Chicora Alley Underwhelms

5-layer dip

5-layer dip

Last night Stew and I went to dinner at Chicora Alley, which describes its cuisine as an island-southern fusion. It’s a really popular restaurant among the Greenville crowd. Myself excluded. I’m not going to say very good things but I realize most of it has to do with my taste preferences. Most people love this place.

I kind of hate Chicora. In fact, I got food poisoning there the day before New Year’s Eve 2008 and haven’t really been able to stomach even the thought of going back. But I had a relatively pleasant experience about 6 months ago so I was ok heading back again. As long as I don’t order what I had the night of the food poisoning, I’m usually ok. Last night’s trip was actually my idea.

When we got there we were informed by a sign on the door that they were celebrating their 6-year anniversary with all-night happy hour, free nacho bar and live music. Sounds good.

For some reason we decided to start with the 5-layer dip–beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa. I think I assumed it would be like my mom’s. It was not. I don’t like queso at all and this was essentially just a bowl of queso topped with the other “layers.” I had a few chips and passed on the rest.

I ordered the Mideast Burger which is served open face on a toasted pita with homemade red pepper and black bean hummus and greens alongside sweet potato fries. Chicora is nice enough to offer vegetarian substitutions so I went with the black bean burger. Stew ordered a regular burger on a roasted red pepper bun.

There's a beef pattie under there

There's a beef patty under there

When the food arrived I moved my greens aside to discover that the burger was in fact a burger. As in made out of beef. I hadn’t taken a bite yet–phew–so I let the server know to send it back. He was super apologetic and made it abundantly clear that it was a kitchen error and not his fault. Fine, fine. I will tip you.

When my second plate came out meat-free I was very disappointed to find that the black bean burger was nothing more than a frozen Morningstar patty. Don’t get me wrong, I love Morningstar black bean burgers. But I eat them often. I thought for sure Chicora would make their own. Fail.

It wasn’t all bad though. I’ll give them this… Chicora has great hummus–black bean and roasted red pepper. Their sweet potato fries are incredible. And their bread is all baked fresh daily at a bakery down the street.

Other than that, though, I am not a fan.

Don’t worry, I did not cause a scene in the restaurant or stiff the server. In fact, I over tipped pretty significantly because there was nothing wrong with what he did. I hate people that make scenes in restaurants. Get over yourself and then quietly complain online like the rest of us.

8 thoughts on “Chicora Alley Underwhelms

  1. I haven’t eaten there all that much, but I definitely lean more towards Chicora’s lunch menu over their dinner menu. I actually prefer their Cuban sandwich to one I had in an authentic Cuban restaurant in Atlanta a couple months back.

    • From a french remote chicora Alley lover…I think they used to be a lot better but one of their cooks left about a year ago! I still love the place because we do not get that type of Mexican- Caribbean food in France and I like the relax ambiance there and the fact that I can eat at the Bar when I am on my own. I love their Crab cake, but I agree that quality went down this is what I noticed when I came back there a few weeks ago when I was in GVL.

  2. 9 times out of ten if something goes wrong, it’s my fault. i’m a server.

    although i will admit that the kitchen does fuck shit up pretty often.

  3. Pingback: Fall for Greenville « Sweet Tater | Food | Fitness | Etc.

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