We'd all love to pretend we're Real Housewives of (enter city of your choice here) and take three-hour Skinnygirl Margarita lunches, but the reality is that we're lucky to have an hour for lunch—and don't even think about that margarita. Here are some places that'll get you in and out with enough time to stuff your face, dash back to the office and, if there's any time left, take a power nap at your desk before you attack the rest of the work day.
Places to grab your lunch and go
By Yvonne ZuselMetromix
June 23, 2010
The menu is full of gourmet sandwiches and meal-sized salads. Some of their signature sandwiches are the portabella grilled sandwich, grilled meatloaf sandwich on sourdough, quesadillas. They also have a deli case filled with wraps, and various salads, such as chicken salad, egg salad, pasta salad and fruit salad. Fresh desserts and gourmet takeout meals are on site as well. Put together a gift basket in the small giftshop.
The philosophy at Jimmy John's is not so much fast food as it is food really fast. The downtown sandwich eatery's motto is "Subs so fast you'll freak," and general manager Tanisha Dodd says it's something of a challenge for the folks at Jimmy John's to see just how quickly they can serve the customers. "We want to freak them out and get them their subs in about 20 seconds," Dodd said. "Our main motto is getting you in and getting you out. We know people are on their lunch break." The sandwich shop, a Charleston-based franchise that opened last year in Greenville, features a dining room and an outside seating area, as well as delivery to a one-mile radius around the store. Gourmet sandwiches are the hallmark of the restaurant, and the menu includes subs, clubs and "Plain Slims," which are sub sandwiches without the toppings. The most popular items, Dodd said, are the giant club sandwiches ($5.50), which feature double portions of meat on either a French sub roll or wheat bread. The Italian Night Club has Genoa salami, Italian capicola, smoked ham and provolone cheese, and many customers like to add hot peppers, Dodd said. People who are extra-hungry often order the JJ Gargantuan ($7.50), a hearty eight-inch sandwich that boasts Genoa salami, smoked ham, capicola, roast beef and turkey. Other sub choices include Totally Tuna ($4.50), a tuna salad sandwich with alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, lettuce and tomato; and the Vegetarian ($4.50), featuring provolone cheese, avocado spread, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and tomato. Diners who prefer to eat a low-carb diet often choose the JJ Unwich, a sub wrapped in lettuce rather than bread. For dessert, customers can order giant cookies, either chocolate chunk or oatmeal raisin. Jimmy John's is located at 141 E. McBee Ave., and it's open from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. The restaurant seats about 50 people, and catering is available. Call 864-241-8661.
Located right downtown, Quiznos is a convenient spot for lunch or early dinner. This fast food establishment is best known for their toasted sub sandwiches, but they also offer salads and soups, including selections for those watching their calories. There are a few tables available outside for watching the bustling streets of Greenville while eating.
It’s the place on Main Street with the red and white striped awning. It’s connected to Sushi Murasaki and available for eating in or taking out. The menu includes traditional beef, chicken and pork dishes, along with a good sized selection of veggie dishes. It has a healthy lunch business, but the service is fast, so you won’t wait too long for a table. Dinner portions are considerably larger than lunch portions, so you’ll probably be able to take some home for lunch the next day.
If you’re tired of a certain other sub place, the Augusta Road location of this slightly younger competitor is a good stop for a quick lunch or dinner to go. Firehouse uses a steamer to heat their subs instead of a microwave in an effort to preserve the flavors of their meats and cheeses. In addition to classics like the Hero and the Meatball, Firehouse offers more original sub concoctions including a “New York Steamer” (Corned Beef/Pastrami) and the “Engine Company” (Turkey Breast/Roast Beef). Cold Subs, Salads, and award-winning chili are also available. Firehouse offers a catering menu for those planning a party.
The “Five guys” may not be famous but their burgers and fries definitely are and with good reason. Their burgers and fries are made with never-frozen ingredients that are hand patted and cut respectively. That means they don’t contain any preservatives. Even for a burger joint, this is healthier than what you’d find at a fast food restaurant. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can wait for your order with a handful of complimentary peanuts while you watch them prepare the burgers and their specialty Cajun fries in their open kitchen.
Part of a long-standing Greenville chain, Como’s Pete’s is one of the most comfortable and inexpensive places to eat in Greenville’s Augusta Road area. You’ll be greeted warmly when you walk in and a waitress will quickly take your order. The menu is full of familiar favorites like the pimento cheeseburger and an assortment of hot dogs; don’t forget to try the fried apple pie. Don’t worry vegetarians, salads are also available. Order a large iced tea and not only will you get a full glass but a pitcher of your very own for refills. A mural in the parking celebrates Pete’s roots and its decades of being a presence in the lives of Greenville diners. Nominated for Best Burger and Best Restaurant to Cure a Hangover 2011.
American fare, including salads and soups. Features are the sandwiches such as the blackened salmon caesar, kudzu corner wrap, “CJ Belly Buster Burger.” Daily specials and desserts available. Beer and wine is available.
Savoury Corner specializes in lunch, offering soups, sandwiches, boxed lunches on the go and takeout items. Well-known menu items are zucchini squares and cheddar stars. Nominated for Best Cheap Eats 2011.
Soby's On The Side is a deli-bakery serving breakfast, lunch and a variety of pastries and desserts. Breakfast includes custom-blended coffees and breakfast cuisine from egg, ham and cheese croissants to muffins. Lunch fare includes soups, salads, and original sandwiches. They have boxed lunches to go. A favorite is the Asian chicken salad, their shrimp and oyster po boys, or any of their specialty sandwiches. The she crab soup is a staple as well.
Barley’s is a staple and features build-your-own pizzas and calzones with fresh ingredients including roasted red peppers, artichokes, spinach, black beans, beefalo, green chilies, sundried tomatoes and olives, plus the staple ingredients like pepperoni and mushrooms. They use a lot of garlic, which makes their pizzas fabulous. You can get whole wheat crust on whole pizzas; otherwise their sourdough crust is served up. Specialty pizzas like the Caribbean chicken with smoked gouda, thai chicken to go along with the 64 beers on tap plus specialty bottles. And they have one of the best jukeboxes in town. Metromix readers voted Barley's Best Bar for Beer 2010 and Best Pizza in 2011; Barley's was also nominated for Best Bar and Best Guys Night Out Bar 2011.
This pizza and sub shop located in the historic Carpenter’s Drugstore building serves up thin crust pizzas with several toppings to choose from. But more diverse is their grinder sandwich selection. There are 28 to choose from including Chicago style and Philly cheese steak. Pastas are also available. They serve beer, wine and coffee as well as ice cream.
Is this Greenville? Are we still in South Carolina? You might not think so if you step into Middle Eastern bistro the Pita House. This restaurant is family-owned and has been in Greenville since 1989. That’s a lot of years spent making great Middle Eastern food from scratch daily. Try the hummus or the falafel. If you’re having a hard time deciding, try the sampler plate and enjoy everything they have to offer. There is also a grocery attached to the store if you feel brave enough to try to make these delicacies at home. Metromix readers voted Pita House Best Cheap Eats 2010.
The easiest way to find Henry’s Smokehouse is to simply drive down Wade Hampton Boulevard with your car windows down. You’ll know you’re close as the unmistakable scent of smoked barbeque hits your nose. Simply follow the delicious aroma right to Henry’s door and step inside. From the statue of the pig overlooking the sweet tea to the original velvet Elvis painting on the wall, there’s no question about the authenticity of Henry’s pulled pork barbeque. If you’re hungry, there’s no shame in ordering “The Hog Sandwich Plate.” Pulled pork piled high next to the cole slaw and baked beans has never looked so good. Simply line up the choices of sauce, sample them, find your favorite and dig in. Extra napkins are at the counter. Metromix readers voted Henry's Smokehouse Best BBQ 2010.
If you’ve ever been to a New York Jewish deli and wished there were places like it down South, you’re in luck. Greenfield’s is a N.Y. Kosher style deli aiming to please all comers. They primarily serve breakfast and lunch, but the reubens and rachels are so good you’d want to save one for dinner. What’s a Rachel? It’s a corned-beef sandwich like the Reuben but with cole slaw. Greenfield’s has a Web site and also accepts major credit cards and even personal checks, so you can start your morning off even easier.
There isn’t much that’s easier or faster or cheaper than Taco Casa. If there is a place with the same characteristics, the food is probably not as surprisingly good. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they get your order out. The likelihood of having to wait more than 20 seconds after placing your order is slim. The order gets out of your mouth, you pay and the next thing you know you’re food is being placed in front of you. Be sure to save room for their cinnamon crisps. You’ll want to bring cash because that’s all they accept. Metromix readers voted Taco Casa Best Cheap Eats 2011; they were also nominated for Best Restaurant to Cure a Hangover 2011.
Features Northern Indian cuisine, dishes include tandoori, korma, masala, and vandaloo dishes with choices of lamb, beef, chicken or pork. Goat is also popular. Their extensive lunch buffet is extremely popular. Beer and wine served.
Scratch is a takeout restaurant like no other. You can order healthy American foods online and have it delivered to you or you can pick it up. They offer the convenience of ordering what you want for the week, which is helpful since they are only open during the week. Popular items include their chicken and dumplings and their beef stroganoff.
Karrie’s Specialty Deli & Pub, formerly Karrie’s Kafe, is not only a top-notch deli but a great happy hour spot. Silence your hunger with the large array of classic deli sandwiches with freshly cut meats and breads, refreshing salads, homemade sides and stuffed spuds. Quench your thirst at the full bar with fresh beer on tap. They also offer platters for catering your next party, or bring the party to Karrie’s in their private banquet room.
Don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t like typical fast food. They offer a very wide variety of Vietnamese food and items can range significantly in prices, but it’s certainly worth it. The restaurant may be a bit quirky, but that is part of the restaurant’s charm. You can also slurp on a Bubble Tea while waiting for your order of pad thai, tom yum, papaya salad or pho noodle soup.
This bustling deli is a popular lunch spot in town. They don’t only serve lunch, however. They’re open for 12 hours daily. You could practically eat there for breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you don’t mind eating a sandwich or salad for breakfast). Even though Jason is the name on the restaurant he doesn’t get all the glory, the “Matt Bridge Panini” is a favorite among patrons. Jason’s Deli also caters, so if it’s delicious food your party needs, be sure to give them a call.
Melvena's rotating menu offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Southern comfort foods in a cafeteria-style setting. Melvena's also does catering.
This isn’t just a shop. They’re not just a restaurant. Duke’s is a company -- a company that makes delicious sandwiches, soups and wraps for the health conscious. What exactly makes the sandwiches so good? Many would say it’s their spreads. They have a good variety of spreads adding an extra kick to each bite. If you’re heading to a party and need to bring something for everyone to eat, Duke’s also offers party platters.
When hungry diners enter Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe in the Piazza Bergamo they are greeted with bright, welcoming colors in hues of orange and green. The cafe offers a wide array of food all made-to-order. Owner Loretta Stephens says one of the top menu items is the Bangkok Thai wrap, which is a spinach tortilla wrapped around grilled chicken breast, provolone cheese, greens, carrots, crunchy noodles, water chestnuts and sesame dressing. Other top sellers include the chicken salad and the apple-walnut tuna salad. These spreads can be served on a sandwich with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, sunflower seeds and sprouts or on a bed of lettuce. There are also paninis and flatbread pizzas.
Two Samuels, formerly Ribault Street Catering and Eatery, features casual lunch and more formal dinner experiences. The evening Southern American menu changes weekly and is kept relatively small. All menu items are offered with suggested wine pairings.
Groucho’s Deli, located directly across the street from Wild Wing Cafe, offers a variety of deli sandwiches, salads and even hotdogs. The owner brought the Columbia franchise here, attracting college students and businessmen and women alike. The restaurant got its name because its founder, Harold Miller, bore a close resemblance to Groucho Marx.
Every night features a drink special or entertainment option. Expect large crowds on Thursday through Saturday nights. The main bar is upstairs, where people tend to congregate more for ballgame watching or booty shaking. The full menu features great bar food with excellent wings of many flavors to choose from. You can design your own burger and top it with any of the wing sauces. Metromix readers voted Wild Wing Cafe for Best Wings 2010; Wild Wing Cafe was nominated for Best Guys Night Out Bar 2011.