downtowngreenvillegirl











It’s Sunday morning and you’ve awaken with the desire to do something. Not just anything, but something that’ll rev up your internal engine, wind up your weekend and kickstart a new week! Well, my friend, it sounds like a trip to Downtown Greenville is in order!

Brunch is an excellent way to get your Sunday moving in the right, adventurous direction. Several Downtown establishments offer brunch and the choices are as varied as your tastes. Want a brunch that has a certain laid-back sophistication? Then, try the Jazz Brunch at High Cotton. With a mouth-watering selection of Southern classics (my personal favorite is the Crab Cakes Benedict), many foodies deem this a weekend necessity.  Serving brunch from 11AM until 2PM, this Sunday’s musical entertainment will be provided by local talent and High Cotton regulars, The Ian Bracchitta Trio. Some other great choices for brunch include The Green Room (serving brunch all day from 9AM until 5PM), The Bohemian (serves brunch from 11AM until @2PM), Mary Beth’s (especially good for early risers, serves brunch from7AM until 3PM), American Grocery Restaurant (Fresh, local ingredients, brunch served 11AM-2PM) or the Spoonbread Restaurant at The Poinsett Hotel (a Greenville institution, serving brunch from 10AM until 2PM).

After brunch, stroll down College Street to Heritage Green and the Greenville County Museum of Art. Every Sunday at 2PM, the art museum offers a wide range of special events and programs at their appropriately named “Sundays @ 2”. The schedule includes artist and gallery talks, special tours, music, and demonstrations. These events are free and many are designed with families in mind. The next two Sundays feature “Music in the Galleries” with the Pride of Greenville Men’s Chorus on the 29th and Celtic Singer Judy McKenney on August 5th. After the performance, take a few moments to tour the evocative, ever-changing exhibits on display. The Greenville Museum of Art is open from 1PM until 5PM on Sundays.  For more information, visit http://www.greenvillemuseum.org.

If you wish to continue your “artsy vibe”, then consider checking out Greenville’s thriving theatre scene. Many of Downtown’s community theatre’s feature matinee times for recent performances. Currently showing at Centre Stage is the 60’s inspired musical, “Beehive”. The play runs through August 11 and matinees are at 3PM, Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and available through the Box office or online at http://centrestage.org. If Shakespeare is more your thing, then head over to Falls Park at 7PM for Shakespeare in the Park. This “motley crew” of players tells the Bard’s tales, with a modern twist. Currently showing is a contemporary adaption of “Henry V”, complete with “mosh pit” battle scenes to the Celtic-punk tunes of Dropkick Murphys!  Even your bored teens will get into this! Performances are free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

If the evening finds you with the urge to be in air-conditioned comfort, then look no further than Coffee Underground. For some sick rhymes taken with some medicinal caffeine, join other wordsmiths for the Wit’s End Poetry Slam. Regional artists, including the renowned poets from Unified Sol, heat up Sunday nights with some cool poetic insight during this open mic event. Doors open at 7:30PM, everyone is welcome and there is a $5 cover charge. For more information, visit: www.coffeeunderground.biz.

No matter what your interests are, there’s always something to do Downtown. From the many shops and art galleries and museums such as the Upcountry History Museum and The Children’s Museum, to a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail or a Drive game at Fluor Field, there’s always an event to suit your mood. For a detailed list of daily Downtown happenings, check out the Downtown Greenville Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/DowntownGreenvilleSC.

Here are some more fun Sunday Things to do Downtown:

Upcountry History Museum:  A family-friendly interactive museum showcases the diverse history of Greenville and the Upstate. Sunday hours are 1PM until 5PM and Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 4-18. www.upcountryhistory.org

The Children’s Museum: A kid-friendly, interactive museum that encourages creative play. Special daily events, programs and classes offered, usually at no additional cost. Sunday hours are 11AM to 5PM and Admission is $9 for children 2-12 and $10 for adults. www.tcmupstate.org

Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville:   Featuring work from local artists that are available for sale, this gallery also hosts receptions and other special events open to the public. Admission is free and Sunday hours are 1PM until 5PM. http://artistsguildgalleryofgreenville.org

Greenville Zoo: Located near Cleveland Park, this small Zoo is very family-friendly. Sunday hours are 9AM until 5PM. Admission is $7.75 for adults, $4.50 for kids 3-15. For a list of special Zoo events, see www. greenvillezoo.com

Greenville Drive: Greenville’s minor league baseball team, who plays home games at Fluor Field. Sunday home games usually start at 4PM. Tickets are $5 – $8 and are available through the box office or online. For tickets or game schedule, see http://www.milb.com.

Swamp Rabbit Trail: This17.5 mile multi-use trail system runs along the Reedy River connecting Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville. For a map of the trial, visit http://greenvillerec.com/parks/swamprabbit/

Reedy Rides: Dedicated bicycle rental business located in downtown Greenville. Can deliver bikes right to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Sunday hours are 8AM to 8PM. For more info, call (864) 419-2944

Downtown Trolley:  The trolley runs Downtown on Sundays from 1PM until 8PM and rides are free of charge.  Download a map of the trolley route at  http://www.greenvillesc.gov

 

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{June 15, 2012}   Feed The Carnivore Within

car·ni·vore (kärn-vôr, -vr) noun:  somebody who eats meat: somebody who is not a vegetarian and likes to eat meat…lots of meat!

This Sunday is Father’s Day and there is almost no better way to bond with Dad than by consuming vast quantities of meat…beef specifically. Now, I know nothing beats getting together in the backyard with all the guys in your family to grill up some former animal over an open flame. But what if you don’t have a grill…or even a backyard? Well, no worries…there are restaurants Downtown that serve up burgers so sinful, you may feel the need to go to church after eating them!

I occasionally do the vegetarian thing – I eat Boca burgers, Portobella mushrooms disguised as burgers, even beans and rice mixed together, flavored and fried to resemble burgers. But nothing brings me back to my carnivorous tendencies quite like the Beefalo Burger served at Barley’s Taproom.  What is a Beefalo, you may ask? A Beefalo is a grain-fed cross between a steer and a buffalo, resulting in meat that is leaner, very flavorful and higher in iron and protein than ordinary beef.  Topped with spinach and served on a tasty whole grain bun, this burger is actually pretty good for you! When your Barley’s server asks you what side you’d like with it, pick the potato salad…trust me on this one. Add a pint of beer chosen from their wonderful selection of unique pilsners, porters, ales and stouts (I always enjoy it with a Guinness, myself), and you’ll have a meal that’ll make Dad think you might be a pretty great kid after all.

Another burger that awakens my hidden carnivore is the Bohemian Burger at…you guessed it…The Bohemian Café. If you take Dad there for Father’s Day, be warned that The Bohemian is only open 11AM – 2PM for brunch on Sundays. But the special trip is worth it for this half pound of hand-pattied Black Angus sirloin, cooked to order and served with a juicy tomato, crisp lettuce and a red onion on a fresh roll. To truly send your taste buds to burger nirvana, add blue cheese crumbles and applewood-smoked bacon –YUM! When the server tells you that the burger comes with chips, you may be disappointed, but trust me your disappointment will quickly fade as soon as you bite into one of the delectably crunchy little bits of salty perfection. Many patrons visit this café just for these homemade potato chips! If your appetite is particularly hearty this day, and, if you’re a fan of blue cheese like me, ask for a side of blue cheese macaroni…you’ll be glad you did!

Speaking of blue cheese, another mouthwatering burger worth a try can be found at Liberty Tap Room. This laid-back, testosterone –friendly pub certainly has its share of tasty burger options. You may find it hard to choose between the Freedom Burger, the Swiss Burger, and the Cowboy Burger, but it’s the Red, White & Blue Burger that keeps me coming back for more! This Cajun-crusted certified Angus patty, topped with blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, crispy onion straws and even MORE blue cheese in the form of dressing poured on top is so delectable, it outta come with a warning label!  Add a perfectly poured beer from their vast selection on tap and you have a meal fit for a burger-loving king!

Are you drooling yet? Well, if you have a heart condition, you may want to stop reading here, because the next two burgers will make you have to double up on your cholesterol meds.  The first burger worthy of owning your own personal defibrillator for is The Stone Burger (also known to regulars as the Krispy Kreme Burger) at Grille 33/The Channel. Now, Grille 33/The Channel is known far and wide for their delicious patties of beef, all named after Greenville streets and landmarks, and each more mouth-watering than the one before.  Brian “Head” Welch, formerly of Korn, often makes a pilgrimage to this humble establishment just to experience them. But this one miraculous creation rises above the rest. The 8 ounces of juicy certified Angus beef, topped only by  a thick slice of sharp cheddar cheese (no veggies needed), is served up on every southerner’s favorite breakfast item, a glazed Krispy Kreme donut. I KNOW…A KRISPY KREME DONUT!!! How crazy is THAT?! Improbable though it may sound, this impossibly delectable burger is so “sacri-licious”, just by eating it you will have certainly committed at least six of the Seven Deadly Sins.

If you venture north up Main Street, you’ll find Northgate Soda Shop and another burger you will happily clog your arteries for – the Pimento Cheese Burger.  So seriously scrumptious, this burger has already enjoyed a good bit of notoriety from burger aficionados from all over the US – George Motz even waxed poetic about this local favorite in his book, “Hamburger America”.  But North Main residents have long known about this heart-attack inducing little bit of hamburger excellence. As soon as you walk into the Northgate Soda Shop, with its retro décor that seems frozen sometime in the 1950’s, you know that you’ve stumbled upon something truly special. And once that amazing, “old-school” burger (the recipe is over 40 years old) is set in front of you, with that tangy mix of mayo, cheddar cheese and pimentos oozing over the bright red tomato and farm-fresh lettuce onto the grilled bun, you’ll be sure you’ve died and gone to heaven…and not just regular heaven, but Carnivore Heaven Supreme! Just taking one bite of the moist burger covered in cheesy meltiness will make you feel sorry for all the poor souls who have yet to venture to this little piece of Downtown to discover this wonderous delight! Now, I’m waxing poetic…but really…it’s THAT FREAKIN’ GOOD!

Now, I’m not saying these are the only choices for burgers in Downtown Greenville, just some of my personal favorites. I hear that the West End Burger at Smoke on the Water and the Gastro Pub Burger at Nose Dive are near perfect, I just haven’t had the opportunity to try them yet (looks like there may be a Part Deux to this article in the future) and Sharkey’s Pub, Corner Pocket and Blue Ridge Brewing Company also have tasty burgers, but with limited space, I had to narrow it down to the ones that most inspired “burger lust” in my carnivorous little heart! Many of these fine establishments also offer delicious alternatives with yummy veggie burgers…but this article is all about the beef!  So I suggest that you take this opportunity to impress Dad with a little “Burger Exploration” yourself…you’ll strengthen your bond with your “old man” and maybe even discover some beef patties worthy of a little “burger lust”of your own! Happy Father’s Day!

More Info…

Barley’s Taproom: 25 W Washington Street; (864) 232-3706 (Across from the bus station)

The Bohemian Café: 2 W Stone Avenue; (864) 233-0006 (Next to Horizon Records)

Liberty Tap Room: 941 S Main Street;· (864) 770-7777 (Next to Fluor Field)

Grille 33 / The Channel: 221 N Main Street; (864) 552-1990 (Across from The Hyatt)

Northgate Soda Shop: 918 N Main Street; (864) 235-6770 (In North Main neighborhood)



Mother’s Day is coming up on May 13th. What most Moms want more than anything, is quality time with loved ones – that and taking a break from the kitchen. A great way to accomplish both is to take her to one of the many wonderful Downtown restaurants for a nice brunch. And with the delicious menus these fine establishments are cooking up, you’re certain to become Mom’s favorite!

If your Mom loves cool jazz as much as fine Southern cuisine, then High Cotton is an excellent choice.  This Downtown favorite is extending their usual brunch hours to 10AM -3PM so that they may better offer a special Mother’s Day menu.  With such delectable items as Crispy Banana Stuffed French Toast, (served with a pistachio brittle, red berry compote and Tahitian vanilla bean syrup), Wild Mushroom Quiche (served with goat cheese, Swiss chard, asparagus salad, grainy mustard aioli), and the ever popular Shrimp & Grits (with smoked chicken Andouille sausage, sweet corn, charred tomato), Mom’s eyes will sparkle with pride at her smart, sophisticated children!  For more information and menu items, visit http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com/highcotton/greenville

If Mom prefers to dine al fresco, then The Green Room is an utter delight!  With wonderful outdoor (weather permitting) and indoor dining and a menu that will make you drool, The Green Room aims to please. Try the Blue Corn Crab Benedict – two poached eggs on top of fried green tomatoes & blue corn crab cakes with a spicy Hollandaise sauce and served with your choice of side (I like the House Potatoes) or, to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Stuffed French Toast – thick bread stuffed with raspberry cream cheese and coated with Frosted Flakes (yes, Frosted Flakes) and served with two sausage links – YUM! Have the bar staff mix up a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa and your Mom will truly be in “high spirits”! To see more of their delish menu offerings, visit: www.thegreenroomupstate.com

If your Mom is a traditional sort, take her to brunch at Greenville’s historic Poinsett Hotel. Spoonbread Restaurant at Poinsett recalls the days of yesteryear, when ladies wore white gloves and men wore hats to church.  Named after the famous spoonbread served at Poinsett’s restaurants for decades, this charming establishment has all the gracious hospitality South Carolina is known for.  With such menu items as Chilled Strawberry Mint Soup, Cucumber Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette and Broiled Atlantic Salmon with Lime Butter, you will swear you’ve been transported back to the Roaring Twenties! To see more of their nostalgically delectable menu, visit www.westinpoinsettgreenville.com/restaurant.

If your Mom is a little edgy and …well, Bohemian…then the aptly named Bohemian Café has the vibe she’s looking for. The Bohemian boasts a cool, laid back atmosphere that jives well with its eclectic menu, (after all, what do you expect from a restaurant that takes pride in being non-conformist). My favorites are the Veggie Burger (I always order mine with bacon – and they actually do it!) and the Salmon Florentine Benedict (have a to-go box ready to take home the extra, trust me). With their “Build Your Own Bloody Mary” option, it’s no wonder this groovy spot is a favorite with local artists and musicians. Check out more of their amazing menu at: www.thebohemiancafe.com.

To add a distinctly Mediterranean flavor to your brunch, make your way to The Lazy Goat. Not only does this truly unique restaurant offer gorgeous views of the Reedy River from their outdoor dining patio, but their menu will make you think you’ve found the Promised Land!  Try the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Macerated Berries, the Souvlaki Marinated Pork Loin or any of their assortment of homemade pastries and fresh fruit.  Finish off the meal with a dessert of Mini Key Lime Tarts or Mini Chocolate & Hazelnut Tarts and a cup of strong coffee. Nirvana! For more menu options, see: http://thelazygoat.typepad.com.

These are just a few of the many wonderful brunch options in our gorgeous Downtown. Sunday brunch is popular, especially on pretty days, so reservations are STRONGLY recommended (and in some places, required). After your meal, you & Mom can walk off all those calories in Falls Park or along our picturesque Main Street, or visit one of the many art galleries and museums Downtown. Your Mom will finish up her special day thinking she just might have raised you right after all!

Here are a few more Brunch Options:

■Nose Dive (0AM – 2PM)  PH: 373-7300

■Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen (11AM – 2PM) PH: 233-6009 – The Green Room’s Cajun Sister Restaurant

■Soby’s (10AM – 1PM) PH: 232-7007

■Larkin’s on the River (11AM – 2PM) PH: 467-9777

■Wild Wing Café: Blue Jean Brunch (11AM -3PM) PH: 242-9453

■Liberty Tap Room (11AM – 2PM) PH: 770-7777

■Mary Beth’s (9:30AM – 3PM) PH: 242-2535

■Nantucket Seafood Grill (11AM – 3PM) PH: 546-3535

■The Trappe Door (11AM – 2PM) PH: 451-7490

■Devereaux’s (11AM – 2PM) PH: 241-3030

■Smoke on the Water (11AM – 2PM) PH: 232-9091

■Coffee Underground (9-2) PH: 298-0494

■Blue Ridge Brewing Co. (11-2) PH: 232-4677

■ Mary’s at Falls Cottage (10-2) PH: 298-0005

■ Saffron’s WestEnd Cafe (9:30-3) PH: 241-0401

■High Cotton: Jazz Brunch (10AM -3PM) PH: 335-4200

■The Green Room (9AM -5PM) PH: 335-8222

■Spoonbread Restaurant at The Westin Poinsett (10:30AM – 2PM) PH: 421-9700

■The Bohemian (11AM – 2PM) PH: 331-2589

■The Lazy Goat (11AM – 2PM) PH: 679-5299



et cetera