Monday, April 6, 2015

The Whig tricked me!

Lately, I've been seeing all of these posts about these cool prohibition themed bars through out the country, and I am dying to check one out. Now, this post isn't about one that I visited, although once I saw this restaurant's location and was greeted by a group of people who looked like flappers on my way in I really hoped it would be; but Dr Shrink took me to The Whig for our last meal in Columbia last weekend. 

If you didn't know what The Whig was beforehand, you'd not check it out of you just happened to walk by. It is located in the basement of a building right across from South Carolina's own statehouse. There is a sign, street side on a iron fence that lines the top of the stairwell leading to the front door.



Like I said previously, going in I thought Dr Shrink had surprised me with a prohibition style restaurant/bar, but no password was needed to get into this place. I mean they even had a group of flappers outside to greet me! The decor is very old though-I'm not even sure how to describe it. 

The Whig's website proclaims it to be North America's Greatest Dive Bar, which I'm still weary about. The menu seems to be that of a dive bar but with a little more fun to it with items such as gravy fries with mozzarella and a variety of burgers.

I had the three cheese grilled cheese with bacon. It was pretty good, but nothing to be overjoyed about.


Dr Shrink had a burger of some sort, but I'm not exactly sure what kind.


The Whig was satisfying and I feel it has so much potential, or I could just be stuck on it really playing on this prohibition theme and being a tad disappointed. I wouldn't put it on my must visit list, but I bet it would be fun late at night. I feel it would have a very hipster vibe, but I could be wrong.

Burger Tavern 77 hits the spot!

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Columbia and ALLLLL week I craved a burger and glass of red wine. I don't know why and yes, I do realize that is one heck of a combination, but I had it once and then I saw Olivia Pope do it and I figured I had done something right. I tell Dr Shrink this and asked if there were any gourmet burger places in Columbia besides "Red Robbin, yum!" We ended up at Burger Tavern 77.

Before this trip I had never heard of this place, but it may be one of Culumbia's little secrets. I slept on the way there, so I don't know much about it's location, except it's on Divine Street. The name however came from their 77 burger toppings along with what seems like a pretty good beer menu-not a beer drinker, just what I heard.

For our starter we had the 8 hour pork sliders. Oh my gosh, they were soooo good. Pulled pork topped with coleslaw, pickle and mustard barbecue sauce are definitely a hit for this place!

 
I had the Tahoe as my entree, which is Burger Tavern's turkey burger. This deliciousness is made with ground turkey, monzarella, baby spinach and Demi poached portobello mushrooms with a sundried tomato pesto.


I don't make it to Columbia often, but this has definitely made it onto my list of return eateries. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Birthday Shenanigans part 3


So, the third and final part of my birthday celebration was a weekend trip to Columbia, South Carolina with Dr Shrink. It wasn't my original plan, but a friend of his asked us if we wanted to go to the Carolina Cup in Camden, so it only seemed right to make a weekend out of it. In weeks, leading up to "Cup", as the Carolina Cup has been nicknamed, I picked out an outfit and did a little research on the event as I had heard of it, but never actually attended. 

After talking to coworkers, friends, reading blogs and stalking Instagram and Twitter to gain a little more knowledge about the event, I was sure I was headed to a college sorority girl event of the spring. Apparently, if a frat guy asks you to the even you are to dress up in a sundress and hat and make this man a cooler. You guys then attend the event, only to get plastered in the middle of a field without any clue as to what is going on outside of the infamous "College Park". 

Fortunately, I'm not a sorority girl and Dr Shrink isn't a frat boy. So I missed that whole other experience to which most people get to enjoy. My experience was completely different. I got dressed up in the usually preppy "Cup" attire, which I enjoy-blazer, bright colors and bow ties. We had a nice tailgate spot on the North Rail away from all of the madness. College Park was on the other side of the track from us and I could still hear it's chaos.



They say if you see a horse, you didn't do it right. Well, I guess we didn't do it right. We actually saw part of 4 out of 6 races. I also came equipped with all of my southern belle drinking gear. A koozie for a bottle, large plastic wine cup and some cute napkins.



While in Columbia, we also checked out some of his old stomping grounds as a grad-student at the University of South Carolina. From brunch at Cafe Strudel to drinking games with college girls, a random farmers market and drinks at Kelly's this weekend was pretty fun to be honest. Cheers to another fun birthday and great weekend out of town!


It was cold at Cup, come prepared!

Farmer's Market on Main




Crawling to eat for my 26th bday!

So, my birthday was this past Monday and unfortunately I had to work so I decided I'd span my birthday over the week with activities to celebrate me entering a new year. My first celebration was last Saturday when I met my friends and family out at Local Cue for a few drinks, late night barbecue and games. My second celebration was with Dr Shrink, doing the Greenville Small Plate Crawl.

If you haven't done the crawl, it is an absolute treat. In its second year, fellow blogs Gap Creek Gourmet and Carolina Epicurean got with a few local restaurants to participate in this foodie event. You pick out the participating restaurants you'd like to visit and in whatever order and you go with however many people, order from a select menu of items costing between $6 and $8, and some have cocktail specials as well.

Usually I'd take this time to explore places I haven't had the opportunity to check out and explore their menu. This year I decided to just check out some oldie but goodies.

Our first stop was Southern Culture Kitchen and Bar, a popular restaurant in the Cherrydale area of Greenville. This restaurant has become really popular for its bottomless mimosas at brunch, but dinner and lunch anytime is also delicious. I had the porkstada tostada- pulled pork, corn salsa, cheese sauce and a mustard barbecue sauce. YUMMY ! Dr Shrink had the deviled eggs-they weren't his favorite, but he said they were descent.



A great new feature to this year's crawl was the Six & Twenty challenge, where local bartenders where challenged with the tasks to make the best cocktail using Six & Twenty whisky made right outside of Greenville in Piedmont, South Carolina. 

Of course, I wanted to take the opportunity to try at least one of these cocktails, so we headed to Stellar Wine Bar for our next destination. Stellar has become a favorite of mine in terms of just chilling and having a glass of wine, but their food menu is pretty good as well. I had the truffle macaroni and cheese (soooo good) and Dr Shrink had the duck tacos after they ran out of lobster and potato croquettas. I had a bite of Dr Shrink's tacos and I wasn't a big fan. I could take them or leave them.



Their Six & Twenty cocktail was the cherry and Cocoa Manhattan. I will go on record and say I'm not a Manhattan type of guy, prefer Cape Cods, but the cocktail wasn't too bad. I would've prefer it at the end of the night as a substitute for desert with its chocolate flavor.


Our last stop on the crawl was Nose Dive. Nose Dive is Table 301's gastropub. It's never made it on a list of favorites of mine, but I keep hoping one day it will. For some reason I like the atmosphere and root for them. They've been a hit or miss for me in the past, and unfortunately this time was another miss. I had the Grit Tots-fried grits with roasted pork and chili sauce. 


Dr Shrink had the lobster sliders. He said they were descent. 


This was their second year doing the crawl and my second year participating. I guess I'll deem this a new birthday tradition. So, hopefully I'll see you all crawling at the Greenville Small Plate Crawl 2016 or maybe even at the Columbia Crawl coming up soon or next year's Asheville Crawl!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Birthday Shenanigans: Round 1

This past weekend I celebrated my my birthday with some friends at Local Cue. Of course, we had a blast but word to the wise there is no wait staff for the late night crowd and the bartenders can be a bit rude as the evening progresses. 



Sunday morning, after not wanting to get up, Dr Shrink took me to City Range for brunch. I will just say, I wasn't impressed.

 
I had the raspberry mimosa to drink. What is brunch without a mimosa or Bloody Mary? My guess is they don't use a good prosecco or champagne because it had a burnt flavor to it. I'm also not used to having orange juice with pulp in my mimosa. I did finish the drink, but it took a while.


Dr Shrink had a regular mimosa and a Bloody Mary. His guess was that his mimosa didn't taste any better than mine. 

We both had the shrimp and grits to eat, which I feel is the southern brunch staple. The shrimp still had the tails, which I feel takes away from the dining experience. As far as taste, it was really just kind of bland-nothing flavorful, nothing terrible, just kind of there.


My favorite thing about brunch was the live jazz band that played in the background. Needless to say, I City Range isn't on my list of places to return for brunch. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lunch date at the crêperie: Tandem Crêperie and Coffeehouse

Don't worry people, I haven't fallen off of the map just yet. I did have a lunch date today. He works in Travelers Rest and I had the time to travel, so why not explore Travelers Rest's dining scene a little more by visiting Tandem Crêperie and Coffeehouse.

Tandem Crêperie and Coffeehouse is located on Travelers Rest's Main Street, which is quickly becoming another treasure of the Upstate. The menu isn't that big with crêpes falling in the savory or sweet category, waffles, coffee based drinks, tea and handcrafted sodas, which I'm assuming changes every so often.

After reading a few other reviews online, I decided to try the Monte Cristo, one of their savory crêpes with ham, turkey, and Colby Jack topped with raspeberry sauce and powdered sugar. I have to say for my first crêpe it was pretty delicious, and I was surprised at how full I got. I had one of the handcrafted sodas to drink. It was a raspeberry flavor as well.


Dr. Shrink had the lumberjack, which he says is the best one. It did look delicious. It is filled with ham, bacon, eggs, cheese, bechemel and maple syrup.

I'm sure I'll be back after we ride the Swamp Rabbit or maybe for another lunch date.
Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weekend Whereabouts!

Ugh, responsibilities! They get in the way of all of the fun-not exactly my true thoughts, but I had been planning to be in Charleston this past weekend for the Charleston Food and Wine Festival. Sounds like a blast, right? It was going to be. I forgot to request off of work in time, so I had to work and came up with alternative plans.

I did some working, but most of all I was able to escape life in Greenville for just under 24 hours and get away to Asheville, NC. I'm sure you know by now, Asheville is one of my favorite quick getaways. And I did not take this trip alone, surprise. I took my friend Dr. Shrink.

We had a blast! I told him before hand that I tend to sleep on road trips, before I get on the road good. He took this as a challenge to talk and keep me away the whole way. I wasn't amused. We talked about our days at work and other random stuff and every time I tried to close my eyes he shook me and told me to talk. Needless to say, he won.

Anywho, the evening was filled with fun times bar hopping and eating around Asheville. I had one mission while I was there and that was to get chocolate. I had been craving chocolate since Valentine's Day. It was pretty chilly and I'm almost positive he was upset at how fast I walked leaving dinner to grab drinks. But during our tour of Asheville I. Did get chocolate and not from French Broad Chocolate Lounge as usual, but the Chocolate Fetish-Asheville's fine chocolate shop.



We visited a lot of what I consider the Asheville staples, such as The Bier Garden and Jack of the Wood. We even went to The Thirsty Monk and had German beer. Yea, yea, yea I don't drink beer but I did. 



Dinner was at Lexington Avenue Brewery, which had a cool atmosphere. It probably a lot better in the warmer months.

Lunch the following day was at Laughing Seed Cafe, an all vegan restaurant. First time; quite interesting.

The rest of my weekend was filled with work, tacos and all day happy hour at Gringo's with Dr. Shrink and "the unofficial game night" at The Cazbah.