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Greenville SC to Charleston with perhaps stop at Columbia? Looking for eats along the way

I would not say a wasteland by any means, Columbia is underrated imo. But it is Sunday, and things will be closed all along the way to Charleston most likely that would have been of interest.. Greenville's downtown is a fine place to find some early brunch before heading to the Holy City.

May 07, 2014
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Near one of the Fort Jackson entrances is Julia's German Stammisch which serves as-big-as-your-head, delicious crispy schnitzel and incredible desserts by Julia herself during dinner time. Cash only.

Over in the Two Notch area is Little Pigs BBQ, which is a great buffet with all sorts of classic SC sides including hash and collards along mustard bbq. Best in town for sure, very popular during lunch time. I usually recommend this to people new to the area since it gives a good example of the region's country eatin'.

Oak Table, Motor Supply Bistro and Terra are the three places to look into for locally sourced dishes. Oak and Motor have terrific brunches as well. Terra for sure is one of the town's premier destinations, but Motor and Oak definitely supply the food and cocktails if that's your thing.

Rosso Trattoria Italia is fantastic as well for locally sourced fine Italian cuisine, and Original Pancake house is nearby for breakfast if you are in for some affordable diner eatin/.

For dives, Egg Roll Chen may be fast food Chinese, but it has a small dedicated menu to some Taiwanese street food including Yen Su Jee, a crispy chicken dish covered in spices. Very popular with Chinese locals. Drip in Five Points and downtown offers the best coffee in town and some good sandwiches for the midday, all on locally made bread. The Whig is good if you want a really dive-y bar. Tucked underground it has a decent list of beers along with good late night bar eating including gouda mac and cheese and pizza fries along with a solid burger. For some Indian, Bombay Grille has a unique selection of Northern Indian dishes that you don't normally see on top of favorites, as well as Delhi palace which has good traditional fare. Spice Junction is far but has an even more eclectic list of Indian dishes on its buffet and far and away the best naan in town. For a bowl of decent ramen, the Vista (just outside of downtown) has Menkoi. The noodles are good and the spicy ramen is just right for a cold week like this one.

There is certainly more, but these are my favorites that come to mind. Enjoy your stay!

Jan 28, 2014
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Affordable Eating around Hilton Quebec? (and weather advice)

Hello all! A group of us will be traveling to Quebec city for an academic conference next week and staying at the Hilton Quebec. We're gonna be there four days, five nights and hoping to stay in a reasonable budget the whole time ($200-350) a person. Any recommendations for all meals in the area, grocery stores included if worth a visit? Any cuisine is welcome, although we really want to wander for some poutine and a bagel during our stay. Any really local fare would be exciting as well. We were worried that it was the ultra touristy area and concerned there wasn't cheaper dining to be found, hopefully you guys can debunk that for us.

We're also weary of weather and wondered how the walking conditions will be, if we can do it at all or if there are good, affordable alternatives for exploring the city. We're hoping for the falls, ice palace, and museum in particular.

Thanks so much!

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

I was quite surprised by the polar when I moved up to NC for two years, being used to the buffet style here in SC. They are two very different bbq experiences in my book, especially when you are looking at sides and how they are treated. It'll be a fun trip for sure.

Dec 03, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

Qball, from my old blog:
Contrary to popular belief, there is not one, but four types of barbecue in South Carolina. The difference around the four is in the basting and finish, namely the sauce. The most well-known to the region is mustard, mostly inspired by the German heritage found in the state thanks to a mass movement during the mid-to-late 1700s. The taste can be described as a sharp sweetness chased by the mellow, meaty pulled pork. There's also a bit of tang from the mustard and vinegar generally found in the sauce, but nowhere as powerful as the most well-known Carolina style barbecue sauce, the vinegar and pepper. On paper, something so wildly sour in principle may seem a bit daunting, but that sharp vinegar flavor becomes surprisingly addicting after a few bites, almost sweet even. Vinegar and pepper is the oldest of barbecues, and the one you'll most likely find anywhere you go in the Carolinas and even Georgia or Virginia. In South Carolina, mustard is generally found in the lowcountry and midlands while vinegar touches more on the NC/SC border and much of the northeast region of the state.

The other two forms of barbecue that can be found in South Carolina are the light and heavy tomato versions. Located mostly in south, southwest portion of the state, light tomato sauces are essentially vinegar and pepper sauces doused with ketchup for a slightly sweeter sauce. Heavy tomato sauce is predominantly a west SC thing, and what people generally attribute barbecue sauce to be with it's thick, smoky, molasses flavor.

Dec 02, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

I would skip Jestine's due to recent drama and try Martha Lou's. I would also skip Pawley's Front Porch for Little Pigs Barbecue if you want to keep the Southern theme going. Pawley's has decent burgers, but not worth using a meal over. Shealy's in Batesburg-Leesville is also a good replacement for Pawleys.

BBQ in Columbia SC

It can be busy but the line moves fast since it's a big place. Should be fine!

Nov 10, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

BBQ in Columbia SC

If you are looking for a place in Columbia, Little Pigs is the best option. Good variety in their buffet and lunch time is always bustling. It's a drive to the other side of town though. Big T's is also outskirts of town but an option for mustard bbq, over Palmetto in my book. If you want to adventure out, McCabes is about an hour out in Manning and totally worth a visit on days its open. Hite's BBQ out in Batesburg-Leesville is also a drive but good and an experience just being out there.

Nov 10, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Wilber's in Goldsboro vs Skylight Inn inn Ayden

I'm deeply passionate about Pete Jones BBQ (Skylight). The chopped crackling bits really makes it special, adding some texture and fat to the bbq. The vinegar sauce is light and tangy and spot on. The sides are limiting, slaw and fried corn block thing (which you learn to love, after several visits with its crispy crust and texture offsetting the pig). If sides are something you passionately wanting, then Wilburs may be more what you want, but Pete is about the pig, which is what I really look for in a great East NC place.

Nov 05, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

South Carolina and Charleston report - thanks for all the help

Nice report. McCabe's sweet potatoes are indeed wonderful. I would take the hour drive from Columbia to there any day of the week (they are open, that is!) for them and their fried chicken.

Oct 26, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Folly Beach, SC

lynnlato's post, the last in that thread was spot on actually. Taco Boy for good margaritas and great tacos, and if you want a great drink and some good burgers, Surf Bar. The John's Island recommendation is fine as well.

Sep 19, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Sunday brunch in NE Columbia?

Not a great area for brunch. I second ColaCat's recommend, best place you'll likely find for brunch there.

Sep 13, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

A Chefs Life with Vivian Howard begins on WUNC!

It was in late 2011 I believe, and they reopened around March of 2012. I ate there not too long after they reopened (sooooooo good.) The restaurant shown in the first episode looks slightly different to me up front, so they may have been taping in 2011, but I could be wrong.

The first episode was great! Similar to Mind of a Chef, but I really enjoy her readaptation of Southern food. It should be a pretty great series, looking forward to the next episode already.

Sep 13, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Downtown Columbia, SC Recs

From the Marriott (I'm guessing on Hampton St?) for breakfast there is Drip right across the street. Good coffee and some tasty breakfast and lunch options. They have a duck confit sandwich from time to time that is good, and a nice tuna salad sandwich too that is anything but as ordinary as it sounds.

For upscale, a walk down the street to the state house will take you to the Oak Table. If you want a drink, there's the Whig which is down the steps of the ABC news building. They have some sinister food on the menu and good beers on draft. Hunter Gatherer is on the opposite side of the state house. They brew their own beer and have some great dishes on the menu.

Motor Supply is definitely worth a visit. If you want something a little different, Menkoi serves up traditional ramen bowls that are good. Both Motor and Menkoi are in the Vista, along with Cupcake, Nonnah's and Lady Antoinette for your dessert needs.

Aug 12, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Foodiest City: Asheville, NC vs Charleston, SC (or possibly Savannah, GA?)

That is a very tough call. I've spent time in both cities, and each certainly in terms of ethnic food has a great variety of it spread out across each area. Charleston recently had a nice explosion of new ethnic restaurants to add to it's already fairly solid list of ethnic food, including some great food trucks like Refueler's (filipino) joining oldies like Roti Rolls. Some new stuff like Xiao Bao Biscuit and new Vietnamese restaurants along with a giant wave of banh mi have made a strong case for Southeast Asian food. There's a few French staples and European restaurants throughout the pennisula along with strong Southern restaurants that we all know and love by now (FIG, Husk, McCrady, SNOB, etc.). Asheville is no doubt a wonderful mecca for ethnic food in the culture district and just a great, great eating town in general. I would not throw one above the other, they are fantastic towns, both well worth spending time in for different reasons, as a foodie and tourist.

May 01, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Columbia, SC with child

Welcome to Cola! There's plenty of interesting places to try out, here's a handful to take a look at:

Terra - Dinner only, a bit pricey, but great locally sourced eating. Great Southern dishes with an elegant spin. They also have some more than affordable pizzas that include duck confit and whatnot.

Oak Table - Also pricey for dinner, but affordable for lunch. Creative, upscale fare. They have a killer Sunday brunch which includes giant cinnamon rolls, homemade pop tarts the size of your face and more.

Little Pigs - A bit on the otherside of town, but worth the venture for Midlands mustard barbecue and all the Southern food you could ever want. Buffet style, very casual.

Gourmet Shop - A quaint lunch in the Five Points area. Lots of outdoor seating and a cute shop to look around while you wait for a table. Sandwiches and soup kind of places, their chickens salad sandwich is tasty, along with anything on a croissant.

Delhi Palace - Going a bit towards Harbison, the big mall shopping area for the city. A fine Indian restaurant that's good for lunch or dinner. Had their basics recently, was all delicious and what you want from Indian food.

Cafe Stredel - Charming restaurant with things like hangover hashbrowns, duck fat fries, lots of great breakfast and lunch items, and recently a sunday supper event that features rotating items each week.

Julia's German Stammitsch - Giant schitnzel's the size of your car. Small, but cozy. Julia is well into her 80s or so, but still baking and working the family kitchen. Place is one of my favorites in town. Right behind Whole Foods as well, so you can get some groceries done as well.

British Bulldog Pub - My favorite pub food in the city. Get the leek, bacon, chicken pastry thing over mustard mashed potatoes. You will go back again in for it, I guarantee.

Crust - Not a restaurant, but a darn fine bakery with great bread made fresh everyday and some of the best scones in the state for a good breakfast to go.

Lady Antoinettes - Go in. Get a beignet. Swoon.

Apr 21, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Columbia SC - Best Low Country Cuisine?

Sue's choice of Mr. Friendly's is a great Southern choice. Motor Supply Bistro, Terra, and Cellar on Greene (next to Mr. Friendly's) are also good.

Mar 23, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Athens, GA and Columbia, SC

I just want to say the Cola love in this thread is very nice. It used to be tough times in town, but there's a lot of love and growth going on here for sure.

Mar 06, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Athens, GA and Columbia, SC

Oh, that explains Kraken so much now! I was wondering about that, their food reminded me very much of Hunter Gatherer. I had their poutine and the shrimp and grits, quite tasty.

Mar 06, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Athens, GA and Columbia, SC

For Columbia, SC:

For breakfast, Cafe Strudel is a nice location on State St. which offers a decent breakfast including some tasty hangover hashbrowns. Drip has become a local staple too for their french pressed coffee and baked goods. Crepes and Croissants in downtown offers just that and is an option for lunch as well.

Lunch-wise, if Bone-In Artisan Barbecue is out about town, they are top food truck in Columbia and have some good creations including a chicken and waffle club, tasty bone chips (chips covered in hoisin sriracha barbecue and pimento cheese with peppers and other things) and a great mac and cheese when it's offered. In the Vista, there's Menkoi, a ramen house that hits the spot on a cold day. If you like spicy, their spicy ramen bowl is pretty tasty. Next door is also Mojitos, a Cuban joint that's worth diving into as well. The Gourmet Shop in the Five Points area offers some nice cafe food in a lovely storefront with outdoor seating if you are looking to be outside. If you are a bit out of the ways going towards the shopping area known as Harbison, there's a dive called Delhi Palace that serves up good Indian food.

For dinner, Hunter Gatherer is the people's regular goto. The only local brewery, with pretty tasty food. Black bean dip is a staple. Cellar on Greene (slightly tricky to find, located on the side of an inn in Five Points) has a fantastic three course deal for 19 a person and is well worth a dinner. Motor Supply Bistro with their upscale American flair is another fine choice, tucked away in the Vista. Terra sources mostly local ingredients for their food and is also a great option (check their website for rotating menus). For some amazing schnitzel, you can dig around near the new Whole Foods for Julia's German Stammistch. She's been open for years and years and years and has terrific deserts if you can somehow manage after the giant dinner.

Mar 05, 2013
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Charleston: The Other Tasty Stuff

Most SC locals on Chow know the really good places (FIG, Husk, McCradys, etc.) in Charleston, and there was a really great burger thread that lasted quite awhile on here, but I was wondering if we could stir some discussion on the more casual places in town that locals and frequent visitors might want to stop and eat at. Charleston's been a place I've gone through several times this year, and it never ceases to amaze me how I can find something new and exciting to bite on each and every time. I'm hoping to find more suggestions for the next time I'm in town. Anything new? Any hidden gems, especially West Ashley or North Charleston? What's your favorite casual eatery when you're not in the mood for dishing out big for FIG?

A few of mine that I've come to enjoy this year:
EVO: A really nice pizza place. Admire their attempts to keep things seasonal with their small but satisfying menu. A strawberry bisque with blue cheese crumble I had this summer was perfect for the 100+ weather.

Foodie Truck: A new food truck that's hopped up this year, they had some steam buns a few weeks ago that were pretty tasty. Their menu is always rotating and offering new ideas.

Autobanh: Another food truck that's become a bit of a local favorite in the West Ashley area in particular I feel. They have this fried chicken banh mi with okra and a honey-sriracha drizzle that's swoon-worthy.

Glazed: It's impossible for me to walk out of Charleston without a box of these, especially their sweet potato and bacon apple fritters.

The Early Bird Diner: I know it got all the press in the world with Diners, Drive-In, and Dives, but their chicken and waffles is really that amazing. Honey mustard and maple syrup with fried chicken and waffle sounds awful on paper (or does it? i'm drooling as we speak), but oh-so-good in real life.

Sep 14, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Good Eats in Columbia, SC?

Mr. Friendly's is fantastic and completely worth a stop for good Southern fare. I approve.

Some more casual places where you can also get a drink:

116 State St. Wine and Espresso Bar: Small restaurant, but great food and drinks, and decently romantic (in my book at least!). Serves tapas and various European fare with a little Southern twist here and there. Brunch Sunday is pretty tasty.

Hunter Gatherer: The only local brewery in town. Serves some quality food, maybe more of a nice place to stop for a drink as it's right on campus and tends to be less hectic than the VIsta and Five Points.

Gervais and Wine: Vista staple, another tapas place. More tapas oriented then 116, good selection and uses a lot of locally grown ingredients.

Have fun!

Aug 22, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

One night in Columbia

Ft. Jackson area is a bit of a mixed bag, and can very since it's expansive and stretches into a few areas. Here's a few that may be near one of the places you are staying:

For the Typical Ft. Jackson area people refer to:

The Diner:
They are quite new, serve Southern fare with a few twists here and there. They have a nice lemon berry marscapone cake and have a good brunch if you are there on a Sunday, which includes Chicken and Waffles.

Julia's German Stammitsch: (warning, music ahead.
)A little pricey during dinner, but right next to The Diner in a U-shaped strip mall with a bakery on the side, Julia's a small, but good German place with GIANT schnitzel and also great baked goods when Julia's got something in the back. Can get very busy in the evening since it is small, may be a wait.

For the Forest Acres Area which also has a Ft Jackson Entrance:

Little Pigs:
This is a bit of a drive down the street, but searchable, especially with GPS. For my money, favorite South Carolina barbecue buffet in the Columbia area. Tasty mustard barbecue and good sides. It's in a slightly out there area, but doable.

If you are willing to go more into the downtown/USC campus area, many more options including:

Mr Friendly's: Arguably best Southern sit down in Columbia. Uses plenty of local produce. Pricey though, and more elegant.
Yesterday's: Nearby Mr Friendly's, possibly more kid-friendly and some decent bites including the meatloaf and chicken fried chicken.
Mojitos Tropical Cafe: In the Vista area, near downtown. Cuban/Latin fare.

Columbia's food scene has been getting better, but it's perhaps not as family friendly at the moment.

Jul 25, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Columbia, SC

I also rather go to Little Pigs, but I think both Docs and Pig have their strengths. If you like fried chicken and vinegar barbecue, I do think Docs edges Little Pigs out (if anyone wants to make the long journey in West Columbia though, Shealy's may top Docs in both categories). Doc's also had a pretty good smoked chicken, which I think was on wednesdays that is worth visiting for.

Pig's mustard is the best in town though, and I think their overall buffet is better then Docs by a lot. The sides are well done and they have a wider variety that is fairly good all-around. Pig's hash is also pretty tasty, I'm not a fan of Doc's thick version.

May 11, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Yeah I really wish they wouldn't focus so much on the high end bar part. It's such an off location and a chicken and waffles place, if good, could totally be a steady business in this town. I'll check it out this upcoming week for sure and report back.

May 03, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Some news around town:

Again on Skyy Bar, haven't gone but have heard their chicken and waffles are delicious. Hours and place has been kind of sketch, it's a weird location off 10th st.

The Quarry just opened in downtown and features gourmet pizza. There's a new Mellow Mushroom by the mall now as well, just ate their the other day. It was alright, I just came back from Charleston and had amazing pizza at EVO there though, so it might be better than I thought.

A HuHot opened on Greenville Blvd. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's a midwest Mongolian grill chain. Definitely a meh, Mongolian Empire is better in my opinion if you are into that.

Out between the local yogurt and starbucks, in the Food Lion area on Arlington near Statonsburg is a new Indian restaurant. Have not tried, but nice to have more ethnic options.

The Umbrella Market in downtown just started up again, Wednesday's 5-8. I'll be making a blog post soon on it, but there's some nice new vendors there including a local cupcake baker doing some amazing things like a bourbon cake with mint julep icing. There's also two bakers, one from Bath and one from Grimesland selling artisan bread and pastries. Picked up a delicious challah. Spring just kicking in, so produce is just modest for the moment.

Best news of all is that Chef and the Farmer has reopened! Looking forward to seeing them this summer.

May 03, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Yeah I was wondering about Gold Post. That is new right? I was just driving by it the other day and noticed it out of nowhere. It looks like a nice spot, I'm definitely curious what they've got going on there.

Apr 06, 2012
ForagingFoodie in Southeast

Students Invading Baltimore: Good Eats on the Go

Want to thank everyone for their suggestions! Had an amazing time in Baltimore, ate very well!

Highlights of the trip:
Trinacria: Awe-inspiringly good sandwiches. We ended up going twice. The prosciutto sandwich and porchetta paninni were two of my favorite bites this past week, especially the porchetta with the roasted peppers. Really great. Their mozzarella stuffed peppers were also wonderful. We actually had no lines during our first visit, and hit a rush on our second but still came out rather quickly.

Alewife: After a long day of conference panels, a beer at Alewife w/ Truffle mac and cheese really hit the spot. Went back for a kobe hot dog as well, which was as much fun to play with as it was to eat. Both this and trinacria were in kind of unexpected locations, but really made my week.

Lexington Market: For many reasons, including an awesome last minute polish dog and rice meatballs. My group and I spent a lot of time wandering the market this past week, finding as many goods as we could in the spare time we had.

Regrettably missed on Attman's Deli again, but Trinacria made up for it I think. We also hit up Cazbar, an Nepalese restaurant on N. Charles, Pratt St. Ale House and O'Sheas. Some better then others, but mostly a good trip all-around. Thanks again folks!

Students Invading Baltimore: Good Eats on the Go

We'll be in the downtown area a lot it looks like, conference hotel is in that area. If people have dinner and lunch ideas for there also, that would be wonderful! Thanks.

Students Invading Baltimore: Good Eats on the Go

Excellent! Long lines are no problem at all, it certainly sounds like it is worth the wait. I think lunch is well set for the week, will be checking out dinner locations, although a few of the breweries already sound like a good start.