Monday, March 21, 2011

Greenville Grub Notes

Here are the last of my Greenville reviews, at least until Sister Foodie and I paint the town again.

Since we visited a couple of spots for quick bites, I'll make them quick critiques.

Breakfast at Greenfield's Bagels was a nice surprise.  Who would have thought you could find a decent bagel in this neck of the woods?  We both agreed the bagels were boiled, then baked, which gave them a passing grade for authenticity, sparing them the "fagel" label.  You may recall from my recent Tampa bagel review that fagel is the Food and Loathing term for fake bagel, a.k.a., Einstein's. 

Greenfield's star product met the right balance of crispy outside, chewy inside.   So, if you are in the area and craving an authentic bagel, this is a good choice.  Do not, however, expect a robust breakfast menu.  For breakfast, bagels and an assortment of smoked fish and spreads are the offerings of the day and you'll enjoy them in a neighborhood deli atmosphere that's conducive to reading the newspaper and slurping down coffee.  Aside from bagels, lunch sandwiches seem to be their specialty.

Restaurant Info:
Greenfield's Bagels and Deli
101 Verdae Boulevard, Suite 180
Greenville, SC
Greenfield's Bagels & Deli on Urbanspoon

Now, jumping over to another place that offers a specialty:  soft pretzels at Bavarian Pretzel Factory.   

A pretzel operation outside of a mall or ballpark?  This I had to see. 

First of all, this spot is a restaurant and bakery that occupies a corner location of a small strip center.  Upon entering, we walked past a few rows of long beer-hall tables before reaching the counter and bakery case.  The decor reflects feminine touches:  wavy blue and yellow valances top the windows, and seat cushions in matching fabric pad hard wooden benches.  A German radio station played in the background while a woman I assume was the owner busily tended to a handful of customers while lifting sheet pans of pretzels and breads in and out of the oven. 

A few lunch specials and soups were listed on a chalkboard and a more elaborate menu of German dishes was posted on a board behind the counter.  Sister and I both ordered soft pretzels, which the counter lady explained were nothing like those in the mall.  No kidding.  They were worse.  These were seriously chewy in an unpleasant way.  While Sister and I pondered whether this possibly could be the outcome the baker intended, we chewed and chewed and chewed, then washed the weirdly firm, dry and tasteless pretzels down with German beer.  In hopes of adding some flavor to the pretzel, I requested mustard, which was unexpectedly and disappointingly sweet.  The kind lady at the counter told me they have a special cheese spread that is a pleasing pretzel accompaniment but they were out of it and she needed to make more. 

Things at Bavarian Pretzel Factory may have been slow for a reason.  A man dining solo next to us sent back a plate of food to be heated. 

As we left, I asked Sister, who has visited Germany, if that's how true German pretzels are supposed to taste.   She doesn't recall eating pretzels in Germany, but she sure as heck remembers the beer.

Restaurant Info:
Bavarian Pretzel Factory
1106 Woodruff Road
Greenville, SC
Bavarian Pretzel Factory on Urbanspoon


  1. You must have caught BPF at a bad time - their pretzels are always top notch when I get them! Crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside... perfect for beer and spicy mustard (which they make in house.. did you ask?) They have a great lineup of cakes and pastries too.. best apple strudel I've ever had! Give them another try sometime!

    Greenfields bagels FTW - spot on review of those!

  2. Thanks, Lucas. If any other readers are fans of BPF, speak up! Let's hear from you. Comment! Maybe I hit them on an off day. I know a lot of hard work is going into the place and despite my blunt review, I wish them well. I will drop in again on my next visit and I hope the place is packed.

  3. Don't confuse a true German pretzel with those at the mall..... a real pretzel should be more like a bread than a treat!

  4. OK, you went to the Bavarian Pretzel Factory and you are just writing about the pretzels. You did not try any of the German items on the menu, you did not see or try any of the breads that they sell to Whole Foods and you passed the cakes and pastries? This is a small authentic German bakery, no americanized junk food place supplied by Sysco, US food or other food industry conglomerates. Let me tell you, you missed the whole thing. We like the BPF and we appreciate the quality of food. And if they are out of something it's just a sign that they are preparing everything fresh from scratch not from pre packed pre cooked frozen packages like the other franchises. We need small food joints with individual food items prepared healthy in a clean environment. If you disagree, go across the street and wait 40min to be served with real american crap food.

  5. @Germanfoodlover - My blog is a clear indicator that I prefer independent restaurants, but that doesn't change the taste and texture of that pretzel. In case I hit them on a bad day (and since I live in Florida) I sent my sister and a friend back in there to try again. This time the pretzel was disfigured and WET!

    Now, for the bread: I didn't write about it in this review, but I bought a loaf that day and we had it with dinner. It was dry and hard.

    I didn't "miss the whole thing." I tried their signature item and I didn't like it. "American crap food" has nothing to do with it. You have a nice selection of innovative independents to choose from in your lovely city, so I don't feel the need to chain it when I visit, thank you very much.