NOTE: This restaurant is now closed.
I was in the mood for good New Orleans food. Unfortunately, that seems to be in short supply in Greenville since the demise of Betty Pearle’s on Main. There’s Chop’s, which has excellent Cajun cuisine, but is a bit cramped and out of the way. A quick scan of Metromix.com led me to London’s, which was just around the corner from where I live on Wade Hampton Blvd.
London’s opened last fall, and is named for its owner, taking his middle name. I had to ask. I couldn’t figure out what London had to do with New Orleans.
This was a place I probably wouldn’t have stopped without good reason. It’s located in a former Western Sizzlin’ Steak House, right next to a defunct Ingles Supermarket, next to a defunct Long John Silver’s, and across from a defunct Winn Dixie – not very good odds.
You can’t disguise a former steak house, no matter how hard you try. It’s just not possible. However, London’s has done their best. The interior has nice wood paneled finishes with booths and tables and subtle decor. There is a bar in one corner, and central pillar with an aquarium and wide screen TV’s. There is also a small stage where you can hear live jazz on the weekends.
When I arrived at 6:00 on a Wednesday evening there wasn’t much happening. I was the only About eight other diners, mostly in their 40’s and 50’s, showed up. Generally, the place struck me as being very friendly and laid back.
As indicated, there are several Cajun items on the menu, including gumbo, jambalaya, catfish etouffe’, and alligator bites. In addition to the Cajun offerings there are shrimp, chicken, and even tenderloin offerings. There was a page of appetizers that ran from $6 to $10, and a page of entree’s that run from about $10 up to $25.
The sign advertised “Food, Drinks, Cheesecake, Music”, so of course for dessert there is a large selection of cheesecake. There’s also an extensive drink menu.
Since I was in the mood for Cajun I had to go with standards. Instead of a cup of gumbo I decided to go with the alligator bites as an appetizer. These were deep fried with a spicy dipping sauce – a bit tough, but tasty. It was a nice sized portion that could easily be shared.
For the main course I ordered the jambalaya. This had Andouille sausage, shrimp, and chicken mixed with rice in a tomato-based sauce. This had a kick, without taking the top of your head off. It was quite good, but could have used some bread to go with it.
Since the place had “Cheesecake” specifically on the sign, and I had to finish up with that. I had a raspberry chocolate piece, and it was a nice end to the meal.
The Metromix site had several that complained about bad service. I found the opposite to be true. Tracy, my waiter, was friendly and knowledgeable. Turns out he is the owner’s brother, and was also training a new waitress in the process. My order was taken right away, and things came out when and as I expected them. I don’t know what it would be like when things are busier, but it was certainly fine this evening.
The food was great, but could get pricey if you’re not careful. However, there are enough moderately priced items on the menu. My experience was very positive, and the place seemed very friendly. However, I don’t know how it would be when the joint is hopping. Some of the reviews on Metromix where quite appalling. I’m just hoping those were early days when they were just working out the kinks. An early evening dinner had none of those problems.
If you’re in the mood for good Cajun food, head on down Wade Hampton Blvd and drop in on London’s.