I love when the whole city comes together to celebrate life in Greenville. The music, entertainment, and rides for kids make it feel like Main Street has turned into an amusement park and all of your neighbors are vacationing there on the same weekend. Seriously, you can't walk 10 feet without bumping into someone you know.
I go for the good people of the upstate, but I also go for the good food of the upstate. Today I want to share with you a few of my personal favorites. But first, a few observations.
In one sense I felt that this year there were fewer food options. Am I crazy? It seemed many booths had very similar menu items like sliders, pulled pork and pimento cheese. Now, this could just be me focusing on the booths in which I was particularly interested. After all, there was octopus available at the Purple International Bistro and Sushi tent. And there was something called a Fried Kool-Aid Ball available at FunnelDelicious. Did anyone try that?
Additionally, I feel like they raised the prices. When you're paying 6-8 tickets ($4-5) for samples of food that could fit in your pocket, going to 5 or 6 vendors can get a little steep before you're even full. However, credit is due. Fall for Greenville has donated over $500,000 to local non-profits over the last ten years. I love that.
Lastly, I like that they keep adding things to do. The Food Truck Row, the rides, multiple stages and the Challenge Butter Culinary Stage (where local chefs show off and teach you how to make Greenville's best dishes at home) were all excellent additions.
But every year I get most excited about the food. So, as I said, here are my top 5 favorites from this year's Fall for Greenville.
1. Pulled Pork Pimento Cheese Biscuit from Tupelo Honey
I could eat these for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mainly breakfast. I don't know if these biscuits are a breakfast item - but I'd sure love to wake up to them.
2. Lump Crab Cake with Lemon Aioli from City Range Steakhouse
The Breaded Crab Cake is salty, the sauce is sweet, and the whole thing is light. It would be easy to eat two or three of these.
3. Beef Empanada's from Tirado's
I've been to Tirado's once before. They introduced me to this Puerto Rican cuisine. This empanada was so good that I didn't even realize some of it had fallen out and gotten quite literally all over my shirt. Worth it. There's a Tirado's in Greenville and Spartanburg. Run, don't walk, to get there.
4. Smoked Bacon Sriracha Mac and Cheese from Larkins
I actually couldn't taste too much Sriracha. For me, that was a good thing. I liked just having a hint of it. For others, that may have been disappointing. Either way, this Mac and Cheese was phenomenal. Though it was very rich, I didn't even finish it.
5. Homemade Dark Corner Whisky Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream by Re: Fuel (Aloft Hotel)
This dessert is impossible to describe. You just had to taste it for yourself. Flavor wise it was sort of like Tiramisu and Ice cream with affogato shots of espresso over it only...different. Don't worry; you don't have to have a wristband to eat it.
Honestly, it's an incredible event. I'm trying to think of things I'd like to see added to Fall for Greenville and having a hard time coming up with anything good. I guess it would be cool to get some tents down by the Reedy and in Falls Park. Maybe a dessert row, where they dedicate half a dozen tents to sweeter things all in one place. I'd like to see more of the local coffee shops doing drinks out there. Fireworks at night after the last musical act would be a plus.
And, just thinking out loud, is there any way we can set up massive fans along the side of Main Street, so it actually feels like Fall?
Either way, I'm glad it actually feels like Greenville.