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Greenville SC on Southern Living List for Tastiest Towns 2013 - REALLY?

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We are headed to Atlanta in February. We usually trip to break up the trip and have dinner in Charlotte. Saw that Southern Living has Greenville SC on their nominations list for the South's Tastiest Town. Is it worth extending the first leg of our trip to Greenville? Looking for great food but recognize that we will be in jeans. Thoughts? Any treads to read?

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  1. American Grocery and The Owl are definitely worth a stop. It's an easy stop off of 85. There's also Dark Corner Distillery which is doing original and good things. I'd certainly say that Southern Living isn't too far off the mark.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nocturnalbill

      Thanks for the quick replies. Guess we will try American Grocery for dinner. Any recommendations for breakfast on a Friday morning?

    2. Absolutely not. Southern Living has always been known for having zero credibility when it comes to restaurants, and this latest just solidifies that. Greenville is a great town for lots of activities, but dining is not one of them. Seriously, for a town this size, it's just pitiful how little we have.

      If you do want to visit G'ville, I would agree w/ Nocturnal Bill's suggestions of AG or the Owl. You should search to learn about them, because they are very different experiences and AG would be a lot easier to find and would allow you to walk around our extremely cool downtown.

      8 Replies
      1. re: danna

        I disagree with Danna sometime ,but not this time.The detour off I-85 will be much easier than Charlotte and AG is a worthy destination and you really need to checkout Main street.

        With all the activity downtown somebody is going to get something right, even if by accident.The first rumblings out of Roost don't sound very promising either.

        1. re: mollybelle

          Molly - I walked in Roost last Friday at lunchtime, but my boss glanced around, saw a lot of tables w/ no food, and decided to give them a couple of weeks to work out the kinks. Probably a good call...i want to be fair to them. It's a beautiful space, but on the news the chef was quoted as saying the food was "southern with a twist". Seriously? That was passe in the 90's.

          1. re: danna

            I want to give it another try. We went for lunch last weekend, and it was... a little bland. And draft beers? Served in 12oz glasses? Hmm. It is a GORGEOUS location though.

            1. re: tremperj

              Coincidental timing...I FINALLY tried Roost a couple of days ago. AFter leaving that first time, I left again a few months ago because they were completely FULL at lunchtime w/ a 30 min wait! shocking...it's a huge space!

              Anyway, i'm apparently destined to never know how the place is ,because this week I was dining w/ my brand new CEO + I wasn't feeling well, so I only ordered a very plain salad. The lettuce was of good quality, the bacon appeared to be decent quality, and they successfully left off the blue cheese as requested. Other than that, I still can't comment.

              They're serving normal low alcohol-content beer in 12 ozers? tsk tsk, for how much?

              1. re: danna

                I assumed that for $4, my Thomas Creek Pilsner would be in a pint.

                1. re: tremperj

                  yeah, that would have been my presumption too! Consider you get 10 oz (or so they say) at 12 Bones for $2. Welcome to Greenville...

                  1. re: danna

                    We have been to Roost twice,maybe a couple of months back.For the life of me,I can't tell you what I had.All I remember is that the food wasn't very interesting.

                    1. re: mollybelle

                      Sad, their space is so nice. Might end up as a nice cocktail spot before dinner elsewhere, for me.

      2. I agree with Danna re Southern Living. How can you include Greenville but not Nashville? How can you make vibrant but small dining destinations like Asheville and Louisville compete with the likes of Atlanta, Miami, and New Orleans? It's a joke.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Jeff C.

          I wonder that the argument couldn't be made that it might be the other locales you listed have been covered. If there's a very small, but fairly active scene (and I'm not saying that there's much beyond what I listed; High Cotton has a decent cocktail program, but push their own brans too hard..and there's a couple of ethnic places I've heard about), it might grow with a little press coverage.

          1. re: Nocturnalbill

            You know, there is a tiny little vortex of possibility happening in the area near the Owl. The food truck Neue southern often parks at nearby Community Tap . The vietnamese place, Mekong, is a mile away and one of my fave places in town. Our only hope is that change will come from the bottom up....the super-casual places. Swamp Rabbit Grocery is another force for grassroots change on the west side of town.

            But at the high end, i think greenville already has what it wants for the most part....beautiful restaurants with food as an afterthought.

            1. re: danna

              Hey, Danna! What do you like at Mekong? (May try this weekend if we don't get iced in.)

              1. re: Jeff C.

                bahn mi, duck roll, papaya salad (very nice w/ sliced duck and some shrimp), and of course pho.

                My husband gets the vermicelli bowl and likes that too, but he always gets stuff I consider "plain" at ethnic places.

                A friend said they had a whole fish special in the evenings recently that was good. Check their little wine list on the table...I've only been at lunchtime so I've never partaken, but I think it's a surprisingly strong list compared to the usual plum wine and cheap chardonnay normal found at such places. good luck w/ the weather...i'm thinking about bailing work right now it's off and on throwing down freezing rain.

                1. re: danna

                  Thanks to the tips. We may wait until next weekend--the weather's looking a little iffy here, too.

        2. We had a fantastic meal and great experience overall at Pomegranate on Main. G'ville has always been good to me when I've visited..