You know those days when you don’t know exactly what you want to eat, but you just know it needs to be comforting and satisfying? You want to go somewhere that offers a variety of meals, even spanning the breakfast/dinner line, so you can pick and choose exactly what you are craving in the moment. I don’t know about you, but this happens to me a lot. Perhaps it’s the baby I’m growing (23 weeks!), or perhaps it’s my ever-changing taste. But regardless, I’m always glad to know that The Farmer’s Table has my back, er...my belly.
Maybe it’s brunch time and you don’t necessarily want the (fabulous) Mexican brunch offered by Willy Taco, or maybe you aren’t sure you want something as light as Mon Amie? Or you have family in town and you need something that everyone will love – please tell me you’ve been there too!
Over the years, the menu at The Farmer’s Table has evolved, and in the new space in the Grain District on Daniel Morgan Avenue, it has emerged slightly more refined, yet embracing all the comfort it has always offered.
It has been a while since I stepped into the space that was formerly Zarza…Braveheart…who knows how many other places. For me, the lighting in the room immediately makes it feel much different from the bright and colorful Farmer’s Table that we know and love, but that should not deter you. From the chalkboard at the front highlighting the local farmer’s whose ingredients grace the dishes to the adorable “house” along the back wall, complete with a windows and bright flower boxes, they are bringing a feeling of home to the restaurant. And not in the way that you feel like you are eating at home, trust me on that one. Take one look at this bar:
Right?! Who doesn’t want to grab a Screen Door Margarita + appetizer here after work? And word on the street is that even the virgin Blue Mule is delish ;) As far as appetizers, the Pork Belly and Brussels and the Fried Green Tomatoes are tasty. A bite of sprout with pork belly and goat cheese is so creamy and smoky. Meanwhile the fried green tomatoes are crispy and smothered in melty pimento cheese. Highly recommend both.
As for the entrees, you’ll find more elevated options like Seared Duck Breast and Steak Coulotte among more traditional items like Shrimp and Grits and Chicken Pot Pie. The chef suggests ordering the duck breast medium rare, and it comes with with pearled farro, a veggie medley, and a blackberry jus. The Steak Coulotte, which is an unusually tender piece of meat, is served to your liking with smashed potatoes, wild mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and peppercorn gravy.
While Shrimp and Grits is a traditional menu item, the Sansburys have added some kick to their dish with chicken andouille and charred tomatoes. And the Chicken Pot Pie is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. All the goodness of the veggies and gravy was nestled into a puffy bread bowl, while the chicken was fried and displayed right on top. The crispy breading on the chicken was a welcome addition to a typically one-textured dish.
For dessert we had two dishes that you can also order for breakfast, because why not. The Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles are just as described and delicious with fruit, whipped cream, and cinnamon syrup. But the Banana Bread French Toast? With Salted Caramel?? Just stop right now. I cannot wait to go back and treat myself to that again.
If you loved The Farmer’s Table before, the new vibe might catch you off guard, but the people and the food will be highly familiar to you! Plus the new place offers so much more – more space, great location, fabulous bar, and a chance to try out some new dishes on the Spartanburg community. I couldn’t be more thrilled for Joel, Lenora and their family for this wonderful move, and I wish them all great success!
And if you’re looking for more Spartanburg restaurant reviews, look no further!
201 Wall Street, Suite D
mon-fri 7:30am - 3pm
what they are known for.
breakfast and lunch dishes, fresh baked pastries
New to the Spartanburg restaurant scene, HenHouse Brunch has made a name for itself on Wall Street downtown. The day I visited, I waited in line for nearly 20 minutes and only barely found a seat! This did give me ample time to take in the décor which is quite charming; quirky prints and a chalkboard menu surround the counter where you order. After making my menu decision, plus picking up a pastry for the road, I took a seat and eagerly awaited my order: the Hipster sandwich and a side of She Crab Soup.
When it arrived, I loved the casual presentation right off the bat. The sandwich was served on a waxed paper-lined metal tray with wooden utensils, with the soup piping hot in a plastic container. The Hipster features roasted red pepper, egg, cheddar cheese, scallions, wilted spinach, roasted tomato, and harissa sauce on a brioche bun. The bread was thick and fluffy and soaked up lots of flavor from the veggies and the spicy roasted pepper sauce. The star of this particular meal for me was, surprisingly, the She Crab Soup. The creaminess was unmatched and the roasted corn on top added a sweet and salty crunch that I couldn’t get enough of!
On another visit not too long after this one, I tried The Benny: poached egg, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise on an open-faced croissant. The sauce and the egg yolk soaked right into the nooks and crannies of that croissant making for delicious decadence in every bite.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the next RJ Rockers beer dinner because these are events that you Spartanburg foodies do not want to miss! This collaboration with HenHouse Brunch was the third dinner in the series, the first two being with Southside Smokehouse and The Farmer’s Table. How I wish I’d been at those! Included in your ticket price is a pint of beer to enjoy while you wait for the first course to be served, so be sure to get there early to enjoy your pint.
The 5-course dinner featured dishes from HenHouse Brunch paired with delicious local brews from RJ Rockers. Kate White, Public Relations Manager with Rockers, said they bring the restaurant staff in to taste the beers which they then create dishes to match. Rockers also created a special beer just for this dinner, one that I’ve already petitioned for them to recreate!
The first course was a trio of deviled eggs – Avocado Lime, Grandmama Style, and Bacon Jalapeno. The avocado lime egg was super creamy with a slight hint of lime and a bit of spice, while the Grandmama style was on the sweeter side. I’m a sucker for spice so I saved the bacon jalapeno for last – I could have taken a lot more spice, but there’s nothing like a good egg/bacon combo. The beer paired with this course was the bestselling Son of a Peach, and those sweet, peachy flavors tied in nicely, especially with the bacon.
The second course was a hefty slice of brioche toast topped with a creamy spread cheese and avocado, bacon, tomatoes, arugula, a perfectly cooked duck egg, and lots of honey balsamic drizzle. There’s nothing better than a runny yolk, folks. The beer paired with this course was the special release, only for this event, and it blew my socks off: a Basil and Blood Orange Saison. If you’re not familiar with this type of beer, it tends to be tart and citrusy with more carbonation. This one had a heavy note of orange with a slight hint of basil, and I’d love to have it in a bottle by the pool this summer *wink wink*.
The third course was a Shrimp Panzanella Salad, loaded with chunks of bread that soaked up the juices of the dressing, tomatoes and grapefruit. It had a spice that lingered in a good way and was cut nicely with the crisp Palmetto Trail Pale Ale which has notes of grapefruit. Note: proceeds from the sale of this beer support the Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s “mountains to the sea” trail in South Carolina.
The fourth and main course was a garlicky brisket and sweet potato hash. The brisket was braised in RJ Rocker beer adding a nice depth of flavor, which was balanced by scooping a few of the pickled mustard seeds into each bite. You could tell they made this for the smooth, dark Brown Eyed Squirrel Ale with its smoky finish.
Last, and best course in my opinion, was the Espresso S’more Brownie paired with the Half Calf Coffee Milk Stout. The toasted marshmallow truly smelled and tasted like it had been over a campfire! The brownie was dense and fudgy with the espresso bringing out the coffee notes in the beer, which is brewed with Spartanburg’s own Little River Roasting coffee. Served alongside a light and simple vanilla gelato, this brownie was the perfect way to end the meal.
Be sure you are following RJ Rockers on Facebook to get notified of the next beer dinner and buy your tickets quickly! It’s such a treat to get to enjoy a meal in one of our local breweries. RJ Rockers is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3pm-8pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm-9pm, and Saturdays from 12pm-8pm. And of course head on over to Wall Street to try HenHouse Brunch from 7:30am - 3pm, Monday-Friday. They know how to do a beer dinner right - from the table setting to the presentations of the beers and food – many kudos to the staff at Rockers and HenHouse Brunch for a fun evening!
Full disclosure: I was offered free tickets to this event to cover it on the blog. Giving me free food and drinks – while always appreciated – does not guarantee a positive review. All opinions are my own.
137 W Main Street
Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm; Fri 8am-2pm, 5pm-9pm; Sat 8am-2pm; Sun Closed
what they are known for.
sweet and savory crepes, fresh sides
The Crepe Factory stepped onto the scene in 2016 to an enormous response from the Spartanburg community. We were craving new and unique restaurants downtown, and boy did they deliver. From the chalkboard menus on the wall to the wood floors and metal chairs, they created the space to feel warm, cozy and a little bit Parisian.
The menu features crepes of all styles including breakfast, savory and sweet, all named for streets in Spartanburg. Like the Spring St. crepe with chunky chicken, mushrooms and spinach lathered in a rich tarragon gravy. Or try a breakfast crepe, which are served all day, like the St. John St. filled with scrambled eggs and topped with spicy chorizo sausage, creamy queso fresco, and fresh salsa.
All crepes come with your choice of side, and my favorite is the Signature Roasted Brussels Sprout Hash Browns. The smoky brussels sprouts pair perfectly with chunky roasted potatoes, complimenting your meal whether it is breakfast or lunch.
And lastly the dessert crepe, the queen of the crepes, to finish off your meal. After a full meal, I’d recommend something like the Grove St. crepe with a tangy Lemon Crème Anglaise and sweet French Lavender Infused Syrup. It’s just light enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without leaving you ready to take a nap. If you’re looking to grab a 3pm pick-me-up, pair a latte with the Magnolia St. crepe (can you say bananas foster?!) for a satisfyingly sweet treat.
351 East Henry Street, Suite H
My reviews to date have been of restaurants in Spartanburg, so this product review is a new way of celebrating food in Spartanburg! Enjoy :)
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Chris "Wishbone" Walker of Blue Moon Specialty Foods in their new storefront downtown. On my way out I asked what his favorite product was, and without a pause he declared "Jambalaya!", so I knew I was leaving with a quart from the freezer. He pointed out that they sell a Rice Pilaf Kit which is excellent with it, so I added that to my order and looked forward to dinner in the coming days.
The Jambalaya contains "shrimp, blue crab, fish, chicken, sausage, fresh roma tomatoes, veggies, & the kitchen sink". Directions say "Heat & Serve". The dishes you can get from Blue Moon come either fresh or frozen. My jambalaya was frozen, so step one was to defrost. You want to put it in the fridge to defrost for 24 hours, or for something quicker, pop it in some hot water until it loosens, then plop the whole frozen dish in a saucepan on medium to "melt" and warm. Wishbone suggested adding just a little broth to thin it slightly, so I added a splash of some homemade chicken broth from the fridge.
While the jambalaya warmed up, I got started on the Rice Pilaf Kit which contains "rice, chicken base, dried veggies, spices, garlic & salt". The directions read: "Put in pot and add 3 cups of water or stock and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquids are absorbed". I grabbed the same homemade broth that I added to the jambalaya, poured 3 cups in a saucepan, added the Rice Pilaf Kit, and set it to medium-high. Since it didn't specify either way, I popped the lid on about halfway through and stirred occasionally throughout.
I knew we were in for a treat when the aromas started to fill my kitchen...
I continued stirring the jambalaya until it was completely thawed and starting to simmer. I gave the pilaf a stir every few minutes until 20 had elapsed and found it needed just a few more for the liquid to be totally absorbed.
Once everything looked ready, I put two heaping scoops of the rice pilaf into each bowl and topped it with a couple of ladles of Jambalaya...YUM.
Both the rice and the jambalaya had a great hint of spice, not to much, but not too little. The light flavor and smooth texture of the crab was prevalent, with a delicious bite of shrimp, chicken, or sausage every once in a while. The flavor and meatiness of the sausage added a lot to the dish - I seriously looked forward to those bites!
Two piece of good news...together, the jambalaya and rice pilaf kit were $20, but for two people it has easily given us 5 meals, so it is really affordable. It's also just as good reheated over the next day or two! Plus, can you tell how easy this was to whip up? What a great thing to have on hand for those busy nights, for entertaining on the fly, or to take to new parents or a sick family member.
Having just had a baby myself, we were lucky to have been brought several meals from Blue Moon during my maternity leave, and I can vouch whole-heartedly for the deliciousness of the tomato pie, veggie quiche, and italian wedding soup. Personally, the Fire Sauce is my go-to hot sauce! Also a must-try is the signature seasoning: YEP Shake!...Is it good on ________? "Yep!"
Blue Moon products have become a staple in Spartanburg...check out their storefront and take home some of these great products today! And if you want more Spartanburg Restaurant Reviews, look no further!
P.S. Have you seen the "Handcrafted in Hub City" boxes that feature products from Blue Moon, Dottie's Toffee, Little River Roasting Company, and Those Pickle Ladies? They make fabulous gifts (I gave 3 for Christmas), and you can pick them up at the Blue Moon store!