Sunday, August 1, 2010

Greenville Restaurant Review: Economy Version

I have been living in Greenville for almost five weeks now, and since I have spent most of that time away from my wife, I have taken several opportunities to sample the local fare. And since I don't have a lot of money, I have stayed mainly in the "low-budget" or "economy" class of restaurants.

I also like BBQ and southern fried chicken, so with Greenville's abundant restaurants, I have had plenty of options. Here are some that I have visited:

[Note: I went to McDonald's, too. Service and food quality about the same there as any other typical American city. Moving on....]

Chick-fil-A: Do you own a restaurant? Are you concerned about the quality of customer service at your store? Then get yourself to either of the two Greenville-area Chick-fil-A stores that I ate at recently (Woodruff Rd., Cherrydale). The service is of the type most fast-food restaurant owners only dream their employees are providing (I say most, because some don't even dream that it would be this good). That alone would be enough. But...

The food is good, too. Both times I ordered the same thing, a Chicken Sandwich meal (#1 on the menu board). The sandwich consists of the following:

  • Bun
  • Sizable piece of hot chicken
  • Two pickels (and I don't even like pickels)

This, alone, makes a great sandwich. If you like ketchup or mustard, use it sparingly so as not to disrupt such a fine sandwich.

The waffle fries are great, too. And there's refills on the Coke. You have to go to the counter for the refill, but in both cases there seemed to be one employee who was taking most of the responsibility for doing this with a smile on her face.

Should I ever find a town with both a Culver's and a Chick-fil-A, I will consider moving there.

Grade: A+

Zaxby's: This chain has gotten 500 stores in 20 years throughout the South, and it's not for nothing. I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich meal (fries, drink). I had only ever eaten at a Zaxby's once before, about a decade ago, so I was eager to visit again.

I used the drive-through, which may have been a mistake. By the time I got back to my place, the fries and bun were a bit damp from the condensation inside the styrofoam-like container they were found in. I'm also not convinced the fries were terribly hot when I got them at the window, either. The chicken was good, but I would have preferred a lot less of the mustard-type sauce they slathered on it.

Nevertheless, the meal was pretty good and the girl at the drive-through was quite friendly.

Grade: B

Henry's Smokehouse: This was the first BBQ place I visited after arriving in Greenville, at the advice of a good friend. It was good advice. I was encouraged to try the BBQ on a bun with slaw (I am still uncertain what possessed me to agree to this, unless it was the radiant looks on the faces of the clerk and my friend), and to my surprise, it worked. Quite well. Three days later I visited with other friends who served BBQ sandwiches, with the BBQ bought at Henry's. This time I ate it without slaw, and it was again good.

The only downside was that the BBQ was a bit drier than I prefer. The atmosphere was, shall we say, what I think of under "small-town redneck." But it worked.

Grade: A-

Sonny's: I have already blogged about Sonny's, which I never cease to enjoy. I visited with two friends who enjoy it, perhaps, even more than I do.

The food was as good as I expected. The prices have risen noticeably since my last visit in late-2007, however, which did not make me smile. The service, too, was good; but again, not as good as my last visit (see linked blog post). This will likely not be in the category of "inexpensive family-of-six eating out destination" any longer.

Grade: A-


Cammie Novara said...

"And since I don't have a lot of money, I have stayed mainly in the "low-budget" or "economy" class of restaurants." I have come to understand that through my own experience.

Peter Matesevac said...

I understand Chick-Fil-A obviously caters to serving food made from a particularly filthy foul; but they need something to offer to those who prefer food from four-legged creatures, but occasionally must sacrifice for the tastes of their better half. I have had there fries, but found them treated with a particularly disgusting seasoning that I found unpleasant. It is safe to say that I will never again enter Chick-Fil-A by my own will.

Ken said...

Peter, you are one difficult-to-please guy.

Peter Matesevac said...

I will not argue with you about that. I am well aware that I am a bit fickle about food.