BY WES GUIDRY
The question I am asked most is: “Hey Wes, where’s
a good place to eat?” That’s easy to answer.
Just outside the Hyatt Regency’s back door
is a smorgasbord of restaurants known as Main Street. No
less than seventy restaurants and bars are within walking
distance of the hotel. The restaurants’ styles
and prices run the gamut, from plain to fancy, cheap to cher.
I offer the following suggestions from locations I have given
a taste drive.
Jersey Mike’s Subs is directly across
the street from the hotel. It offers a great choice of hot
and cold subs and salads, and it’s also a good place
for breakfast. Show your VVA registration badge and get 10
percent off your breakfast order. Breakfast sandwiches are
made to order, and they will be open at 7 a.m. to accommodate
Underground is a coffee haven located down a stairway just
off Main Street. The place also opens at 7 a.m. and features
freshly roasted coffees, lattés, hot teas,
frappés, milk shakes, and fruit smoothies to wash
down assorted muffins, omelets in a mug, and build-your-own
breakfast sandwiches. It is not wheelchair accessible.
Bread Company is another place for a quick breakfast. The
menu includes specialty coffees and a bakery offering muffins,
breads, croissants, and Danish baked daily. Also available
are hot breakfast sandwiches on bagels or croissants.
Steaks-Seafood-Sushi ranks high among my restaurant picks.
There are several sushi restaurants in Greenville. Even if
you aren’t into sushi, you should give this
one a try. The atmosphere is great and the service is fast.
Three sushi chefs keep up with incoming orders. I recommend
the “rocken roll,” a combination of tuna, salmon,
yellow tail, seaweed, crab cake, and avocado. They have specials
on different days with some of the rolls going for $2 each.
Check for specials.
Sticky Fingers is unique and highly recommended.
open from 11 a.m. until 10:15 p.m. and barbeque is the specialty,
slow cooked on the smoker. The ribs (pork only) fall apart
in your hands. The best way to eat and enjoy their prime
ribs is just to dig in. Hence the name. The staff is ready
for the mess. Your silverware comes wrapped in a hand towel.
The ribs come to your table smoked and coated with a dry
rub. At your table are five sauces: Memphis style wet, Memphis
style dry, Tennessee whiskey, Habanero hot, and Carolina
sweet. Their chicken wings are not deep fried, but slow smoked
to a crispy perfection. The portions are large and prices
The Blue Ridge Brewing Company, just across
the street from the hotel, has a large selection of their
own handcrafted brews, including ales and a stout. Happy
hour is from 4-7 o’clock. Half-gallon Growler bottles
are available to take back to the hotel. The Growler bottle
is $4.50, and they will refill it for $8.50 as often as you
like. They have a great, low-cost lunch special every day:
your choice of chicken, meat loaf, or country fried steak
with two vegetables for $6.45.
The Paris Café is the perfect place for a quick lunch
of sandwiches and decadent desserts. Order at the counter,
then take a table, and a server brings your food. The Cuban,
a sandwich toasted crisp in a press with roasted pork, ham,
and mozzarella, is a great choice. I also recommend the Croque-Monsieur,
a Parisian specialty of shaved ham, tomatoes, Swiss cheese,
and béchamel sauce topped with a well-cooked, sunny-side-up
egg. I very seldom eat dessert, but couldn’t pass up
their offerings: the pecan walnut tartlet, the strawberry
and cream shortcake, and the irresistible Normandy tartlet
of diced apples with pecan and creamy honey sauce. Sound
good? They’re beautiful, too.
Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria is a pizza and beer place. It’s nice looking with very
high ceilings and wooden floors. When they say beer, they
mean beer! There are more than seventy beers on tap and 110
beers in bottles. But you won’t find the major brands:
no Bud or Miller. They specialize in micro beers from around
the world. If you want to taste the full flavor of beer,
go there. The pizza is hand-tossed, and they offer nearly
forty toppings. You can order the pizza by the slice, and
the slices are huge. They have a game room upstairs with
pool tables, foosball, and other games. There’s no
elevator, however, so upstairs isn’t wheelchair accessible.
Brick Oven Café is a very popular place
on Main Street. The wood-fired oven is the centerpiece of
this establishment. The kitchen is open, so you can watch
the chefs churn out the dishes, all in conjunction with a
hard-working wait staff. The pasta dishes, wood-fired pizza,
calzones, sandwiches, soups, and salads are all excellent.
When you sit down, your server brings a large slice of foccacia
bread and a plate of grated parmesan cheese. Pour some olive
oil over the cheese, then dip the bread into the wonderful
mixture. The line spills out the door. That’s an indication
of how good this place is .