It’s the middle of October. By this time I’ve usually headed out with either Ken, Keith, Glynda, or some combination thereof for a good meal of German cuisine and celebration of Oktoberfest. I have long complained about the dearth of good German food in Greenville, so I was hoping for more options here in Washington. I did a quick online search but, sadly, didn’t find many options. One place did hold promise, so I set of in search of the Schweinhaus in Bellingham.
Laura was away for a faculty retreat at Furman. I decided I would check out a couple of new spots for breakfast. I hit two home runs, first with Bika’s Drive-In on Wade Hampton on Wednesday, then again with O. J.’s Diner on Pendleton Street on Thursday. I had two great breakfasts on two consecutive days.
While out and about exploring all of the Wilson’s locations the other day I found myself in the Pleasantburg Shopping Center around lunch time. I had spotted Memo’s Family Restaurant, and decided to give it a try.
It’s Restaurant Week in Greenville! Participating restaurants offer several courses on a limited menu, usually at a fixed priced per person. Overall it’s much less than if you had selected the same options from the regular menu. This is an excellent opportunity to get out and try new places around town, and perhaps discover a new favorite restaurant.
Laura and I browsed through the participating restaurants, trying to decide on a place for Friday evening. Finally we settled on Passerelle Bistro and made our reservations.
Normally I don’t review restaurant chains. I prefer locally-owned places, those restaurants and cafes that are unique to a particular community. I decided to make an exception for The Lost Cajun for a couple of reasons. First, there is a dearth of Cajun food in our area. Secondly, this is the first foray into our area by this chain. Since it was a rainy Monday, I decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to check out this place.
I do my homework before I go out on these extended photo expeditions. I like to know what’s in an area so that I make sure I can get to my intended target. Sure, I miss things. There were lots of things I had to skip on this particular trek. Sometimes I find too much, and those extra places of interest become distractions from my intended target. Sometimes, though, things work out perfectly, as was the case with lunch at the Chat n’ Chew in Turbeville on this particular trek.
I was out running errands and wanted to grab a bite to eat. The same old same old just wasn’t doing it for me. I wanted something more…interesting. How to accomplish that without risking bodily harm was beyond me. I was about to give up and go to the new Hardees that opened at Pelham and East North Street. That’s when I saw it. A sign saying that the Golden Llama is now open in the BiLo shopping center at that intersection. I had to check it out. To be honest, I didn’t know if it was a restaurant or a weird gift shop.
It’s usually my policy not to review a restaurant more than once unless there are extenuating circumstances. In this case, I’ve written a review of Tupelo Honey Cafe, but the review was for the original in Asheville. The Greenville location has been open for a couple of of years now, and we have visited it several times. Today we visited for Sunday brunch, and I felt the need to write a few comments. Consider this less of a review than a follow-up.
Bavarian Pretzel Factory has closed its doors. The owners say that they will continue baking breads and taking orders for specialty goods, but the restaurant is gone. I guess the “curse of the RandomConnections review” strikes again.
It was Keith Dover who discovered the body, so to speak, and alerted me via text. He had placed an order for potato salad, but when he tried to call about it, there was no answer. I had to run a few errands, so I swung by to see what was happening. At what should have been a busy lunch time, there were no cars in the lot. I peeked in the window, and all of the furniture was gone. While their website still seems active, a quick check of their Facebook presence confirmed that it was closed.
I have long lamented the dearth of German restaurants in town. There are three of them – Schwaben Haus, Bavarian Pretzel Factory, and Hans and Franz. Compare that to the number of Asian and Hispanic restaurants of different varieties dotting the culinary landscape. This is even more surprising given that there is such a strong German industrial presence with BMW and others.
I voiced these concerns on the Greenville Subreddit, asking if anyone knew of any other options. The list included the usual suspects, including Gerhard’s in Spartanburg (which I still need to try) and my two favorites – Haus Heidelberg in Hendersonville and Black Forest in Arden. Unfortunately, all three of those are quite a drive. I wouldn’t call them exacty…”Greenville.”
Each of the local places has been disappointing in one aspect or another. Bavarian Pretzel Factory is pricey, and their quality seems to be declining. I think they overextended themselves with the move to Haywood Road. Schwaben Haus has excellent food, but is expensive and doesn’t have some of my favorites – simple wurst and kraut. That would be kind of like going to The Peddler Steakhouse and ordering a hamburger. That leaves Hans and Franz, and my long troubled experience with it. My fellow Redditors insisted that I give it another try, so I did…