Culinary Student looking to expand palette in Greenville, SC and surrounding area.
I'm a culinary student in Greenville. I started out wanting to learn how to "cook" for my family. (I've been known to burn boiled eggs!) We normally eat out at casual sit down places like Applebees or Stax's Omega about twice a month, bill total is usually less than $80 for 3 people. (Mid-late 30's and a 14-yr old girl.) I might have a glass of wine with dinner at home, but we don't drink while we're out.
Now that I'm 1.5 yrs into my schooling, I can make great food at home. But I don't always have the time or energy to do so. I have learned enough to know that there is great food in our area that we are missing because we don't know where to look. So after doing my research on foodie message boards, I decided to ask here:
Just a few FYI's - Friday or Saturday evening dining, Young Adult friendly (very well-behaved), around $100 - $150 for 3. Looking for food more than atmosphere, so hole in the walls welcome. We don't mind driving out for dinner to Anderson or Spartanburg.
Dear ChowHound Gods of the Upstate, Save my family from the mediocre dining options of habit! Please recommend awesome options to us and bring us into the fold of discerning diners! Send us on a weekly taste excursion that will take us around the world thought our own back yard!
Greenville has some options. The ones I know about have already been mentioned.
For inspiration you might need to drive out of town for a few day trips or weekend vacations. Asheville, as Donna suggested, is worth the drive. The inaugural Asheville Small Plate Crawl is in late February, a good way to sample many great restaurants at a reasonable price. I suggest a weekend in Charleston. That town rocks on the food scene. I also suggest a few days in Atlanta. If you have any interest in international flavors, check out Buford Hwy north of Atlanta.
You have a great magazine in the Upstate which should help guide you to some better quality restaurants, Edible Upcountry.... Yes, drive up to Asheville, don't stop at S.Asheville which is much like Greenville - go all the way downtown or to West Asheville or Biltmore Village if you want to experience some of our exciting restaurants with creative chefs who delight in using local ingredients.
Well, I'd start by exploring some other cuisines:
Pita House for middle eastern
Pho 99 for Vietnamese
Lemongrass for Thai
Go to Trappe Door and try some mussels
Sushi Koji (expensive) and get sushi ...or try Murasaki for a little easier on the wallet, but not quite as good.
IMHO, Greenville is not exactly full of great food. when you want to spent your $100-$150 on less casual places, I think you should drive up to Asheville and eat at the Admiral, Zambra, Curate, etc. Also, Flat Rock Village Bakery is a shining example of a couple of talented guys who opened a tiny place, baked up a storm, developed a devoted following and expanded like crazy. should be of interest to a culinary student. Also, the folks at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery are turning out some tasty things on a very small scale. Worth investigating for lunch and provisioning. Good luck!
Welcome to Chowhound. I'm sure others will post some specific suggestions, but in the meantime you might find the search feature to be useful for you (it's located in the upper right hand coner of the page). For example, I typed "Greenville" in and found the following previous threads that may help you:
One specific suggestion I do have is Grits and Groceries, in Belton. It might be a bit far of a drive for you, but would make a fun and delicious outing.