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Le Spice The Great Melting Pot Goes Uptown At LeSpice in Spartanburg, S.C. Seeking The Best Food in South Carolina

 

What’s up With Meg?

I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.

Why This Stop?

Tasty Tuesday This stop falls in the category of seeking the best food dishes SC has to offer.

If you are reading this, I would bet that you have seen this quote in one form or another. Travel is fatal to prejudicebigotry, and narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s life.” –Mark Twain

But, not everyone has the bucks to get out of town, to taste a croissant in France, or gaze at The Grand Palace of Bangkok. But, we all can be inspired by travel even if we cannot afford to go anywhere. Sometimes, we just have to look a little closer at what is in our own backyards.

What do you get when A Chef who has studied culinary arts and has also been classically French trained to be a Pastry Chef with degrees in both *pâtisserie and in bread baking, who meets a power woman originally from Thailand, who becomes a successful sous-chef in her own right, with an interest in fresh, organic, local foods that impact healthful eating?   Le Spice   *(from the Institut National de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie (INBP) in France,)

The result of a commitment to being near family has brought this couple from Miami to Spartanburg SC to create their concept restaurant. Described on their website “as a fresh, local, contemporary kitchen and Artisan Bakery with French & Thai influences…” [1]

There are many ways to describe experiencing this eatery by calling it eclectic, international fusion, French-Thai-Southern fusion, concept restaurant but I likened a visit to Le Spice to be like buckling up and traveling to a far-off exotic place.  Here in the Upstate of South Carolina, we are lucky to have one such place with two locations. Sometimes, some of the best things in life get tossed into the soup pot and all mixed into one glorious result. French-Thai fusion,  with a few not “yo daddy’s southern dishes.” Think of dishes such as roasted Duck with sriracha aioli, red onion jam, and cilantro on a house-baked Brioche Bun. or ribs to salads with a happy ending of pastries and desserts.

Newly opened in the progressive downtown area is Le Spice Downtown, this spot is filled with art, bookshops, restaurants, breweries, and a new 5star hotel.

Located on the Main Street in Spartanburg in the former Dottie Toffee Building, the newly opened Le Spice location is putting its mark on the culinary scene.

The interior is quite bare with several cafe-style tables, I note that there are a few tables outdoors as well. Two cases of pastries, bread, rolls, cookies, and other goodies entice you to consider dessert or take-out.

lespicedessert

Pastry Dishes of Le Spice, Spartanburg downtown location

The menu is eye candy for the culinary enthusiast. So while my eyes went gaga, my brain had the difficult task of processing the culinary possibilities.

The starter menu is no exception. With choices such as; cheese and charcuterie boards, small plates the likes of Escargot, Duck Terrine, Lamb Turmeric, Tropical Ahi Tuna, soups, and salads, there are just so many items to try. I was able to taste the caramelized onion French Soup and it was really tasty, and for once, without too much salt.  Although I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the cheese, I loved it.

lespicesoup

French Onion Soup at Le Spice in Spartanburg

Warm Goat Cheese Salad.  I put most of my goat cheese onto the salad and it was extremely flavorful.  $12

lespicesalad

Warm Goat Cheese Salad from the Downtown location of Le Spice in Spartanburg SC

With a side of Artisan Bread Topped with Warm Goat Cheese, and served on a Bed of Organic Mixed Greens, Pork Belly Mixed Dried Fruits, Grapes, Clover Honey, and the House-made Balsamic Dressing, I loved it.

From the dinner entrée menu, the choices are really interesting. From Mussels to Steak Champignon, Fish, Vegetarian Options, “on the bun” items, Dinner Salads, Pasta, and of course, the desserts, it was really hard to choose.

lespiceribs

Garlic Ribs from LeSpice Spartanburg Downtown Location

The Garlic Pork Ribs with Mashed Potatoes.   With three on the plate at a price point of $15, these ribs were extremely tasty. There are also many add-on options such as asparagus, green beans, and side salads

For the grand finale, this Japanese cheesecake.  It is not really cheesecake but more like a sponge cake. It is also supposed to be less sweet than traditional cheesecake.  I had never tried this dessert before.  So, you may want to know this fact before you try the cheesecake. It kind of reminded me of an orange Peep.

lespice dessert

Japanese Cheesecake at Le Spice Spartanburg S.C.

MEGastars  – 4 **** Downtown Spartanburg is happening and I am glad that this couple is able to bring me fantastic dishes. I will be going back to try many items on their menu. I love that there is something for everyone’s budget. Simply delicious and exciting flavors. I went with my husband who felt the food deserved a 5 star. However, to me, the mashed potatoes were quite sticky.

MEGathoughts– Especially in this day of horrible division in our country, I encourage all of you to put on your groovy oneness goggles and” Imagine.” Practicing oneness during a time of us vs them isn’t difficult but it takes practice. We are more alike than different. Start with simple thoughts such as, we all eat, we all wake up in the morning, kids go to school, and the sun does set. Spread Kumbaya, parents, teach your children well. Go to the library and take a trip with books. Have kids? expose them to other cultures with books, international food fairs, and discussion.

Follow up with a visit to LeSpice.  For the price of a 10 piece Chicken McNugget Meal, give your kid a crepe and talk about what it would be like to eat that crepe in France. With optimism anything is possible.

MEGatips

  1. [1] Facebook, Instagram, and website Le Spice Downtown Link
  2. Open your mind one dish at a time and try new foods.
  3. I was told that The Thai Curry Bowl and the Bang Bang Bahn Mi is a house specialty and a customer favorite. And a bacon cookie.
  4. Per the staff, the website menu for the downtown location is being developed.  I would recommend checking it before your visit to ensure that it meets your style of eating. The menu may be mind-blowing for those not accustomed to creative dishes.
  5. LeSpice on the West side of town has fantastic reviews and has earned the restaurant a Best of 2017” Spot. Please support their new evening menu and visit downtown Spartanburg.
  6. Let them know you like their food. A little birdy told me that Miami is a great place to live and a tough place to leave.
  7. Don’t miss the crepe menu, croissants, tarts. You may also custom order pies, tarts and other foods from the website.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.

Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina, as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way.

*I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab.  I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”

Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”

[1] sncksofjax.com

I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.  I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina.   This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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