Food

Gwen Fowler

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Challenge: Can you eat on $40 a day vacationing in Greenville?

Posted 8/3/2011 8:45:00 PM
Can you eat on $40 a day vacationing in Greenville?

Food Insider Gwen Fowler took that challenge and set out on a statewide pilgrimage. Fifth stop: Greenville.

Greenville has so much to offer visitors. The vibrant downtown is chock full of interesting shops and boutiques, and a number of hotels offer fine lodging. Falls Park, with its Liberty Bridge to carry pedestrians across the falls of the Reedy River, is an oasis in the city.


And then there are the restaurants. Greenville’s dining scene is amazing. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick sandwich or a gourmet meal, looking to spend a little or a lot, craving an American burger or international cuisine, you’ll find it here.

Breakfast

Pop in to Soby’s on the Side for a quick breakfast. It’s a pleasant place to dine in, and a steady stream of folks come in to pick up breakfast to go. But just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Fresh ingredients are used, and your food is cooked when you order. An added bonus is that the food is modestly priced.

Soby’s on the Side gives you lots of choices. For example, I ordered the ingredients I wanted in my three-egg omelet ($4.50): bacon, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach and cheese. It was cooked just right.

My husband chose the bread and meat for his breakfast sandwich (3.75): bacon, cheddar and two eggs on a croissant. He also had a fruit cup ($1.75) with fresh cantaloupe, pineapple, blackberries and more.

At lunch, you can build your own salad ($5.85) or sandwich ($6.95). On Friday’s, salads and sandwiches are $4.

Soby’s on the Side is a cheerful spot, with a few high bistro tables and booths.

What I spent: $5.86 (including tax and tip)

Lunch

On a beautiful day, the Lazy Goat gives you the opportunity to enjoy great food and a great view. The dining room is open and light, with large windows overlooking the Reedy River. A large patio provides a great space to dine outdoors.

Chef Vicky Moore is well known for her creative meals, and it showed in our lunch. I began with a Lazy Greek salad, ($5) a delicious combination of orzo, black-eyed peas, marinated cucumber, olives and tomato. It also was so visually appealing. It was brought to table in a martini glass and then inverted onto a plate.

I also ordered a veggie wrap ($5), pita stuffed with grilled veggies and goat cheese. Actually, the salad or the veggie wrap alone would have been plenty for a light lunch, and both were so tasty.
My husband loved his “lazy plate,” ($15) a lamb kebob served over grilled zucchini and squash, all on top of a bed of cous cous tabouleh.

What I spent: $13 (including tax and tip)

Dinner

Love music and good food? Then The Bohemian is a place you’d love to eat.

Horizon Records is in the same building as the restaurant, and music from the store is what you hear while you’re dining. In fact, on the night we were there, we heard such vintage tunes as “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. The restaurant also has its own music series, Tower of Song, with live performances by local and regional musicians. The décor also revolves around music, with photographs and painting of performers.

The food also is as unconventional as you’d expect from a place called The Bohemian, but it also is delicious. Our dinner started with a complimentary serving of hummus and olives, along with triangles of pita bread.

On a friend’s recommendation, I ordered the “Hillbilly Philly” sandwich with provolone cheese ($15.95). It’s steak, simmered in ale, and served in a bun with onions and peppers. It was very good, but my husband hit the jackpot when he ordered the pasta of the day, which was blue crab ravioli served with a lobster cream sauce ($19). It was scrumptious.

The couple who own the restaurant, Chef Tripp and Stewart Yeargin, traveled quite a bit before they settled in Greenville, and that is reflected in the menu. There’s curry, meats that can be prepared in Moroccan, Mediterranean or Caribbean style, and Tunisian cigarettes, lamb wrapped in pastry and served with yogurt and harissa sauces.

This restaurant, I’m told, is a popular neighborhood spot with a loyal following. It’s a bit farther north than most of the city’s restaurants, but it is worth driving or walking the few extra blocks.

What I spent: $20.50 (including tax and tip)

My total for the day: $39.36

Other places to check out: Two popular spots for breakfast or lunch are Tommy’s Country Ham House and Gene’s Restaurant.

Two places that are good for breakfast but also serve lunch and dinner are Stax Omega and The Green Room.

Strossner’s Bakery has a café for breakfast, lunch and early dinner.

Mary’s at Falls Cottage has a great lunch menu and a beautiful spot to dine outdoors. Overlook Grill, with its view of Falls Park, is another beautiful spot for dining indoors or out.

Stop by Northgate Soda Shop for a trip back in time. I’ve seen raves online about the pimento cheese burger here.

I’d love to try Southern Fried Green Tomatoes for lunch or dinner because the “meat and two” menu looks great.

An excellent restaurant with a great lunch special is High Cotton, which has the quick fix (half sandwich, salad, cup of soup and crème brulee) or the lunch express (the day’s special entrée with soup or salad and coffee or tea) for $10.

Other spots to try for lunch are the Blue Ridge Brewing Co.; Trio – A Brick Oven Café; and Skin’s Hotdogs, (serving dogs since 1946); and Duke’s Sandwich Company. An interesting fact is that the woman who began Duke’s in 1917 later sold her family mayonnaise recipe to a man who began the Duke Mayonnaise factory, now in Mauldin.

For dinner, try Middle Eastern specialties at The Pita House; Persian food at Pomegranate on Main; or the great food at the new gastropub, The Nose Dive.

I stopped for coffee several times at Coffee Underground and noticed that the dinner entree prices here are very reasonable, with most about $13.

Greenville offers many fine dining choices, including Soby’s, Devereaux’s, American Grocery Restaurant, Larkin’s on the River, Nantucket Seafood Grill, and Rick Erwin’s West End Grille as well as High Cotton and the Lazy Goat.