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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Greenville (SC) Eats: The Northgate Soda Shop

Vanilla pepsi and cherry bombs!? Holy soda pop Batman! Just outside of Greenville's swanky downtown lays Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville's ultimate 50s transport. Dozens of historic pepsi bottles, rare sodas, and whimsical images litter the restaurant's walls and cabinets of this local favorite. True to its name, several soda flavor mixes sit in the back waiting for customer's calls. While a vanilla pepsi and cherry bomb (cherry flavored soda water) may be enough reason to come visit, the Soda Shop is also known for its list of burgers, particularly three: SC's official burger, the pimento cheese, the Chris Evans burger aka a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on top, and the kahuna burger, which... well, I assume is connected with pineapple in some way, shape, or form.

On my quick visit to the shop, I decided to go with their signature, the pimento cheeseburger. At first bite, it certainly felt like it met expectations. The cheese was ooey, gooey, and just a bit buttery. A toasted bun and large (see how it engulfs almost half of the plate!?) burger seemed like a winner. In the end though, the burger was just a bit too well done in the end for my taste, coming off as a bit dry halfway through. I would have loved extra pimento cheese as well (I mean, who doesn't?). I don't want to stir people in the wrong direction though; it was still a satisfying burger, and the wealth of locals that streamed in from the surrounding neighborhood absolutely agreed. A look around suggested that the Chris Evans burger may be more on par with people's taste; it was a popular pick among locals and looked sinfully delicious with the bacon and slab of egg on top. The pimento came with a side of standard crinkle fries and a healthy slab of coleslaw which was nicely balanced in texture and taste - one of the better slaws I've had in recent memory for sure.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on the Soda Shop
Costs: Between $6-8 for most plates.
Less for standard fare like a plain burger, but why do that?
Atmosphere: Incredibly local.
Owners knew most of the crowd by name.
Try: The Chris Evans Burger,
and of course a few soda mixes!

Greenville's downtown may be packed with a variety of local joints, but few pack the charm that Northgate Soda Shop carries. There's no fancy gadgets roaming around here; just a simple meal with a couple surprising bells and whistles for those who aren't afraid to stray off the beaten path and roam into this classic neighborhood establishment.

Northgate Soda Shop on Urbanspoon


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