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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

PIMENTO CHEESEBURGERS PART 2 - MATHIAS SANDWICH SHOP


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

GLUTEN FREE CUPCAKE? Yes, please!


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

REAL HOUSEWINES OF NEW JERSEY - SNAROLINA FOODIE TRAVELS NORTH


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

FOOD TRUCKS!


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?


http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jun/08/food-trucks-set-up-shop-on-peninsula/

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TRAVLERS REST, SC - SWAMP RABBIT TRAIL - TRAILSIDE CREAMERY OPENING SOON!


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 MEANS SEAFOOD TIME WHILE ON THE CAROLINA COAST


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 - BELGIUM HAS ARRIVED IN GREENVILLE AND I LIKE IT!

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.

BBQ & BUBBLES - SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD, CHARLESTON, SC , JUNE 25, 2011


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

For more information, click on the link below:

http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com/slightlynorthofbroad/news/event.html?id=26

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!

http://www.ediblecommunities.com/upcountry


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.

http://www.ediblecommunities.com/content/edible-publications

Thursday, June 2, 2011

AT COMMUNITY TAP, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEER (AND WINE)


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.

http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/growlers-for-grapes/


The Community Tap
205 Wade Hampton Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29609

Phone:864.631.2525