Monday, May 3, 2010

Taste of the Nation: Greenville, SC

Hello and hope your week is off to a good start. Did you have a nice weekend? My weekend was nice and ended on a very sweet note. As I mentioned previously, the wonderful people over at FoodBuzz selected me to cover the Taste of the Nation event in Greenville, SC.

According to the Taste of the Nation website:

"Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has brought together the most creative culinary minds across the nation. Each spring and summer, pioneers of modern American cuisine, national celebrity chefs and mixologists including David Burke, Stephan Pyles, mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, Bravo’s Top Chef Tom Collichio, Food Network stars Tyler Florence and Emeril Lagasse and thousands more like them donate their time, talent and passion at nearly 40 events across the United States and Canada with one goal in mind: to raise critical funds needed to help end childhood hunger. "


My Mom came with me as my guest, and my Aunt decided to join in the fun as well! The event took place outside at the Embassy Suites in Greenville. It was a beautiful evening in South Carolina. Since I was driving, I stuck mostly to water, but my Mom enjoyed the sampling of wine:

While my Aunt had the Stella Artois:

The food and vendor selection was OUT of this world. Since there weren't a TON of vegetarian selections, I stuck mostly to desserts (yes...it was horrible), while my Mom & Aunt hit up the entrees/appetizers. I will try to keep the words to a minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves. I hope I get all of the restaurant/food combinations right! Our first stop was at Cafe Verdae (onsite cafe at the Embassy Suites), where they tried the Crab & Avocado Salad on a Toasted Tortilla:

A lot of the restaurants had beautiful food decor, like this piece at Stella's Southern Bistro:

This crab salad (from the Green Room) came in as their second favorite tasting of the day. In the background is the pork and ancho chili soup- which my Mom also enjoyed:

My first dessert was a bread pudding, which I believe was also from the Green Room...deliciousness :)

I was SUPER excited when I saw this sign for the Melting Pot:

I tried their bananas foster fondue...drooool:


Coffee Underground had some tasty sweets and beverages:


My Aunt and I tried the Lover-tini (mocha, raspberry, vodka & baileys):


It wasn't heavy at all, slightly sweet and very yummy:

I also tried their lemon cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The cake was super moist:

Here is a picture of my mom enjoying the Apaltagua wine from Chile:


The next stop was Smoke on the Water:


They had setup a carving station:


My mom tried the smoked tenderloin over mashed potatoes with sweet potato souffle on the side. She said the meat was super tender. I tried the sweet potato souffle because it was vegetarian. It was more of a dessert than a side...but so creamy and rich!


My Aunt & Mom's favorite tasting came from Ruth's Chris:

They had a steak sandwich with horseradish sauce on a biscuit. On the side was sweet potato pie. My Aunt said the steak was so soft and buttery. This little sammy was the highlight of their night:

One of my favorite restaurants was the Lazy Goat:
They offered up a Harissa Whipped Hummus that was INCREDIBLE. I went back for seconds:

I want to try to recreate this hummus at home!!

Next stop was the Cafe At Williams Hardware. They offered up Israeli couscous with shrimp, flank steak with a smoked tomato sauce, and the best dessert of the night...

A strawberry daiquiri tiramisu. I could go for a giant bowl right now :) Their chef was also hilarious (and claimed not to be photogenic...we can see otherwise haha)

It was a fabulous night with incredible food for a good cause:




My Aunt and Mom finished the night off with one more beverage:



and then we headed out to explore Greenville a bit. Greenville has the CUTEST town center and one of my new most favorite streets:



Thank you FoodBuzz!

53 comments:

Jessica said...

I sooo wish we had a Taste of the Nation here! The Melting Pot? Love it! Looks like an absolute blast. :)

Lauren (Healthy Delicious) said...

I love reading the write ups for all of these events - it seems like they're all so different and really have a unique flavor for the region they're in. I can't wait for the one I'm attending on Thursday, even though ti seems a lot more stuffy than some of the others I've seen,

Nicci@NiftyEats said...

How funis that, I hear Taste of the Nation is coming to Dallas this month! Looks like a lot of good food consumed.

Tracey said...

Looks like such a fun time! I need to start looking at the different events that are held in Chicago. I would love to attend functions like these.

Jenna said...

What an incredible day of eats! The Melting Pot has the most incredible dessert, I could eat their dessert fondue by the spoonful.

Whipped hummus, too? That sounds pretty fantastic. :) Glad you had a wonderful experience!

Jessie (Vegan-minded) said...

Wow, everything looks awesome at Tast of the Nation. I was kind of bummed when I didn't score tickets to the local event near me, but then I realized that there probably wouldn't be much for a vegan to eat anyway. Hopefully someone else will get to enjoy it! Have a great week. :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

This is a RIDIC amazing post, Erica!!!! Wow girl! I love it!! I love these types of outdoor festivals and fairs, soooo much fun! THis is what summer is all about to me. And it brings back great childhood memories, too, of eating corn on the cob and greasy mini donuts LOL.

Thx for the info about the Polar and that the Garmin doesnt work as well indoors. THat just saved me about $300. You rock!

xoxo

Sweet and Savory said...

Lucky you, getting to cover this event! So much fun! The food looks incrediable:)

Julie said...

Wow...what a fun time! Very nice pics, makes me wish I was there :)

Juliana said...

Wow, what a nice event...and the food looks awesome...enjoyed a lot the pictures :-)

homecookedem said...

So jealous!! Everything looks amazing. So glad you got to have such a fun foodie experience!! :)

Julie said...

WHY was i not your guest. SO not fair. i don't think we can be friends anymore.

haha i keed.

it looks like a fabulous time with mama and auntie!

is it wrong for me to admit that barefoot white zin is my fav wine and that i can't stand the melting pot? i know its a tragedy

but that hummus on the other hand? o.m.f.g. hahah

glad you had such a fun time girlfraaand

tam said...

looks like a fab event and loads of fun, and the sun must of made it even better! I love the carved fruit! x x

Kristen said...

Yay for good food and good vino! How much fun!

BroccoliHut said...

What a fun way to spend the afternoon! I would have had the same reaction had I seen the Melting Pot booth!

Esi said...

How fun!! I've always wanted to go to this...tickets are so expensive. Hey! I'm coming to SC in October!!

Amanda said...

i am so jealous. so so so so jealous. thanks for sharing the awesome foods and pictures!

*Naomi* said...

so so so fun and awesome! I love isreali cous cous!! that is a grain I def don't use enough!!!!

i want taste of the nation to come to boston!

Maria said...

First of all, I am so jealous that you are in a cute little summer dress. I would LOVE some warm weather and sun. Anyways, glad you had fun. Looks like an amazing event.

Side note-I am loving Body Pump 73! It's a tough one, but it in a good way!!

RhodeyGirl said...

Looks like such a blast!!!! Fun girls' date!

Krista said...

What a FABULOUS sounding event!!! Eveything looks marvelous...

lesley lifting life said...

That looks and sounds amazing, Erica!! I'm glad I got to vicariously live through your pictures!! : ) haha.

Thanks so much for the bridal shower suggestions too, I appreciate them VERY much! I might be e-mailing you closer to the shower, we'll see ... so beware ; ) THANKS!

Kelsey said...

smoke on the water.. don't know why but i love that. hehe

that event looked fantastic.. and sunny too! lucky gal :) <3

Heatha said...

You and I are similar - I would have headed straight to the desserts, too!! Haha.
And that's a great picture of the 3 of you!!

Lauren @ Eater not a runner said...

Looks like a delicious event to me!

Holly said...

Everything looks absolutely beautiful! How fun that you were able to enjoy it with your mom and your aunt. And I've still never been to the Melting Pot....I'm dying to eat there!!! LOVE seeing strawberry dishes. This makes me want some berries so badly!

Lindsay @ http://pancakesnpajamas.blogspot.com/ said...

Love that dress Erica! Don't you wish we had a Melting Pot here? I'd be in serious trouble. I need more info on this whipped hummus. Sounds incredible!

Lauren said...

Oh my, this was out of this world! First, before I forget to say this, you look ADORABLE!!!!! That dress is so cute and you look so beautiful in it. And now, this event is my kind of thing. An entire day devoted to exquisite cuisine and delectable restaurants. Sign me up! :)

Glad you got the chance to experience this. :)

Yum Yucky said...

You are one lucky woman. Surely I would have gone hungry-postal with all that lovely beautiful food around. And then been kicked out of Food Buzz? maybe.

Megan D said...

Ohh how I love Melting Pot. Taste of the Nation looks so incredible!

Stacey said...

What a fantastic time and looks like the weather was really nice. That watermelon display was pretty spectacular.

Stephanie @cookinfanatic said...

wow girl, looks like such a great time!! all the food sounds incredible too, glad you got to taste some yummy treats :D

Fashion Meets Food said...

Wow that looks like an absolute blast! I am totally jealous of you!

xo

Jessica said...

That looks like soooooo much fun! What a great way to learn about different eateries. The weather looked great too : )

Lauren @ Health on the Run said...

Sounds like such a horrible problem...having to stick to the desserts! ;)

Everything looked amazing and I loved the variety in restaurants as well as dishes. Thanks for posting all the mouth-watering pictures. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous :)

Hailey S. said...

I went to Tast of the Nation last summer in Salt Lake City and it was amazing and the people and to support such a great cause just feels good. Love the bloggy by the way! -Hailey-

Anne Marie said...

Wow-looks like an incredible time!

Jessica said...

What an awesome event! I would totally overeat at that! Went to something similar last summer, without the beer...could have made it a bit better! ;)

Beth @ DiningAndDishing said...

What an awesome event! I would love to attend that one day. Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves and that you were able to find lots of meatless dessert options :).

Ana said...

Soooo much good food.. jealous ;) Looks like it was a blast!! And that food decor is beautiful!!!

Hope you are having a great day!

insideiamdancing said...

Everything looks amazing- what a fun event to go to!!!! The sweet potato souffle and bread pudding look incredible...yum.

have a great Tuesday!

Katie said...

Ooh, lucky you! That looks like such a fun event, made even more so by going with your mom and aunt!

Everything looks so good... especially the hummus and Israeli couscous. Ari would have been ALL over that Ruth's Chris... it's his favorite!

Staci Dombroski said...

Man I wish I was there!!! It looked like it was awesome! I love our downtown too :)

Dawn (HealthySDLiving) said...

Looks like such a great time! I want a lover tini! :)

glidingcalm said...

What a fun event!!! Desserts plus wine?! Me like!


Love you Erica!!

teresa said...

what a blast! i remember getting that same fondue last time i was at the melting pot, droool, so good!

your dress is adorable!

Sarah said...

Oh yum that DOES look like a delicious event! I think I'd have been in love with the strawberry tiramisu as well. Mmmm yum yum, and the rose you tasted- I'm sure it was so crisp and refreshing.

What a great opportunity to spend time with your mom and aunt!

inmytummy said...

That looks like fun.

Jason's parents live 45 minutes from Greenville, but I've never been. (I mean to Greenville, not his parents house.)

inmytummy said...

That looks like fun.

Jason's parents live 45 minutes from Greenville, but I've never been. (I mean to Greenville, not his parents house.)

Angharad said...

That looks like complete heaven! And did I spy a British and English flag in there?! Wonder what they were selling...(guesses: sausages, cornish pasties, pork pies, cheese)

Glad you had so much fun!

Holly said...

OMG. strawberry daiquiri tiramisu? you have GOT to be kidding me. that looks ridiculously AMAZING!

and you, your mom and aunt are so adorable! i am so glad you got the chance to go and cover this - what a FUN opportunity!

happy wednesday love :)

Kerstin said...

What a cool event! I hope you recreate the hummus because it sounds so tasty!

simplyshaka said...

Looks like you had a great time and holy eats!!

I love Greenville's main street area-it's so cute and lots of adorable shops!