Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday TCMU!

The Children's Museum of the Upstate celebrated their 5th birthday this past weekend and what better way than to do so than by throwing their annual fundraiser, Grown Ups Night Out, 5th birthday style.

I have to say I have really enjoyed this event for the past two years. It really gives me and a lot of other adults the chance to let loose for a couple of hours. I was a little disappointed by the turn out this year, but the low numbers could reflect the increase in price this year. 

Going into Grown Ups Night Out, I couldn't help but wonder why the increase in price, but once there I could see it. This year a couple of extra pieces of entertainment were brought in to go along with the theme. They had a magician, who was actually pretty good. This was my first time interacting with a magician, so I was slightly amazed by his tricks. 

There was also a balloon artist, who I loved. He made everyone a different balloon. I saw a poodle, someone wearing a horse, another wearing a giraffe, and a diamond ring. I, of course, got a stripper I named Chuckie. 

The food this year was also a treat, with Table 301 doing the catering I didn't expect anything less. There were chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, and spinach dip. It was all very good.

Another addition they made was a photo booth. Who doesn't love a photo booth. My pictures were a little screwed up, but it was still a blast.

It was fun to live a couple of hours as a child again, but went back to reality at 10. I can't wait to see what's in store for next year.

Happy birthday TCMU!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Foodie Fest 2014: Stella's Southern Bistro

It's Foodie Fest, which means Mrs Brûlée and I went to dinner at restaurant neither of us had visited before. To be honest, that's getting a little difficult considering we have knocked out the majority of the restaurants on this year's list.

In case you don't know what Foodie Fest is, it is basically Greenville's Restaurant Week. Many restaurants in the area offer a special menu in which you can get a 3 course meal for $30. Amazing right?

This year we chose to go to Stella's Southern Bistro in Simpsonville. I must say it was definitely a treat and Simpsonville has a hidden gem. It is tucked away in a little strip off of Fairview Rd. Once inside, you kind of forget you are in Simpsonville.

I will be honest, Mrs Brûlée and I had a lot of catching up to do so when we received a couple of unexpected dishes compliments of the chef, I didn't get all of the notes I should have.

Our first two dishes were compliments of the chef. The first dish was a local heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad, pinkeye peas, basil purée and red wine vinaigrette and served with a pepperocini crostini. I loved it! It was very light and refreshing.

The second dish was bacon steak (forgot the name they called it) with a grape risotto. It was actually my favorite dish of the night. The meat had a nice crust on the outside and was very tender on the inside with amazing flavor. Mrs Brûlée and I tried each piece separately and then it all together. The grapes added an amazing burst of flavor. I'm typically not a risotto fan but with the flavors and textures mixing together I enjoyed it.

This dish is not on the menu just yet. Hopefully we will see it soon though! I think it would be a great addition.

Typically we don't order the same thing, but both of us were actually feeling the same things on the menu that night. Our true first course was a sweet potato and peanut soup with a bacon jam and sesame seeds. It was different and an interesting combination of flavors. We both really enjoyed it, until I took a sip of my champagne with it. I do not advise that. The champagne enhances the salt. 

For our entree we did Stella's mixed grill, which was barbecue chicken, duck, and grilled andouille served with dirty cheese grits, braised turnips and a gumbo-like sauce. This was a really good dish. The duck and turnips were my favorite parts. The andouille was a bit too hot for me, but I'm a wimp when it comes to spice.

Mrs Brulee and I did go different routes for dessert. I couldn't make up my mind between the two choices, and she was really feeling the peach cobbler which wasn't included in Foodie Fest, so we asked our waiter to just surprise us. He did the safe thing and brought us one of each. Even though we basically shared both desserts, I had the blueberry Swiss roll, a vanilla sponge cake with blueberry preserves and served with a white chocolate toffee. The dessert as a whole was descent. Our favorite part was the white chocolate toffee. Unfortunately the chef that makes it does not sell it outside of the restaurant. 

Mrs Brûlée had the spice banana rum cake, which was served with a cajeta mousse and coffee caramel. The dish all together was good. Mrs Brûlée really enjoyed the cake without all of the trimmings though. 

Service at Stella's was absolutely wonderful. Our server Levi, was very attentive and we enjoyed him a lot. 

As you can see, we started off Foodie Fest this year with a bang and we have once again found another amazing place to dine. If you haven't picked out a place to eat during Foodie Fest, Stella's is highly recommended.
Stella's Southern Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cured my shrimp and grits craving: Breakwater Restaurant and Bar

Monday night I decided to take myself out to dinner and for some reason I was craving shrimp and grits and sushi. I know sounds like a weird combination, which is why I had to choose one over the other. I decided to go to Breakwater Restaurant and Bar.

The appetizer menu ranges from southern favorites such as pimento cheese and southern fried shrimp to humus and calamari. I had the souther sampler because I couldn't decide what I wanted. My four choices were duck pastrami, fried oysters, pimento cheese and fried shrimp. I loved the duck pastrami. It had a great flavor. The oysters and pimento cheese were great as well. The shrimp was good, just wasn't impressed by it.

For my entree I had shrimp and grits, which I'm sure you guessed. It was probably one of, if not the best shrimp and grits I have had in a while. Some other entree options are surf and turf, salmon, a grilled rack of lamb and, of course, southern fried chicken.

To drink I had the Bellini-tini, which if memory serves me correctly it was St. Germaine and peach Ciroc, and I'm missing an ingredient. It was a very good drink.

I sat at the bar with what seemed to be quite a few regulars. Service was great! I'm actually thinking about going back for Foodie Fest (Aug 21-31, 2014)! 
Breakwater Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Weekend Whereabouts

Last weekend was quite different from what I'm used to. I'm a planner and enjoy being busy, so Saturday when my plans didn't go as planned, it kind of threw my day off. I will say I had a very productive morning. I got the house cleaned and even pulled some clothes out of my closet to give away. 

I ended up going to a friend's house for a wine gathering he was having. Unfortunately, we had some pretty heavy rain, which I read flooded Interstate 85 and Interstate 385, so I spent the night at there. 

I did have a blast with them, playing Cards Against Humanity and drinking wine while nibbling on cheese and crackers. 

Sunday was a little more interesting with brunch at Waffle House. It was probably my most awful Waffle House experience ever. Dinner was at Universal Joint with Mr Homewrecker. It's always good to hang out with a good friend.

Sunday night ended with a drink Downtown with a friend of mine. Somehow we got into a discussion of beer with the bartenders. In case you didn't know, I hate beer. I've only found 1 beer I like, and that's a raspberry wheat from Shock Top. I do get picked on because of this but whatevs.

Well, my new friend and the bartenders at Rey's got to see my beer face. It's awful! After trying a Red Stripe, they gave me a taste of an IPA they have on tap. It's probably a good thing I don't know the name. It was terrible! Check out my Instagram mr_j_sully to see a 15 sec clip.

That's about it for my weekend. I know, disappointing, but I did take myself out for dinner Monday. Review coming soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One of my faves: Adams Bistro!

I'm ridiculously excited about this post! I've been doing this blog for about a year and a half yet, and have done all of these restaurants except one of my Greenville favorites, probably because I didn't want to let the secret out.

So I call it a secret because it is a place that is quite popular, but whenever I say something about it no one has heard of it. It's crazy to me. Anyway, I had dinner with a guy and my suggestion was Adams Bistro. It's one of my favorite places, I hadn't been in a while and it's very close to his house. Considering he is newer to town, I didn't want to have him drive all over the place.

Adams Bistro is a small family-owned restaurant on Pelham Road with a pretty big menu. They have everything from stuffed mushroom caps as appetizers to soups, salads, burgers, steaks and seafood. They even have a meat and two menu. They do serve alcohol, it is a pretty basic cocktail menu and they use to allow you to BYOB wine for a corking fee. I'm not sure if that is still in affect.

For dinner I chose to do the meat and two with grilled barbecue chicken, collard greens and fried okra. Yes, that's right the southern fellow went very southern! As usual, dinner was delicious. My friend had the Cobb salad, which he described as very good and partly blamed the blue cheese crumbles.

We didn't have any room for dessert, but they do have an amazing red velvet cheesecake. 

I can honestly say, I've never had a bad meal from here and the service is always great! So, now that I have let the cat out of the bag, be sure to check this place out.
Adams Bistro on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blues, Booze and Tacos

Well, I'm sure you know by now if I don't post anything for a few days I haven't done much because I've been working a lot. Of course I've found time for a little fun though. I met a couple (still working on name for them), but I've been hanging out with them a lot lately. Within a week we did happy hour, dinner-twice, and celebrated their anniversary and one of their birthdays. They also introduced me to a new game "Heads Up", it's on your phone download it. I don't watch much TV but Ellen apperently plays it on her show.

I didn't post a Weekend Whereabouts because I was too sleepy to take pictures and it just didn't feel right without them. My Saturday was filled with work (tax free weekend-aaaahhhh), a baby shower and then my new pal's birthday party. All were fun and quite exciting. 

So, let's fast forward to my work week. It's been amazing! I get to wake up on the exact opposite schedule than I am used to (I work 3rd shift by the way 8pm-7am) and sit in a classroom from 7am-4pm. Sounds terrible right? It isn't that bad because I'm actually learning quite a lot.

Anyway, last night I decided I needed something away from the downtown scene. I knew I wanted music, which isn't typically a thing for me, but for some reason I was feeling that tonight. So I decided to check out Mac Arnold's Plate O' Blues Restautant in the Village of West Greenville, also known as The Village. 

I think I've talked about The Village before, but if I haven't it is a small area just outside of Downtown Greenville and quickly becoming a hub for Greenville's art community. 

Mac Arnold's Plate O' Blues Restaurant is a music venue and restaurant owned by Mac Arnold, a Greenville blues legend. The restaurant is also a collaborative effort with one of Greenville's first food truck Asada. Keeping their street food menu, which consist of tacos, burritos, nachos and quesadillas, Asada takes care if the restaurant portion of the venue. Mac Arnold's also has a full service bar.

Last night was the first night Mac Arnold's hosted his weekly Jam Night, which will be a weekly competition of local bands. I didn't recognize any of the bands but it was definitely a fun time.

Of course I had something to eat. I ordered the pork quesadilla which is served with chips and pico de gallo on the side. Although the quesadilla was delicious, it caught me a bit off gaurd by the way it was made. As you can see below it wasn't grilled like most.

Mac Arnold's is definitely a good time and something different for Greenville. Another big plus is, Mac himself was there. You don't see that much. If you get the chance check out Mac Arnold's and The Village.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weekend Whereabouts: Charlotte!

Last weekend I was in Charlotte for yet another family reunion, this time it was my maternal grandmother's family. For some reason I had a bad feeling about this trip when I woke up Thursday morning, but tried to go with an open mind. 

Thursday night, we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, which was a blast. It was a fantastic family friendly environment and in most cases you wouldn't even need to leave the hotel because they have everything, restaurants, indoor waterpark, arcade, bowling alley, bar and a few more amenities for the family to enjoy. 

My sister and I did however leave late at night to enjoy some sibling bonding time at Dave and Buster's down the road with a little dinner, drinks, and reliving the days of sibling rivalry on arcade games. By the way, arcade games are so much more fun with a little adult juice in your system. 

Friday, the entire family enjoyed a day at Great Wolf Lodge's waterpark. My favorite slide was the Howlin' Tornado. We did it about 4 times. It is definitely a must-do if you're of the height requirement.

Friday night consisted of switching hotels so we could stay with the rest if the family and a meet and greet for the family at my cousin's house and then a night in the town. My sister, aunt and I went to Epicenter in Uptown. We first visited a rooftop bar called Rooftop 210. It was a pretty cool place, with a great atmosphere. 

The second place we visited was Howlin' at the Moon, which is a piano bar. I took my sister to a piano bar in Fort Worth a few months ago, so now she likes to serif there is one around when we go out. It was my aunt's first time in one and we all had a blast!

The rest of the weekend wasn't as much fun as the first two days. After we got back to our room, we discovered we had problem with our hotel room, which I won't go in detail about, but it was awful! No one got any rest, which everyone in my family needs or else we have attitudes.

Saturday was family fun day at the park, which was ok for the most part-lots of games, food and conversation going on. I'm not sure if it is a good or a bad thing, but my family is very competitive so things got a little interesting at the park, especially during the family kickball game, which ended in a 17-17 tie to appease everyone. 

Saturday night, I needed a little time away from family, so I went out alone to the Woodshed. It was quite an interesting place. It was my first time there and I had heard a few people talk about it. Of course, it's a gay bar, but not one of those pretentious ones. I'm sure it can be a fun time for some.

I didn't get to do any of the family activities planned for Sunday. I had to get home for work Sunday night. I hope you all had a great weekend!