Editor’s Note: Foodscapes closed in April 2012. Please read our tribute to Foodscapes for some background and our sincerest appreciation expressed to Chef Katherine Fridl and her staff.
(Lake City, SC) If you’ve read the Foodie Profile with FOODSCAPES owner and chef, Katherine Fridl, you know that this restaurant offers something special. It’s homegrown Certified South Carolina goodness on a plate. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll also know that Katherine is also special in that she was named Best Chef at the Inaugural Taste of the South Best Chef Competition in Florence not long ago. I was happy to see her award proudly displayed at Foodscapes. Look for the butcher block-style plaque it in the photo below.
Strategizing, we decided to each order a different dish so that we could sample from each other’s plates. That usually works well for us, and it adds to the enjoyment and our discussion of the experience. One of us chose the Bacon-wrapped Shrimp & Grits, the signature dish that won Best Chef, another ordered the crab cake sandwich and the last ordered the Roast Beef Stack with veggies. Good variety and great choices, as it turns out.
Waiting for our order, we chatted about the area and about what it must be like to “fly-in” to a restaurant, as Foodscapes is listed as a fly-in location given its proximity to the local airport. Let’s face it, most of our collective experiences with “airport food” over the years makes the sound like the French Laundry, when you’re stuck at BWI at 9:00pm on a layover. This was not your typical airport food. Can I get an “Amen”?
I wandered around with my iPhone snapping a few photos, which you see here, and made my way over to the prepared foods case. Here’s a recommendation. Make a note. If you see something that looks good, ask for a tasting sample. We did and were rewarded handsomely with fresh marinated mozzarella balls and pimento cheese. We purchased a container of each to take home. As an aside, the mozzarella balls, which were in olive oil and fresh herbs and peppers, were fabulous. They were about one-inch rolled spheres, so they were perfect for snacking. The pimento cheese was spicy and sharp. It made great skillet-grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, probably would work well on panini press as well.
Shortly after deciding to pick-up those goodies for the road, our meals arrived. The roast beef was so tender and, though I order two potato sides (I couldn’t resist), they were wonderful as well. Meat-and-potatoes man, here — at least on occasion. Per the board pictured, they offered a good selection of sides so just try out a few. Of the sides we shared, all were worth asking for seconds.
The bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits were even better than at Best Chef. Probably because they were cooked to order, just then. The shrimp were large and the grits were creamy. A truly exceptional example of traditional Low Country classic, right here in the Pee Dee.
The crab cake, I’ll have to add was ordered by Lil Pee Dee, and was also very good. Imagine, despite having more traditional kid-friend favorites available, this Lil foodie chose a crab cake. Guess she’s her parents’ child. Back on teh crab cake, the sauce, what I would classify as a type of remoulade, as well as the fresh tomato and lettuce jazzed-up the dish, as well as the eye-appeal. It made a terrific photo, as you see here.
We savored, attempting to slow down our pace and enjoy the unique surroundings. It’s not often that most people slow down to enjoy life, I think. Usually, we’re all on the go and concerned with what’s next and not what’s now. This meal was about what’s now and was a testament to what local, homegrown, hand-crafted meals are all about.
Is there any doubt that Foodscapes gets a three gas pump rating on the PeeDeeFoodie.com rating system? It does and that means that we suggest that you put the kids in the car (or Cessna), plug Lake City into your GPS and hit the road for a visit. Chef Fridl and the team at Foodscapes will reward you with an experience, not just a meal, and you can grab some take-home goodies for the trip back home. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?
Have Fun. Eat Well.
Category: Restaurant Reviews
About the AuthorKevin Barron is a husband, father, self-described geek, and enthusiastic founder of PeeDeeFoodie.com. He also hosts its companion podcast, the Pee Dee Food Show, which can be found on iTunes and the blog. Learn more about Kevin under the Contributors tab above.
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Just wanted you to know that Foodscapes Summer Hours are 8am-3pm 7 days a week. We are now open for breakfast everyday. We have real Belgium waffles, huge omelets to include Shrimp and Crab omelets and one of our most popular omelets "The European" with bacon, fresh spinach, onions, and Swiss cheese topped with hollandaise sauce. Did I mention our local blueberry pancakes? Don't forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!