Tour d'Greer Part 2
Welcome back, Y'all!! If you missed part 1 of my Tour d'Greer, you can read it here. But for those of you who have, let's get to Part 2!
After our mini shopping spree, Jamarcus and I were hungry. Our next food destination was Ira's Chicken. This quaint new spot is the Upstate's first hot chicken shack which will make some of my followers very happy. I've gotten many a message asking where to find the best hot chicken in the Upstate. And while there are a couple of restaurants that have it occasionally, I'm now happy to report that you can find a dedicated spot right in downtown Greer! Named for the Charleston chef who developed the menu, Ira's offers patrons hot chicken that fits your taste. You can have it Southern fried or grilled, hot or mild, with large and small plate options. And if you're trying to be healthy (but c'mon, who does that at a chicken shack?), there are salads as well.
Jamarcus and I both opted for hot fried chicken because that's why we're here right? We got small plates that come with two sides. I chose a side of mac and cheese and fried grits with tomato jam, while Jamarcus got collards and fried grits as well. Now, I've only had hot chicken once before, but it happened to be the queen of hot chicken: Hattie B's. So that basically makes me an expert, right? The chicken was perfectly crispy yet still juicy. If you're into spice, I would definitely recommend ordering your chicken hot. When I go back, I think I'll actually ask for it to be extra hot. Though it had a good kick, I think my tolerance for spice is higher than the average person! They also have amazing sauces to go along with the chicken. I opted for their house sauce which also has a spicy kick. See a theme here? I really enjoyed both of the sides. The mac and cheese reminded me of the kind my Grandmom used to make in which she would just break off chunks of cheese instead of using shreds. It gives you nice hunks of cheesy goodness in every bite. But the real star of the side game was the fried grits with tomato jam. The grits, though fried, were perfectly creamy inside with little bits of jalapeno added in for heat. The tomato jam looks just like salsa but don't let it fool you; it's actually sweet which helps to balance out that kick of jalapeno.
We had a great time eating and chatting with the owner, Warren Peden. He told us all about how they make almost everything in-house, including their sauces and their now infamous pickles. Seriously, I wish I had some of those pickles to-go for later! Definitely add this place to your list if you need a little spice in your life.
After our chicken, we trekked down the street to Aeire Lane, an adorable craft studio, to make some Valentine's cards. Fortunately or unfortunately we missed the afternoon rush of kids who came in to make Valentine's crafts. But Jamarcus and I had fun pretending to be kids, crafting our perfect Valentine's cards. Aerie Lane isn't just for kids though. They offer plenty of crafting classes for all ages that include things like finger crocheting to hand lettering workshops. You can also rent out the space for private events.
After crafting the best Valentines ever, Jamarcus and I headed back out to browse some shops. We popped into the newly opened Urban Petals store. This combined store and florist workspace is stunning. If you're looking for a unique gift, check this place out. They have gorgeous grab-and-go bouquets, candles, chocolates, and other boutique finds. We stopped for silly hat pictures at Carolina Treasures Antiques & Vintage Goods. Then we headed over to La Bouteille Wine & Beer Boutique for some beer and wine samples and good conversations with the owner. They do samples each week and also offer classes with a certified Sommelier.
Then it was time to check out Winter Skunkfest for a bit before dinner. We walked over to The Spinning Jenny, a big music venue that used to be a roller rink, to catch an hour or so of bands. After a couple of beers and some tunes, I bid Jamarcus farewell and headed off to meet my friend at L'Incanto for dinner.
L'Incanto ('the charm' in Italian) was opened by Kristi and Carlos Echeverri, the owners of Da Vinci's, which closed in Greenville. This fine dining Northern Italian restaurant opened in Greer in December and has been a packed house ever since. We started off with a couple of delicious cocktails and the grilled romaine to share. This salad was excellent! There's just something about grilling the romaine lettuce that elevates a regular Caesar salad into something spectacular! And of course, I won’t argue with the thin Parmigiano draped elegantly over it, either!
For my entree, I chose one of the specials of the night, a 10oz filet with mascarpone mashed potatoes, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and a Gorgonzola cognac cream sauce. If licking the plate were appropriate behavior for dining out, I would have licked this plate clean. The filet was perfectly cooked to medium, the mashed potatoes, creamy, and the sauce was heavenly. I wish I could have saved some for leftovers but it was too good not to finish in one sitting. My friend opted for the traditional bolognese which was the perfect sauce to pasta ratio. We ended with traditional tiramisu and a tiny sip of their homemade limoncello which was divine. The waitstaff was so attentive and yes, I'll say it, charming. Every aspect of the meal was so enjoyable. This is a wonderful spot for those looking for a quality Italian fine dining experience in the Upstate.
I can't tell y'all how fun it was to get out of Greenville for the day to explore Greer. There are so many wonderful things going on in the Upstate, it just takes getting out of your comfort zone to experience them!