Tuesday, November 3, 2015

please note: the blog has moved!

hello! long time, no blog. well, actually, i've been busy cooking up a new blog, which you can find over at gravyblog.com. i'm so excited to start this new phase of my blog, and hope that you'll follow me over to the new url. i'll still leave this blog up for anyone who wants to go through the archives, but you can find all my latest adventures around greenville over on gravy now.


Friday, September 18, 2015

bad daddy's bad ass burger

happy national cheeseburger day, guys! since september 18th only comes once a year, you might as well do it up big today. and the biggest, baddest cheeseburger in greenville has to (and can only) be found at bad daddy's burger bar. originally from charlotte, nc, bad daddy's opened up shop in greenville not too long ago and brought with them a whole menu of crazy burgers. but the king has to be the bad ass burger: 10 ounces of beef, housemade american cheese, horseradish mayo, and to cap it all off, four massive pieces of buttermilk fried bacon. yes, you read that correctly. fried bacon. 

after seeing the bad ass burger on the menu for so long, i finally went ahead and got one for myself. upon arriving at my table, no less than three people walked by and commended me for my brave challenge. i couldn't even fit the whole thing in my mouth to take a bite, there was that much bacon on it! and i ended up attacking it with a fork and knife. you'd think that all of the fried bacon would be over powering or just too rich to get through, but the horseradish mayo really shined and kept things from getting too heavy. combine that with the delicious slab of melted cheddar (and pickles, my favorite), and it's a flavor profile you just have to experience for yourself. my only regret was that my stomach was not nearly as big as the burger. i barely made it through half before i had to ask for a box, so i'd recommend grabbing a friend and a few beers and celebrating over happy hour. tis the season after all!

bad daddys burger bar
1025 woodruff rd, greenville, sc 29607

all thoughts and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the sponsors who make this blog possible!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

fall bucket list

fall is one of my favorite times to be in greenville because there is so much going on! two of my favorite events have suddenly crept up on me and are happening this weekend, so i thought i'd put together a list of all the other things i want to fit into my calendar before the season flies by.

indie craft parade is happening this weekend! we are headed to the VIP party tomorrow night to try and beat the crowd, and i can't wait. the makers collective brings artisans from across the southeast to come show and sell their wares in greenville. it's like shopping your etsy favorites list in real life. check out some amazing handmade goods, sample some of greenville's best snacks, and get your christmas shopping done early - or treat yourself :)

euphoria is this weekend too! (there's a lot going on this weekend, and you can tag all of your fun photos with #yeahTHATweekend.) euphoria has a ton of events lined up with everything from food trucks to michelin star chefs. they have tastings, tutorials, and a few concerts thrown in the mix too. we're excited to hit up taste of the south this year, which is being held along the reedy river downtown. i'd also recommend the sunday jazz brunch, which we attended last year.

clemson football
let's face it: greenville is clemson country. and with only an easy 45-minute drive separating the two towns, you have to take in at least one game this season. as someone who went to a small school, let me tell you, there is nothing like the experience of death valley.  if you can't snag tickets to a game, at least pop over to carolina ale house and watch with all of the other local fans on the patio.

apple picking at sky top orchard
sky top is the local apple orchard about an hour outside of greenville (technically in north carolina). you can pick your own apples and pumpkins, take in some scenic views, and visit with some really cute goats. also, you have to take home a box of their famous apple cider doughnuts, which are completely worth the wait in line.

the musical at warehouse theater
the fall musical at warehouse theater won't be your typical sound of music or south pacific affair. last year, we took in the hilarious evil dead: the musical show, complete with fake blood splash zones. and this year, we are hoping to finally experience the rocky horror show the way it was always meant to be experienced: live and at midnight.

i don't think i can say this any better than brewery 85 did: "we break out our redneck lederhosen that we fashioned from our brewing overalls and enjoy the beautiful fall weather on our sun-deprived thighs. oktoberfest. it’s a different beast all together. we go all out and have as much fun as a family possibly can." also, it looks like the wurst wagen from columbia will be making an appearance.

and of course, you have to bike the swamp rabbit trail this time of year. with the cooler weather, you can bike all the way to furman without breaking a sweat. and be sure to stop at swamp rabbit cafe and grocery along the way for some soup, coffee or scones.

Monday, September 14, 2015

happy monday

homepolish is one of my latest and favorite instagram/pinterest follows for all things home decor, and this photo from the ghostly fern offices in new york they helped design totally made my monday. find the story behind this crisp, clean workspace (and a ton more photos) here.

image via homepolish

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


after dreaming of a trip to nashville for what seemed like ages, justin and i finally went for our anniversary. we left feeling full (stomachs and hearts) and seriously inspired. it's such a cool city with a so many different neighborhoods to explore. if you're curious about what to do and where to go, read on...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

competition dining series | 03

here's the latest dish on the greenville competition dining series: you. have. to. go. i went for the goat cheese - green tomato battle (chef teryi youngblood of passerelle bistro vs. cheff todd warden of the cliffs valley) and was blown away by the flavor and creativity. the secret ingredients were green tomatoes from black's peaches (required to be in at least one dish) and three kinds of goat cheese from fishing creek creamery: tomme, chevre and brined feta (required to have some kind of cheese in every dish). i had the good luck to be seated at the table with the team from fishing creek, and in addition to producing some amazing fresh and aged goat cheese, they were the nicest people and happy to share their knowledge about things like making goat cheese ice cream. they're steadily expanding their presence in the greenville market, so keep an eye out for their cheese! i was also seated with my fellow greenville bloggers gap creek gourmet and love greenville. nicole livengood turned me on to the white chocolate bread from la farm in carey, nc. thank god you can buy it online because that stuff is like nothing i've ever tasted before. don't skip it if you go to one of the competitions. now on to the main course(s)! 

course 1- fishing creek creamery feta mousse, black’s peaches green tomato croutons, baby arugula, compressed black's peaches watermelon, aged sherry & pomegranate molasses

this was one of my favorite courses. it was so simple but delicious, and the watermelon was practically like candy. i would have been a happy camper with just a basket of those green tomato croutons too. 

course 2 - veal cheek & fishing creek creamery tomme perogi, braised red cabbage-black’s peaches green tomato-granny smith apple, benton's smoky mountain county hams & bacon, bacon & green tomato jam, melted leeks, shaved tomme, tomme broth

this dish was definitely a risk. perogi is not something you see on a lot of menus down south, so it was a surprise to find it on our plates. the creativity was definitely on point, as was the bacon jam, but the execution probably just needed a few more hours to perfect the perogi technique.

course 3 - maple leaf farms cured breast of duck, fishing creek creamery tomme dauphinoise, roasted beet-granny smith-scallion salad, orange blossom honey-strawberry gastrique

okay, the chef had me at duck, but this dish didn't rest on its meaty laurels. the tomme dauphinoise was one of the best things i've eaten in while. i dream of the chef coming to my house and preparing it for thanksgiving (please chef?!). and while i wasn't crazy about the mint color of the sauce, it tasted great and was a savory compliment to the sweet strawberry gastrique on the side.

course 4 - fishing creek creamery feta brined loin of lamb, freekeh & black pearl rice medley, feta-cucumber cream, black’s peaches watermelon pickle, sweet & spicy tamarind-green tomato sauce

this was a bold dish that the chef clearly wanted to push the envelope with. i had never had freekeh before, so that was intriguing to find on the plate. the sweet and spicy tomato sauce was my favorite for the lamb, and while the cucumber cream was also delicious, the two flavors were on opposite ends of the spectrum. 

course 5 - fishing creek creamery goat cheese ice cream, tres leches cake, pickled blueberries, black’s peaches green tomato & blood orange syrup, black pepper charleston tea cookie

this dessert had a lot of firsts for me: goat cheese ice cream, pickled blueberries, and a black pepper cookie. the tres leches cake stole the show, but i am a total convert to goat cheese ice cream now. it's such a light flavor that's really enriched by the texture of the dessert. the blueberries were a tad vinegary for me, but the green tomato and blood orange syrup really paired well with everything. who would have thought about green tomatoes for dessert? 

course 6 - fishing creek creamery lemon chevre semifreddo, tondo-basil-amaretto macerated berries, pistachio-chevre shortbread, meringue crumble

i'm usually a chocolate person, but this lemon semifreddo was so sweet and delicious that i didn't miss cocoa one bit. and i think i cleaned my plate mopping up the the melted goat cheese and berries with the pistachio short bread. this is something i would love to see pop up on a menu sometime soon.

so, think you know who made what? i was sure that chef youngblood would be my favorite dishes because i've had her food before at passerelle, and it's so good. but chef warden actually made most of my top ranked courses (chef warden: 1, 3 and 5 / chef youngblood: 2, 4 and 6). the element of surprise from the ingredients to the recipes to the chefs is what makes competition dining so much fun though...you really never know what's going to be in store for you. and it's amazing how much culinary talent greenville is filled with. if you can't get a reservation at the cliffs valley, you can catch chef warden tonight cooking against one fifty-one (tickets). the battle of champions will be held over halloween weekend. tables for the greenville dinners have been going fast, so if you want to be there for the creme de la creme, grab your tickets now! i can't wait to see who takes home the title.

update 9/14: 
chef todd warden of the cliffs valley also took home the overall regional title for the greenville series. he will next compete in the got to be nc competition dining series battle of champions this october in raleigh, north carolina and will compete against four other top chefs who each won regional tournaments.  four live dinner events will be held from october 28th through 31st, and tickets to these battles go on sale september 24th at 7 p.m. at www.competitiondining.com.