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BBQ on way from Charleston to Asheville

As slotmansc mentioned, Sunday is not a good day for mom-and-pop restaurants in upstate SC. I think your best bet is Little Pig Too in Irmo. They actually serve "brunch". The serve buffet style and usually have pulled pork. THeir other food is good of its type, too.

11210 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC 29063-9669

(803) 781-6160

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Little Pigs Barbeque Too
11210 Broad River Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Little Pigs
115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

Jun 06, 2011
Dorothy in Southeast

BBQ in Winston Salem

Thanks to all for your input. I ended up at The Pit in Raleigh for lunch. You don't need me to tell you it's simply outstanding. I had the Carolina ribs. They were fall-off-the-bone tender, lightly rubbed and well smoked, with just a lick of sauce. The sides of mac & cheese and coleslaw were unusually good for a Q place.

I met my friends at Little Richards, in part because it was close to our hotels. I felt like I was giving them a real regional experience -- one they wouldn't get back home in Ohio and Australia. We all had the chopped pork sandwiches and they were tasty. I had fries with mine -- the usual Sysco crinkle-cut ones -- and they were fine.

My friends tried Cheerwine and sweetea for the first time. I had to explain to one of them when she ordered tea it would come sweetened. She was game, but unprepared for HOW sweet it would be!

Again, thanks for the recs. I'm heading back to Winston Salem in a week for the Magnolia Baroque Festival, so I'll check out some of your other suggestions then!

Jun 09, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

Seeking creative and inventive meals - Charleston SC

I took my brother in law and sister in law to McCrady's for the tasting menu a couple weeks ago and it was very good indeed. The food was inventive. The portions were small so we were able to enjoy the entire 7-courses without feeling stuffed. I thought the meat courses were the best, with the local beef filet a particular standout.

Chef Sean Brock came into the dining room to sauce two our our courses for us, and did the same for other diners. He seems to be a pleasant guy, along with being the recent winner of the James Beard award for the Southeast.

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McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Jun 09, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

Spanish Restaurant in South Carolina?

Does anyone know of a good Spanish restaurant in South Carolina, particularly in Columbia or Charleston? We'll even go to Charlotte!

My father in law is jonesing for paella. And I'd love some authentic tapas.

Many thanks!

Jun 09, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

BBQ in Winston Salem

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I'll report back after my roadtrip!

May 16, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

BBQ in Winston Salem

I driving from central South Carolina to Winston Salem (via Durham) on June 4 to meet up with the friend of a friend who will be on the way to the Outer Banks.

I have been asked to select a place to have dinner in Winston Salem and have gotten agreement that we probably should sample the area's BBQ. In poking around the net I'm reading good things about Little Richards, but I thought I'd check in with the experts before I make plans.

I'm not wed to BBQ so if there's another must-try place in Winston Salem, please let me know that, too.

The other person is staying off I-40 at exit 192.

Incidentally, I have a business meeting in Durham that same afternoon, and I'm planning to go to The Pit for lunch.

Many thanks, and Chow!

May 12, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

Pearl's Cafe -- good meat 'n three off the beaten path.

I've recently moved to Newberry County, and am building a house just south of Whitmire. Today I visited Pearl's Cafe on Main Street in Whitmire for a lunch of meat 'n three -- well, in our case it was meat 'n two, but the number of veggies you get is entirely at your own discretion.

My companion tried the fried chicken and I had the fried tilapia. My fish was crispy and tasty, with a dab of house-made tartar sauce. I had the green beans and steak fries. The beans were good; the fries were previously frozen, but acceptable. I liked the tilapia so much, my companion added on a serving of it. We both had iced tea, of course.

The total, including tax and tip, was just under $16.00 for two meat 'n two plates, two iced teas and the add-on extra "meat".

Pearl's isn't a destination place, but it's worth a stop if you're in Newberry or Union County. I look forward to coming back and having their breakfast.

Open for breakfast and lunch excepting on Wednesday and Saturday, but call ahead to be sure.

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Pearl's Cafe
106 Main St, Whitmire, SC 29178

Apr 23, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

La Fogata, Newberry, SC

Yesterday, Cowbot and I were in Newberry County, SC. We're building a home there and were meeting with some contractors. We had lunch at La Fogata Mexican Restaruant in Newberry.

Understand that I'm a 'Hound from waaaayyy back. I helped start both the Los Angeles and Houston Chowhound groups and hope to get some in-person action going with 'Hounds in mid-South Carolina once I move here. I grew up in Southern California so I've eaten a fair amount of Mexican food -- both in restaurants and in the homes of friends. My expectations of La Fogata, evidently a local chain, were not high.

I was pleasantly surprised. Much of the food was pre-made and that part wasn't so good (crispy taco shells, tortilla chips and guacamole). But the hot food was tasty and had a bit of a kick to it. The service was friendly and prompt. The other guests seemed to be enjoying their meals as well. I have to say it's closer to Tex-Mex that to the Baja/Sonora cuisine of my youth. But all in all the experience is one we will repeat.

La Fogata Mexican Restaurant
2824 Main Street
Newberry, SC 29108-4134
(803) 321-9798

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La Fogata
1475 Pearman Dairy Rd, Anderson, SC 29625

Jan 01, 2010
Dorothy in Southeast

Copper River Grill, Columbia, SC

This afternoon Cowbot and I had lunch at Copper River Grill in the Columbiana Mall complex. What looked to be the usual yuppified chain experience offered a few surprises that guarantee we'll return.

The concept is "Alaskan Lodge American Cuisine", the usual apps, salads, grilled fish, meat and chicken, and pastas.

Cowbot started with the she-crab soup. I'm not sure of the provenance of the crabs, and, since we were a little late in the lunch service, it appeared the soup had sat on the steam table a bit long, so it was thicker than strictly necessary. The sherry flavoring and coral color it reminded me of lobster bisque. It was tasty, but they could easily have thinned it with a little stock or milk. Copbot was mildly irked that it was sprinkled with parsley rather than the paprika he usually associates with she-crab soup, but that's a minor quibble.

I wanted a burger, but when I asked the waiter if I could get it rare or medium rare, he told me they only do burgers well done. We live in a sad world, so I moved on to the Blackened Tuna Filet Sandwich. The waiter assured me the kitchen would cook it rare. I'm curious why they will serve the tuna rare but not the ground beef, but didn't push my luck. The fish was a steak (not a filet) and covered with some sort of spice rub that didn't, in my view, add to the fish. The veggies were fresh, but I had to ask for the tartar sauce promised by the menu. The "thick cut fries" were clearly delivered by the Sysco truck. More on the tuna in a moment.

Cowbot ordered the Hickory Fired Salmon. It came on a small hickory plank, covered with the usual goopy, too-sweet teriyaki-style sauce.

But here's the thing: The fish was GREAT. Both the salmon and the tuna were high-quality, beautifully cut portions of fresh fish. The tuna was about a 6 ounce portion, and the salmon filet portion was 12 ounces if it was a gram. And both were cooked perfectly -- the tuna was just seared and the salmon was cooked all the way through -- but only just -- still moist and meaty.

Cowbot's baked potato was another pleasant surprise -- devoid of a foil wrapper, or any clue that it had ever been foil-wrapped, it was fluffy and tasty, seasoned only with butter as ordered.

We didn't sample any of the "Table-Size Desserts", nor did we have any alcohol. The bill, including tax and tip was $35.00

As we left we saw a pizza on another table that looked great. They have a brick oven for their pizzas and I will try one when I visit next time.

So Copper River Grill strikes me as a place worth visiting, especially if you know the menu and know how to order. Another time, I'd order the salmon without the glaze and the tuna without the rub. As newly-arrived South Carolinians, we're just beginning to explore what our new area has to offer, and we'll visit Copper River Grill again.

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Copper River Grill
1230 Bower Pkwy Ste B8, Columbia, SC 29212

Dec 30, 2009
Dorothy in Southeast

[Hou] need recs for mid range, non ethnic restaurants around The Woodlands

I am sure Russo's will make a pepperoni pizza. Remember, the crust is thin, and the toppings are not lavish. I happen to like it that way, but if your DH is expecting strings of cheese and mounds of pepperoni, I don't want him to be disappointed.

Jul 18, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] need recs for mid range, non ethnic restaurants around The Woodlands

Dang! Can't you drop him and McDonald's for one meal, and I'll run out and meet you at Russo's New York Coal-Fired Pizza??

Dorothy

Jul 17, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

best bbq in/around houston

As a new Houstonian reared in Qdom by my husband who's from South Carolina, I just don't get the brisket thing. Every so often I taste a little brisket in the vain hope that the very nature of the meat has changed. But it hasn't. It's always, always dry.

In South Carolina BBQ is always pork, period. You would no more order BBQ beef than you'd order "beef carnitas". Those in SC typically eat pulled pork. Here in Houston, we've learned to eat pork ribs. We like the ribs at Luling CIty Market and the ones at Dozier's in Fulshear. We loved the late, lamented Williams, and liked it better than Burns which we find so-so and not worth the attittude. Houston BBQ Company on Eldridge is a clone of the Houston Luling and it's good, too.

Jul 15, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] South Houston suggestions?

We ended up going to Connie's Seafood Kitchen and really enjoyed it.

I had scampi shrimp. The EE and our friend both had fried seafood. The stuffed crabs were the best I've had. The food was tasty, fresh and reasonably priced.

The place seems aimed at Mexican families. Spanish is the preferred language, and most of the guests -- large family groups mostly at mid-day on July 4 -- spoke Spanish. But the food wasn't Mexican food as most Americans think of it. Interestingly the favorite side dish is fried rice and it was quite tasty.

The tab for the three of us, including softdrinks, tax and tip, was just under $45.

Cheers!

Dorothy

Jul 09, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[HOU] Afternoon/High Tea

This is suggestion is based on hearsay, not on my own experience. I've heard the afternoon tea at Vargo's is their best meal. There's the added feature -- perhaps interesting to a young person -- of watching the swans and peacocks.

http://vargosonline.com/

Jul 09, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] South Houston suggestions?

The EE and I plan to take a friend to dinner this weekend in/near South Houston. THe EE asked the friend (who lives in the area) and he suggested Red Lobster or Golden Corral. Not.

The EE told the friend, "We can do better than that." So we're looking for a place that:

-- Has good food
-- primary menus: seafood, steak, BBQ or Mexican
-- not too fancy
-- open on July 4 (though I'm certainly happy to look into that aspect of the suggested places -- you don't have to do ALL my work for me!!)

Help me out, Houston Hounds!

Chow!

Dorothy

Jul 02, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[HOU] Coal vs. wood burning oven for pizza?

His review of Russo's made me drool. Can't WAIT to try it!

Jun 26, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Houston] Looking for Halal Restaurants

I've eaten at Kasra (Persian) and it's very nice. You might call them and ask whether they are Halal, since the Zabiha website indicates their Halal status is not verified.

Also, the food at Jerusalem Halal Meat's cafe is quite good. I've only eaten there once, but you might consult them. You probably wouldn't want to take guests there (it's very informal) but they may cater. If they do cater they can tell you whether you can have their food brought into your home (or whatever venue you choose) and have it retain its Halal status.

I like the food at Masala Wok, but it's pretty casual -- there is no table service; you order and pick up your food at the counter.

Chow!

Dorothy

Jun 24, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

BBQ in Houston

I cannot express too strongly to avoid Beaver's. Several friends and I want to like it but, alas, the food is just not good -- especially the BBQ. And the entire place might hold 25 people, but then it might not.

Is havng a meal catered a possibility? In other words do you have another place where you could meet to eat, and have the food brought in? If so, I'd go with Luling City Market or our newest (and very good) place, Pierson's. One issue you have is that most BBQ joints can't seat 25 people.

Chow!

Dorothy

Jun 24, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] Fuegovivo Churrascaria

We went on Saturday about 6:30. It was perking, but there were free tables and they seated us right away. I think if I were going at prime time with a larger number of people (and had planned ahead!) I'd make a reservation.

The noise level was medium. We could easily converse. There was recorded music -- much of it vocal. One of these days I'm starting a thread about quiet restaurants in Houston . . .

EE stands for Electrical Engineer. It's my shorthand for my husband.8-)

Chow!

Jun 22, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] Fuegovivo Churrascaria

The EE and I hied ourselves off to Fuegovivo Churrascaria for dinner this evening. Fans of Fogo de Chao or other churrascarias will be familiar with the drill: Bountiful buffet of appetizers and salads followed by meat, meat and, for a chaser, meat. You have a little card at your place setting that you turn to its green side to signal "Bring on the meat!" and to its red side to signal you've had enough.

The buffet was nicely presented and had some interesting offerings. The Italian influence on Brazillian and Argentinian cuisine was evident. You could have assembled a lovely antipasto platter: salamis, marinated artichoke hearts, caprese (fresh mozarella, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes), marinated hearts of palm, several varieties of olives, carpaccio, cheese, with a selection of vinegars and oils with which to anoint your choices. There were also the fixings for a tossed green salad, along with the requisite chaffing dishes of rice, beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. The seafood offerings (mussels and smokes salmon weren't great, but everything else was fine.

Your waiter then brings you a plate and you turn your card green-side up, and the meat begins. Fellows in gaucho dress scurry about with skewers of meats and knives. They come to your table, announce their offering and you accept or decline. The gaucho then carves off a portion of his offering if it's one you'd like to eat. Fuegovivo boasts 15 kinds of meat, but the emphasis is firmly on beef with several cuts of steak (the garlic steak was tastiest), beef ribs, and sausages that tasted like beef. I saw pork ribs, chicken breast, lamb chops (good) and leg of lamb (should have tried that since lamb I find is hard to come by in Houston). But, again, beef is king. They didn't offer any of the more exotic meats you find in some churrascarias (rabbit, alligator, etc.) Most of the meat was cooked to about medium. The EE likes his meat well-done, so we told the waiter. It took a little while, but eventually one of the gauchos arrived with well-done picanha (top sirloin).

The EE loved the little cheese rolls. I looked forward to the fried polenta cakes, but didn't care for the taste of the oil in which they were deep fired. What I thought was a fried plantain was actually a fried banana; it was coated in crumbs with a dash of cinnamon and it was tasty if unexpected.

We shared the passion fruit mousse. The creamy, rich, sweet mousse was complimented by the tart passion fruit puree drizzled over it.

The cost was $42.00 per person plus tax and tip. Dessert and drinks were extra. Total for the two of us was $125.

I believe they offer the buffet-only option only at lunch; you might check with them if this interests you.

How did they compare to the name-brand Currascaria a few blocks east? The food was about as good, and the price was few dollars less. Fogo de Chao is more corporate and chain-like; Fuegovivo appears to be family owned and operated. All of Fuegovivo's employees were cordial and helpful.

Would we return? The EE will not. He's a pretty light eater, so he didn't get his money's worth. I would go with a group that wanted to try it, but I wouldn't go back alone. But I predict Fuegovivo will do well. With HOustonians' love of meat, the friendly service and the slight novelty, Fuegovivo should fill a niche. There was a wedding party in a private room, several date-night couples, several family groups, a few older couples -- quite a mixed group.

Fuegovivo Churrascaria
11681 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77077
Phone: 281-597-8108

http://www.fuegovivo.com/index.html

Jun 21, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

[Hou] Beaver's -- disappointing

Three houndly friends and I met today for lunch at Beaver's on Durham and Washington. The company was great, the food . . . not so.

One of the other lunchers and I shared the burger and the ribs.

Great hay is made on the menu about the burger meat mix including pork. The thing was still dry and tasteless. We ordered it medium and there was nary a hint of pinkness in it. And the condiments and garnishes were meager and limp.

The ribs were really bad. They were heavily encrusted with a rub that made them taste bitter and chemical-ly. Our impression was that they cut them all apart before the lunch rush started and by the time we got served, they were rather dry. They were tough too boot. The sauce was bitter and thin. The baked beans were not really baked - more of a dry chili-bean sort of deal. The mac & cheese were OK.

We shared a bowl of the cheddar/beer hot dip and it was fairly tasteless, too.

My friends were interested in Beaver's because it is a Monica Pope restaurant. I'm newish to Houston, so that doesn't mean much to me, although I did enjoy my visit to t'afia a couple weeks ago. But Beaver's? I must in honesty recommend giving it a miss.

http://www.beavershouston.com/index.html

Chow!

Jun 12, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

Cafe Montrose [HOU]

This info is second hand, but a Houndly acquaintance who's lived in Luxembourg and spent considerable time in Belgium says Montrose Cafe has good Waterzooi and Carbonade.

Jun 10, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

It's the thought that counts ?

Sorry you were disappointed. The Lawry's in LA is still quite good, if you find yourself on the West coast.

Incidentally in regard to tipping the trancheur (new word to me!): I have an LA Hound friend who says the best $20 you can spend at Lawry's is to slip it to the carver. He will then load you up with sides (the ones in LA are good) and you won't see them on the bill.

And does anyone really know? Surely Lawry's doesn't had-peel its potatoes?

Chow!

Dorothy

Jun 10, 2008
Dorothy in Dallas - Fort Worth

[Hou] Client Dinner for 25 Near Galleria

I have hosted for a group at Maggiano's and I heartily recommend it. Yes, it's a chain, but they do a good job.

Not sure if they have a private room, but a quick phone call will determine that.

I HIGHLY recommend that you pre-order their family style meal: Two salads, two pastas, two entrees, two dessrerts. For lunch it's MAYBE $20 inclusing tax & tip. You can add appetizers if you like but it's plenty of food. THey'll bring additional platters if you need them. The conviviality of eating family style is really enjoyable. THeir website has some info, but give them a call to discuss your needs.

Cheers!

Dorothy

Jun 09, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

[HOU] Reviews of Chowdown @ FEAST

As a veteran of a number of Los Angeles-area CH events, I thought
last evening's event at Feast was a rousing success. I think the
number of people (for that venue) was about right.

I will point out to folks one thing: Jenny made the event look
effortless but this sort of thing does require some work. So we're
lucky that Jenny is willing and able to take the lead, but let's not
let her get burned out. If you have a favorite place or a place
you've been yearning to try -- jump in! Whether it's one of our first-
Sunday meals, or an in-between event, don't wait for someone
to "authorize you" to organinze an excursion!

I really enjoyed Feast. I thought it was a trifle pork-heavy. A salad
with no meat would have been enjoyable for me. But both as a total
experience and taking most of the dishes individually, it was a great
meal. I'm not sure cured liver is destined to be my new comfort food,
but the pork leg and the trout -- yum!

Jun 03, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

Good Bakery in HOUSTON

For raisin pumernickle, you might give Kenny & ZIggy's a buzz and ask if they sell loaves of bread. If they don't ask if they can recommend a place . . .

Also, The Palm serves it in their bread basket. I always have a piece, lavishly buttered, for dessert! 8-) Hmm, maybe they'd tell you where they buy it?

May 11, 2008
Dorothy in Houston

Sushi restaurant recommendation in Houston

Thanks for starting this thread. I live at Westheimer & Fondren so I'm glad of the rec for a "neighborhood" place.

One thing to consider is when (what day of the week) Houston sushi places can get their fish. Someone may be more knowledgable than I (a newcomer to HOuston) but in my old town one was pushing a bit to eat sushi on Saturday, and Sundays were definitely past the super-fresh point. Of course no good place would serve bad sushi.

That being said, for the best I'd go on Friday or Saturday even the place is open Sunday and Monday -- unles another poster knows the days of the week the restaurants here in Houston can get fresh fish.

Chow!

Dorothy

May 11, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

[Houston] Bob's Steaks & Chop House

Thanks a million for the great input. We did decide to try Bob's and have been back a second time since. We liked the steaks. I had the bone-in KC strip the first time and the bone-in rib eye the second time. I ordered both medium-rare; both were accurately cooked and both werer delish.

The EE ordered his usual well-done filet both times (sorry, I'm married to him; I'm not his mom!). The first time the butterflied it and I could see it was cooked all the way through and still quite juicy. The second time they did not butterfly it and it STILL left a little juice on the plate.

He ordered their house special potatoes both times and he liked them. I didn't care for them and was happy with my baked spud. I think the carrot is sort of silly, but no sillier than the hot plates at Ruth's Chris or Mastro's. I got a secret thrill from not having to pay extra for the potato.

I had the chophouse salad with creamy bleu cheese dressing both times -- the best salads I've had in Houston! The first time I ordered the chocolate cake -- very forgetable.

We enjoyed the service -- good both times, but not as fawning as at Ruth's Chris.

We look forward to trying your other suggestions, so thanks!!

Cheers!

Dorothy

May 10, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

Bostonian visiting Galleria, Houston

I agree with the rec for Pappas Burgers, but just know it's (according to Google Maps) about 1.5 miles west of Hotel Derek on Westheimer. If the weather isn't too humid, it could be a nice walk there. Very good burgers and they cook them accurately as you specify. Rare is rare, medium-rare is medium-rare, etc.

May 10, 2008
Dorothy in Texas

[Houston] Bob's Steaks & Chop House

Looking for a truly great steak in Houston and -- well, money is always an object, I suppose, but this is a special occasion. We've done The Palm and Ruth's Chris here in Houston, but we'd like to try one of the local places.

So, what about Bob's Steaks & Chop House? If you know them from Dallas, great and feel free to chime in. But I'm especially interested in Hounds who've tried the Bob's in Houston.

Cheers!

Dorothy

Apr 18, 2008
Dorothy in Texas