Rick Erwin’s Deli: To Die For

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I’m a lucky girl. Lucky and blessed in many ways, I get the opportunity to take a mother-daughter trip in early October to Quebec for a week. Being the youngest of three, and being the only girl definitely has its bonuses. A week with my lovely mom shopping, touring, and strolling through the streets of Quebec in the dawning stages of fall is a dream come true.

In a family dominated by men, it’s pretty appropriate that I get to spend quality time with my mom, and in a place as picturesque as Quebec, I am going to steep myself in its culture and scenery like a bag of green tea. Marinate in its beauty like some summer barbeque.

Quebec is pretty much a smaller, more accessible version of Paris and I am so eager to break out my infinity scarves and my pea-coat and make an adventure of it. Not to mention I will have total anonymity, something so refreshing and very much welcomed. I can be whoever I want to be. Yes, Quebec is Canada and not anywhere near Europe but its roots remain deeply entrenched in France. So my European flair may just take over. Chi Chi.

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What I am most looking forward to about our girls’ getaway is all of the patisseries I will get to behold. I think my eyes might just glaze over. I am a lover of  carbs and desserts and the thought of endless croissants and nutella banana crepes gets my mouth salivating.

Inspired by my upcoming trip, I decided to have a relaxing lunch at Rick Erwin’s Deli, a French deli and market located on Camperdown, with enough character to make you feel like you were actually in a French bakery. They also have the best macaroons I have ever tasted and my friend, Sarah, and I made a date to try as many flavors as we could. I don Rick Erwin’s Deli as one of the best lunch spots in Greenville and the pictures will most certainly confirm why.

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Piece of advice- don’t go at noon because the place is packed with young professionals on their breaks. A late lunch may be more suitable to really sit back and take it all in.

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Sarah was brave enough to try the “green olive” macaroon which doesn’t necessarily tickle my fancy but the amount of sugar in these babies makes the flavor subtle enough to enjoy, regardless of if it is savory or sweet. She also ordered the strawberry and chocolate macaroon while I opted for the pastel palate, choosing pistachio, rose, and lemon. Choices coincidentally indicative of our wardrobe colors…and our purse colors.

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But as any good mother instructs, you must eat dinner before dessert. Sarah ordered a pastrami, bleu cheese something something on marble rye and I fixed my sights on a salad with bleu cheese, almonds, dried cranberries, and a healthy smattering of thick, creamy, balsamic vinaigrette. Oh, and a side of Gazpacho to round it out- make a balanced meal.

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The croissants that they serve with most salads here are the flakiest, airiest I have ever tried. Let’s only hope that Quebec can top these.

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Scrumptious!

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Do yourself a f(l)avor and give this place a shot. You will not be disappointed. In fact, you will be pleasantly surprised with how sophisticated and urban our little Greenville can be.

Mary’s at Falls Cottage: Ladies Who Lunch

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The word “quaint” is the exact diction to capture the soul of my most recent blog post subject, Mary’s Cottage at Falls Park. Both charming and old-fashioned, it evokes a sense of comfort and tranquility that contrasts with the scene outside of the little restaurant and venue. You transition from busy Main Street where people are admiring the foliage, eating their mint chocolate chip ice cream while strolling across the Liberty Bridge, or dipping their toesies in the Reedy River to step foot into a whimsical place where you can relax with cohorts and take in the beautiful scenery. Not that any of those activities mentioned earlier aren’t perfectly satisfying but for those us of that live in Greenville and aren’t just visiting, it is always restoring to know there are certain places where you can slip away and escape the hoi polloi (what a great word).

You can sit on the balcony, which is what we chose, or on the patio downstairs. Either one makes for an enjoyable and well spent morning and a memorable moment in your day. I am not making this up. I mean look at these views….Perfect accompaniment to any dining experience. You’ve heard of the “sand and the sea?” Well this is the “land and some tea.” My rhyming skills are just too complex for my own good.

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Ummmm hello!?

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“Green”ville paradise.

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Nestled in the heart of downtown Greenville, Mary’s Cottage is a nook that most wayfarers have walked past making their way from North Main to the West End. You’ve seen it a hundred times, located next to Ford’s and pretty close to Spill the Beans but may have never realized that it is one of the best places to grab a bite, in my humble opinion. I am no food critic but I am most definitely a gourmet and this feeds {pun} into my cravings 100 percent.

And Sunday brunch just happens to be heavenly.

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It’s only open for brunch, never for dinner, and it’s odd hours may be the reason that it is so often overlooked. But it is truly one of those spots that every Greenville resident should try. I recently told one of my coworkers who moved here from Virginia that this was “iconic Greenville” and it would be a shame if she didn’t try this place out. So when my little in KD, Betsy, and my grand-little, Amy, invited me to grab brunch to catch up before they scurried to their formal that night, this was my immediate proposal.

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And look at these tender moments that transpired. The love. The handholding. The bonding that effortlessly came about. All over coffee, tea, and peanut butter banana French toast.

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The food here, as indicated by this picture above, is amazingggg. No joke. So southern and so refreshing, its creative menu and obviously its views are two of the primary reasons this place keeps bringing me back. They pay attention to detail here, especially with the food, so that your side of fruit is delicately placed before you in a crafted arrangement rather than just a plop of Vitamin C on your plate. This restaurant is quintessential Greenville and it made my Saturday morning all the better. It gave me the energy to go forth and conquer and when I emerged from balcony into the sunshine, I knew it was going to be a fabulous day.

It has also played host to some “Mommy and Me” dates when my mother comes to visit. Splendid setting to spend time with those that you are close to.

The laid-back atmosphere is conducive to steady conversation and the feeling after eating there reminds me of the exultation you feel after participating in a really solid yoga class. Is equating eating grits and fried green tomatoes to exercise potentially a hyperbole? Well maybe. But it’s up to y’all to decide.

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And this stubby sign post. Perfect punctuation to end a meal. Makes me feel like I’m in a fairy tale. I feel like there should be a gnome somewhere close by too….

http://fallscottage.com/