Small Plates with Ariel Turner

Mercado Cantina, which is planned for Gather GVL, will serve on a rotating basis mole as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles, tacos, elotes, house-made chips, guacamole, salsas, seafood, ceviche, and aguachile.

Caterers are da real MVP

Events season is in full swing, and that means many catering companies are booked solid every weekend for the next three to four months. Serving 40-200-plus people at a time is no small feat. Imagine the stress of making that much food taste exactly right, at the exact desired temperature, all at the exact same moment. You get the idea. It’s a tough job, and one that doesn’t get the same recognition chefs at higher-profile restaurants often do. For instance, last weekend Uptown Company, who catered the Artisphere VIP tent experience, had to plan for roughly 250 guests, which translated to approximately 8,000 individual dishes for the weekend since 90 percent of the food was plated in individual portions. That’s extreme. So at the next gala or wedding you hit, give some props, or even better, slip some cash to those working behind the scenes. They deserve it.

Crazy for Cocobowlz

Food trucks are all the rage right now, and I don’t know anyone who’s mad about it, especially with the variety we have in Greenville. One of the newest, Cocobowlz, serving up healthy food-truck fare, has been hot on social media for the last few weeks, and it’s no wonder since the smoothies and bowls they make are total eye candy. If you haven’t seen a photo of a purple acai bowl or hot pink pitaya bowl with the Liberty Bridge and falls as the backdrop, then you must be one of the few people who’s managed to limit your social media intake. Acai and pitaya (dragon fruit) have become increasingly popular as superfoods, packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and Cocobowlz makes them even tastier topped with granola, coconut milk whip, almond butter, all the seeds you could want, and loads of fresh fruit. They also serve smoothies, fresh-pressed juices, and nitro-brewed coffee. So basically, they got you for breakfast, lunch, and midday snack. Check them out on Instagram to see where they’re parking next.


The proposed shipping container food hall Gather GVL is getting closer and closer to being fully leased. The developer hopes to break ground in July and be open by late fall. So far, they’re up to eight out of 13 signed tenants, and there isn’t a miss in the mix. The next concepts that are enticing for so many reasons were just announced by the owners of Hendersonville, N.C.’s HenDough.

First, an authentic-style Mexican restaurant called Mercado Cantina that will serve on a rotating basis mole as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles, tacos, elotes, house-made chips, guacamole, salsas, seafood, ceviche, and aguachile. If that’s not enough, the full-service bar will have a wide selection of mezcal and tequila.

Next up is KO Burger, which will be serving burgers styled after Shake Shack’s thin, crispy, griddled patties. If you’ve never had a Shake Shack burger, just wait. (And FYI, Husk’s burger is very similar, so if waiting isn’t your thing, you can snag one of those for lunch or brunch now in the West End).

The third is a Roman-style pizza kitchen named Al Taglio. Get ready for focaccia-style pizza by the slice. And good news for those of us with food allergies or limitations: Each of the concepts will have a selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Also, Murasaki owner Cheng Yap has signed on for a poke bowl concept called Saki Saki, and Rocky Moo from Spartanburg will be keeping it cool with its second location of the new ice cream sandwich concept.



Related Articles