Tag Archives: local focus

Henry’s Smokehouse

Back in my highschool and college days I worked at Henry’s Smokehouse. And it pretty much ruined me for barbecue anywhere else. Yep, it’s that good. I don’t even bother ordering barbecue from anywhere else because I am ALWAYS met with disappointment if I do.

What makes Henry’s barbecue so special? Well, for starters they cook in open barbecue pits with hickory logs to lock in that fantastic hickory flavor. (Drive by and you’ll see the smoke coming out of the building for yourself.) They cook the pork butts for 12 hours in low temperature and their fall-off-the-bone ribs for over 8 hours. But the special treatment doesn’t stop there; once the pork is cooked, the meat is hand-pulled so only the best meat is chosen.

Now let’s talk about their sauces. I’m personally not a fan of tomato- or ketchup-based sauces and I like some spice. Enter Henry’s Spicy sauce. It’s a mustard-based sauce with a little kick and it’s delicious. I’m told by others that the Mild, tomato-based sauce is good but I haven’t actually tried it.

Besides their signature pulled pork barbecue, they also have smoked chicken, ribs, hash and rice and Brunswick stew. I’m a fan of all of these items. When I worked there the only sides offered were baked beans, slaw, fries and rice. (The fries are phenomenal and I used to eat these quite a bit with the special sauce one of my co-workers made sprinkled with Henry’s special garlic salt or dipped in the malt vinegar.) They have since added green beans, potato salad, sweet potato casserole, banana pudding and mac and cheese.

The first item at Henry’s I ever tasted was actually the hash. Being from Southern California originally, I had never even heard of hash but I’ve always said I would try anything once. I’m glad I did. It’s delicious, spicy, meaty yumminess. I have since forgotten what all is in it but I do know it is good.

The Brunswick stew is my go-to on a cold, winter day. The smoked chicken is great chopped with some spicy sauce and slaw. The ribs are extremely tender and seriously come right off the bone. The baked beans are sweet and delicious. And the lemon cake is moist and, well, lemony. But the best, of course, is the incredibly delicious pork barbecue. Seriously. Go get some. And try it with slaw on it even if you think that sounds gross…because it’s not.


1847 Blake House Inn Bed and Breakfast

To celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, my husband and I booked a one night stay at the 1847 Blake House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC. We had been passively looking for a while for a bed and breakfast that would allow children as most will not. Thankfully, the Blake House does and also welcomes pets, too which would have been really nice if we still had a dog.

The accommodations are lovely, but instead of my describing them all to you, I thought I’d show you our room instead. You can see in the last picture in the far left corner, there was even a little twin bed for our daughter to sleep in.

Ode to Mom at Greenbrier Farms

Do you have a mom in your life that enjoys local food? I have the perfect Mother’s Day gift for her then! Greenbrier Farms is putting on a spring harvest dinner called “An Ode to Mom”. I know I’d love to go (hint, hint if my husband is reading this. ;))

On the menu will be ingredients all from Greenbrier Farms, except for the cheese which will come from Split Creek Farm. What mom wouldn’t enjoy some fresh and delicious farm-to-table fare?

The event itself is casual so mom and can sit back and relax. As Amy from Greenbrier Farms tells me, “It is all about the food and time together. Nothing pretentious or fussy.”

The meal will be served family style in their beautiful barn area that overlooks the pond and farm. Amy says, “The idea is to pay homage to Mother’s Day and also Mother Nature and the bounty she has provided.” She assures me though, “You don’t have to be a mom to come; it is just a tribute to those things.”

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, tickets are $75 a person. Hurry and RSVP because there are only 50 seats available! You can RSVP to amy@greenbrierfarms.com. There’s also a Facebook invite you can check out. Cash and check are accepted.

High Cotton Restaurant Review

This was originally posted on Check, Please (which is now Melea Talks Food) the day after I had Marcella, March 23, 2009.

Saturday night my husband and I decided to squeeze in one last date night before our baby girl arrives (due date, this Sunday!) so we thought we would check out High Cotton. It was a rainy night so we opted for the complimentary valet parking and checked our coats and then we were off to our table. We had to go downstairs for our table (although I was offered the elevator because of my “condition” which I declined). Our table had a wonderful view of the Reedy River and also a view of the kitchen.

The staff was superb. Our server was very knowledgeable and professional. We were served warm rolls with butter which were okay, not anything special but not bad either. Josh decided to go with a cup of that nights Chef’s Selection soup which was Maine Lobster Bisque ($5) described simply as “buttery lobster meat, scallions”. It smelled delicious but was bland unfortunately.


For my entrée I ordered the Bourbon Glazed Eden Farms Pork Chop ($25) which was served with jalapeño cheddar grits, fried green tomatoes and country ham scallion jus. The grits were very creamy and delicious! I wouldn’t have known they had jalapeno in them if I hadn’t been told, though so, for me, they could have had more of a kick. The fried green tomatoes were excellent! The pork was quite good. They cook it medium unless you specific otherwise and it was as tender as a steak. It was a little too salty for me so I didn’t finish it, but Josh, who loves salt, gobbled up what I didn’t finish.

My husband ordered one of the Chef’s Selections of the night for his entrée, the Skillet Seared Striped Bass ($25). This was served with blacked eyed pea ragout, cornmeal fried oysters and sweet pepper relish. He said the oysters were wonderful and were worth ordering the dish just based on them alone. He isn’t a big fan of black eyed peas so didn’t eat all of those but he finished off the bass which he said was quite good. He said if he had to choose, he preferred the pork but both were very good.

We couldn’t leave without trying out their desserts. They all priced at $7.50 except for the Domestic Cheese Selection which is $11. My husband ordered the Double Chocolate Mousse Pie (white & dark chocolate mousse, Oreo cookie crust, milk chocolate anglaise) which was delightful. I ordered the Domestic Cheese Selection (yes, this was on the dessert menu, not an appetizer) which consisted of 1 piece each of Humbolt Fog, Thomasville Tomme, Marisa and Smokey Blue and was served with 4 toast points, fig jam and 3 slivers of pear and candied walnuts. The fig jam was the perfect complement to the bitterness of the cheeses. I was asked if I would like additional toast points when I had finished all of them and still had cheese left which I declined but thought was nice all the same.

All in all, we would rate it a 3 out of 5, only because the soup was bland, the bread was just okay and the prices were a bit high for the amount of food. We enjoyed our experience, all in all and would recommend it for a nice night out.

New Features

As promised, I’m back to announce some new features here.

Reader Spotlight – I created a Facebook Page to help create community and that is also what Reader Spotlight is all about! I’ll choose readers from commenters, subscribers and Facebook fans! I look forward to learning more about you all and for you to “meet” each other!

via greenvilleinformation.com

Local Focus – There are lots of great places and people where I live that I’d like to share. Local Focus posts could be anything from a restaurant review to an interview with a local shop owner to community events. I’m excited to share more about Upstate South Carolina and hope you enjoy reading about it, too.

Another minor change you may have noticed is the new sidebar listing Top Posts of the Day. This is a way to see the most popular posts of the moment and get involved that way.

If anyone has any suggestions or other things they would like to see here, let me know!

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