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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.