot. Wish they had a bit more variety, but all in all, very Dean and Deluca-esque.

                      On the list to check out soon... Saffrons (Indian), Sciortiono's (pizza), Northampton Wine Shop, Stella's, Bin 112. Oh, and a mexican restaurant my husband said is the best he's had yet (in Greenville) - stay tuned for the name.

                      Any other suggestions? What about a BBQ joint?

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                      Pita House
                      495B S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

                      The Lazy Goat
                      170 Riverplace Dr, Greenville, SC 29601

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: giddyupchowgirl
                        slotmansc RE: giddyupchowgirl Sep 15, 2010 12:02 PM

                        For authentic mexican, I'd try Las Meras Tortas on White Horse Road. Went there based on a CH rec, and it was outstanding. Not in the best area of town, but nice, clean, and friendly staff. Sits in a old walmart shopping center, almost by itself. Great tacos! We were the only gringos in there for lunch, a good sign.

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                        Las Meras Tortas
                        6119 White Horse Rd Ste 1, Greenville, SC 29611

                        1. re: slotmansc
                          m
                          McPhee RE: slotmansc Sep 16, 2010 05:46 AM

                          They also have a location on Wade Hampton, across from Wal Mart in a small, older strip center. I concur on the tacos.

                          1. re: McPhee
                            g
                            giddyupchowgirl RE: McPhee Oct 26, 2010 03:22 PM

                            I definitely need to make it over to one of the Las Meras Tortas locations! In the meantime, I have fallen in love with Rosalinda Fonda off of Pleasantburg. It's sooo yummy and I LOVE the atmosphere. I know it's been around for a while, but if you haven't eaten here yet... you must. The chips and salsa are housemade which always scores high on my chart!!

                            Checking at a columbian restaurant tonight - Sasha's. Stay tuned....

                            -----
                            Rosalinda Fonda
                            1124 N Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607

                            Las Meras Tortas
                            6119 White Horse Rd Ste 1, Greenville, SC 29611

                      2. e
                        Evrett RE: giddyupchowgirl Jan 3, 2011 03:18 PM

                        I'll second Sushi Koji for best sushi..real authentic and they have an all you can eat special in the evenings sometimes. Wasabi isnt bad either.

                        Blue Ridge brewing has a great spinach salad with fried goat cheese

                        Sciortiono's has great pizza and sit down italian..I could eat endless baskets of the handmde garlic rolls they bring free. Run by nice family too.

                        Coffee underground was a neat place to read a book

                        Lemongrass had excellent Pad Thai and a fun fried banana wonton desert

                        Adams bistro is another diner..nothing special

                        Lieu's is a local copy of PF Changs..for better or worse the food clearly has al been put together on site. A good choice for American Chinese if you that what you want and you want to support local. Their cucumber sesame salad was simple and unique!!

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                        Blue Ridge
                        84 Blue Ridge Cir, Black Mountain, NC 28711

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Evrett
                          d
                          Danimal174 RE: Evrett Feb 8, 2011 10:59 AM

                          I'd second the vote for Lemongrass; it's one of my favorite restaurants in town, and one of the best Thai places I've been to.

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