ASADA’s taco de vegetales y maiz chulpe. Photo by Will Crooks

Brace yourselves: euphoria lineup announced

The lineup and ticket sales for euphoria, Sept. 20-23, went live Sunday during the Roast & Toast event, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I had to take some deep breaths to contain my excitement when I scrolled the page. It’s killer. Lots of new options, including two Michelin-starred chef dinners — one at Husk hosted by chef Sean Brock on Friday night and one at Soby’s hosted by chef Shaun Garcia on Saturday. The starred chefs have not been announced yet, but regardless, those will sell out fast. Thursday and Friday have a full lineup of daytime and dinner options that range in location from Restaurant 17 in Travelers Rest to down in the West End.

Saturday is simultaneously a foodie dream and nightmare because there’s no possible way to attend every event. The day starts with a Power Picnic in partnership with The NESS fest (get your workout on with Iron Tribe Fitness and enjoy a healthy lunch by Farm Fresh Fast afterward). In the afternoon, classroom formats take over, including the return of wine educator and comedienne Laurie Forster, who will lead two tastings on bubbles and the weird science behind pairing wines with food, a cocktail class at Vault & Vator, and the Magic of Mollusks oyster class. That night, you’ll have to choose between options like a Devereaux’s reprise with two of the former experimental fine dining restaurant’s chefs, an organic plant-based dinner, An Ode to Charleston held at Greenbrier Farms, a Stella’s pairing dinner, and the return of the Big Easy Bash.

On Sunday, of course, the barbecue brunch should be a no-brainer, as it is the best value and family-friendly, but the Sunday Supper, which closes out the festival with a family-style dinner in the Wyche Pavilion on the Reedy River, has an exceptional lineup. This year, Joe Kindred (chef/owner of Kindred restaurant and Hello, Sailor in Davidson, N.C.) and Craig Deihl (chef de cuisine at Hello, Sailor and formerly of Cypress and Artisan Meat Share in Charleston) will craft the family-style meal, which is paired with bourbon cocktails, beer and wine, and hosted by the Table 301 Restaurant Group.

Five of the local chefs who’ll be showcased during the September festival participated in the Roast & Toast event at the Rutherford on April 22, and there wasn’t a single bad bite. Chef Anthony Gray of Bacon Bros. went full-on flavor with a ramen-style miso glazed Greenbrier Farms pork jowl; chef Jon Buck of Husk Greenville cooled it down with a pickled royal red shrimp lettuce wrap; the chorizo and manchego chicken roulade from the Commerce Club’s chef Steve Doliget showcased his French training; chef Shaun Garcia of Soby’s provided the vegetarians with a vibrant spring vegetable plate; and chef Nick Graves of Restaurant 17 elevated the deviled egg with a royal red shrimp stuffing.

Block party, Latin style

Asada is throwing its second annual Noche Latina on April 28, 5-10 p.m., in the restaurant’s parking lot at 903 Wade Hampton Blvd. As if the promise of a sangria bar weren’t enough, Time to Taste Catering’s chef, Daniel López, who is originally from Barcelona, Spain, will be working that paella pan he’s known for, making arguably the most authentic Spanish paella you can get in town. Asada’s full menu will also be available, which on Saturday night means the shrimp and mole tacos will be on the menu. They always run out fast, and for good reason. And since everyone knows it’s not really a party without dancing, salsa instructor Lori Rose will be giving salsa dance lessons and The Niad Dance Company and Troupe will also perform. The party is free, and food costs land in the $7-18 range. It’s also totally family-friendly. See you there.

No-kill zone

Farm Fresh Fast just rolled out a “No-Kill” menu in response to Greenville’s vegetarian community lobbying for more options. So whether you’re an omnivore, vegetarian, or strict vegan, you’ll all now have options at the fast-casual restaurant that sources about 80 percent of its ingredients from local farms, depending on the week. Using Asheville, N.C.-based No Evil Foods’ plant-based protein in three of the four new items, the options include an ancient grain bowl, veggie stir-fry, buffalo veggie “chicken” wrap, and a warm cashew field greens bowls that is calling my name.

Cinco de Mayo in Greer

With Cinco de Mayo falling on the same day as the Kentucky Derby this year, you can bet downtown bars will be jam-packed for the festivities. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, head to Greer just off The Parkway to Tacos & Mas (802 S. Batesville Road, Suite C) for a Cinco de Mayo celebration beginning at 3 p.m. If the regular and brunch menus are any indication, this will be an authentic Latin culinary experience that will pair nicely with $8 Hornitos or Sauza margaritas. DJ Pucho will be spinning, and there’ll be prizes and giveaways, too.

ICYMI from UBJ

D’Allesandro’s Pizza opened April 23 at 17 Mohawk Drive in the new NorthPointe Standard strip center. This super family-friendly, neighborhood pizza joint has become a Charleston favorite for residents and vacationers alike, and it likely will be a fast favorite here, too. Deliberately remaining open an hour after the nearby Community Tap closes to capture those customers, hours are Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. They will also deliver pizza directly to The Tap, as locals call it.

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