Small Plates with Ariel Turner

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Foxcroft Wine Co. Burger (ground hanger steak, grilled onion, pea shoots, tomato, truffle aioli, cheddar or blue cheese). Photos by Will Crooks / Greenville Journal

Because you asked: my burger list

I get asked at least once a week where the best burger in town is. There’s no simple answer, first, because the original Aussie Burger, with hands-down the best burger in the Upstate, closed years ago. Second, there are different types of burgers: the grass-fed beef type; the smash patty; the house grind; the dive burger; or the amusement-park-of-burgers burger. So I figured I’d take this opportunity to sound off on a few of my favorites, but in no way is this meant to be exhaustive. And let me also be clear, as long as this town is devoid of a Shake Shack, there will be multiple answers to the above question. But, if that blessed event should occur, the SmokeShack burger from Shake Shack will be my answer every single time. Here are some (again, not all) of my go-to burgers in town, and some of them do overlap categories.

  • Grass fed: Golden Brown & Delicious. That burger sauce (wow) and put an egg on it, always.
  • Smash patty: Husk. After tasting it for the first time, I asked founding chef Sean Brock if he was influenced by the Shake Shack burger, and he confirmed my suspicions.
  • House grind: There are several great options. Bacon Bros. Public House, Foxcroft Wine Co., Fork & Plough, Halls Chophouse, Trappe Door, and The Strip Club in Greer (only on Fridays) are top of mind.
  • The dive: The pimento cheeseburger at Northgate Soda Shop. It’s like eating a piece of Greenville history.
  • The amusement-park-of-burgers: By which I mean this burger is a par-tay with all the things happening on it. The Southern Growl, every Thursday, wins the extreme burger war. But any other night, check out LTO Burger Bar for the Dude on the Sofa and Magnum P.I.

Events & Happenings

Poppin’ bottles

Some unique wines from Scribe Winery in Sonoma, California, are popping up at Golden Brown & Delicious for a wine dinner Friday, Nov. 2. The format is simple: three small plates and three wines for $35. No reservations needed, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6 p.m. Check out @eatgbnd on Instagram for updates.

Vote for wine

On Nov. 6, go vote, and then reward yourselves with a wine tasting at Husk Greenville for happy hour or dinner. Chad Stock, the avant-garde winemaker of Minimus Wines in Oregon, will share a lineup of his natural wines throughout the restaurant and bar. A tasting of five wines will be $30. If you’re also dining, the staff will happily pair them with whatever food you order, or you can enjoy the wines on their own in the bar or lounge area. Reservations will be limited in the dining room, so mention the wine evening when you call.

Taste them all

If you’ve been to the annual Taste of Table 301 event in the last three years, you know it’s worth it. It’s the once-a-year chance to dine at The Lazy Goat, Jianna, Nose Dive, Soby’s, Passerelle, Papi’s Tacos, and Table 301 Catering & Kitchen all in one place. The fourth annual Taste of Table 301 will be held from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 8 at The Lazy Goat. The format includes an informal cocktail hour and allows guests to meet the chefs and beverage professionals behind each of the concepts. The cost is $39 per person and space is limited, so snap up tickets now at ShopTable301.com.

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