Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall(ing) for Greenville

Fast forward a few weeks from our time in Chicago and we are back in Greenville enjoying all things autumn – pumpkin patches, apple orchards, the colorful mountain hardwoods and this weekend, Fall for Greenville. A three day outdoor festival modeled after the likes of Taste of Chicago, Greenville’s “a taste of our town” features over 35 restaurants and seven stages of live entertainment – definitely something for everybody. We had been warned that the crowds would make enjoying the day downtown difficult, so we timed an early arrival with a departure before the younger, more boisterous evening crowd arrived.

As expected, Main Street was full from curb to curb! The lines for tickets were easy as there were booths on every curb, and lines for the separate restaurant booths weren’t any worse. Our longest wait was only a few minutes, and the food was delicious. A very quick way to sample the fare from dozens of downtown restaurants without eating out every week, tickets cost $5 for eight and food is between 3 to 6 tickets per serving.
We spent a bit of time in the Village Green while Keith Johnson, The Bubble Guy was performing. There is something enchanting about watching giant bubbles float away into the blue sky… above the madly waving arms of fifty screaming children.

Throwing frisbees overhanded?
Plenty of freebies available for those willing to give out an e-mail address or wait in line. We had a free photo-booth style family portrait taken, and Lauris spun a wheel to win a frisbee. However we were there to sample the food, and sample we did.
Lauris’s favorite from those sampled was the kettlecorn. We tried a falafel burger (The Nose Dive), and a wild caught salmon slider with Asian slaw (Two Chefs), both of which were yummy. Roberts liked the raspberry lemonade best, which only serves as a reminder to me that I can lower the bar for family dinner in our house. I thought Bimini’s Oyster Bar had a great clam chowder, however I wasn’t a big fan of the Sabroso mini mesquite grilled chicken chimichanga. A Japanese bagel (Takosushi III) was a nice change of pace – basically a salmon/cream cheese sushi roll. The seafood gumbo from the Brown Street Club was a little spicy and so we followed it with an iced caffe mocha from Coffee Underground. And although the Belgian frites were nothing like I remembered the fries in Belgium to be like, the bourbon BBQ mayonnaise that came with them (The Trappe Door) was delish! Finally, my favorite, and therefore the winner of our people’s choice voting ticket <drumroll please?> were the fried Oreos with powdered sugar from the Runway Café. They were so good in fact, that I went back with our last three tickets in hand to get a second serving… 10 mile hike tomorrow, right?

Fried oreos!
I’m very happy we braved the crowds to attend this year’s Fall for Greenville for several reasons. First, it was a beautiful autumn day, and I’m glad we spent it outside. Also, a portion of the proceeds goes to local charities; according to the booklet we received at the ticket booth over $350,000 has been donated in the event’s history. Navigating with the stroller was a little stressful, but considering how many people were in attendance the festival really has figured traffic flow and logistics out over the last ten years. But final reason why I’m glad we went? It’s a tie between not having to cook dinner for a night, and fried Oreos!


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