Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Baby, I Hope You Brought Your Big Purse"

This week, Mr. T and I tried out Ford's Oyster House and Cajun Kitchen for the first time.  Recently opened, Ford's Oyster House is owned and operated by the creators of The Green Room; another one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Greenville.  Ford's opened at the end of May and specializes in Cajun fare and other dishes inspired by The Big Easy.
Ford's is located in Greenville's West End District, and their back porch area is adorned with family-style picnic tables that overlook Main Street and Falls Park.  Mr. T and I decided to sit in the bar area because the weather was looking a little questionable.  After we had only been there a few minutes, Mr. T turned to me and said "Baby, I hope you brought your big purse".  Initially I was confused, but when I turned my eyes to what he was gazing upon I saw this...
Yes, that's right.  A container of Tony Chachere's BIGGER than my pint glass.  Mr. T loves to use this spice when we're grilling out so he already liked this place from the get-go. I didn't come away with it in my purse, but we did use a generous amount on our french fries. We started out with the shrimp and jalapeno beignets, quite a savory twist on the sweet little doughnuts I'm used to.  They were pretty good, but tasted more like hushpuppies with a spicy kick.  As for our entrees, Mr. T ordered one of his faves, oysters on the half-shell, and I ordered the soft shell crab po boy.  I've had po boy's before but NEVER one this big. 
Larger than my head, this tasty sandwich had an entire soft shell crab battered and deep fried, and was topped with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, remoulade, and slaw.  And if that wasn't enough food, they even had the audacity to serve it with a heaping amount of french fries.
Mr. T's Oysters
Ford's food is quite a bang for the buck, and next time Mr. T and I will be sharing an entree.  If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, Ford's is located at 631 South Main Street and open seven days a week 11am-2am.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Staycation: All I Ever Wanted!

Over the last week, my mom and I have been on the most fabulous staycation. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, a staycation is a vacation that you take while staying at home and taking advantage of nearby attractions.  Its a great way to save money, have a great time, and learn more about your local environment. We’ve had an amazing week shopping, eating, drinking, and attempting to get a little exercise in there too.
We started out our week at Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar in Northeast Columbia. Mom had a $40 Groupon, so we let ourselves indulge a little bit.  Mom started with an incredible cucumber and lavender martini.  The colors were beautiful, and it tasted amazing.
  As for our entrees, I had the Steak Frites and Mom had the Short Ribs.  Both were phenomenal, but of course I was too hungry and eager to eat, and it slipped my mind to take pictures. We finished off our meal with a Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.  It was so tasty!
  The next day we went to my favorite Japanese restaurant in Columbia; Sakura in Forest Acres.  Sakura has the best bento boxes for lunch, and they're very reasonably priced, ranging from $6 to $9.  Mom and I both got the gyoza box with hosomaki. Gyoza is a pork dumpling that can either be fried or steamed.  And hosomaki is a mixture of cucumber rolls and California rolls, we had 6 of each.  The box also includes tender carrots, Japanese cole-slaw, and a ginger salad.

Mom's Fried Gyoza

My Hosomaki
 The next day Mom and I went back up to Greenville and I introduced her to one of my favorite Upstate restaurants, The Lazy Goat.  The Lazy Goat is located in Greenville's West End district and specializes in Mediterranean food and small plates.  The weather was great, so we sat on their patio overlooking the Peace Center Amphitheater. That night Larkin's was putting on their Rhythm on the River summer concert series at the amphitheater, so we were able to listen to the music while we ate our fabulous food.
The Duck, Duck, Goat Pizza

We had cocktails and shared three small plates.  My favorite of the three was their Duck, Duck, Goat Pizza.  The wood-fired pizza is topped with duck confit, drunken goat cheese, a duck egg, arugula, and a sour cherry vinaigrette.  Its a great size for sharing with one or two others and at $12 it's a great deal too. 

Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar is located at 841-4 Sparkleberry Lane Columbia, SC (803) 788-6966
Sakura Japanese Restaurant is located at 4827 Forest Dr Ste. 20 Columbia, SC (803) 738-9330
The Lazy Goat is located at 170 River Place Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 679-5299

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