Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eating Down South Part 1 - South Carolina

Probably every part of the country has ample opportunity for great eating and that is certainly true of the areas around Knoxville, Tennessee and Greenville, South Carolina. Luckily, in addition to being great at traipsing around old dishes and other stuff, the friends we visited are excellent cooks AND eaters. 

A and I visited the beautiful Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.
Grove Park Inn
Massive fireplace
We had lunch outside on a gorgeous covered terrace overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. We had the best table imaginable and whether it was perfectly pre-arranged or just fate is not important. 


The whole place is just stunning. 

The spa is under that glass ceiling.
We split 2 dishes, which I love to do at restaurants I haven't been to. Come to think of it, I also like to do that at places I've been to a million times before. I like that they brought the dishes already split and beautifully plated, which we appreciated.

The Crab Cake Club couldn't have been better. A crab cake AND bacon? It was too good. The house-made potato chips were excellent too. 

We also loved the Lobster Cobb Salad.

There were big chunks of lobster. And somehow bacon found its way into THIS dish too, along with chopped hard boiled eggs and fried shallots, which were a different touch. It was nicely dressed. (I am not a fan of dressing on the side. I don’t order salads in restaurants to have to dress them myself!)  

Dessert sounded and tasted good, but it wasn’t the most magnificent looking.


The Coconut Cuatro Leches was a meringue sponge cake soaked in four (count 'em) FOUR in CUATRO leches. I'm guessing they were condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and coconut milk. That really does sound good.

For another lunch, we went to this little cool restaurant, Zenzera, in downtown Landrum (South Carolina). 


We split a great chicken salad sandwich. Look how yummy:

Here, too, they also plated half portions for us, so we didn't have to worry about splitting it ourselves. How friendly these southerners are! We left room for dessert (since when isn’t there?)

This cake looked so good, but it wasn’t my fav. 


It was chocolate (what could be wrong with that?), but with a key lime filling. It was weird.  

This coffee was awesome!

It was Z’s Turtle Mocha – espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, caramel AND whipped cream. Honestly, it looked better than it tasted (the coffee itself wasn't great), but I managed to choke it down. 

A and I also went to the Greenville’s fabulous Greek Festival.

We snuck in some window (actually stall) shopping too.


And we visited the very beautiful St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

There is a magnificent mosaic at the top of the nave’s domed ceiling. It covers 1,400 square feet and contains many thousands of tiled pieces. It was created by a Greek iconographer and his Albanian wife, a mosaic artist.


Luckily, visiting the beautiful cathedral made up for the disappointing main course of our lunch. We had chicken souvlaki that was more dried out than tender.

However, the fresh lemonade was superb and each and every cup had a fresh lemon half floating in it. 

We tried four different Greek pastries.

The Baklava was okay, but the Galatoboureko at the top left (I just like saying the name) was delicious. Who wouldn’t love pastry cream-filled phyllo?  νοστιμότατος. The Amygthalota (almond-covered almond cookie) also was a winner, although I could take or leave the Kourambiedes (the powdered sugar covered butter cookie).

Kourambiedes (left)and Galatoboureko 
Baklava and Amygthalota
And with that I’ll say, αντίο, until we meet again in the great state of Tennessee…


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm drooling the most over the desserts. That Greek thing looked awesome as did the coconut cake! I can understand the chocolate and key lime wouldn't be too good together though.

That hotel is just magnificent!

Sue said...

They know what they're doing in the kitchen - those Southerners.