I've been waiting for Fall for Greenville since we moved here, and this weekend it finally happened! We missed it last year by about two weeks, and even though I brushed it off at the time...I was disappointed! I knew that Steve would have to love Greenville (and living here) if he experienced this awesome festival...alas, it was not to be. Until this past Saturday :)
My awesome sister agreed to cart us downtown (and she even came and picked us up later!) to save on cab fare (no way were we going to drive, pay for parking, and end up having to cab it home anyway). Once there, we purchased our wristbands and tickets and wandered down North Main toward the beer garden. Of course, first things first, we had to eat! And the great thing about Fall for Greenville are the over three dozen restaurants who have booths featuring some of their menu favorites.
Our first stop was the Brown Street Club booth, where Steve sampled the crab fritters and I had the Flatbread Brisket Sandwich. My choice was exceptional but I think Steve was a bit disappointed with his fritters--more because of the quantity than the quality. He was still hungry, so we also grabbed a piece of pizza from the Barley's booth. We'd heard great things about Barley's pizza...thankfully the piece we had was hot and fresh, but to be completely honest we still aren't falling all over ourselves for what Southerners call "good pizza".
And then it was Beer Garden time! There were over a dozen small-batch breweries featured in the Beer Garden, so we each had a couple of beers and enjoyed some live music before heading down South Main to check out the rest of the goings-on. One thing I will say about Fall for Greenville is that I wish it wasn't so completely food-oriented--although I absolutely love that about this festival, there was still plenty of room for craft booths and the like and I wish these browsing options had existed.
We walked all the way down to the stage at the entrance to Falls Park, where we listened for a few minutes to a band that had far too many members (seriously, there were like four guys on guitar, a drummer, a singer, and someone playing tambourine? it was all just too much) and then decided to head back to the Beer Garden. We even ran into some acquaintances who tipped us off on the Beer Sampler! For 6 tickets--the same "price" as a craft beer--you could sample seven beers. These seven samples probably added up to just a few more ounces than one cup of beer, but it was still a great option and led to us tasting far more beers than we would have otherwise (after all, RJ Rockers was there with their Son of a Peach, and we all know I can't pass that up!). I think our overall favorites were Abita's Andygator and Magic Hat's Odd Notion.
Unfortunately, it was after 8 PM at this point and that meant that the booths were beginning to shut down (or at least, the Beer Garden booths were). We had caught up with some friends at this point and decided to check out an as-yet undiscovered restaurant (to Steve and I, anyway). A group of us made our way to the West End, where we climbed some indiscriminate stairs to Chicora Alley. This bar/restaurant wasn't very crowded and didn't have any music, but the prices were right, the menu had a wide selection, and the food we tasted (sweet potato fries and fried mac and cheese) was delicious. Definitely a place we will return to!
After scarfing down our food (between a small-ish early "dinner" and all that beer we drank, we were starving!) and having a beer each, our group had decided to relocate back to North Main. We don't much care for the bar they decided on (Sharkey's) so when my sister called asking if we wanted a ride home, we took her up on that. This was probably a good idea anyway, as we were exhausted--it was only about 11 PM, but those first beers we'd enjoyed were at 5:30...and well, we're getting old. So it was an "early" night for us, but we definitely had an awesome time. Between the great prices (food samples ranged from $2.50 to $3.25 each; craft beers were $3.75), the huge selection of snacks and drinks, and the live music every couple of blocks, it was basically impossible to not Fall for Greenville :)