Bite of the Week

NOVEMBER 6

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

There’s nothing “fair” about the food at The Farehouse. Owners Michael and Christy opened The Farehouse in Taylors Mill with a mission to provide a community gathering spot serving snacks, salads, pasta, dinner specials and pizza. Speaking of pizza, their New York style pizza is pretty special, making it my Bite of the Week.

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The Farehouse has 5 signature pizzas on their menu, from grilled chicken with hot sauce and bleu cheese crumbles to a meat based pizza with marinara sauce and veggies all with that perfectly thin, yet chewy crust we all love. Along with those tasty options, they also have pizza specials such as this one with pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms and fire roasted red peppers. It’s rare that I come across a pizza I don’t like, but The Farehouse clearly mastered the art of pizza making. After an amazing meal of Bolognese, charcuterie, and more…I still had to have just one. more. piece.

The Farehouse is open Tuesday – Friday from 11:30-3:00 and 5:00-9:00, Saturday from 12:00-9:00 and Sunday from 12:00-3:00. They are located in Taylors Mill’s Dock No. 3 next to 13 Stripes Brewery.

OCTOBER 28

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

It’s not often that a sip of coffee gets me this excited, but when it happens, it naturally becomes my “Sip of the Week”. The TSL (Third Season Latte) from Due South Coffee has all the “fall feels”, but in a subtle way. It all starts with espresso and steamed milk, mixed with house made cinnamon and sweet potato syrup, and topped with the cutest little toasted marshmallows ever. You’ll be smiling before even taking a sip of this whimsical, cozy drink. I ordered mine with almond milk and half the amount of syrup and let me tell you…it was perfection. I adored it so much, that I saved half of it to mix with my boring coffee from home the next morning. So move on over Pumpkin Spice Latte, because in my opinion, the TSL has you beat!

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While specializing in coffee, Due South also has an impressive food menu with items such as avocado toast, plum toast with cashew spread, granola, muesli and more. If these pictures don’t make you want to go there immediately, I don’t know what will!

Due South Coffee is open Monday-Friday from 7am-7pm. They are located in Hampton Station at 1320 Hampton Avenue ext. 4b.

OCTOBER 21

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

After spending all day at The NESS Fest (which was amazing) I was very sore, very tired and verrrryyyy hungry. Foxcroft Wine Co. opened a few weeks ago in downtown Greenville and I’ve been dying to try their raved about burger, so tonight felt like the best night to do just that. This burger may have claimed my title of “best burger in Greenville”, making it this week’s Bite of the Week.

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I was the only one at the table to order the burger, and when it arrived the order envy was apparent. Jealous eyes drooled over my juicy, perfectly cooked burger to the extent that they ended up ordering one to share, because I wasn’t sparing even a single bite. Every element of this burger works so well together. Ground hanger steak topped with grilled onions, pea shoots, tomato, truffle aioli and American cheese between the squishiest homemade bun…it’s an impressive burger to say the least. Paired with a great glass of red wine, you’ve got a perfect duo.

Foxcroft Wine Co. is located at 631 South Main Street. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-11pm, Sunday from 5-10 and closed on Mondays.

OCTOBER 7

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

There is no shortage of tacos around the Upstate. Whether you’re looking for Tex-Mex, San Diego style, tacos paired with sushi or pizza or the classic taco…the choices are endless. Papi’s Tacos specializes in authentic Mexican street food with recipes straight from the family cooking traditions of Papi himself. I spent National Taco Day at Papi’s Tacos tasting all the items on the new menu (which now includes nachos and burritos!) and while the tacos were perfectly executed and delicious, the Torta stole the show, being this week’s Bite of the Week.

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A Torta is a traditional sandwich on a Mexican Bolillo Roll with refried bean spread, tomato, onion, lettuce, avocado, queso fresco, mayo and jalapeno. Choose between carnitas, chicken, shrimp and more and you have one pretty incredible sandwich (that I must say is also extremely photogenic). The platter of Tortas came out last, after a LOT of eating had occurred, but that didn’t stop the group from eagerly digging in. Everything about this sandwich is perfect. From the soft bread to the tender meat and layered veggies…one bite and you’re hooked.

Papi’s Tacos is located at 300 River Street right along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. They are open Tuesday-Wednesday from 11:00am – 7:00pm, Thursday-Saturday from 11:00am – 8:00pm and are closed on Mondays.

APRIL 2

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

To say I was excited when my family decided to go to Husk for brunch on Easter would be an understatement. After dining at Husk Restaurant for dinner once, and enjoying cocktails more than once, I’ve been dying to check their brunch off my list. I tasted a little bit of everything including their Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs, Plate of Southern Vegetables (with THE best cheese grits) and their infamous Cheeseburger. Of all the delicious bites, the Smoked Sorghum-Bourbon Donuts stood out among the rest, making them this week’s Bite of the Week.

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Let me start by saying, I tend to gravitate towards anything resembling a donut. Sweet, sticky, and doughy…how could you not like them? But, these donuts are truly special. They are incredibly light and fluffy, almost like a beignet, and melt in your mouth. The donut itself isn’t very sugary, but the drizzle of bourbon glaze and sprinkle of powdered-sugar give them an ideal sweetness. Unfortunately I shared these bad boys with my family, but easily could have eaten every single one.

Husk Restaurant is located at 722 S. Main Street in downtown Greenville. They are open for dinner Sunday – Thursday from 5-10pm and Friday – Saturday from 5-11pm. Don’t miss their weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 2pm!

MARCH 18

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

GB&D (Golden, Brown and Delicious) revamped their dinner and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Their new sit-down dinner service includes an elevated menu offering selections of appetizers, entrees and desserts, as well as an impressive beer and wine list. Don’t worry though…you can still find GB&D classics like their infamous fries and Hanger Steak on the menu. And to be honest, anything Chef Alex creates is sure to please.

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My Bite of the Week is the unassuming Cheese and Crackers. We ordered the cheese and crackers thinking we would get a plate of some sliced cheese, crackers and maybe a pickled veggie. Nope. Chef Alex’s inspiration for this dish came from his childhood take on cheese and crackers made in the microwave. Take that rendition up a notch and you have GB&D’s version with a homemade cracker topped with a couple bread and butter pickles, melted cheese and a dash of hot sauce. How can something so simple be so good? That’s what GB&D does best. Taking the humblest of dishes and turning them into something extraordinary.

GB&D is located is located in The Village of West Greenville at 1269 Pendleton Street. They are open for lunch Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00am – 2:00pm, for dinner Thursday – Saturday from 5:00pm – 9:00pm and for brunch on Sunday from 10:00am – 3:00pm.

FEBRUARY 25

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Can you really call yourself an American if you don’t like fried chicken and donuts? That’s up for debate, but I do know that these two American comfort foods are praised all over the country, especially in the south. This love is even more apparent at HenDough, a restaurant in Hendersonville, SC where fried chicken and donuts are the stars of the show. Choose from a variety of donuts such as Red Velvet or Chocolate with Sprinkles, go with a savory Smothered Chicken Biscuit, or get the best of both worlds with a Donut Breakfast Sandwich…it’s all delicious. Here’s the best part: HenDough is bringing their chicken and donuts to Gather opening in Greenville later this year!

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My Bite of the Week is without a doubt the Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit. This biscuit sandwich puts Chick-Fil-A to shame, and I’m a big fan of the classic chicken biscuit. First of all, the biscuit is so incredibly soft it almost melts in your mouth with the buttery flavor you’d expect of any true southern biscuit. Then, you taste the crispy, fried chicken with a perfect amount of spiciness from the hot sauce. What truly takes this biscuit sandwich from “this is great” to “this is the gold-medal winner of all chicken biscuits ” are the bread and butter pickles served beneath the chicken giving you some sweet tanginess that’s irresistible.

HenDough is located at 532 Kanuga Road in Hendersonville, NC. They are open Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 3:00pm and Saturday – Sunday from 7:30am – 4:00pm. Don’t miss their lunch menu offering killer fried chicken sandwiches!

FEBRUARY 18

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I haven’t gone out to eat much this week. This has been great for my wallet, but not so great for my Instagram and blog content. Fortunately, I was invited to the most charming bridal shower for my friend Renee and experienced a tea party unlike any you’ll find at a restaurant in Greenville. Our hostesses, Sandy and Lynn, not only gave us a formal tea lesson, but also prepared a fabulous 5-course meal. It was challenging to choose only one bite as my Bite of the Week, but the Cheesy Bacon Quiche stood out among the rest.

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Prior to dining, Sandy informed us that there would be only one Paleo-friendly dish, but the rest would be full of butter, dairy and carbs (aka “Paula Deen Style”) and no one was complaining a bit. I mean…it was a Southern Tea Party! Quiche is usually not my go-to, but this one has a buttery, flaky crust and irresistibly flavorful and cheesy center that I couldn’t get enough of. Here is the recipe…you can thank me later!

Ingredients:

Deep-dish piecrust

4-6 oz. cooked bacon pieces

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 eggs

salt and pepper

Directions:

Start with your deep-dish piecrust and add the bacon in the bottom of the shell. Cover with the cheese and chopped onion. In a bowl, whip together evaporated milk, mayo, 3 eggs, salt and pepper and pour over the cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Pro tip: You can save time and help it set for slicing and serving by preparing the night before and bake for 25 minutes, let cool, cover with foil, refrigerate overnight, then cook the next day for another 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly then cut and serve.

If you serve this at your next breakfast or brunch, I guarantee there will not be ANY leftovers. It truly is that good!

FEBRUARY 12

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Otto Izakaya is quickly becoming one of my most-frequented restaurants in the Upstate. Not only is their trendy, vibrant atmosphere ideal for a night out with friends, but their menu showcases the types of dishes found in an authentic Japanese Izakaya. From Panang Mac ‘n’ Cheese to Bi Bim Bap and plenty of sushi in between, Otto Izakaya has a little something for everyone. My go-to order always includes at least one roll; my favorites being the Crunchy Rainbow or Samurai, but on Saturday my friend went on and on about the Spicy Tuna Avocado so we ordered that to start.

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The star of this dish is the ball of spicy tuna tartare wrapped in avocado slices, dressed with a sweet/spicy brown sauce, then topped with sesame seeds and scallions. Served alongside are pieces of tempura nori and some spicy mayo for your dipping pleasure. There are many ways to approach this dish, but I found that topping a piece of nori with some of the tuna/avocado and a drizzle of spicy mayo is the best possible bite. It’s that combo of spicy tuna and sweet sauce paired with creamy avocado and crunchy nori that takes this dish to a whole other level of deliciousness. It’s one of those dishes that I would have never thought of, but am oh so glad that someone did!

Otto Izakaya is located at 15 Market Point Drive off Woodruff Road, as well as, at 802 S. Main Street downtown Greenville. They are open Monday – Saturday from 4pm – 2am and on Sunday from 4pm – 10pm. Don’t miss their happy hour Monday – Saturday from 4pm – 7pm or their BOGO sushi roll from 10pm – 2am!

FEBRUARY 6

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

You know how some things you just say you don’t like, but you really don’t have a justifiable reason why? Ramen is one of those things for me. And no, it’s not because I ate too much instant Ramen Noodles in college (which, for the record, I did not) but because to me, hot broth with noodles just doesn’t sound all that appealing. Well, this was all before a friend invited me to try Menkoi Noodle House. I ordered the Shoyu Ramen that has yellow noodles in a soy sauce based soup with marinated pork, beansprouts, spinach, green onion, nori and boiled egg. I must say, while it’s not something I could eat every day, I can see why people go crazy for this stuff.

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But, I’m not here to discuss the ramen. This week’s Bite of the Week was a special called Takoyaki. Literally translated to “octopus-grilled/fried”, this Japanese snack is made of a wheat flour-based batter and filled with pieces of octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion. Menkoi drizzles their Takoyaki with a creamy Japanese mayo that adds a little indulgence to this dish. It’s basically like a Japanese hushpuppy with a whole lot more flavor and a creamier texture. I would come back to Menkoi solely to order this dish, so I hope it’s a regularly featured special!

Menkoi Noodle House is located on North Main Street in the former Dark Corner Distillery. They are open everyday from 11am – 2:30pm and 5-10pm.

JANUARY 28

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

If you have an Italian grandmother, I can imagine her dining room closely resembling the understated, cozy ambiance of Bocca Pure Italian. Not only that, but I bet the food will look a lot like that of her kitchen as well. Bocca Pure Italian is a family-owned restaurant where the dishes are made to order using fresh ingredients, some coming straight from Horacio’s garden, and signature recipes. At Bocca, you have the option of creating your signature pasta dish and that’s exactly what I did. Making my version of Chicken Parmigiana this week’s Bite of the Week.

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To start, you pick your pasta. I went with Angel Hair because it’s the best for twirling and incorporating with all the delicious sauce. Next, choose your sauce. The Fra Diavolo Sauce was an obvious choice for me as it is similar to a classic, garlicky marinara sauce, but with a kick of spice from chipotle peppers and a dash of beer. Last but not least, add a very generous helping of chicken parmigiana on top. The chicken is tender and moist with an impressive crunchy coating from panko breadcrumbs. Of course, the melted cheese over top made this dish all the more comforting.

Side note: Bocca’s portions are HUGE (the picture above is only half of the full Chicken Parmigiana dish), so this is a great time for sharing and tasting more than just one dish. Bocca Pure Italian is located at 2660 Poinsett Hwy. They are open Monday – Saturday from 5pm – 9pm.

JANUARY 21

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

While I had some incredible bites during Restaurant Week, my Bite of the Week comes from a tried and true favorite of mine: Asada. When I went to hide the “g” at Asada, Gina insisted to feed me, to which I gratefully obliged. Wanting to try something different than my usual Carnitas Taco, I ordered the Chicken Karagge Taco off their specials menu, took it home with me, and devoured the entire thing.

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Better described as a Japanese style fried chicken taco, the Chicken Karagge taco has more flavor than you can imagine. Before cooking this perfectly crunchy, tender chicken, Asada marinates it in sake, ginger, garlic and soy sauce giving it an extra oomph than your average fried chicken. The taco comes topped with Latin-Asian slaw, which consists of jalapenos, radishes, cabbage, scallions, ponzu dressing and sesame seeds. The contrast of the cold, crunchy slaw and the warm, crispy chicken is perfection, but the way Gina and Roberto build the sweet/spicy flavor combo in this taco is sheer genius.

Asada is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:30am – 3:00pm and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30am – 9:00pm. You can find them at 903 Wade Hampton Blvd in Greenville, SC. Don’t miss their weekend dinner specials and Saturday brunch!

JANUARY 14

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Kuka Juice is about a whole lot more than just cold-pressed juice. While their juice is not only delicious, but also packed with vitamins and nutrients, their expanded food menu is on point…and it’s 100% vegan. Since opening the doors of their new location in The Village of West Grenville, Kuka Juice has been delightfully tempting us on Instagram with their colorful and nourishing salads, paninis, toasts, smoothies and more. I finally got the chance to check it out on Saturday and both my salad and toast were so scrumptious that they tied for this week’s Bite of the Week.

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Once I read “raw falafels” on the description for The Med salad I was sold. For one thing, I absolutely adore falafel, but I was also intrigued how a raw falafel could compare to the crispy, fried texture of a traditional falafel. Here’s the catch: you really can’t compare the two, but the creamy texture of the raw falafel is ideal paired with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, sprouts and a lemon tahini vinaigrette.

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And then, because I just had to have a little something sweet, I ordered the Bee Sweet toast topped with almond butter, banana, chia seeds, honey and bee pollen. While yes, I could most certainly make this unassuming breakfast in my own kitchen, there was something so satisfying about this sweet/savory dish. Maybe it’s the drizzle of honey, or the soft toasted bread…who knows, but I am in love with this toast.

Kuka Juice is located at 580 Perry Avenue. They are open Monday – Friday from 8-5 and Saturday from 10-4.

JANUARY 7

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I rang in 2018 at one of my absolute favorite places: The Anchorage. Chef Greg McPhee created a phenomenal tasting menu for the occasion consisting of 4 courses with optional wine pairings. While each and every course I tasted was deliciously unique, my meal started with a bang and the first 2 courses were this week’s Bite of the Week.

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Course #1: Foie Gras & Rabbit Liver Mousse, Maple Fluid Gel, Pickles, Bake Room Bread, Chicory Salad – If you’ve been to The Anchorage before and ordered their “For the Table” charcuterie board then you know just how amazing this dish is. The mousse is creamy and rich with a savory flavor; ideal for spreading atop toasted, buttery Bake Room bread and topping with pickled red onion.

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Course #2: Warm Poached Wreckfish Salad, Fennel, White Anchovy, Charleston Citrus, Chopped Herbs, Green Tahina – Okay so at initial glance then dish didn’t catch my eye, but after rave reviews from friends and Chef Greg’s wife, Beth, I confidently changed my mind. It’s rare that I find a dish that truly surprises me, but this dish accomplished just that. Warm, poached fish…doesn’t found that appealing right? Wrong! Paired with crisp, thinly sliced fennel, a punch of acidity from the citrus and the lick-the-plate-clean green tahini spread…it stole the show that evening.

Be sure to follow The Anchorage on social media to stay informed of other special events like this one!

DECEMBER 17

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Happy and Hale strives to connect the Greenville community by providing us with food that is not only delicious, but also nourishing. Since opening its doors last spring, Happy and Hale has brought together foodies, fitness enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike to promote well-being and overall happiness. It is hands down my go-to spot for healthy options in the Upstate.

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Usually I order a salad or bowl: some of my favorites being the Incredibowl, Big Salad and the infamous Ahi Poke Bowl. On Saturday I took the suggestion of fellow foodie and friend, Ariel Turner, and ordered the Scramble, which is a base of 3 eggs and golden quinoa. The variations of scrambles you can create at Happy and Hale are endless, but her recommended rendition of The Scramble is a winner: Add sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, bacon, goat cheese and top it all off with cilantro and honey sriracha sauce. I told myself I would save half for lunch the next day, but after my first bite I knew that wasn’t happening.

Don’t miss their seasonal menu items such as Bida Manda’s Red Coconut Curry with sliced chicken breast, herbs, red peppers, kale, purple cabbage, kimchi and scallions! Happy and Hale is located at 600 S. Main Street. They are open Monday – Thursday from 9am – 8pm and Sunday from 9am – 5pm.

DECEMBER 3

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Not surprisingly, whenever I go out of town for work I seek out a couple “must-eat” restaurants. I was in Athens, Georgia for a couple nights last week and due to my “Top Chef” obsession and my love of his cookbook, I had dinner at Hugh Acheson’s restaurant, Five & Ten, located in a beautifully restored historic house. While there, I enjoyed one of the most memorable meals of my life due to not only the creative, Southern cooking, but also the amazing bottle of wine, cozy atmosphere and my Bite of the Week: Pimiento Cheese.

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Don’t be fooled…this isn’t your average pimiento cheese found in the grocery store. Executive Chef Richard Neal pairs the pimiento cheese with red pepper jelly and whole wheat bread from a local bakery called Independent Baking Co. To truly honor this dish, I must elaborate on each perfectly executed component. The pimiento cheese is served cold, making it slightly difficult to spread until it hits the surface of the warm and buttery toasted whole wheat bread. Red pepper jelly and pimiento cheese is a timeless combination, but this pepper jelly boasts a more intense flavor of sweetness and heat than any I’ve come across. This is one of those dishes I will long for time and time again.

Five & Ten is located at 1073 S. Milledge Avenue in Athens, GA. They are open Monday – Sunday at 5:30 and on Sunday for brunch from 10:30am – 2:30pm.

NOVEMBER 26

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

For my celebratory birthday dinner I knew I wanted to go somewhere cozy that had unique beer and wine and something on the menu that met everyone’s tastes. It didn’t take long for me decide upon The Trappe Door. I tend to forget about The Trappe Door, not because of its obscure location below Barley’s Taproom, but because they fly under the radar on social media. Shame on me because every single member of my family, including myself, left Trappe Door already planning their return. My dinner started with a glass of Cabernet, then mussels and fries for the table, braised short ribs and an assortment of desserts. The dish I simply could not stop eating were the homemade fries served alongside their mussels with a trio of mayonnaise for your dipping pleasure.

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Choosing which three flavors of mayonnaise you’d like to accompany your fries is an almost impossible decision, but honestly you can’t go wrong with any of them. My favorite flavors were the truffle, traditional Belgian style and the dijonaise. The homemade fries are excellent on their own with a crispy exterior and sprinkle of sea salt, but the sheer bliss that comes after taking a bite of one dipped in truffle mayonnaise simply can’t be beat. Nowhere else in Greenville will you find fries served this way and I’m okay with that, because I plan on coming back to Trappe Door again and again.

The Trappe Door is located at 23 W. Washington Street. They are open Monday – Sunday at 5pm for dinner. Be sure to check out their bar serving craft cocktails, beer and wine every day starting at 3pm.

NOVEMBER 19

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Jianna, Table 301’s newest restaurant venture, is at the very top of my list of restaurant recommendations in Greenville. Therefore, when I began planning for a visit from a friend who lives in Atlanta, my first task was making a dinner reservation there. There are a few items I order every. single. time. such as the Ricotta Crostini (which may be my favorite dish on the entire menu), the Polpette (veal and pork meatballs), whatever variation of Agnolotti they have and the Spaghetti TBG. I have a difficult time ordering something new when I know how delicious my usual items are, so was more than appreciative of Chef Michael Kramer for sending over my Bite of the Week: Butternut Squash Sformato.

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A sformato is similar to a soufflé, but is not as airy. Chef Kramer’s version incorporates butternut squash, cream and egg custard to create a smooth, slightly sweet sformato. Served alongside the sformato is an arugula salad lightly dressed and tossed with pickled red onion. Smeared around the bottom of the plate is burnt meringue. Finally, this artistically plated dish is sprinkled with crumbled pistachio. I liked my first bite of this dish, loved my second bite and couldn’t get enough of my third bite. The playfulness in flavors and textures made my taste buds do a little dance. This dish may not be featured on their menu for too much longer, so I urge you to go to Jianna ASAP!

Jianna is located at 600 S. Main Street in downtown Greenville. They are open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday at 5pm and lunch Saturday and Sunday at 11am.

NOVEMBER 12

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Girls’ night? You can find me at The Anchorage sipping on hand crafted cocktails and ordering small plate after small plate until I am full and happy. With The Anchorage’s every-changing menu, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see what chef Greg McPhee has created with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. But, regardless of the new menu items, I always order their take on a charcuterie board named “For the Table” and a trio of their vegetables & grains priced at 3 for $15. Both of these menu items are consistently satisfying, but the flavor and textures in the vegetables & grains Tuesday night blew me away, making them my Bite(s) of the Week.

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Starting at 12 o’clock and moving clockwise you have here the Antebellum Yellow Grits, Sweet Potato Puree and BBQ Embered Carrots. The grits are rich and buttery with a creamy texture from an addition of parsnip puree and a crunch from the topping of roasted hazelnuts and fried herbs. Grits are difficult to master, and Chef McPhee has gone above and beyond mastery to a level of pure genius. The sweet potato puree is the fluffiest, creamiest and dreamiest way I’ve ever had sweet potatoes. They are topped with blistered heirloom peppers that give this dish contrasting flavors of sweet and spicy that marry so well together. Last, but certainly not least, we have the charred carrots served atop lime yogurt and dusted with roasted peanuts. A fellow foodie said she recently went to The Anchorage for these carrots alone and I can see why. One bite of the slightly sweet, charred carrot dipped in the tangy yogurt, and topped with crunchy, savory peanuts and you’ll understand as well.

The Anchorage is located at 586 Perry Avenue in The Village of West Greenville. They are open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday at 5pm and for brunch on Sunday from 10am – 3pm.

NOVEMBER 5

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

What’s not to love about fall? All in one season you get football games, Thanksgiving, Halloween, my birthday…and if you live in Greenville you see the striking views of the leaves changing. More importantly, it’s around this time that we all put on our stretchy pants and get ready for a plethora of comfort dishes and fall-flavored treats. This week’s Bite of the Week comes from The Chocolate Moose Bakery & Café. After being tempted for weeks with pictures of their seasonal treats on their Instagram, I finally decided to go ahead and treat myself to their Apple Pie Snickerdoodle cookie sandwich.

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Sometimes it seems like pumpkin gets all the fall-flavor credit, but I’m a sucker for anything apple and cinnamon. This fall cookie sandwich has brown butter apple pie filling, vanilla buttercream and a caramel drizzle between two snickerdoodle cookies. As if your mouth isn’t already watering, let me break down the components. First of all, the snickerdoodles are baked to chewy perfection (no surprise here as Chocolate Moose is infamous for the best cookies in town). Then, there are REAL hunks of sweet apples hidden beneath the fluffy icing. Lastly, the hint of caramel drizzles makes this treat a messy indulgence.

Run; don’t walk to try this fall-flavored dessert! Who knows how long it’ll stick around…The Chocolate Moose is located at 130 S. Main Street in downtown, Greenville.

OCTOBER 29

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Throwing it back to my college days for this week’s Bite of the Week. I went to USC in Columbia and my go-to late night food was pizza…duh. Like many other freshman, I way too frequently ordered from Dominos or Papa John’s. That was until I had my first slice of heaven from Village Idiot Pizza in Five Points. As the years went on, Village Idiot became not only my favorite pizza spot in Columbia, but also our go-to spot for watching football games, starting off a night out (and then staying there until 2am) and meeting up with friends.

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Nowadays, I try to plan my visits to Columbia around when I’m going to eat at Village Idiot. After the game on Saturday we were unanimous in our critical need for some of their pizza, making it my Bite of the Week. Their pizza is hand-tossed, New York-style and is simply the best. My friends and I discussed what makes their pizza oh-so-good and decided upon two factors: 1. The crust that is somehow chewy and doughy, but also thin…and 2. The way the cheese and sauce almost seem to have melted together in a piping hot, gooey deliciousness. Village has specialty pies that I’m sure are great, but I always stick with the classic pepperoni and cheese option here.

So sorry for the tease, but at least Village Idiot is only an hour and a half drive away. If you find yourself there, also order their wing chips (better known as “raw fries”) and their wings to start.

OCTOBER 22

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Simply put, Thai food warms the soul. I find myself craving comforting Thai cuisine more than any other, and my all-time favorite place to get it is Thai Restaurant (Yes.  Just Thai Restaurant). My family has been getting take-out from there for years…to the extent that my dad knows most of the employees there on a first name basis. Some of our go-to dishes are Pad Black Bean Sauce, Grilled Tuna topped with peanut sauce and served over steamed cabbage, Pad Thai, and some sort of curry dish. Which brings me to my Bite of the Week: Khang Panang Curry with Shrimp.

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At Thai Restaurant, they have 5 varieties of curry dishes such as your standard Green Curry with spicier flavors and a sweet Massamon Curry with peanuts and potatoes. Feeling torn between all the delicious options, I turned to my waitress who highly recommended the Khang Panang: a thick, sweet red curry to which I added shrimp and vegetables. Warning: When asked how spicy you’d like your dish on a scale from 1-10, go with something less than 5. They don’t mess around with spice at Thai Restaurant! The flavors of the sauce alone are so complex with hints of onion, ginger and garlic and the creaminess from the coconut milk. Mix that incredible sauce with mixed fresh vegetables and shrimp, then pour it over sticky white rice, and you’ve got the perfect dish where indulgence meets health. Plus, it’s even better the next day.

Thai Restaurant is open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11:30am – 2:00pm and for dinner Monday – Saturday from 5:00pm – 10:00pm. They are located at 3012 Augusta Street in Greenville, SC.

OCTOBER 15

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Another weekend filled with lots of drinks, lots of food, and lots of live music has come to an end. Of course I’m talking about Fall for Greenville; the most anticipated outdoor festival taking place every year on Main Street. Over 40 restaurants featuring over 200 menu items were at Fall for Greenville this year, so you know I was there! My FFG strategy: Go Friday and Saturday night for the beer/music and devote Sunday to one thing only…THE FOOD. I did my research ahead of time, shocker, to strategically plan exactly what I was going to eat. I tasted everything from empanadas to cupcakes, but my Bite of the Week came from a dish that’s about as southern as you can get: The Pimento Cheese Pulled Pork Biscuit from Tupelo Honey Café.

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If you’ve ever been to Tupelo Honey, then you are well aware that their biscuits are truly phenomenal. Honestly, the main reason I go to Tupelo Honey is for the free biscuits and jam, but can you blame me?! This dish started with their already delicious biscuits, then went one step further and added melted, gooey pimento cheese…then another step further with melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork. Even knowing that my day of eating was far from over didn’t stop me from taking bite after bite. Is this dish good for you? Absolutely not, but I’d like to think it was good for my soul.

OCTOBER 8

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Let’s be honest. We all know my “true” Bite of the Week came from my trip to San Francisco, but I already posted about that. Whoops! Also, it wouldn’t be very nice of me to describe the deliciousness of a dish that is all the way across the country now would it? On Saturday, I went to an old favorite, Tsunami, for sushi and was convinced by a friend to order something other than my usual Rainbow Roll. I will forever be grateful of my friend for introducing me to not only the Poinsettia Roll consisting of tempura shrimp and spicy tuna topped with fried sweet potato and spicy mayo, but also my Bite of the Week: The Surf and Turf Roll.

FullSizeRender-10 copy 17LEFT TO RIGHT: RAINBOW ROLL, POINSETTIA ROLL, SURF AND TURF ROLL

I’ve been eating sushi for as long as I can remember. My first taste of sushi being nigiri at the age of 8, so I can certainly appreciate the simplicity of beautifully cut, fresh raw fish. With that being said, this roll is less about the fish, and more about the decadent, almost sinful toppings. An ideal roll for a sushi novice, the Surf and Turf roll consists of fried shrimp rolled in white rice, topped with seared beef, avocado and a creamy, spicy sauce. I was hesitant at first. Who wants seared beef with their sushi? After taking one (enormous) bite, I can answer that question by saying…EVERYONE! The indulgent combo of savory beef, creamy avocado, and a spicy mayo sauce that is lick-your-fingers good made me rethink what sushi “should” be. Call it sushi; call it a crazy combination of tasty ingredients; whatever…but don’t judge it until you’ve tried it!

Tsunami is located 106 E. North Street in downtown Greenville. They are open for dinner Monday – Saturday at 5:00 and Sunday at 5:30. They also have a great lunch menu with specials Monday – Friday from 11:30 – 2:00.

SEPTEMBER 17

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

It all started with ASADA…The Upstate Foodie that is. My very first blog post featured ASADA’s Latin-inspired dishes created by owners Gina and Roberto whose creativity and passion for what they do continues to shine. People ask me A LOT “where should I eat in Greenville?” and ASADA is always first on my list due to their consistency, casual vibe and absolutely amazing, fresh food. My usual order at ASADA consists of their carnitas taco with a side of guacamole and both of their spicy sauces. It’s SO phenomenal that I rarely glance at the rest of the menu, but now things may change…

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On Thursday, I remained loyal to my tacos, but also threw in an order of their savory empanadas. One bite into the crispy Argentinian style dough and I fell in love; making ASADA’s empanadas this week’s Bite of the Week. ASADA fills their empanadas with certified angus beef, red and green peppers, hard boiled eggs, capers, olives and raisins. Here’s the thing: If you didn’t already know that capers, eggs, olives and raisins were thrown in the mix, you would be blown away by the complexity of flavors in this unassuming empanada and wondering how they made beef and peppers taste like so much more. From here on out, my order at ASADA will always include empanadas.

SEMTEMBER 10

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Disclaimer: This week’s Bite of the Week is drool-worthy… and can’t be found in Greenville. But, don’t fret; you can make the short trip to Fern in Charlotte, NC for an experience unlike any other. What makes Fern so unique? Their chef, Matt Martin, is dedicated to creating vegetarian plates that are “elegant, engaging and approachable”. With dishes like a crispy Falafel Skillet, served over a cucumber and tomato salad and topped with a vegan coconut yogurt tzatziki sauce or a Curry Burger that consists of a white bean patty topped with peanut aioli, tomato chutney, lettuce and tomato, you won’t miss the meat one. single. bit.

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My sister lives in Charlotte and after deciding that we would have brunch at Fern, informed me that we MUST order the Buffalo Cauliflower to start. I know what you’re thinking…cauliflower at 10am? Not exactly your typical brunch dish. But take one bite of this almost too good to be true AND healthy starter, and you’ll be hooked. The cauliflower comes breaded and fried giving it a slightly crunchy on the outside, but still tender texture, then gets tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with a celery and carrot confetti, and drizzled with a buttermilk dill dressing. It was challenging to not lick the skillet clean, much like how I feel when eating sticky, tangy chicken wings. If only eating healthy was always this easy, and delicious.

Fern is located in a cozy little setting at 1419 East Blvd. Suite A. They are open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 9pm, Saturday from 10am – 2pm and 4pm – 9pm, and Sunday from 10am – 2pm. Don’t miss their special weekend brunch menu!

SEPTEMBER 3

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I’m currently training for a half marathon and set out on my 9-mile run yesterday morning, which just happened to be the most glorious day possible for running. After completing my run, I just couldn’t stand to go back inside, so I ventured to the Saturday Market to bounce around and get something to eat. You’d assume I treated myself to a giant burger, decadent dessert, or some other typical “post-run” meal, but I tend to crave something light and refreshing after a hard workout, and Kuka Juice was calling my name.

Being the very first cold-pressed juicery in the Upstate, Kuka Juice opened our eyes to the benefits of juicing and living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Not only are there juices delicious and full of nutrients, they are also packed-full of fruits and vegetables from local farms and organic suppliers. Juices just not your thing? That’s cool. Kuka Juice also has creamy “mylks”, snacks such as “Brownie” Protein Bites, Strawberry Cashew “Yogurt” Parfaits, and even lunch options like their Superfood Salad. All items on their menu are raw and vegan, but you won’t even miss the meat.

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This week’s Bite of the Week, or should I say Sip of the Week, came from Kuka Juice’s Jalapeno Business. I was hooked after my first sip of this sweet and spicy juice that is refreshing down to the last drop. Jalapeno Business is made with spinach, green apple, pear, jalapeno and mint. This juice is certainly not a meal replacement, but it is an ideal way to cool down and rejuvenate. I’m all about getting in my daily dose of greens, so having a juice like this every day would make me one happy camper!

For now, you can find Kuka Juice at the Saturday Market, but stay tuned for their opening at 580 Perry Avenue in The Village of West Greenville!

AUGUST 27

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

There are many perks to being “The Upstate Foodie”.  The most obvious one being that I’m able to eat a lot of delicious food and support local restaurants in and around the Upstate.  A newfound bonus is being a part of charity events like Chop Cancer.  Friday evening I was honored to serve as a judge for Chop Cancer, an event that raises money to support the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance, an organization that helps to enhance the lives of anyone touched by cancer.

Over the course of the evening, 3 teams of people whose lives have been affected by cancer in some way competed in a cooking competition judged by myself, as well as Chef Francis Turck of The Cliffs and Chef Adam Hayes of Canyon Kitchen.  I must say, these amateur “chefs” really brought their A-game as I tasted so many impressive bites.  The winning team, “Fired-Up”, prepared a poke as their appetizer dish that blew me away, but it wasn’t until their dessert course that I really fell in love.

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This week’s Bite of the Week was prepared by Lynda Leventis-Wells and Dr. Cedrek McFadden.  We all know that I have quite the sweet tooth, but this dessert had something extra-special.  Starting with the most incredible shortbread crumble with rosemary and sea salt, served alongside bruleed peaches, fresh blackberries, a dollop of whipped cream, and a balsamic drizzle…it was sheer perfection.  Of all the dishes tasted, this one received a perfect score from the judges, and I all but licked the plate clean.  I’m still working on getting my hands on this recipe!

AUGUST 20

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

It’s no secret that The Anchorage is one of my absolute favorite spots in Greenville due to their charming atmosphere, killer craft cocktails and phenomenal small plates that showcase local, seasonal ingredients. I’ve been there multiple times for dinner or drinks, but had yet to make it to their buzzed about Sunday brunch. After watching countless Instagram stories of mouth-watering dishes like the creamiest grits in all the land, eggs benedict that puts all others to shame, and boozy libations that are almost too pretty to drink, I knew it was time I experience it for myself.

Choosing my Bite of the Week from all of the scrumptious bites I had at The Anchorage was challenging. Their brunch menu changes week to week, but I would put money on the fact that you can’t go wrong with any dish. After tasting melt-in-your mouth beignets, a play on a bagel with lox, a lemon ricotta pancake and grits with salted butter I decided to give this one to the bagel and lox.

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There’s something about a bagel with lox that just makes me oh so happy. Unfortunately, not many places in Greenville have perfected this notorious brunch staple. Lucky for me, The Anchorage hits the nail on the head with their spin on a bagel and lox. It all starts with a house made everything bagel that’s chewy, soft and perfectly browned. Then add a schmear of whipped cream cheese topped with cured High Valley Farms Trout, crispy fried capers, thinly sliced red onion and hard boiled egg. This unassuming bagel sandwich exemplifies what The Anchorage is all about–quality, simple ingredients carefully plated together to make a beautiful and delicious dish.

–Side note: I must add that the Lemon Ricotta Pancake is hands down the best pancake I have ever tasted. The fluffy consistency alone is impressive, but what blew me away is the bright, lemon flavor and sprinkling of sea salt over the top.

Now I’m not sure if I’ll ever venture from The Village of West Greenville on Sundays. Between GB&D’s doughnuts and The Anchorage’s brunch, I’ve got all I need! The Anchorage serves brunch every Sunday from 10:00 to 3:00 and is located at 586 Perry Avenue.

AUGUST 13

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

My obsession with poke bowls started when I attended “International” supper club at my friends Melissa and Jason’s house. Their region was North America and they shared with all of use one of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets: The Poke Bowl. Inspired by Bon Appetit’s “Healthy-Ish” issue from February 2017, the possibilities were endless for creating your own poke bowl masterpiece.

Needless to say, after supper club I just couldn’t stop craving poke bowls, so I figured out how to have my own make-your-own poke bowl party for my dad’s birthday and it was a hit. Every time I make these poke bowls, they just keep getting better and better, making my last poke bowl creation my Bite of the Week. I’m excited to share with you how I build my ideal poke bowl!

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Base: I use jasmine rice and mixed greens as my base. You want the rice to be perfectly sticky and maintain the consistency of sushi rice. How to do that? Rinse the rice really well, follow the directions on the bag for how much water to add, bring the rice to a boil, turn it down to low for 10 minutes and let sit for 15 minutes. The greens just add something a little healthy to the mix.

Protein: Ahi Tuna is my fish of choice. I get my tuna from Key West Connection on Wade Hampton Blvd. My dad has been getting his salmon there for years, and it has ruined me because few restaurants have the same quality of seafood as this place. You’ll walk in and think you’re in the wrong place, but ask for Bo and he will take good care of you. No need to marinade the fish unless you just have the urge to do so. Just cut the tuna into bite-sized cubes and call it a day! (Note: I purchased a pound of Ahi Tuna for 5 people and it was plenty)

Toppings (aka the fun stuff): The possibilities are endless here, but these are my go-to toppings for poke bowls — avocado, shelled edamame, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, wasabi peas, scallions, pickled onions and cucumber. Don’t go out and buy pickled onions. They are SO easy to make! Just thinly slice a red onion and place slices in a bowl, then bring 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Finally, pour the brine over the onion slices and let cool then cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Those pickled red onions are my favorite topping of all!

Dressing: This Jalapeno-Ginger Dressing was used to the very last drop at supper club, and I continue to double the recipe whenever making it. Slice 2 large jalapeños and mix with 6 tbsp. soy sauce, 3 tsp. lime zest, 4 tbsp. lime juice, 3 tsp. toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp. finely grated ginger, 2 grated garlic cloves and some chopped cilantro. The dressing adds some acidity, as well as a kick of heat from the jalapeños. I also whip up some spicy mayo, because it’s super easy and delicious. Just combine mayo, sriracha and some lime juice and taste to get the heat you desire.

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One person brings the tuna, another brings the rice/greens, assign someone to make the dressings, and you bring the toppings. It’s one of the easiest and unique ways to entertain, plus everyone can create a poke bowl that is just perfect for them.

AUGUST 6

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Surprise, surprise…my Bite of the Week comes from GB&D (standing for Golden, Brown and Delicious). If you follow me on Instagram then you’re well aware of my obsession with basically every single one of Chef Alex’s dishes. What you may not be aware of is that while GB&D is known primarily for their weekly lunch and brunch menus, they also have an outstanding dinner menu available Wednesday – Saturday from 5:00 – 9:00. Their dinner menu offers some more sophisticated items such as Wreckfish with babaghanush, veggies and aji dolce, while also having some classics such as their Fried Chicken Sandwich with spicy mayo, bibb lettuce, honey and a side of fries. But, of course, their menu changes nightly.

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I should probably just have two Bite of the Weeks since both the Pimento Cheese & Bacon Burger and the Snapper Ceviche were out of this world, but I’m giving this one to the lovely ceviche. It’s hard to find fresh, quality ceviche in the upstate, and chef Alex knows how to maintain the flavor and texture of the snapper, while also elevating the dish with a ponzu sauce, lunchbox peppers and nori chips. You certainly could use a fork to eat this dish, but why bother when you have perfectly crispy chips to scoop up the lightly dressed snapper and crunchy, slightly sweet peppers? Needless to say there were no leftovers to take home.

GB&D also offers a tasting menu for weekend dinners, and there’s talk of making Wednesday nights “burger night”. GB&D is located in The Village of West Greenville at 1269 Pendleton Street. They are open for lunch and dinner Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 – 2:00 and from 5:00 – 9:00. Don’t miss their Sunday brunch from 10:00 – 3:00 (Chef Alex makes his infamous doughnuts on Sundays).

JULY 30

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

If you ask me, one of the best scenarios you find when going out to eat is when you come across a dish that is not only satisfying and full of flavor, but also packed with nutrients…aka “healthy”. That’s exactly why you can find me at Happy + Hale at least once a week. Their motto: Healthy = Happy, and I couldn’t agree more. Want to find out more about Happy + Hale? Check out my post from earlier this year to read about how a bicycle delivery service turned into a majorly successful restaurant with 3 locations.

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But, I’m not here to give you a review of Happy + Hale (P.S. it’s my go-to spot for a quick healthy lunch). I’m sharing with you my Bite of the Week, which is the vibrant, flavor party that is the Summer Grain Bowl. First of all, it’s going to be a very sad day when summer comes to an end, because this bowl is seasonal and will one day be replaced by an autumn version (which I’m sure will be equally delicious). The base of the bowl consists of hearty farro (a grain similar to rice but with a little more texture), shaved Brussels and carrots. Then, they top the bowl with beautifully plated mounds of blistered tomatoes, roasted corn, red peppers and cucumber zoodles all drizzled with a lemon basil vinaigrette. Sounds absolutely fantastic, right? Well it gets even better. The cherry on top is a creamy, cashew crusted goat cheese ball. My tip for you: Add chicken and save half for lunch the next day.

Some of my other favorites from Happy + Hale include the Ahi Poke Bowl, Happy Harissa Bowl, Big Salad and their Avocado Toast. They are located right across from Falls Park at 600 South Main Street and are open everyday from 9am – 9pm.

JULY 23

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

For a nightcap and appetizer I visited Jianna not only for its picturesque atmosphere, but also because I think Chef Michael Kramer creates some of the finest small plates in town. My usual favorites include the Ricotta Crostini with truffle honey, sea salt and perfectly grilled, soft ciabatta, as well as any of the homemade pasta options such as the summery Sweet Corn filled Agnolotti topped with truffle, crispy ham, Grana Padano and sage. This evening, my friend and I were craving something a little heartier, hence we order the meatballs, making Jianna’s Polpette this week’s Bite of the Week.

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“Polpette” translates to “meatball; or large meatball”, and Chef Kramer creates his with a mixture of veal and pork. When taking your fork to a meatball, the last thing you want to do is have to reach for a knife. No knives needed with these tender, melt-in-you-mouth meatballs. Jianna’s meatballs are served over a creamy serving of polenta (which is similar to southern grits, but much finer) and topped with a flavorful tomato sauce and generous grating of Parmesan. Even with it being summer, enjoying a glass of red wine and these decadent meatballs while sitting on Jianna’s stunning patio is about as good as it gets.

Jianna is located at 600 South Main Street across from Falls Park. They are open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday and for lunch Saturday and Sunday.

JULY 16

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

It just so happens that today is National Ice Cream Day and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than at Spill the Beans with one of their custom, blended ice cream creations. Overlooking Falls Park in downtown Greenville, Spill the Beans not only has ice cream, but also provides customers with freshly brewed coffee and baked goods. Why is it my go-to ice cream spot in the Upstate? Because you can create your perfect ice cream flavor each and every time. Start with vanilla or chocolate, choose from a plethora of mix in options, blend it all together until its smooth, and enjoy.

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This week’s Bite of the Week is my waffle cone creation in honor of National Ice Cream Day. I usually stick with my favorite combo: vanilla ice cream with oreos and green mint, but today called for something a little more exciting: Vanilla ice cream with cookie dough and oreo mixed in, then topped with rainbow sprinkles and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. There’s not better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day than with this waffle cone, a view of Falls Park, and another beautiful day in #yeahthatgreenville!

Spill the Beans is located at 531 South Main Street. They are open Monday – Saturday from 6:30am – 11:00pm and Sunday from 1:30pm – 9:00pm.

JULY 9

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I first encountered my Bite of the Week last year when visiting my sister in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Located in an unassuming log cabin in Alpine, Wyoming you’ll find Old Yellowstone Garage (aka OYG) where Chef Paulie O’Connor prepares old school Italian dishes such as lamb shank, as well as unconventional plates like duck confit mac and cheese. The reason I insisted we dine at OYG a 2nd year in a row is credited primarily to hands down the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted, therefore deserving of this week’s Bite of the Week.

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What’s not to love about lasagna, right? Layers of pasta, cheese, meat and tomato sauce…you simply can’t go wrong. Unfortunately for me, Chef Paulie’s lasagna blows all others out of the water and I can only get it by traveling 1,600 miles across the country. Described as a “layered pasta bowl”, this lasagna includes freshly made pasta with flour imported from Italy (of course), Paulie’s own spiced provolone sausage, ricotta cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, basil and grated parmesan. The flavors you get in this dish are outstanding. It has a spicy kick from the sausage that’s balanced by the creamy ricotta cheese and flavorful tomato sauce. I’m a little ashamed to admit that my first time trying this dish I all but licked the plate clean…It’s just that good.

JULY 2

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

A warm brownie and a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream will always be my all-time favorite dessert, but after being introduced to Scotcheroos, it has some solid competition.  Whether called “Scotcheroos” or “Special K Bars”, they are all the same to me.  During my visit to Jamestown, North Dakota we made these irresistible bars twice.  I just couldn’t get enough of that chocolate, peanut butter flavor, and chewy, crunchy textures we all crave.

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Here is the fool-proof recipe…Ingredients: 1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup, 1 cup sugar (but you seriously don’t need to add that much), 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 7 cups of Special K Cereal, 1 cup of milk/dark chocolate chips, and 1 cup of butterscotch chips.  Now, time to bake.  Step 1: Cook corn syrup and sugar together in a pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Step 2: Stir in the peanut butter.  Step 3: Mix in the cereal and stir until it’s sticky and coated with the mixture.  Step 4: Spread into a large pan.  Step 5: Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips together.  Step 6: Spread over the cereal mixture.  Step 7: If you’re patient enough, let the bars sit for about 45 minutes or until they are set up.  I can guarantee that these bars will be the first dessert devoured at any gathering, or in your own kitchen.

JUNE 25

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Parlour is a hidden gem underneath Minneapolis’ popular Borough restaurant well-known for their amazing food and drinks. With a little cozier, more intimate feel, Parlour attracts Minneapolis locals, as well as visitors with their handcrafted cocktails and unassuming food menu.

What brought me to Parlour was their raved about burger. My friend, Alissa, lived in Minneapolis for awhile, and has brought up the deliciousness of this burger more times than I can count. So, naturally we had to make a stop there. This burger is about as simple as it gets, consisting of meat, cheese and pickles between a bun. Sounds ordinary…tastes extraordinary, making it my Bite of the Week.

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Let’s start with the meat. Parlour’s burger comes with 2 thin patties consisting of ground sirloin, ribeye and brisket. The meat all but falls apart as you take each juicy bite. Melted white American cheese and tangy pickles are the only toppings you’ll get at Parlour, because it’s already the perfect burger. I ate Every. Single. Bite.

JUNE 18

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

When you attend a 10 course tasting menu at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille, it’s very challenging to choose just 1 dish as your absolute favorite. Chef Wilberto Sauceda’s creative, passionate style of cooking is present in each and every one of his whimsical and delicious dishes. If you haven’t already, I urge you to take the time to read my past blog post on all that Chef Wilberto is bringing to the table.

As an end of the school year celebration, some co-teachers and I enjoyed an amazing tasting at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille courtesy of Chef Wilberto himself. We tasted everything from fresh ceviche to crispy pork belly, and even macarons with a foie gras lollipop rolled in pop rocks. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

The dish that I could eat time and time again, and this week’s Bite of the Week, has to be the Fish Tower. Fresh, raw seafood is one of my absolute favorite components in any dish, so a tower consisting of salmon, snapper and tuna is a winner in my book. Chef Wilberto mixes salmon with chilis and lemon juice, then places snapper with meyer lemons and olive oil on top of the salmon, then a layer of edamame puree and lastly a mixture of tuna with ponzu and soy sauce on top. You can certainly eat this dish all by itself, but for a crispy, salty bite Chef Wilberto serves Rick Erwin’s signature house chips alongside for your scooping pleasure. Every component of this dish marries together with a perfect balance of textures, flavor and freshness. It’s only 8am and I could eat it right now.

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Chef Wilberto is excited to feature some of these dishes on Rick Erwin’s regular menu. In the meantime, you can call and request a chef’s tasting menu on Wednesday or Saturday reservation only!

JUNE 11

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Sorry readers. You can’t find this dish in the Upstate, but you can find it in the booming, foodie paradise that is Charleston, South Carolina. I visit Charleston quite often to catch up with friends, hit the beach and, naturally, eat all the food. Some of my go-to spots are Jeni’s Ice Cream, The Park Café, Butcher & Bee and 167 Raw to name a few. For my friend’s birthday, we decided to shake things up a bit and try somewhere we’d never been before. That decision led us to The Ordinary, and led me to my Bite of the Week.

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The Ordinary is a charming, lively southern seafood hall and oyster bar located in a historic bank on King Street. Their menu is simple with a selection of cold plates, oysters, hot plates and the infamous Shellfish Towers. While glancing over the menu, I saw the word “ceviche” and my mind was made up. Ceviche is a popular dish in Latin America and the Caribbean consisting of fresh, raw fish cured in citrus juices. The Ordinary prepares a spot-on Wahoo Ceviche with cucumber, avocado and radish. Served alongside are crispy, salty corn chips for scooping. What makes this dish so perfect is the combination of textures from the tender Wahoo, to the creamy avocado and the crisp cucumber. Mix all those components together and gently toss with lemon/lime juice and you’ve got one refreshing, delicious dish.

The Ordinary is located 544 King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. They are open Tuesday – Sunday from 5pm until close. If you are now craving ceviche, here are some restaurants in the Upstate where I’ve eaten it: Golden Llama, The Southern Growl, GB&D and The Anchorage.

JUNE 4

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

For 28 years now, I’ve been missing out on the out-school, Italian cuisine served at Trattoria Giorgio.  Having grown up in Greenville, friends were shocked that I had yet to dine there and insisted we go.  I fell in love with the quaint, picturesque atmosphere, as well as their traditional approach towards Italian cooking.  What really stole my heart though was the Ravioli Alla Aragosta, better known as Lobster Ravioli.

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Found on the Antipasti portion of their menu, this generous serving comes with six pieces of homemade lobster ravioli that’s tossed in a creamy tomato sauce and topped with fresh basil.  I’ve been to Italy a few times and taking a bite of this indulgent, yet simple ravioli aroused memories of many pasta dishes devoured while abroad.  Pair this dish with their Insalatona (house salad with parmigiano cheese, olives & roasted red peppers) and a superb glass of pinot noir, and as the Italians say “Buon Appetito!”

Trattoria Giorgio is located at 121 South Main Street.  They are open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday from 6:00 – 9:30PM.

MAY 28

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Halls Chophouse has made a name for itself in Charleston and Greenville as a monumental, family owned steakhouse. With impeccable service, the highest quality of steaks around, and mouth-watering, family style sides like lobster mac n’ cheese, Halls Chophouse is a go-to spot for special occasions and celebrations. But, I’m not here to talk about their dinner menu. In honor of National Burger Day, I’m switching things up this week with a dish that is not only my “Bite of the Week, but also my favorite burger in Greenville: Halls Chophouse Burger.

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Allow me to let you in on a little secret…you won’t find Halls Chophouse Burger on their regular dinner menu, but on their unassuming bar menu. Luckily I discovered this burger my first time dining at Halls and have ordered it every single time I’ve been back. The Chophouse Burger is perfect in my eyes: consisting of a 10oz house prime ground beef patty (cooked medium of course), topped with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle between two soft buns smeared with homemade special sauce…it’s drool-worthy. Go with a friend, sit at the bar (even though you don’t have to sit at the bar to order off the bar menu), share the burger and chop salad, and thank me later. An added bonus: Even with a glass of wine, you’ll leave having spent around $20 each.

Halls Chophouse is located in the heart of Downtown Greenville at 550 South Main Street. They are open for dinner every day of the week starting at 5:00 (bar opens at 4:00) and for brunch on Sunday from 10 – 2.

MAY 21

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

The pizza coming out of Coastal Crust’s wood fired Valoriani pizza oven is as close to authentic Neapolitan style pizza you’re going to find in Greenville. The chef, Matt Cole, is passionate about using the freshest yeast and highest-quality ingredients for his creative pies. Many of us have tried Coastal Crust straight from their mobile eatery parked outside Community Tap, Birds Fly South, or Grateful Brew, but coming in fall 2017, Coastal Crust will have their own restaurant on Pendleton Street in the Village of West Greenville.

 

I met with Matt last week and as we chatted about the philosophy behind Coastal Crust, we ate a ridiculous amount of pizza. Matt tops his pies with inspired ingredients such as leeks, purple potato, smoked mozzarella, candied shallots, truffle Bianca cheese…I could go on and on. The combination that stood out as this week’s “Bite of the Week” was topped with four simple ingredients: marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, chorizo and red onion. What sets this pie apart from the rest is the spicy, house-made chorizo. The meat for the chorizo comes from Greenbriar Farms, then Matt adds his own blend of spices to build flavor and heat. This pie has everything I crave: a thin, slightly charred crust, piping hot melted cheese, something spicy, and something crunchy.

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You can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas created at Coastal Crust, but that chorizo pie will keep me coming back for more. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see where their pizza truck will be next and for updates on their restaurant!

MAY 14

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

The Anchorage is quite possibly the most buzzed about restaurant in The Upstate.  Located in the up and coming Village of West Greenville, Chef Greg McPhee creates inspired, seasonal small plates that will blow you away.  I’ve dined at The Anchorage a few times and am always in heaven as I sip on a craft cocktail and reminiscence on how far the foodie scene in Greenville has come.  The Anchorage’s menu changes daily, so it’s always a surprise what Chef McPhee has planned for you that evening.  Lucky for me, the Corn Cappelletti & Short Rib made the cut last Thursday.  I’m always drawn to any of Chef McPhee’s pasta dishes as they are handmade.  These perfectly al dente “little hats” are filled with sweet pureed corn atop braised, thinly-sliced Greenbrier Farms short rib, and finished with chili broth, fresh cabbage, pickled radish and Cotjia cheese.  Because I never wanted this dish to end, I somehow managed to cut each Cappelletti into four little pieces and savored every. single. bite.  It was one of those dishes that I was craving again the next morning for breakfast.  Chef Greg McPhee’s dishes are understated, precise and comforting all at the same time.  Come and see what all the fuss is about…you won’t be disappointed.

 

The Anchorage is located in The Village of West Greenville at 586 Perry Avenue.  They are open Wednesday – Thursday from 5-9:30, Friday and Saturday from 5-10, and Sunday from 10am-3pm.

MAY 7

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I adore so many things about American Grocery Restaurant. Everything from their craft cocktails, seasonal menu, and consistency are top-notch. What’s their one menu item I just can’t live without? It’s gotta be the Buttermilk-Chive Biscuits. In usual American Grocery fashion, you’ll see the biscuit flavor change with the seasons, such as their fall-time sweet potato biscuits. No matter the flavor, these biscuits are out of this world delicious. So, what makes them better than the rest? First of all, they bake the biscuits to order, so enjoy a cocktail for roughly 20 minutes while the magic happens. Secondly, you don’t only get one side of butter for your spreading pleasure, but three decadent toppings such as bacon jam and sweet potato butter. Most importantly, they embody the essence of a homemade biscuit: flaky, buttery, moist, and simple.

 

SWEET POTATO BISCUITS AND BUTTERMILK-CHIVE BISCUITS

American Grocery Restaurant is located at 732 S. Main Street. They are open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday from 6pm until close, with their bar opening at 5pm.

APRIL 30

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

If you’ve lived in Greenville for awhile, then my Bite of the Week will come as no surprise.  On the other hand, if your new to the area, I’m about to introduce you to one dangerously delicious dessert.  The Sweet Potato Cake from Brick Street Cafe is hands down the best cake I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.  I crave this decadent cake on a weekly basis, but have to resist the temptation otherwise my waistline would hate me for it.  This cake is everything you want a cake to be: moist, dense, buttery, and layered with a generous amount of icing.  The cake itself is a mix of traditional yellow cake batter and their homemade sweet potato pie mixture.  Top that with some cream cheese icing and dig in.  As they say at Brick Street Cafe…”Just eat da’ cake!!!”

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Brick Street Cafe is located at 315 Augusta Street.  They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday.  Brick Street Cafe is also known for their Love Muffins, Coconut Cake, Peanut Butter Cake and much more!

APRIL 23

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

Oak Blue Kitchen may be known for their Korean and classic barbecue plates, but my “Bite of the Week” comes from a dish unlikely to be found at any BBQ restaurant in town. The Ssam Plate embodies all of my favorite things: flavor, variety, and creativity. With this dish, you get six lettuce wraps each topped with one of Oak Blue’s melt in your mouth meats, accompanied by a pickled veggie or slaw. My favorite combo: The smoked brisket topped with pickled onion. Don’t overlook the spicy Ssam sauce that comes with this dish. A little drizzle atop each wrap creates an ideal savory, spicy, crunchy bite.

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Oak Blue Kitchen is located at 109 North Main Street. They are open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00am – 10:00pm and Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Don’t miss their Sunday brunch or weekday happy hour with $3 drafts, $2 domestics and $1 off wine and liquor.

APRIL 16

THE BEST OF A WEEK FULL OF BITES

I try A LOT of food on a weekly basis; some good, some not so good, and some that are truly memorable.  With “The Bite of the Week” I will feature one dish that stood out among the rest.  Check back each and every Sunday as I share with you the most crave-worthy bite from the week…and where you can find it!

First up: Green Pea & Mozzarella Arancini from Dive n’ Boar.

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Essentially, this “snack” is creamy, rich risotto with bright green peas, rolled into a ball and fried to create an extra crispy exterior. The best part: a flavor-packed tomato sauce made in-house hidden underneath these sinfully delicious balls and generous grating of Parmesan. $6 gets you four golf-ball sized arancini; perfect for sharing, or keeping all to yourself.

Dive n’ Boar is open Monday – Thursday from 4pm – 11pm, Friday – Saturday from 4pm – 12am, and Sunday from 10am – 2pm. Don’t miss their happy hour from 4 – 7 every weekday where they offer a FREE meat and cheese board and great drink specials!

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