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