I just got back from visiting my brother at Clemson University. He’s in the PhD (aka I’m never leaving college) program in Engineering. So proud! Anywho, I drug his genius self and his girlfriend all over the countryside yesterday. We chowed at Grits and Groceries for lunch, stared at fat cows and oggled cheese a Happy Cow Creamery and played with baby goats at Split Creek Goat Farm. So much fun!
Grits an Groceries is in Belton, South Carolina. What’s in Belton you ask? This restaurant and that’s about it for miles around. Oh, and a big chicken, but that’s technically part of the restaurant too. People drive crazy distances to eat Heidi and Joe Trull’s fare. Heidi is a trained chef and owned her own restaurant in New Orleans and Joe was the pastry chef at Emeril Lagasse’s Nola in New Orleans before they moved back to South Carolina to raise their son and tickle the tummies of the masses. Let me tell you, they can cook up some damn good southern food and have gravy down to a science. I had Beef Roast and Gravy on Texas Toast and I could have eaten it all day long. My brother and his gal pal ordered the pork roast and gravy with steamed veggies (probably from the restaurant garden out back) and rice and corn bread. We all split grits and cheese with tomato gravy (think chunky tomato soup with veggies over grit cake) and Praline bacon (as good as it sounds). And we passed around a piece of Joe’s Key Lime and Coconut Cheesecake. Soooo worth the trip out to BFE.
Then to Happy Cow, which aside from the mega fat cows who were not at all interested in us, the wooden cut out cow that we milked (yes, we did) and a huge selection of their cheese, butter and milks, the place was extremely below our expectations. I’d recommend calling ahead for a behind the scenes tour. Side note: my buddy and South Carolina potter, Greg Patton, makes the butter dishes they sell in the shop there. Love them!!!
On to the cuddly goat farm where we knew petting little critters was guaranteed. There were two new additions to the goat herd- three days old! We couldn’t touch them but did get to love on the older babies and they were so cute! They kept sucking on our fingers. My child found a couple of barn cats to love on and a few baby chicks that had just hatched… Like tiny yellow cotton balls. You’ve gotta go to this place!
Then we hit up the Tuesday afternoon Farmers Market at the Filling Station. Funny thing was that Joe from Grits and Groceries was there as well as the guys from Split Creek! (No goats.) there’s a chef’s challenge at this market were the chefs use produce etc from the market to whip up dishes and then people at the market pay $2 and can judge the dishes. We didn’t stay for the event but made a mental note for next time.
Then we crashed. These southern summers with all the heat plus humidity are ROUGH!
Today I got the grand tour of Clemson Univ, had lunch at The Esso (veggie plate with broccoli and cheese casserole, fried okra and steamed cabbage and cornbread was off the chain). I was too full for the campus
made ice cream but snagged some of Clemson’s famous Blue Cheese before hugs and kisses goodbye. We ate it on fresh tomatoes for dinner and it is the best blue cheese ever.
My fingers are going to sleep from pecking out this post from my recline state in my bed. My new keyboard arrives tomorrow! Then my superman husband can replace the one I destroyed with coffee and I can get on with my life. Sigh. I miss my laptop!