After the holidays, many people are watching their waistlines and their budgets. But now through Jan. 20, Restaurant Week SC is tempting taste buds with delicious deals.
About 250 restaurants across the state are offering fixed-price menus to experience South Carolina’s culinary scene without breaking the budget. South Carolina Restaurants and Lodging Association has hosted this 11-day food fest for 10 years, but it’s the second year for York County restaurants to come to the table with six options.
The Pump House on the Catawba River in Rock Hill participated in Restaurant Week SC last year and returns in 2019, serving up its tried-and-true staples in a three-course meal for $30 per person.
“We’re known for our fried green tomatoes, they’re dredged in cracker meal and topped with our warm house-made pimiento cheese and served with our smoked poblano ranch,” Pump House sales and marketing manager Angela Jarrahi said. “People love our shrimp and grits with our creole white wine sauce and our gluten-free Cheerwine chocolate cake.”
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Since it opened in March 2016, The Pump House has participated in Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week — so it’s familiar with the protocol. Diners will choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert from the restaurant’s daily menu, without paying full price.
Jarrahi said The Pump House is often seen as a special occasions restaurant, and Restaurant Week SC broadens its dining audience.
“We want to be able to get our name out there to people who don’t dine with us all the time,” she said. “We want everyone to come out and have this experience and know it’s going to be affordable.”
Flipside co-owner and chef Jon Fortes also has been a part of Charlotte’s restaurant week, running Jan. 18-27. He is eager to begin his first year with Restaurant Week SC. Both locations, Flipside Restaurant in Rock Hill and Flipside Café in Fort Mill, will serve a three- course meal for $32.
For the first course, diners choose any salad or soup from the Flipside’s daily menu, including a butternut squash soup or a pistachio and goat cheese salad with apples and dried cherries served on local spinach from Morning Glory Farm.
“The staple on our menu is the 24-hour braised short ribs. It comes with a farro risotto, braised carrots, buttermilk-fried onions and a crème fraiche,” Fortes said. “We’ll have all of our desserts, the most popular are the pumpkin cheesecake and our maple bourbon crème brûlée.”
As a restaurant owner, Fortes knows January is typically softer in sales than other times of the year.
“Events like this really bring business to restaurants at a time when restaurants are typically a little bit slower,” he said.
Hobo’s owner Jason Cloud said people are usually pinching pennies after Christmas and looking for the best deals.
Located on Main Street in downtown Fort Mill, Hobo’s is more casual — serving up hand-spun milkshakes, burgers and craft beers from across the Carolinas. Diners can enjoy an appetizer and entrée for $15 during Restaurant Week SC.
“Our most popular appetizer is our pig chips,” Cloud said. “They’re our pub chips topped with house-made queso, pulled pork, slaw, jalapenos and anchovy barbecue sauce.”
Legal Remedy Brewing Co. in Rock Hill, The Shore Club at Tega Cay and Towne Taverns Restaurants’ three York County locations are also participating in Restaurant Week SC.
The York County restaurants came on board thanks to Visit York County and Olde English District Tourism Commission partnering with the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.
“Restaurant Week gives food lovers the opportunity to experience special lunches and dinners in the state’s casual and high-end restaurants,” Visit York County marketing and communications senior vice president Sonja Burris said. “It’s a win-win for the local economy and diners.”