SAPi’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide For South Carolina Foodies
Gather around the SAPi tree while we lay out the best gifts for your South Carolina foodie friends for 2022. You know the ones, the Aunt that’s always hosting parties with elaborate charcuterie trays or the best friend who always knows where to find the most authentic Jamaican food in town. The culinary experts we call friends and family deserve the best food-themed gift 2022 has to offer!
The Best Holiday Gifts For Foodies | 2022 Edition
Photo: Root Note Food Truck
1. Root Note Food Truck Gift Card
Give the gift of food truck love with a gift card from Root Note Food Truck. This isn’t your average casual dining destination. Root Note is located conveniently beside the Charleston Pour House in case you get thirsty and is the perfect place for date night. They specialize in gourmet tacos – think tandoori chicken, pho-inspired pork, and vegetarian aloo gobi tacos featuring curry cauliflower, sweet potato, chickpeas, lentil, and queso in a chili tamarind sauce. It’s an experienced-based gift that will also delight the appetite!
2. Sobremesa Mole & Salsas
Sobremesa is a small-batch mole & salsa company in Charleston, South Carolina. Only a true foodie friend will appreciate the rich and velvety texture of a Mole Poblano that is blended from four different chiles, nuts, fruits, seeds, and a hint of chocolate to create a layered sauce that will step up your favorite foodie’s home-cooking game.
The Sobremesa Bundle costs $40.00 and includes sauces, salsa, and moles. It is available for shipping to your Latin food-loving friends and family.
Photo: Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
3. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit | All-Night Kit
Repeat after SAPi: you can never go wrong with a locally sourced gift basket. And in South Carolina, you can never go wrong with biscuits. And in the case of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, even if your giftee is Gluten Free. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is widely recognized as an iconic Southern brand with national retail exposure, grab-and-go eateries and a food truck in Charleston, as well as a cult-like national following.
Their All Night Kit retails for $52.95 and is a sure win every time. It includes:
A half-dozen Cinnamon Biscuits
A half-dozen Buttermilk Biscuits
Cocoa & Cream Cookies
Optional Addition: Traditional Pimento Cheese*
4. Charleston Culinary Tours Gift Certificate
Looking for a different gift idea for a foodie or a friend? Charleston Culinary Tours offers Gift Cards that make great gifts for all food and drink lovers and adventurous travelers in your life!
The tours explore Charleston’s historic cobblestone streets while participants can sample food from some of the hottest new restaurants. Whether you know a Lowcountry local or someone planning a trip to Charleston, a food tour is a great way to explore a new or familiar city.
This 3-hour tour showcases the Lowcountry’s seasonal bounty and a local chef’s creative prowess.
Photo: Swamp Rabbit Cafe
5. Swamp Rabbit Cafe | Taste Of The South Gift Basket
South Carolina has so many talented artisan food makers the Swamp Rabbit Cafe created a mailable gift basket that represents the ingenuity of the artisan food makers from the region. The once abandoned building along the Swamp Rabbit Trail is now a thriving food community where you can find an artisan grocer, cafe and bakery.
The Taste Of The South Gift Basket retails for $100.00 and includes items curated from local artisan vendors. If you want your loved one to choose, they also have Gift Cards! Baskets are available for same-day pickup or delivery.
Photo: Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
6. Lowcountry Oyster Company& Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit | Lowcountry Bundle Gift Basket
This collaboration between Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and Lowcountry Oyster Company is a match made in heaven that will benefit both you and your giftee if you’re invited to their next party.
The most savory Lowcountry staples have been combined to create the Lowcountry Bundle. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and Lowcountry Oyster Co. have come together to make the perfect gift for the foodie who like to entertain. From tide to table, enjoy a bushel of oysters straight from the ACE basin atop a crunchy sea salt biscuit cracker with a dollop of traditional pimento cheese!
The Lowcountry bundle is available for delivery, retails for $135.00, and includes:
• Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Sea Salt Biscuit Crackers
• Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Traditional Pimento Cheese (12oz)
Participants will learn about fungal ecology and life cycles while immersed in hands-on methods to cultivate mushrooms on logs, stumps, wood chips, and straw design mushroom gardens as well as how to compost or recycle with fungi. The workshop includes a tour of the Mushroom Mountain Farm, where guests will be able to check out the myco lab. The gift of a workshop also includes breakfast snacks, lunch, an oyster mushroom fruiting kit, and a shiitake log to take home from a hands-on activity. Workshops start at $275.00.
Ace Leather and Knife Works Photo Credit: Soda City
For an heirloom gift look no further than this beautiful hand-forged iron Kitchenware byACE Leather & Knife Works. The company makes a wide selection of bespoke cookware, including hand forged iron knives, grill utensils, iron, and carbon steel pans, and more. You can find the former finalist of the TV show Forged In Fire, Jon Medelin, representing his wares at the Soda City Market in Columbia or he also takes custom orders on his website.
9. SimpliThai Cooking Kits
SImpli Thai makes all in one craft cooking kits so that your foodie family member won’t have to run around to import stores looking for special ingredients! There’s something about learning how to cook something that may otherwise seem complicated in a compact kit with real good instructions. That way your giftee can be the kitchen hero they are.
Cooking Kits start at $22.00 and are available for local pick up at farmers markets in Charleston and Columbia. They also SHIP cooking sauces and cooking kits to nearby states.
Cubo Woodworks Photo Credit: Soda City Market
10. A Locally Crafted Charcuterie Board | Cubo Woodworks
Nothing but the best to impress with a Cubo Woodworks Charcuterie Board for the party-hosting fiend in your life. If you’re hosting a party, you’ll want the best cutting boards around. Their inventory ranges in cutes and grains, and they also take custom orders with up to 10 days notice. We love a gift that will remind our loved ones of us and great cheese simultaneously.
In any holiday season, you can never go wrong with supporting local. Also check out the SAPi APP for local plates from local makers in your neighborhood to keep you and your friends and family fed while also supporting local small businesses.
Several years ago, our SAPi founder Brandon Gantthad an epiphany over Mac and Cheese. Ok, it was arguably about more than one of the best Thanksgiving sides ever introduced to the family table; it was about where to find it.
This happened in COVID times when grocers were understocked and understaffed, and many restaurants were closed or reduced to takeaway (let’s never go back!). So on a hunt to put together a proper Thanksgiving dinner, the kind with all the choices and traditional fixings, he started calling around to friends and family.
Southern Fixings (Courtesy of Eat This, Not That)
Who could bring the Mac and Cheese? Who’s on top of mashed potatoes? Whose secret recipe for sweet potatoes pie was poised and ready?
Although this wasn’t the whole story, it played a big part in Save A Plate’s (SAPi) inspiration. How can we connect local plates with local people? Everyone knows that the special touch that real people give to their signature dishes is what makes them unique. So how can we support local foodpreneurs and local bellies at the same time? And thus, SAPi’s seed was planted.
Today the SAPi APPconnects a diverse group of local foodies with plates as diverse as they are delicious. And you might tjust be able to find your favorite holiday sides covered as well.
In honor of the upcoming holidays and all the side dishes that get our stomachs growling, we’re covering the Best Of Southern Thanksgiving sides – look for local plates in your area on the SAPi APP!
Top Five Best Southern Holiday Side Dishes
Southern Living Fried Pecan Okra (Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas)
Fried Pecan Okra
Fried okra is an institution in the south year-round – but for the holidays, you can level up this classic dish with pecan infused breading. Giving the pecans a quick toasting session in the oven makes all the difference.
Everyone should have a corn casserole in their holiday arsenal of go-to recipes. This dish gives it all; creamy, savory, and filling. Bacon, rainbow confetti of chopped peppers, and cream cheese round out this party pleaser.
Historically black-eyed peas have been associated with a “mystical and mythical power to bring good luck.” So you’re not only coming through with a delicious dish but good vibes for the whole family, nice one! Traditionally Southern Black-Eyed Peas dishes have a good dose of pork belly, ham hock, or both.
Controversial for the traditionalists, but not for Southern tables who say that coleslaw absolutely belongs next to the turkey. When done right, it’s a Southern delicacy, and the secret is always in the sauce – a maker’s mix of mayo, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Cornbread in its fried form, no Southern holiday celebration is complete without a side of sharp cheddar and jalapeno-infused Hushpuppies. As the story goes, fishermen in the 1800s would toss their dogs some fried batter from fish fries to stop the puppies from begging, hence the “hushpuppy” moniker. This is a delicious ode to those who just can’t wait to eat!
Save A Plate, Inc (SAPi) is highlighting all the best of local food hustlers: the entrepreneurs that pour passion into every bite and keep our bellies full and happy. The foodpreneurs that are just starting their journey and those that are well on their way. We want to highlight the triumphs and challenges that connect us all.
Starting a food business requires a great deal of passion, optimism, and hustle, and the self-described “Southern Yankee” Alexander Simon has these qualities in spades.
Born in Philidelphia and raised in an Italian household, Simon has called South Carolina home for over a decade. As a burgeoning foodpreneur, the 23-year-old wants to use what he sees as a limitless opportunity around West Columbia to grow a smoothie food start-up and serve the community.
Alexander Simon, Founder of Alexander’s Great Smoothies
SAPi: Today we’re talking with Alexander Simon founder of the burgeoning smoothie brand Alexander’s Great Smoothies.
Let’s start at the top – where did the name Alexander’s Great Smoothies come from? Is that an illusion to the great Greek ruler?
Yeah, in a sense it is. I remember when I was a kid growing up that was a phrase I grew up with. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself though. I just need a cape and a throne and a sign that says try my smoothies, right here!
When did you start Alexander’s Great Smoothies? What made you choose smoothies as a focus?
I started about two weeks ago. This is what I wanted my whole life. I’ve always wanted my own business. I enjoy the act of making the smoothie and hearing people’s feedback. That’s what I always wanted: to have people look to me, and ever since I started making smoothies I knew this could be my trademark.
I started working at a restaurant when I was sixteen. I’ve always wanted to have my own restaurant, and my family has always entertained the idea of having a family-style restaurant. When I really came to think about it, I wanted to start off with a food truck. I decided to start first with smoothies, a classic idea.
So you decided to go with a simple concept first?
You said you had another job on top of starting your food business journey?
Yes, I’m attending school full-time for Business Management, I’m working full-time, and I am also starting my food business on the SAPi APP.
Has studying Business Management given you ideas about how to grow your business?
I wanted to form the central idea of what it means to lead people. I have always felt like a natural-born leader. I’ve always felt like I was part of the management team in any job I’ve had.
What is your current setup for Alexander’s Great Smoothies?
Right now I currently making them out of a home-based food kitchen. I have everything set up the way I like it.
What was the first smoothie creation that told you that you might be on to something?
That was the Strawberry Banana Deluxe. It consists of strawberries, banana, honey, and peanut butter. It’s one of my most favorite concoctions! Blended just right, it’s so smooth and you can’t beat it.
Who is your most trusted taste tester?
I’ll get with my mother and she’ll give me feedback. She was the first one to try the Strawberry Banana Deluxe and she helped me develop the idea and say “this is something worth getting out.”
What are your other standard flavors?
My current top seller is the Pumpkin Spiced Milkshake. I think that one has been successful because of the season. The Very Berry Protein has also been really popular lately. People can build it with requests for different ingredients. And the Strawberry Banana Deluxe.
Do you think your customer base is really health-conscious?
I’ve had a lot of people come to me for protein smoothies to help get them through their day. Some people are just looking for traditional home comfort flavors.
How do you currently reach your customer base?
I currently use Snapchat, Facebook, and the SAPi APP.
To start, I have relied on my close network of friends and family. From my experience, the friends I have grown up with are the best to spread the word. I have had a lot of fun posting on the SAPi APP. I use SAPi for everything. As soon as I had an idea for the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, I was excited to post it on the APP.
I try to use the limited resources I have to start to get the word out. I can guide people through the SAPi APP, and eventually, get my own dedicated phone number. When I get things moving, I’m excited to put out my own promotions and possibly a website.
West Columbia, South Carolina
Where is your main delivery area?
I currently stay in West Columbia locations. I don’t mind going out within a 15-minute radius, to Lexington, Gaston, Cayce, or Springdale.
Are you planning on expanding to Farmer’s Markets?
Yes, I’ve considered joining the local farmer’s market, and maybe eventually setting up a stand. Right now, I want to use the amazing opportunity I have with SAPi because I think when things start exploding this is going to be the new Doordash.
What’s been your biggest challenge to starting Alexander’s Great Smoothies?
Honestly, just believing in myself with all my other commitments of full-time school and work. Right now it’s just me. After work is when I usually start to deliver and days when I’m off. In the future, I’ll be making a standard delivery schedule.
Where do you see Alexander’s Great Smoothies a year from now?
I would say hopefully all over media platforms. I want to see it go across borders and maybe a small franchise with SAPi’s help. I want to be out there delivering out there non-stop.
We’ll be following your journey and rooting for your success! To finish our article can we ask you some rapid fire food questions?
SAPi’s Fast Rapid Fire Foodie Questions
Who is someone’s food hustle you admire?
What city has the best food scene?
Best food there?
Crab Shack off of Center Street
What’s the best music to make smoothies to?
Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Post Malone, really everything!
What is the most precious tool in your food business?
What’s your go-to smoothie?
I make the Hulk Bash Refresher; apple, spinach, cabbage, and peanut butter, that’s my wake-up every morning.
What cuisine is missing in your local area that you would love to see?
A wing bar.
What is the strangest food you’ve ever tried?
Gator bites! And they tasted like chicken nuggets, and they were good.
SAPi’s Best of Food Trucks: Greenville, South Carolina
Thoroughfare Food Truck, South Carolina
SAPi is determined to find the best food truck experiences all over the United States. This week we are bringing you the top five best food trucks in Greenville, South Carolina.
Food trucks are no longer just for cheap hotdogs and fast eats. Instead, the evolution of the food truck over the past few years has brought us the culinary best of both local favorites and foreign delights.
Greenville offers fine dining on four wheels with this edition of SAPi’s Best of Food Trucks.
The Five Best Food Trucks of Greenville, South Carolina
Thoroughfare Food Truck, South Carolina
1. Thoroughfare Food Truck
Specialty: Seasonal Street Eats
The Thoroughfare Food Truck boasts itself to be the longest-running food truck in upstate South Carolina. Open since 2013; they serve a rotating menu of simple dishes with big flavors. A rotating menu means they are committed to sourcing seasonally and locally when possible making their ever-changing always fresh.
Must Try: Shrimp and Grits, Tots with Bacon Jam, and Butternut Squash Soup.
The Black Thai, South Carolina
2. The Black Thai
Specialty: Fusion American Thai
The Black Thai blends traditional Thai cuisine with a modern American food truck flair. Established in 2018 by Greenville locals, this beloved food truck offers a fine dining fusion experience and regularly pops up at The Community Tap and Grateful Brew. Proving that they are more than just a food truck, their Pad Thai Rice is as much raved about as their well-known hospitality.
Must Try: The Brussel Box tossed in Honey Ponzu Sauce, Black Thai Burger with an artisan mix of chuck beef and duck, Pad Thai Fried Rice
One Love Food Truck, South Carolina
3. One Love Fusion Foods
Specialty: Fusion Southern Comfort
The One Love Fusion Foods truck is an award-winning kitchen on wheels boasting two first-place prizes in the US Foods Silver Spoon Challenge. They regularly pop up at the Greer Farmer’s Market, Cityscape Winery, and festivals around South Carolina. Their cult following has allowed them to grow in seven locations throughout the state with plates featuring BBQ, tacos, and salads.
Must Try: Coconut Shrimp Spinach Salad, Kingston Nachos, and Unity Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Project Host Food Truck, South Carolina
4. Project Host
Project Host’s “Hostmobie” is a food truck with a mission. Operating as a mobile soup kitchen on the pay-it-forward model, their social endeavor feeds the hungry and trains the unemployed. Paid meal services several nights per week provide a 1:1 free meal in areas of need in the community. They are also available for private catering.
Must Try: Seasonal Soups
We Got The Beets Food Truck, South Carolina
5. We Got The Beets
We Got The Beets is Upstate South Carolina’s first ever all plant-based food truck. Their dishes are delicious and also happen to be dairy-free, cruelty-free, and bursting with boldly flavored sauces. Doing a service to all farm animals everywhere, they serve incredible vegan versions of classic street fare, including souped-up hotdogs and plant-based burgers.
Must Try: Pineapple Upside Down Burger, Sushi Sandwich. Brown Sugar Peach Cheezecake
SAPi is determined to find the best food truck experiences all over the United States. This week we are bringing you the top five best food truck parks in Austin, Texas.
The Austin food scene is replete with cutting-edge culinary cuisines, but it wouldn’t be complete without its world-class food truck scene. The food trucks found in the fresh, funky city are the embodiment of Austin’s laid-back, socially driven culture where a hot happy hour can just as likely be found in a trendy new cocktail bar as in a happening parking lot.
Austin has an estimated 1200 active food trucks that make up the prolific parking lot fine dining scene. Narrowing down the top five would be unfair, so instead, in this edition of SAPi’s Best of Food Trucks we’ll be highlighting the best Food Truck PARKS that make up Austin’s foodie landscape.
That’s right, Austin has enough Food Truck Parks to make an entire list (or maybe two!). Have we found foodie paradise in a back lot with twinkling lights and picnic tables? Maybe.
The Picnic was founded on the principle that supporting local is the best investment for Austin’s food community. They also commit to supporting small food truck businesses long-term with one-year leases.
They boast of some unheard of food truck park amenities such as; boutique shopping, covered pavilion areas, and air-conditioned bathrooms. Food truck flavors range from TexMex to Thai and rotate making for a fresh experience with every visit. As an added bonus, The Picnic is open seven days a week, ready to fulfill your culinary cravings!
The Pangea Lounge is an ideal location for those in East Austin. It creates the epitome of a laid-back vibe complete with hammocks for those who actually want to lay back after a big meal. They also host outside vendors and live music events on a regular schedule. Serving not just your average fare, this is where you go for Columbia street eats and Venezuelan Pepitos.
Must Try: Bazilian Cozhina from Boteco, Bela Fria Hot Dog from Pepitos, and Tacos Al Paisa.
Photo Credit: Thicket Austin
The Brooklyn Breakfast Shop, Thicket South Austin Food Truck Park
3. Thicket Food Truck Park
Location: 7800 South 1st Street
Specialty: Play Areas, Live Music, Yoga, Open Mic
Serving South Austin, Thicket Food Truck Park is family-friendly community gathering space with tasty food trucks, play areas, and live music. It’s the perfect spot for families who don’t have babysitters but want to take a pseudo-date! The Thicket is an ideal brunch or lunch spot where parents can feast on the Brooklyn Breakfast Shop or Revolution Vegan Kitchen while watching the littles play at the jungle gym.
Photo Credit: Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association
Mueller Trailer Eats, Food Truck Park, Austin Texas
4. Mueller Trailer Eats
Location: 4209 Airport Blvd
Specialty: Laid Back Picnic Vibes
Mueller Trailer Eats is a whole vibe located in the Historic Browning Hangar. Colorful picnic tables and even a converted school bus food truck set the scene for a fun night out. This food truck paradise is easily accessible and features a variety of cuisine from plant-based vegan eats to exceptional grilled burgers.
The Mueller Trailer Eats food truck park is open seven days a week until 8 pm.
Photo Credit: Visit Austin Rainey Street Food Trucks, Austin, Texas
5. Rainey Street Food Trucks
Location: Rainey Street
Specialty: Tons of Variety, Great Date Night
The Rainey Street Food Trucks are the night out you didn’t know you needed. With a laid-back dress code, twenty food trucks to choose from, and live music alongside street bars, this might just be a foodie mecca. Rainey Street boasts every kind of cuisine alongside the banks of Lady Bird Lake. Rainey Street is the less crowded version of 6th Street with all the same funky energy.