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Friday, December 30, 2011

Support Your Local Brewery and/or Distillery!

I like to support local and regional businesses. I applaud anyone that goes out on their own to create a business, especially in the ultra-competitive food and beverage industry. It takes guts to risk it all on an idea that you think is worth sharing.  In the Carolinas, we are fortunate enough to have some quality breweries / distilleries.  When traveling in foreign countries, I always drink the beer/wine/whiskey of that respective country. That also goes for the state or city that I'm in as well.

Lately, I've been trying more of the Carolina's best beers and now moonshine and I must say, we are very fortunate to have some guys that put their heart and passion in providing some quality beverages. I want to highlight some of the notable ones that I've tried recently.

The latest creation is, Dark Corner Distillery, here in Greenville, SC. Joe Fenten and Richard Wenger pursued a dream and created South Carolina's first legal Moonshine, thanks to some new laws here in South Carolina. They have put a lot of heart and history in Dark Corner. Though it's only a few months old, they are starting to have some distribution within the Upstate of South Carolina. I look forward to seeing what all they create in the coming months/years. I certainly hope to see it in the bar at HUSK in Charleston very soon.

If you are ever in Greenville, stop in and visit the Distillery and Gift Shop in the heart of downtown Greenville. 241-B North Main Street, Greenville, SC. Hours of operation: Tuesday - Saturay, 10am-6pm.

Another Greenville business worth mentioning is Thomas Creek Brewery. They've come a long way, since their beginnings in 1998. I'll admit,  I didn't become a true beer drinker until about 4 years ago. Before that, I was a Bud Lite kind of person. Sad I know.  I've become a fan of Thomas Creek, especially their River Falls Red Ale. If you're a fan of IPA beers, I recommend the "Up the Creek" Extreme IPA (pictured above), which I had last night for the first time.

Other South Carolina breweries worth noting include: R. J. Rockers out of Spartanburg and  the new Westbrook Brewing out of Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Some fellow foodies were married back in October and had beers from North Carolina and Georgia during their reception. One of the beers was, The Duck-Rabbit, Milk Stout. I'd never had it before, but of course had to try it. I'm not a fan of dark stout beers, but this one is excellent with beef. The Duck-Rabbit is based out of Farmville, NC, call themselves the Dark Beer Specialist. They sold their first beer back in 2004 and have  since established a strong following within the Carolinas. If you are a fan of Guiness, branch out and try and support an even better Regional Brew.

As I continue to try other brews from the Carolina's I will definitely continue to post them in the coming months.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SNarolina Foodie 2011 Year in Review.

2011 was the launch of SNarolina Foodie and with random postings and the realization that updating a food blog takes time and effort, if you want quality. I am excited about 2012, with a new camera, new logo and the potential to take SNarolina Foodie to a new level.
Highlights from 2011:
·         Restaurant of the year: HUSK, Charleston, SC, Bon Appetit Magazine’s 2011 New Restaurant of the Year.  A cool restaurant and cool concept that stands apart. A whole posting will be coming in January, in addition to my second dinner there.
·         Restaurant with the absolute best Service: Charleston Grill, Charleston, SC. Hands down, food is excellent, service is absolutely tops. Mickey Bakst, the General Manager has to be one of the best restaurant managers in the country. Watching him work the crowd is entertaining enough.
·         Best Steakhouse Overall: Grill 225, Charleston, SC. Excellent choice in meat and sides and a great atmosphere with old school steakhouse service.
·         Best Steak: Rick Erwin’s, Greenville, SC. I’ve tried some good steakhouses in 2011, including Del Frisco’s, BLT Steak, Chophouse ’47. Erwin’s invests in good steaks. Unfortunately, their service and sides aren’t up to par to their beef.
·         Best Mac n Cheese: Youssef 242, Hickory, NC. Mac n Cheese is my favorite food of all time. Here they call it, Mac n Cheese Loaded, and it certainly is loaded with tons of cheese. Honorable mention and a very close second is, Solstice Kitchen (Columbia, SC)’s Skillett-Baked Smoked Gouda and Bacon Mac n Cheese.
·         Best Fried Chicken: Jestine’s Kitchen, Charleston, SC. If you like crunchy fried chicken, this is the place. I’ve been going to here for over 14 years and the chicken is still excellent. Close second place, Esso Club, Clemson, SC.
·         Best Ice Cream/Yogurt/Gelato: Luna Rosa Gelato, Greenville, SC. They make their gelato every day onsite. I can say without a doubt, this is the best gelato in the United States. More places are now offering gelato, none come close to this place, except maybe Paolo’s Gelato Italiano in Charleston. Paolo’s is good, however he is cash only and sadly, I never carry cash.
·         Best Pizza: Tito’s Pizza, Greenville, SC. There are tons of excellent pizza places, but Tito’s is the best in New York Style.
·         Best Lunch: Dellz Deli, Charleston, SC. This tiny (5 seats) hole in the wall, off upper King Street, quickly won me over in late 2011. I first heard about it, after reading about the rice and bean bowl (excellent). Lately, I’ve been ordering the popular Beach Bum wrap (spicy shrimp  with rice and vegetables and something called da sauce), which I’ve had a hard time venturing away from.
·         Best Beer List: Trappe Door, Greenville, SC. My favorite restaurant in Greenville has the best beer list. Grant it, I love Belgium beer and their Belgium beer list is like most restaurant wine lists.
·         Best Cheeseburger:  Poe’s Tavern, Sullivan’s Island, SC. This is a burger joint that wins the best overall burger category. Great location, atmosphere, beer list and of course large, mouth-watering, flavorful burgers. I personally like the “Tell-Tale Heart” which is a burger with Fried Egg, Applewood Bacon and Cheddar Cheese. A close second is their “The Sleeper”, which is a large burger that also includes Roasted Garlic Blue Cheese and topped with Buffalo Shrimp.
·         Best Italian Restaurant: Wild Olive, Johns Island, SC. I was determined that another restaurant in Charleston was going to be a hands down favorite, then I read about Wild Olive and a dish that some people couldn’t put their fork down when eating. I went, I ate, I loved. The meal that won it all was the “Garganelli with milk braised pork ragu, caramelized onions, rosemary, parmesan.”
I look  forward to sharing much more and really bringing the quality of SNarolina Foodie up a notch.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


SNarolina Foodie has been busy with obligations that has taken away from posting some of the Carolina's tasty foods. Postings to come soon from Rick Erwin's Nantucket Seafood Grill and the biggest dinner of the year, HUSK, Bon Appetit's 2011 Restaurant of the Year!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Del Frisco's is probably one of my favorite steakhouses! The atmosphere, service and food are all top notch! I like a good steak, however that is for another posting. Today, I want to rave about their burger, also known as the PRIME "DF" Burger, which is out of this world. Priced at $8.95 at the bar, it is a deal!

Here's a hint, on Wednesdays, it is 50% off all night at the bar. Your paying $4 and some change, the same price at some fast food joints, but your eating at one of the best steakhouses out there. I didn't know the Wednesday special until I sat down.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Wild Olive Cucina Italiana on Urbanspoon
I had heard that Wild Olive was an excellent Italian restaurant on Johns Island, SC (Charleston). Usually when I hear the comments, "favorite" and "couldn't put the fork down" from a couple of resources, that tells me its time to visit!

This evening I met some childhood friends for dinner. The comment which I heard regarding not being able to put the fork down, well, that was me tonight! I will be back soon and look forward to sharing with others. The Charleston area has its fair share of excellent Italian restaurants, I'm adding Wild Olive to the mix.

Reasonably priced, yet top notch quality. For a Wednesday night, I was amazed at how packed it was. But then, that is a good indication for how good the restaurant is.

The menu for this evening was:

Beef carpaccio with parmesan, horseradish aioli, melba toast, arugula, Sicilian sea salt - horseradish aioli was hands down amazing. It made this dish! I love some good raw meat and the carpaccio was tops, however the aioli, my first time with a horseradish version, stole the show!

Garganelli with milk braised pork ragu, caramelized onions, rosemary, parmesan - this was the dish that set the stage for me to come and visit! I read a quick blurb about it and was hooked. I couldn't put the fork down once I started. The same went for a buddy of mine that also ordered it as well. Generally, any meat that is braised is worth trying in my book.

Birra Moretti La Rossa - excellent dark Italian beer. Can be hard to find at times. Well, maybe not hard to find, but hard to keep in stock.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


American Grocery Restaurant on Urbanspoon
This evening, we took some good friends to dinner to celebrate their upcoming wedding. We gave them a choice to treat them to any restaurant in Greenville. An excellent choice they made.

American Grocery: "American Grocery Restaurant strives to serve the finest in refined American Seasonal Cuisine, featuring products sourced from local and regional farms and from artisan producers from within the United States.

Starter: Mussels, smoked paprika cream, grilled bread

Salads: Heirloom Tomato Salad, watermelon sorbet, balsamic reduction

Entree: Braised Beef Tongue, farro verde, local mushroom ragoût, salsa verde I've never ventured to trying tongue. Glad I did venture out.

Dessert: Apple Cobler

Drinks: Cava Brut, Avinyó 'Reserva' NV Penedès, Spain - celebratory sparkling wine to begin the evening.

Westbrook Brewing Company - White Thai - new brewery out of Mt. Pleasant, SC

Bourbon Infused Bourbon - housemade, peaked my interest. Highly disappointed. I like bourbon and bacon. Just not together.

Chocolate Infused Vodka - housemade, I'm not a vodka person, but tried since I didn't enjoy the bourbon.

SNarolina Foodie is back!

After a two month hiatus, SNarolina Foodie will be back to posting many great food/restaurant recommendations from throughout the Carolinas. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The BOULEVARDIER - I haven't had one, but must try.

There are a couple blogs out there, which I peer at most days of the week. One of them is Gear Patrol. A posting that I saw today, several weeks old by now, was on the cocktail, "The Boulevardier". Looks like something that would be good, classy and perfect for the summer! I'm not really a cocktail person, but this has my attention.

Stay tuned, I shall post on it, once I've had one. Could be this week, while I am in Charleston.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So the SNarolina Foodie has been giving a lot of love to Charleston and Greenville, but not Columbia, where I spend a good bit of time. Earlier, I had done a post on PIMENTO CHEESEBURGERS and didn't even talk much about Columbia. Columbia is home to the original Pimento Cheeseburger, first created sometime in the 1960's.

Recently, I decided to try Mathias Sandwhich Shop, rumor was they have a very good "Pimento Burger". Mathias is apparently an Irmo institution, since it's been around since 1946. I of course ordered the obligatory Pimento Burger basket. The Pimento burger was outstanding and can now be included among my favorites, (Dairy O and Northgate Soda Shop). What I liked about Mathias' burger is that it was a thick patty and very good tasting pimento cheese. I will definitely be back for it.

The fries on the other hand were a disappointment. Very soggy, especially when I prefer firm and somewhat crunchy french fries! I will be back and I may give the fries one more try. Hey, the regular fry guy could have been on vacation!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Working in Columbia today, I decided to treat one of my clients to some cupcakes, from of course, CUPCAKE. Today is Tuesday and they offer Gluten Free cupcakes. I decided to try one and I must say, very good! Reminded me of a muffin with icing on it. I got the gluten free vanilla with chocolate. Also, enjoyed that the Gluten Free cupcake has chocolate chips in it!

I always recommend Cupcake, but I would recommend trying their gluten free option, especially you, Eric Zink, though you probably have already!

Monday, June 20, 2011

FAVORITE RESTAURANT - If it was your last meal.

What is your favorite restaurant? If it were your last meal, where would you go? The discussion begins now! This is a hard question for even I to answer. When someone usually ask what my favorite restaurant is, I generally give the answer, "it depends on what type of food / atmosphere / event." That answer will not be accepted!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MED BISTRO (new) vs MED DELI (old) - Charleston

Med Bistro on Urbanspoon
It's been over a week since SNarolina Foodie has posted. Fortunately I haven't been without some good food. Growing up, my family would vacation in Charleston. One of my memories while in Charleston is having lunch at Med Deli over on Folly Road. In the years since we started eating there, the name and other things have changed, but much of it is still the same. A cool bistro setting with an excellent choice of wines and beers.

I was working in Charleston this week and decided to skip my usual lunch at Fast and French and go to Med Bistro (formerly known as Med Deli). I hadn't eaten there in years and wanted to see if it was good as I remembered. My memories from the past was the awesome macaroni salad and the Med Pocket, which consist of turkey, swiss cheese, alfalfa sprouts and garlic aoili. This week, I ordered the Black Bean Burger which consisted of roasted red peppers, avacado slices and goat cheese and of course I got the macaroni salad.

Unfortunately my hopes were rather dashed. The macaroni salad that I so craved had a different flavor from what I remembered. I guess with the change in name, came a change in recipe. The blackbean burger, something I wouldn't normally order, became a mess. I needed a fork and knife to enjoy. I should've stuck with the Med Pocket, but that could've been a disappointment as well.

Yes, today's post isn't positive news for Med Bistro. I may not venture back for lunch, but it's been a West Ashley mainstay for over 50 years, so apparently they are doing something right with such a loyal following.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

PANE E VINO - Speaking of good SC Italian food!

Pane E Vino on Urbanspoon
Talking about great Italian food in New Jersey, I want to give a shout out to my favorite Italian restaurant in the Carolinas! Pane e Vino, lies within the Design District of North King in Charleston and in my opinion, it has the best Italian restaurant experience one can have in the Carolinas. At least that's what I've had thus far.

Pane e Vino makes for an excellent restaurant to enjoy a long meal shared with friends. What is your favorite Italian restaurant?

Friday, June 10, 2011


This week, SNarolina Foodie headed to Jersey for a marketing meeting. Fortunately for me, I work for a great company full of foodies, especially our president. Now, I realize we have some great italian restaurants here in the Carolinas, but I think many of you will agree, much of the best are going to be up north where there is a heavy Italian population. With that, I must say that I had the most amazing Italian meal ever!

Eric,company president, scheduled for our group to have dinner at da Filippo's in Somerville, NJ. Apparently, Eric is a regular as Filippo himself came out to give us the menu. Now as Filippo spoke in his native heavy Italian accent, I could gather that there would be a lot of choices for dinner. As he spouted off what seemed like everything on the menu, I soon had come to realize that Filippo was giving us a list of everything that we were going to have. Our CFO, Neal, a true wine connoisseur provided us with 3 separate wines to go with dinner, A red (2007 Vietti Italian (Piedmont) Red "Scarrone - Barbera d'Alba), a white and a bubbly. I don't recall the names of the white or the bubbly, though they were Italian and delicious.

The menu for the evening is as followed:

Per Cominciare
La Rustichella
Grilled round flat bread filled with mortadella provolone cheese tomatoes arrugula & onions - If I saw this on the menu, I probably wouldn't order it. The combination of flavors was pretty awesome! This could be a meal in itself.

La Bruschetta della Casa
Italian bread topped with ripe tomatoes garlic extra virgin olive oil fresh basil & parmigiano reggiano cheese - hands down, the best bruschetta that I've ever had. Also, the freshest of ingredients.

Antipasti Freddi
Mozzarella e Pomodori
Fresh mozzarella & tomatoes dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil - fresh mozzarella, I've had many times. Sometimes can be bland, but this gave me hope that fresh mozzarella can be excellent.

Antipasto Misto
Imported prosciutto di Parma sweet soppressata fresh mozzarella peppers grilled zucchini - I'm a huge fan of charcuterie and it was good. Filippo stated that this version of prosciutto was pretty special.

Antipasti Caldi
Frittelle di Rughetta
Batter dipped arrugula pan fried & dressed in a garlic anchovy & parmigiano reggiano cheese cream sauce - In the south, we fry everything. Apparently, Italians think the same way. Fried arrugula? Yes, and it wasn't anything that I would expect.

Le Paste
Ravioli al Filetto di Blu Grancio
Ravioli filled with ricotta blue crab - some pasta dishes with crab can very much disappoint. Then again, some pasta dishes made with "crab", aren't serving crab. I could eat this all day.

La Carne
Filetto di Baccala`fresco alla Michelina
Domestic fresh cod fish fillet dressed with a touch of garlic anchovies and hot pepper - the one menu item that we had a choice. Chicken or fish. I asked what was recommended and our server said the chef was known for fish. Glad I did.

I Dolci
Millefoglie Calda
Warm puff pastry filled with orange custard - I am not a fan or orange flavored deserts, but this was what was chosen. Very good indeed.

Finally, being in a true Italian restaurant, I finished with a personal favorite, a double espresso.

I realize that most of you don't have a reason to head to NJ. But if that rare chance happens, I suggest heading to Somerville and enjoying this gem.

Finally, a list of their acccolades:

The Luigi Veronelli dining guide " One of the Best Italian Restaurant in North America "

Star Ledger " 3.5 Stars "

Zagat Survey "Award of Distinction"

The New York Times " Very Good "

New Jersey Monthly Magazine " Best Italian Restaurant Critic Pick "

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I was having lunch recently with a very good friend of mine and he told me that he and another friend of his were talking about the possibility of opening a food truck in his city. I thought that it was an outstanding idea. Food trucks within the past year have started becoming a craze in most major cities. Charleston, Columbia are a few. Unfortunately, I haven't seen or heard about any in Greenville (could be a good business opportunity out there). Anyhow, in today's Charleston Post and Courier, there is a lead story on Food Trucks and how they are working together and creating a virtual food court within downtown Charleston!

Have any of you experienced a food truck?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Traveling through Travelers Rest, SC this morning, I noticed that a new Ice Cream shop is opening next to the Cafe@Williams Hardware, a popular stop for people on the Swamp Rabit Trail! I mention this because I know of families that hop on the trail and bike the 13 mile trip north to Traveler's Rest to make a stop at the Cafe @ Williams Hardware for breakfast, lunch, etc. Seeing that now an Ice Cream shop is being placed there is outstanding. SNarolina Foodie is a big advocate for being outdoors and why not work off your food.

The new Trailside Creamery opens this Saturday, June 11, 2011 from 11:00AM - 8PM! Apparently the ingredients being used will be natural and eco-friendly! I suggest heading up this weekend giving them a try. It could be a new tradition for you and your family!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Summertime is here and many of you North and South Carolinians will be heading to your favorite beaches in the coming weeks. With each trip, most of you probably have a favorite seafood restaurant or two that you will be visiting.

In the past, I have been enjoying The Wreck in Mt. Pleasant, SC. If you haven't heard of it, it's literally a wreck hidden down a residential street and there isn't a sign for it either. Great seafood and worth a visit every year or so. My classmate Paul and I use to meet up in Charleston for a guys weekends and we usually made a trip there for dinner.

Another great place to enjoy seafood, though not on the water, is the Seawee Restaurant in Awendaw, SC (north of Mt. Pleasant off Highway 17).

There are so many places to list. What are your favorites?

Saturday, June 4, 2011


The Trappe Door on Urbanspoon
A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Europe and made a stop in Belgium to visit a friend. That visit alone sealed my love for that country, it's food and beer. So when I heard over a year ago that a Belgium inspired restaurant was coming to Greenville, I got excited. The Trappe Door opened about two months ago to much fanfare and I wanted to wait for the right time to visit.

This evening, I took my brother to dinner there for us to enjoy Moules Frites, a favorite of ours and definitely one of the most popular dishes in Belgium and the surrounding countries (Neatherlands, France). For those of you that don't know, Moules Frites are mussels and fries.

This evening, I started with a bottle of Moinette Brune, dark Belgium beer that I've enjoyed before. The Trappe Door has by far the largest Belgium beer selection that I've ever seen. I've already tried many of them, but now I have plenty more to try on future visits. Food wise, we started with an appetizer of blackened crab and bleu cheese fondue. Very good and was highly recommended by our server. Of course we both ordered Moules Frites and made sure that we both didn't get the same selection. There are currently, six different styles of Moules Frites which you can choose from. I got the Thai red curry, which were steamed in a rich, delicious coconut curry broth with diced apples. Michael (my brother) ordered the Mariniere, mussels in a traditional sauce of white wine, garlic and shallots.

I am definitely returning to try the other moules styles in future visits. The other moules styles include: Spanish (supposedly spicy), White and Bleau (belgian white ale, bleu cheese, bacon and dijon mustard), Provencale (tomato-based sauce with peppers, fresh herbs, garlic and black olives) and Fennel and Pesto (fennel and white wine broth with a sweet basil pesto).

With your order of frites, you get to choose from 3 mayonaise dipping sauces. There are about 7-8 different sauces that you can choose from. I chose, Belgium style mayo, truffle mayo and curry mayo. All three were excellent. Michael chose Belgium style, in addition to chipotle and a mayo/ketchup combo.

Having been to Belgium and enjoyed moules frites there, Trappe Door did a phenomenal job in creating an atmosphere that's exactly what you will find in Belgium. The night ended with an order of Belgium waffles, which were topped with vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar, and fresh fruit. An excellent dessert to end the night. Next time though, I am ordering the Trio of Mousses, which I noticed being served at another table.

I can honestly say that The Trappe Door has jumped to near the top of my favorite restaurants to enjoy. I now don't have to wait a few more years to enjoy Belgium again. I can now get my fix often, and judging by the crowd tonight, many of us will continue to do the same.


Do you like BBQ? Do you like Champagne? Why not mix the two. That's what Slightly North of Broad and Moët Hennessy are teaming up to do on June 25 in Charleston. Very cool concept!

For more information, click on the link below:

Friday, June 3, 2011

EDIBLE UPCOUNTRY - Quarterly Publication based on locally based food within the Upstate SC

I came across Edible Upcountry today for the first time, while refilling my growler from the Community Tap. It is definitely right up SNarolina Foodie's alley! Edible Upcountry is a free publication that tout's, "Celebrating South Carolina Food, Farms and Flavor, Season by Season". If you're looking for local ingredients, farm to table dinners and other locally based food events and markets, this is your guide!

If you don't live within the Upstate of South Carolina, Edible Communities have publications all over the United States. Below is a link to a list of there other publications.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Five years ago, I wasn't a beer person. In fact, my beer of choice was, heaven forbid, Bud Lite. I finally came to my senses and started exploring the world of beers. There is certainly a world of beers to be learned. Fast forward to today and I can tell you, though I am no connosseur, that my favorite style of beers are Trappist Beer from Belgium and beers of Bavaria, Germany. Lately, there has been a proliferation of shops that focus on Microbrews from the US and around the world. In addition to selling bottles of our favorite small batch hops, they're also selling beer on tap with growlers to get your fill. Greenville, SC, is fortunate to have the Community Tap, which opened in July 2010.

If you are new to drinking beer or are wanting to branch out, visit these guys. Their knowledge will aid in your exploration of beer. With a couple of choices locally, why do I like the Community Tap? I like about the Community Tap because beer (and wine) is the focus. On a recent visit with my growler to Community Tap, Ed one of the co-owners was very helpful in my selection as always. What I noticed is this, Community Tap will allow for you to bring in an outside growler to use. Yes, I own two Community Tap growlers (32oz and 64oz), however a customer that was in front of me, brought her own growler. What's the big deal? I've heard that some places won't accept growlers unless it's their own. Pretty rediculous, if you tell me. It should be about the beer, not the jug you fill and with that, the Community Tap will have my loyal support.

I mention wine with the Community Tap, because recently, they started pouring wine for growlers. I can't addequately talk about the wine, since I haven't tried it yet. However, I can let the NY Times Diner's Journal tell you about it (see link below). Pretty impressive that our local tap has already been written about from one of the NY Times' writers. Just being mentioned is nice, but having an article, now that should speak for itself! Chefs across the country spend careers trying to get mentioned in the Times. Their doing something right.

The Community Tap
205 Wade Hampton Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29609


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

YOUSEFF 242 - What a surprise in Hickory, NC, some of the best Mac N Cheese ever!

Youssef 242 on Urbanspoon

A few months ago, I had to work in Hickory, NC overnight, due to an early AM meeting. There are two things that I know about Hckory, NC. One, my best friend Marc is from there and secondly, furniture. As usual, when staying overnight, especially in a city that is new to me, I usually ask about restaurants that are popular with locals. Generally if two or more people mention the same restaurant, it is usually a good indicator that it must be good.

The biggest recommendation that I got was Youssef 242! Youssef 242 takes pride in its ingredients from salads, to pastas, pizzas, steaks and seafood. Yes, you can get each item at many restaurants, however Chef Thomas Clayton adds his touch to make each item a signature to Youssef 242! Chef Clayton has been featured in Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator (online) and Charleston Magazine and has been a welcomed addition to Youssef 242. In addition to excellent food, they have a fabulous wine selection.

The menu to Youssef 242 is here:

My favorite food in the world is mac in cheese and if its on the menu, I have to order it. I can go down and say that Youssef 242 has one of best mac n cheese recipes that I have ever had! On the menu its called, Mac n Cheese, Loaded! And yes, it is loaded with several types of cheeses and bacon. I've tried several mac n cheese recipes that are loaded with multiple cheeses and have come away disappointed. Here, they got it right!

Youssef 242 is open Monday thru Friday for Lunch and Dinner, and Saturday for Dinner only. If your going furniture shopping in Hickory, NC anytime soon, come for lunch or stay for dinner!

242 Eleventh Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601



Sunday, May 29, 2011

GOAT.SHEEP.COW - New Cheese Shop in Charleston!

I just read about this shop in the latest issue of Charleston Magazine! Its called, GOAT.SHEEP.COW.

Anyone been yet, if so, please let me know.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Just about every major city within North and South Carolina has a Farmers Market. Some of these markets are affiliated with the state's Department of Agriculture and some are indepedent markets put on by the city or other co-op. We've all seen the signs for them, however many of us have never visited one. I am the first to admit, I used never consider visiting them. That all changed about a year ago, when we moved near the State Farmers Market here in Greenville, SC.

We have a friend who enjoys shopping at the farmers market, because everything is fresh, local and that the prices are usually less than the grocery. One day we ventured out to our local market and came back fans. What we found was more than just fruits and vegetables. We found the Farmers Market to have beans, meats and dairy products from local farms. The big trend in the foodie scene is using local ingredients. Hence, with your local farmers market, you don't get much more local than that.

In addition to the official state markets, many cities have their own that usually run on Friday's (Columbia) or Saturdays (Greenville) from May to October. These markets are fun as well, but I will admit, aside from sponsoring local organizations with local products, they can be on the pricier end. The city market's usually offer more of a variety than your state markets.

If you haven't yet, I encourage you to give your local Farmers Market a try and check out the quality and pricing. You're not only helping yourself (read healthy eating, saving money), you are also helping local farmers! You never know, being a regular could really be beneficial in getting the best deals.

Below are links to locations of State Farmers Markets in both NC and SC:

North Carolina:

South Carolina:

These are oteher locally grown markets within SC:

Feel free to share any tips, advice or other local markets, not mentioned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Gaulart & Maliclet French Cafe on UrbanspoonI'm in Charleston at least once every two to three weeks. As mentioned recently by a national publication, Charleston has become the Paris of America with regards to it's culinary options. Speaking of Paris, I really enjoy French food and Charleston has a couple of options. My current favorite lunch spot is Gaulart et Maliclet Cafe or more commonly known as "Fast & French". It sits on Broad Street, just a few steps from King Street and caters to everyone, from Hipsters to the High Society of Charleston's SOB's.

Upon arriving into Fast and French, you are seated at one of several community tables. I particulary like this arrangement because many times you will be seated at a table with some interesting people. Once seated, one of the staff will show you the Daily Special ($8.95), which is always recommended. Usually the Daily Special consist of a soup, sandwich or stew and is usually accompanied with sliced melons, sausage or cheese, and always includes a glass of wine. I like the Daily Special because it allows me to choose something that I usually wouldn't order.

This week I enjoyed the Ratatouille over rice with a side of sausage. I usually wouldn't order this on the menu, however I went with my instincts to go with the Daily Special. Also, I ordered the Cheese Du Jour which consisted a tasting of four different cheeses (goat, blue, soft and semi hard). Another aspect of Fast & French is they have both vegetarian and vegan options. The prices here are amazingly low, for the quality and flavor of food that is served. Their menu is varied and too much for me to post. If your interested, below is a link to Fast & French's menu:

I wouldn't suggest Fast & French for large parties, say 4 or more, because seating is very limited and this place is cozy enough to enjoy alone with your new friends (read tablemates) or with a friend.

Fast & French
98 Broad Street
Charleston, SC

If you are looking for French food but in a group setting in Charleston, then I would recommend 39 Rue de Jean. Rue de Jean provides a completely different atmosphere and menu than Fast & French, but good nonetheless.

39 John Street
Charleston, SC

Any French restaurants within the Carolina's that I need to try, please share. Unfortunately Greenville, SC had two within the past 7 years, however both are long gone.


Dairy O on Urbanspoon

I love Cheeseburgers. If you saw me without a shirt, you would agree, but that's another story. The Pimento Cheeseburger was created in SC sometime back in the 60's. My first taste of the Pimento Cheeseburger came as a child while visiting my grandparents who lived in Orangeburg, SC at the time. My grandfather would often take us to a place called the Dairy O, for their Curley Burgers (Pimento Cheese). Last night as I was driving to Charleston, I to made a 20 minute detour into Orangeburg, to get my annual fix of this childhood memory. Nothing fancy about this place, its just these burgers are good.

The Dairy O was established in 1949 and has been an institution in Orangeburg for over 60 years. I realize most people don't have much of a need to go to Orangeburg, however if you are heading to Charleston, you're probably going to pass by it. As noted in an article posted on the wall there, people still make pilgrimages to Orangeburg to have their Curley Burger fix. This place may not look appetizing, but as any foodie can attest, some dives have some of the best grub!

Dairy O
1504 Russell Street
Orangeburg, SC 29115-6064
(803) 536-4205

If you are now craving a Pimento Cheeseburger, but can't make it to or through Orangeburg anytime soon, I suggest the following:

1) Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, SC, a Greenville institution in the North Main Neighborhood.

918 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 235-6770

2) POE'S TAVERN on Sullivans Island, SC. Order the Gold Bug Plus

2210 Middle St
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
(843) 883-0083

These are just three places that I can speak personally of. Please let me know of your favorite Pimento Cheeseburgers within the Carolinas and I'll make sure to visit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Launch of SNarolina Foodie!

Welcome to the launch of SNarolina Foodie! What is SNarolina? S(South) N(North)and Carolina without the (C). I've been fortunate enough to enjoy the fine dining and fine dives of both Carolinas! SNarolina Foodie is about the places we've been to and the places where we should be going all related to food, drinks and other gatherings.