A Visit To: Greenville, South Carolina

A Visit To - Greenville SC
Looking for a Southern culinary destination? Many Ohioans have journeyed to Savannah, or fallen in love with the charm of Charleston, but have you ever considered stopping by Greenville, South Carolina?

I was looking to explore someplace new, and after recommendations from both my boss and a Columbus Dispatch travel article, I was sold. So on my route home from Hilton Head Island, my husband and I made a quick detour to check out Greenville. Armed with dining recommendations from my boss, some advice from Twitter, and my own internet research, we scouted out some awesome locations where you can partake in some true Southern hospitality.

Fountain in Greenville SC

The first thing that will strike you about Greenville is the beauty of the downtown area. At every turn is a flower bed, a sculpture, or a fountain. Greenville is a former cotton mill mecca, and you can still see the warehouses and crumbling foundations of textile buildings throughout the city. Falls Park on the Reedy is the heart of it all, and the anchor for many of the local restaurants and shops. This waterfall-laden park is breathtaking, filled with picnic areas and pedestrian bridges. The energy here was infectious as well, with roaming Clemson fans and natives who were eager to share some of their favorite local spots.

The Trappe Door in Greenville SC

From funky taco joints to seafood, any cuisine you desire is a short walk from Falls Park. For an upscale dining experience, don’t miss High Cotton or Larkin’s on the River. Looking for authentic lowcountry fare? Look no further than Tupelo Honey Cafe. With flaky biscuits, country ham wontons, and fried chicken, you’re guaranteed to leave with a full stomach. Craving barbecue? Visit Smoke on the Water for pimento cheese, grilled shrimp, and pulled pork. Mast General Store is a fun shopping detour, where you can find clothes, gifts, and locally-made items like grits and spice rubs.

My day in Greenville SC

If you’re seeking a spot to imbibe, there are no shortage of locations. Pop into Dark Corner Distillery for a moonshine tasting; it’s a steal at $4 for 7 samples plus the shot glass to take home. Beer aficionados will love Trappe Door, a medieval dungeon-like watering hole complete with tons of Belgian-style brews and snacks. For a sports bar, Carolina Ale House is a good choice to catch a game and a craft pint.

Dark Corner Distillery

The bottom line? If you want to conquer a new foodie city, give this beautiful town a try. See you soon, Greenville!

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A Visit To: Kelleys Island

A Visit To - Kelleys Island
I hadn’t been to Kelleys Island since I was a kid, so I was eager to return this past weekend for a mini-vacation to unwind. It was a little dreary during our stay, but in the end it cleared up just enough to enjoy the end-of-summer weather for a few hours. I had a friend who was a Kelleys veteran with me, who introduced me to all of the classic island favorites like Brandy Alexanders, perch, and Bag the Moon tequila-filled strawberries. My favorite part though, was the bonfire we had Saturday night – you can see so many stars out there! Here are some of my favorite shots from the trip:

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A Visit to: Pittsburgh, Part 2

A Visit To: Pittsburgh Part 2
Pittsburgh Road Trip

I’ve already chronicled my food journey through Pittsburgh here, but there is much more to discuss about the Steel City. Pittsburgh is known for their breweries, but you can imbibe in other great spirits during your stay as well.

Cleveland natives will be familiar with Fat Head’s Saloon, the Pittsburgh cousin of the well-known CLE brewery. This location often has some beers that are hard to track down in Ohio, such as Hop JuJu and Zeus Juice. They serve perfect, beer-worthy pub food here too, which makes this an easy place to spend a couple hours during your trip.

Fat Heads Brewery Pittsburgh

If whiskey is more your style, then Wigle Whiskey has to be one of your stops. This distillery is almost like a lab inside with stainless steel tables, and beakers and pipettes to mix the delicious cocktails.  I did a whiskey, rum, and gin tasting, and it was so much fun. The staff explains each spirit and how ice or water can change the flavor of each.  They have their liquors for sale on site, as well as housemade bitters and other swag.

Wigle Whiskey

Don’t miss Church Brew Works either. This brewery is in a former Catholic church, and the building’s interior is gorgeous. The stained glass was kept intact, and the pews were re-purposed into seating for the tables. Most impressive of all is the altar and pulpit section, where all of the brewing takes places while you watch. This is something you can’t see anywhere else.

Church Brew Works

Back at the Pittsburgh Public Market, there are more than just food options. Here you will find booths for both East End Brewing and Red Star Kombucha. East End’s bar at the market had my favorite beers of the trip. The Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout and Monkey Boy Hefeweizen in particular made me wish I hadn’t left my growlers on the counter at home.  Don’t skip over the tiny taproom area dedicated to Red Star Kombucha either. If you’re looking for a light and fruity adult beverage, here is your place. This refreshing fermented tea comes in flavors like ginger and blueberry. Check out Columbus’ own Luna Kombucha too!

Red Star Kombucha

I hope you’ve enjoyed my two part series on eating and drinking in Pittsburgh. What weekend trip do you think Columbus Culinary Connection should feature next?

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This is the second part of a two part series chronicling my journey through Pittsburgh. To learn more about fun things to do in Pittsburgh, check out part one here.

Find the locations I visited here:







A Visit to: Pittsburgh, Part 1

A Visit To: Pittsburgh Part 1
Pittsburgh Road Trip

Columbus will forever have my heart, but it is always fun to get out and explore another foodie city. Pittsburgh is a great option because it is only 3 hours away from Cbus – great for a long weekend trip. Pittsburgh also has a thriving food and drink scene, with options for every palette and budget. So for a quick getaway, I scoured the internet for tips, checked out Drink Up Columbus to get some ideas for local watering holes, and hit the road. This post will recount the culinary side of my travels through Pittsburgh, the next post to come will discuss can’t-miss drink spots in the Steel City.

Every source I consulted told me to go to Meat and Potatoes for dinner while I was in town. How can you ignore this kind of praise? Be sure to make reservations before you arrive, seats can be hard to come by. For starters, we noshed on fried Brussels Sprouts with tangy and smooth lemon aioli, and devils on horseback, yummy bacon-wrapped dates. I was tempted by the lamb burger, but settled on the Pappardelle, topped with a chunky and warming bolognese. I was not disappointed!Brussels Sprouts and Devils on Horseback | Meat & Potatoes

At the famous Pittsburgh Public Market, I found plenty of treats to try, and some of them even made it home.  Ohio City Pasta served me up a plate of maybe my favorite pierogies ever, sprinkled with blue cheese and spinach, plus a drizzle of herbed butter. Second Breakfast had some sinful-looking chocolate waffle bites, and the Wheel and the Wedge was passing out tasty cubes of cheese. Perhaps my favorite stop was The Olive Tap. Here I scored some unusual and drool-worthy oils and vinegars. Some of the flavors? How about hot pepper, lime, or garlic-infused olive oil? Or try vinegars such as cranberry, apple balsamic, or chocolate marshmallow. The best part – you can taste little samples of all of the different types, and they will bottle the amount you want on the spot.

Grit & Grace was another memorable stop, one of the most interesting meals I’ve ever had. The concept of this joint is a Southern-Asian fusion, and the pairing was fabulous. There are roving dim sum carts, that have ready-made bites for you to snatch up and devour. I loved this concept (because I’m in a general state of starving) and grabbed kimchi. They have other tempting dishes like steam buns and short ribs with biscuits and bearnaise as well, but dessert was my favorite – salty graham crumble with yellow beet gelée.
salty graham crumble with yellow beet gelée
Another local hot spot is Butcher and the Rye. The combo of the rustic interior and upscale menu makes this restaurant a must-try. Pig Candy, a miso-caramel and pork belly confection is a great starter, and the charcuterie plate looked divine too. The Shepard’s Pie was an elevated version of the old classic, topped with potato foam, and the sea bass entree with espresso and hazelnuts was equally beguiling. I somehow managed to save room for the Meyer lemon cream cake, and was not disappointed I did.

By the time I left Pittsburgh, I was absolutely stuffed! There are many more eateries I’d like to check out the next time I visit, however. What are your favorites places to dine while visiting the Steel City?

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This is the first part of a two part series chronicling my journey through Pittsburgh. To learn more about fun things to do in Pittsburgh, click here to read part two of the series.

Find the locations I visited here: