Port Wentworth Friday Nights

For these lowcountry kayaking trips I often come down on Friday night so that I don’t have to get up so early on Saturday.  Wherever I am I like to find some place quirky and local for dinner, and this trip was no exception.

I checked at the front desk of the motel on I-95, and was informed that there were two good restaurants just up the street.  I scooted round the corner to the first, Silverado’s.

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The van, radio station banner, and balloons should have alerted me to trouble.  I walked in the door and was greeted by a plume of smoke, and a boozy greeting from a woman with stringy hair and fewer teeth than I have.

Well, howdy, you sharp-dressed man, and welcome to Silverado’s!  Have a seat on this here bar stool and buy me a drink!

No, thank you.  I had just driven all the way down straight from the office, and my slacks and white shirt stood out from the jeans and cowboy boots.  I glanced around.  Even if I had wanted to stay, none of the sparse tables between the pool tables and dance floor were available.

I guess the sign advertising Lingerie Lunch today should have also tipped me off.  I’d already missed it, and the smoke was more than I could bear, so I left.  I was after quirky, not hazardous. Continue reading “Port Wentworth Friday Nights”

Tupelo Honey Cafe

Karen B had said that we absolutely had to try Tupelo Honey Cafe for breakfast while we were in Asheville. She also warned that it was very popular, and that we needed to get there by 9:00 if we hoped to get seated. We arrived in time to get a couple of seats at the … Continue reading Tupelo Honey Cafe

The Green Room

This weekend is Restaurant Week in South Carolina. In towns around the state participating restaurants are offering special deals on limited menu items so that people will be enticed to try a new place.  Having been cooped up with snow all week, we decided to take advantage of this, so Sunday evening we met our … Continue reading The Green Room

Tron Legacy

For my birthday Chip got me a ticket to the midnight opening of Tron Legacy at our local iMax. So, last night (and into the wee hours of this morning) we set off for Simpsonville to rendezvous with several of his work friends to see the movie. We got to the theater a little after … Continue reading Tron Legacy

Korean BBQ

Laura had an evening meeting, so I was on my own for dinner. You know what that means – time to explore the local cuisine. In this case, it was hardly local in origin. I decided to try the Korean BBQ place just off of Woodruff Road.  No catchy name here – just “Tasty Korean … Continue reading Korean BBQ

Hans and Franz

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One of my paddling buddies accused me of posting “food porn.” Sorry, James, but here’s some more…

For months now I’ve seen signs for Doner Kabob, and have wondered about the food being advertised. To me, a kabob is meat on a stick with vegetables, cooked on a grill.  Little did I know that it’s actually a type of German sandwich, in this case sold from a large trailer that moves from place to place.

One of our office co-workers offered to get sandwiches for everyone at lunch, and they were quite good.  Mine was a very spicy turkey on a flat sort of bun.  Along with the discovery of the sandwich came the discovery of a new German restaurant in the community of Pelham.  So, with Laura out of town, tonight was the perfect night for my sister Glynda and I to give Hans and Franz a try.

Background

First, the building – this was one of the original 1860’s buildings for the Pelham Mills.  It was a barn structure to support the main mill, which made Confederate uniforms during that war.  For awhile recently Rocky Creek Bakery occupied the building.  Glynda and I had a couple of lunches here, and loved the old structure and wonderful bread.  We were both thrilled to see the new restaurant here.

It’s my understanding that Hans and Franz is an enterprise by the folks that own Addy’s Dutch Restaurant in downtown Greenville.  They have been wanting to branch out into German cuisine, which has been sorely lacking in the area since the demise of Haus Edleweiss.  While not owned by them, the Doner Kabob trailer works in partnership with the restaurant in a symbiotic relationship.

Continue reading “Hans and Franz”

Test-Driving the Eye-Fi Explore

Eye-Fi

I’ve been interested in these little gizmos for some time now. The Eye-Fi Explore is an SD card that will automagically upload your photos to your online photo service of choice whenever it comes within range of an open wireless network. Not only that, it uses some strange alchemy to geotag your photos each time you click the shutter. It sounded like the perfect photographic tool, but also the promises seemed too good to be true. I was hesitant to make the investment until I saw that Woot.com had one for a dirt-cheap price. I decided to give it a shot. I found it both to be about as amazing as I expected, and about as frustrating as I imagined.

Eye-FiThe Eye-Fi comes with the SD card (2 GB in my case, but available up to 8 GB) and a USB card reader, as shown above. The management software comes on the card itself, and automatically launches when the device is first plugged into the computer. The first thing I discovered is that you must have wireless access to configure the device. Just being connected to a computer with Internet access isn’t enough.

There are lots of parameters that can be set with the device. You can choose your photo hosting service (Flickr, in my case) and even set up separate routing for videos, so your photos may go to Flickr, but your videos to YouTube. You can set the device to connect and upload automatically to any wifi hotspot, or only when it comes within range of specified hotspots. I always like to edit my photos before they go public, so I set the privacy settings so that I would be the only one to see them on Flickr. You can also enable/disable geotagging.

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The most amazing thing is that this device actually works. I tried it in both my Fuji WP33 and my Nikon S70. It took photos, and when I turned the camera on in the presence of a wireless network, it uploaded the photos to my Flickr account without any interaction from me.

Continue reading “Test-Driving the Eye-Fi Explore”

Pho 99

Laura had a Furman function, so I was on my own for dinner. I was in the mood something savory, but also something that would accommodate sore braces. I was on my way home, planning to do something simple, when I spotted Pho 99. Soup, noodles, and soft meat sounded pretty good, so I turned … Continue reading Pho 99

Schwaben House

Schwaben House

I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I decided to try the only German restaurant in town, Schwaben House.

Background

Annette Heilmann-Ferro and Karl Heilmann, a brother and sister team, opened Schwaben House a year ago in February of 2009.  It’s located on Pelham Road in what used to be the Kabob House.

Schwabia is a region of Southern Germany that includes Bavaria.  As its name implies, the restaurant features cuisine from this area.

Atmosphere

So many German restaurants have rich wood finishes and paneling for that “Bavarian” feel.  That’s just not the case here.  The walls are light with a aqua green wainscot.  There are bits of Bavarian decor, but these don’t dominate the place. Continue reading “Schwaben House”

Nation’s Bakery

Nations Bakery

NOTE: This restaurant location has closed. The restaurant has moved to Inman, SC, and a Mexican restaurant has opened in this location.

It started with a box of cookies…

A new bakery opened just down the road in Lyman. Its signs touting “gourmet cuisine” have been taunting me for the past couple of months. I’ve even stopped by twice, only to be told that they were not yet ready to serve lunch, but soon… The smells of fresh-baked goods made it hard to walk out the door unsatisfied.

Then this morning one of my tech team brought a selection of cookies from Nations Bakery and told me that they were now open for lunch. The cookies were excellent, and I knew I had to give this place a try.

Background

Once upon a time this used to be a popular ice cream shop. Many years later it found new life as Don Pedro’s, a Mexican restaurant with fairly good food, but a scary interior. It didn’t fare so well, and the building has sat empty for the past couple of years.

As previously mentioned, work began remodeling the empty restaurant a couple of months ago. The bakery opened first, and the restaurant opened just after Christmas. Continue reading “Nation’s Bakery”