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Greenville SC...Foodie Destination or not.......

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So, I read this article in Esquire about Greenviile, SC being the next Southern culinary destination ahead of Charleston and the soulless Atlanta. I look at the Arts calendar and book the Marriott for Artisphere in May. Then I go on the various foodie boards and there seems to be a disconnect between what the national food writers are saying and how you Greenville Chowhounds feel about your city.
Whats the truth?
My son works at Husk in Charleston and I travel often, Just did Ad Hoc in Napa and Incanto in San Fran and usually plan my trips around my dinner reservations. I'm not a food snob, but I do prefer to search out local,interesting chef-driven restaurants.
What do I need to try in Greenville?
American Grocery looks likes a contender.Augusta Grill seems too safe,The Owl is intriguing, reminds me of one of my favorites,The Admiral in Asheville. You guys seem to hate Red Fin. Lazy Goat is also on the radar.
Before i make my final reservations, I would love to hear what you guys think about the current culinary scene and if that Esquire article was accurate or just PR BS?
Whatever, I can't wait to visit your city. It seems like such an idyllic vibrant, Southern city.
Thanks....

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  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8946...

    This was just discussed. danna lives in Greenville.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sue in Mt P

      Hi Sue,
      I did read that short thread and there's not much of a discussion of the current dining scene..
      I am not looking to debate the merits of Greenville vs Charleston, I'm just looking for your recommendations for interesting local places to eat based on my interest in your fair city influenced by a national article.
      Looking forward to your responses.

      1. re: HairIcon

        Wish I could help you, but I haven't been to Greenville but once in the past 2 decades, when we evacuated from Hurricane Floyd! Maybe danna can help you.

        Greenville is very nice, and who know? Maybe it WILL be the NExt Big Thing.

        1. re: HairIcon

          Well, first I would say ignore most of what you read in that "national article" ...it was pathetic.

          But...Greenville is a nice little city in an absolutely beautiful area. The food scene is quite poor, but there are glimmers of hope. The Owl is definitely worth a shot, but don't expect it to be like the Admiral. I would also recommend grabbing something from the food truck Neue Southern when it is parked in front of The Community Tap, where you can go in, grab a draft beer and eat in their tasting room.

          Lazy Goat is the most decent of the Table 301 offerings, IMO. For sushi, Koji at the top of Main St. is far and away the best fish in town. Rather pricey, though.

          Try the french pastries at the new Ricks Deli and Market.

          On the casual end, Mekong is good Vietnamese. Swamp Rabbit Grocery for some healthy soup and a loaf of Stecca Bread.

          If you run or bike, be sure to check out the Swamp Rabbit trail that runs from downtown, past Furman University (worth a detour...beautiful campus)...and on to Traveler's Rest, where there's a little bakery called Upcountry Provisions that has tasty frosting filled cookies.

          I think there's hope in the future for G'ville, but for now, we drove to Asheville both Friday and Saturday, if that gives you some idea of G'ville's food scene.

      2. I think Danna chimed in on another simular thread.We all know Greenville is not there yet,nowhere near Asheville.

        Anyone in sales knows that increased activiy leads to success,and we certainly have activity.A couple of years ago Greenville was selected as potentially the most prosperous city in North America in the 21st century.

        As the goofy song from 30 years ago said: "the futures so bright, I gotta wear shades"!

        1. I think you're going to have to discover your own "truth". Others can only give you their opinions, which it sounds as if you have read on the various threads here discussing Greenville? I think you have identified the most promising candidates. If you haven't searched through the Greenville threads, I hope you will do so, as there is a lot of good information in them.

          If you are driving up from Atlanta, a detour to Grits and Groceries in Belton, SC sounds promising in your search for local, inetresting, chef driven restaurants.

          1. Hairicon,

            Let me preface this by saying I do not live in Greenville but visit relatively often. In a quick answer, my opinion is "no" this is not a foodie destination, per se, but there are a few decent spots. When I think of areas dedicated to food, I think of the overall landscape (food, cocktails, wine, service, food sourcing, etc). I see a passion in places like Asheville and Charleston, but not in Greenville.

            We had dinner Saturday evening at Rick Erwin's and it was good to very good but not great.

            I cannot even pinpoint what is lacking but, in my opinion, there is not an overall passion for F&B.

            That said, there are some good places to try and it is worth going:

            American Grocery
            Rick Erwin's
            Devereaux
            Mekong
            Spill the Beans for ice cream
            High Cotton
            Larkin's
            The Owl
            Lazy Goat
            Northhampton Wine Shop for an afternoon glass of vino

            ...even typing this none of the places really excites me although I know The Owl will provide the most "passion" for their craft...

            I probably would not put any of these close to Ad Hoc or anything in that area or in SF.

            I hope you go and have a nice visit.

            1. Here's something else to read:

              Gap Greek Gourmet
              http://networkedblogs.com/JqQeX

              In her latest, she discusses Lazy Goat and Palmetto Olive Oil Co.