Thursday, April 17, 2014

Great dinner to start a great night: Rick Erwin's West End Grill

Well we all know I couldn't go listen to good music without having good food. So before the John Legend concert last Saturday I went to Rick Erwin's West End Grill with Mrs Brûlée and my mom. Being that this is one of my favorite restaurants in town, I can't believe this is my first time blogging about it.

The meal was a fantastic way to start a fantastic evening out. 

I had the Old St. Pear to drink (I think that's what it was called). It has St Germaine, which is my weakness! Mrs Brûlée and I also ordered the Cabernet wine flight with our meal. It was delicious! 


For me, the best way to maximize the experience of Rick's is to order from the theater menu. There are 2, the 3 course meal for $29 and the 3 course meal for $39. I chose to do the 3 for $39 this go around because it had the swordfish as an option, which was recommended to me earlier in the week. Mrs Brûlée and my mom both ordered from the 3 for $29 menu.

My mom and I both had the seafood bisque as an appetizer. I order it everyone I go. Mrs Brûlée had the salad.



For my entree, I had the swordfish, obviously. It was delicious! My mom had the flat iron sirloin. She said it was very tasty. Mrs Brûlée ordered the blackened salmon, which was my 2nd choice, and she loved it!






For dessert, we all had the creme brûlée. It was amazing. Mrs Brûlée says it's the best around. 


Dinner was amazing and so was the show in case you were wondering! 

Weekend Recap

Last weekend was absolutely amazing! I had to work early in the day on Saturday, came home and took a quick nap, to awaken singing "Good Morning" by John Legend. I'm sure I annoyed my mother because I gave a whole concert, while getting dressed for dinner and to see him in concert.

I was joined by my mom and Mrs Brûlée at Rick Erwin's Westend Grill for dinner. It was as fantastic as it always is. 



After dinner, we walked to the Peace Center for the concert. We were a little late, but made it right before the show started. Mrs Brûlée and I had AMAZING seats-right in the middle of the lower level. 



We just saw him in concert in November at The Fox Theater in Atlanta and I have to say this show was just as amazing! It was a lot more intimate than the last, which gave it a totally different feel. He sang all of my favorite songs, except Sun Comes Up, which not many people know anyway, and he SLAYED his rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water".




After the concert, I caught up with a few friends at Genevieve's for drinks. It was a pretty nice atmosphere. I love the outside patio they have! 



I know I'm super late posting this, but I hope you've had an amazing week so far! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dating...round 1!

I usually don't get too personal on here, or share legitamate thoughts or concerns. A recent interest of mine has requested I write a post about him, so here it goes: 

Recently, I decided to dive into the dating world, basically head first. I installed all of these apps on my phone that can be used for dating, among other things, and opened up a few online profiles. I've also told a few friends I'd be interested in going on blind dates and doing speed dating. The speed dating would be mainly for the experience. I'm a pretty shy guy the 1st 3 dates, so I have to squeeze a date into 8 minutes?!? I hope my smile, style and a drink gets me a second date.

Anyway, my inbox received a ton of messages, "smiles", "winks", and "woofs" from a variety of guys. I always replied with at least a thank you to let them know I was appreciative of their compliments, but after that conversation was not garuanteed. I did switch phone numbers with people, met a couple for dinner, but not too many were really tickling my fancy. 

Well now that I've set the stage. I guess let me tell you about the one who requested this post. I shall name him Sargent Simpleman. We actually met online 2 years ago, and after a few weeks of chatting online and through text we finally met for ice cream. It was the 2nd weirdest date I had ever been on-I think. Now, obviously online dating can be a little scary and you never know truly what you're getting yourself into, but to me that's the thrill of it all. I just make sure I'm safe-let someone know where I'm going, what he says his name is with a pic and meet in public.

He obviously didn't believe in this philosophy because he knew my whole life story from Google before we even got together. I was quite astonished at 1st, and after I calmed down, I realized I was more surprised that he did it and used what he found to carry a conversation. So I put a point in his con jar for ridiculously nosey. 

We sat outside and talked for 4 hours that night! Most would agree that's a good date, however, I left feeling not so sure. The convo had it's ups and downs, but I left feeling he was really nosey, intimidated by me and a bit of a challenge/project (my favorite). Needless to say, nothing for 2 years! 

Here we are 2 years later and neither of us have changed much. He is still claims to be a stubborn guy that hates most social situations. I am still me, the single spoiled hopeless romantic with jerk tendencies, yet is mainly go with the flow. 

We've gone out twice and have some future dates planned, but I'm pretty sure I have him figured out. He is picky and can come across as a jerk, but seems to have a descent heart.

Tonight, we went out on our second (or 3rd depending on if you count the one from 2 years ago) date. He was just getting into town from a family trip to Tennessee and was sooo "cranky and tired" and was exuding all of this negative energy through text. Once he got to the restaurant, he smiled. He complained a lot (nothing new) but he wasn't in a bad mood and I'm quite happy my presence changed that (so, I'd like to think) because I would not have been a happy camper had he been in a bad mood. The rule of thumb: if [Mr J Sully] ain't happy, nobody's happy.

He's been so worried about me handling his bad moods and pickiness. I wonder if he can handle mine (cupcakes, chocolate, wine, etc usually helps, just sayin')

No pics yet, probably gonna have to wear him down on that. 

Dinner in Piedmont?!?

For the longest time I have been wanting to get outside of the Greenville area to try new restaurants. My thinking was I eat at all of theses amazing places in Greenville all of the time, where do the people of the surrounding cities, towns, and counties eat?

Well due to an unfortunate semi-blind date situation that landed me in the Clemson area. I figured well this is my chance to try something new. So I checked Urbanspoon before heading home and nothing really peaked my interest. I got on I-85, and checked again once I got into the Piedmont area. I found a place called Saluda River Grill. I had never heard of it, but it seemed to have a good rating and mixed reviews.

Saluda River Grill is located right on Piedmont's Main Street in what appeared to be an old mill or warehouse. The interior is gorgeous with light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. If it weren't already a restaurant, I think it would be a beautiful event space. 


On to the food! For an appetizer, I ordered the pickle chips. Nothing special, just fried pickles served with ranch. They were good, I think I would have preferred them to be a little crunchier. 


The menu had lots of great items that peaked my interest, and of course me being as hungry as I was, I couldn't decide. I asked my waitress for suggestions and she gave me her favorites first, which were the sirloin and the burger. She also said the shrimp and scallop Alfredo was a customer favorite. Of course, after all of that I went in a different direction and had the pecan crusted trout with collard greens and a loaded baked potato. The pecan crusted trout wasn't my favorite. The flavor was kind of bland. I think I also expected it to be a little more crusted, or fried. The collard greens and baked potato, however, were delicious. 


For my drinks I had the Gamecock Delight, which is raspberry vodka, chambord, triple sec and cranberry juice. It was good, I think it was a little too sweet for me. I also tried the Hemmingway Daquari, which was Bacardi rum, triple sec and lime juice.



I definitely want to try this place again, and maybe actually take on the waitress's suggestions instead of doing my own thing. The staff was very friendly, which is always a plus! 
Saluda River Grill on Urbanspoon

Greenville Small Plates Crawl

From March 24-26, a handful of Greenville restaurants hosted a small plates crawl. Participants of the crawl were encouraged to print out passports to get stamped as they traveled from restaurant to restaurant, accruing points to qualify for different prizes. Each plate was priced between $3 and $8, and a few places had drinks on the menu.

Although my work schedule didn't allow me to participate as much as I would have liked, I did catch it on the last day. 

My first restaurant was Restaurant 17, which is located in Travelers Rest, SC at Hotel Domestique. With this being one of the newest restaurants of Greenville's fine dining scene, and me having not tried it, it was a must!

I had the salted fish fritters, which were amazing, followed by creme brûlée with a drink named Sir Elton. It was all so good, and I was quite disappointed I had to move onto the next spot. This is definitely a place I'd need to visit for a full meal.




My next stop was at Pomagranate on Main. This is a place I've always looked at in passing and wanted to try, but hadn't. I met up with the Brûlées here. We each tried the lamb with rice and a martini that I don't remember the name. It was very good, another place to add for a full meal.

 
After Pomegranate, we tried to head to a favorite of ours, American Grocery Restaurant and then to Breakwater. Both of them had long waits so we moved along to High Cotton.

At High Cotton I don't remember what I had, but I know I wasn't impressed at all.


Our next stop was The Lazy Goat. Firsts, let me say the service was awful. We waited on someone to come and take our drink orders for a while. Once he arrived and we had questions about the drinks, the poor guy didn't know too much about the menu. I ordered the grilled calamari. It wasn't at all what I expected, a little cold and a sauce that was a bit too spicy for my liking. (Note: I'm a wimp when it comes to spice)

 
The last stop on our crawl was an oldie but goodie, The Cazbah. I had the shrimp tacos, which were delicious! 


I had so much fun, as well as the Brûlées. I cannot wait to do it again. It also sparked a thought for us to do our own crawl, since some places change restaurants with the seasons, or a dessert crawl!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Been gon' for a minute!

So, I've been gone for a minute, but I'm back with the jump off...yes, I know terrible song reference, but I really have been M.I.A. for a while. I've been so busy with work, I haven't had time to write about the fun I've been having in between. So, I'm going to try and catch you up REALLY quickly.


VALENTINE'S DAY

I didn't have a valentine this year, probably the first time in quite a few years- don't worry I wasn't down in the dumps about it. I actually had a nice dinner with Sassy Cali-N-te. Greenville's first pop-up restaurant was up and running that weekend and we checked it out.

It was nice. The food was good, but not phenomenal. I guess it's more-so about the experience than anything. Since it was so long ago, I can't say that I remember all of the details, and don't want to just make anything up. I do however have a few pictures.









After Valentine's Day, I was basically all work and no play. I did try to get into the dating world again, in hopes I'd have someone I at least had a little bit of interest in by my birthday. That was a #FAIL, well not totally, but I wasn't successful.

Birthday 3/23

So, last summer I decided I wanted to throw myself a big shindig for my birthday for three reasons. Reason number one being, My Super Sweet 16, was a pretty popular show back when I was in high school, and I always wanted a party like that. Reason number two, I always said I wanted to be married by the age of 25, and that didn't happen so, a big party to fill the void it was! Reason number three, I enjoy entertaining and have been told I should look into becoming an event planner, but I've never planned anything for more than 10 people. So, if I messed up my own party I'd know to leave event planning to the professionals.

I threw myself a masquerade cocktail party at Artisan Traders in The Village of West Greenville, ah-mazing place by the way!

I have to say getting everything together wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I made my own decorations-spray paint, wine bottles, and some cool things from Hobby Lobby. I wasn't going to have a DJ, but I decided to do karaoke. So I hired Sean from Premier Party Entertainment. He was AH-MAZING! I would definitely recommend him.

The food was catered by The Cazbah in downtown Greenville. Seeing that this is one of my favorite restaurants in Greenville, it was almost meant to be. The food was great! I was a little worried at first, because the meeting we had a few weeks before seemed a little unorganized, but it all turned out great! People are still raving about it.

In order to get pictures taken by my party guest, I created a hashtag and asked them to use it when uploading onto social media sites. Be sure to check it out #jsullymasq25

I am sure you are wanting to see a few pics, so I've posted a few below taken by my photographer Stacy from Smit'N Photography.

Well I think that's about it for now. I have a few adventures up my sleeves so I'll be back to regular programming from here on out!