drinkin’ on the job…gettin’ “thrifty”


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from elthrifty.com

Once again…we have a “must-go” for ya in this month’s TALKGreenville magazine cocktailin’ spot.  If you haven’t ventured over just yet, El Thrifty is the happenin’ watering hole du jour – er..del dia!  This Mexican-inspired cantina, bar and all-around fun spot is located on the Swamp Rabbit Trail just a quick skip from downtown Greenville; but it feels like a world away…a place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle.  

from elthrifty.com

Wanna come out and play?…

El Thrifty has a bit of entertainment for just about any crowd.  It’s basically 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor “playground” with games like shuffleboard, cornhole, billiards and ping pong just to name a few. And you’ll want to check the schedule to keep track of live music and other entertainment options (like the throw-down they have planned for National Tequila Day – July 24).  You don’t want to miss a single bit of the fun!

While the young and young-at-heart play their little games, the grown-ups can have some entertainment of their own…of the liquid variety!


photo by Nathan Gray

Juanita Appleseed

Made up of tequila blanco, mezcal, lemon, agave, apple cider and ginger beer, Juanita is a light,refreshing number who will steal her way into your heart quickly and smoothly. The fizz makes her fun while the cider provides a tart balance to any unnecessary sweetness. We made fast friends with her and can hardly wait until we meet again!


El Matador…

A brilliant mix of reposado mezcal, passionfruit, fresh mint, agave, lime, a touch of habanero, El Matador is smoky, sweet, tart and spicy all at once. The tastebuds will be singing una otra spor favor. One is just simply not enough.  Word to the wise…this is highly addictive!

photo by Nathan Gray

Spicy Margarita…(shhh) 

This beverage isn’t on the menu, but we are here to spill the big secret!  El Thrifty’s twist on the classic margarita is good to the very last drop. A nice dose of jalapeño adds just the right bit of heat to remind you it’s summertime…but the remaining ingredients come together to provide pure, unadulterated refreshment. Knowledge is power…so be in the know when you go!

photo by Nathan Gray

Pablo Frescobar 

This is a beautiful, refreshing non-alcoholic concoction…but since we discuss cocktails, may we suggest adding tequila to kick it up a notch? Well, we just did…just sayin’. (They’ve actually gotten this request before, so it will come as no surprise and they will be happy to oblige.) Orange hibiscus adds a distinct, light flavor that still has some zip to it. You won’t be disappointed when you sip on this one…Pablo is muy fresco!


Although many of us will be perfectly happy working our way through el Thrifty’s cocktails, the purists will be blown away by the “neat” list.  They have quite the collection of tequilas and mezcals, and they serve them with flair. A refreshingly delicious house-made sangrita (we could just sit and sip it alone!) accompanies the tequila while the mezcals are served with orange and sal de gusano” (translation…salt of the worm) which is a rather surprising taste-thrill.  Go figure!

Our significant others have never really thought of us as the “thrifty type”, but we might have a surprise in store for them.  They are gonna have a hard time dragging us away from el T!


El Thrifty . 25 Delano Drive . Greenville . 864-232-2053 . elthrifty.com


drinkin’ on the job…”swarmin’ the hive”


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There’s a whole new beehive in town, and it’s quite the colony – with two hotels and one buzz-worthy restaurant, Oak and Honey. Just a couple of blocks off Main Street at the corner of Spring and Washington, the restaurant is located at street level in the building housing the Residence Inn and Springhill Suites. What better way to give the visitors in our fair city a little taste of what Greenville has to offer?

from oakandhoneygvl.com

Traditional with a twist…

The new American cuisine” at Oak & Honey is decidedly fresh and local.  Sourcing as much as possible from as close as possible is the name of their game.  From the house-made honey bourbon beef jerky with roasted South Carolina peanuts to the charcuterie with local cheeses, the menu offerings give a hearty nod to area farms, hives and distilleries.

And the “bites” aren’t the only items on the menu to get the local treatment…the craft cocktails get their own unique twist!  We invite you to feel the sting!

photo by Nathan Gray

Honey I’ll Be Home Late

The name alone deserves accolades in our not-so-humble opinion! It just makes you smile…just sayin.  And when you order your second round, you’ll smile even brighter! Absolut Elyx vodka, Aperol and lemon bring a tart element while the ginger honey and peach bitters lend a tangy aspect to this drink. Together they create the ideal adult sippy cup of a concoction.  Presented in a honey bear glass, this is the ultimate comfort cocktail, no matter how old you are!

photo by Nathan Gray

Oak & Smoke

In keeping with the establishment, this beverage is defined by its name. With its oakiness and smokiness, this one sips like a very sophisticated, grown-up drink. Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Angostura Amaro, and lemon maple bitters are the key characters, but a generous slice of orange peel hits the nose before the tongue, making it very clear that even a small part can make a big impact. Sipping and savoring is the mood for this one.

photo by Nathan Gray

Party of 2…4…6…8… – or 20…

Super-convenient to the Main Street foot traffic, Oak & Honey is the perfect spot to duck in for a quick drink and a bite.  But there’s more!  Because they are in the building with hotels, they have quite a bit of event space and can cater to a crowd.  Big birthday dinners…they can do that.  Weddings or rehearsal dinners…check.  Bar or bat mitzvahs…you bet!  Perhaps we just made your planning a smidge easier!

photo by Nathan Gray


What…you might ask…do the iconic red-bottom shoes have to do with this cocktailin’ experience?  These folks are brilliantly in touch with a generous portion of the female persuasion and their (er…our) attraction to “the shoe”.  At each visit, patrons are invited to put their name in the bowl for a monthly drawing for a pair of Christian Louboutins.  The pair of the month is proudly on display so that we can keep our eyes on the prize.  Again…brilliant!

 Welcome to the land of Oak & Honey!

Oak & Honey . 200 East Washington Street . Greenville . 864-720-2900  www.oakandhoneygvl.com

Angi Einstein and Alex Ryan . http://www.therarebelle.com



drinkin’ on the job…and needing an Encore


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Another TALKGreenville cocktailin’ adventure is on stands now in the April issue…


As luck would have it, a last-minute dining excursion with one significant other lead to this month’s cocktailin’ experience.  Driving down Main Street and trying to come up with something “new”, Encore…a Gastrolounge caught our eye.  We had seen it before, but had not had the chance to visit, so here was our chance…and we are so glad we took it!!  They had the hubby at “Lollipop Lamb Chops”.  Of course, they had this particular wifey (considering her cocktailin’ history and their mind-blowing craft cocktail menu) at “Hello”.  

from encoregreenville.com

Decisions, decisions…

When it comes to beverage options, owners Heather and Elizabeth aim to please.  From their extensive wine and beer options to the epic craft cocktail selection, they pretty much have your “beginning covered.  But the fun doesn’t end there!  Flip the menu over to discover your “happy ending” options.  So…you have some decisions to make.  We did our best to sample as many as possible and to give you some guidance.  Tough job, but someone had to do it!


Photo by Nathan Gray

The Ruby Bell…

Being belles ourselves, we couldn’t resist this decidedly southern moonshine cocktail. The Ruby Bell features Belle Isle Ruby Red moonshine, a dash of Cointreau, a smidge of Parma pomegranate liqueur, a dose of fresh lime juice and a splash of soda served with a custom-created garnish of sugared dried pineapple so beautiful that we thought it was a flower. These gals know how to entice the eye as much as the palate  which inevitably creates an irresistible beverage!

Photo by Nathan Gray

There’s a reason they say frosé all day  because it’s really that good…and this establishment has upgraded it to another level!  Time to, as we like to say, practice some spring adulting.” Tito’s, sparkling rose and strawberry simple syrup come together to create just the concoction you need to while away the days that are finally getting longer.


Photo by Nathan Gray

Drink your dessert…

And now for the “happy endings.” Cool your jets with some bubbly mixed with a scoop of housemade sorbet in the “Sorbogne. This cocktail is a beautiful, boozy way to refresh your palate! And last but not least…the “Encore”!  This is a drink worth sipping and savoring. Housemade Nutella vodka and hazelnut liqueur create the most perfect chocolate martini…and the perfect ending to the evening. We believe there are a few occasions when it’s well worth drinking your calories and this is one of those times. Believe us when we say you won’t regret having to put in a little extra exercise the next day!


Photo by Nathan Gray

Two smart chicks and their gastro-hit

Because this is not their first rodeo, Heather and Elizabeth know a thing or two about the food & beverage biz.  They call themselves “front-of-the-house bar people (they also own on the Roxx  right next door), but they have honed their back-of-the-house skills as well.  We tasted the proof! From the Duck Fat Fries and brussels sprouts to the Roasted Duck Breast and aforementioned lamb lollipops, this was an epic gastro experience.  


Plan ahead so you don’t miss out

Pop in for Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday for special drink pricing and half-off the Duck Fat Fries…and don’t miss Ladies Night on Wednesday (half-price wine) and the live music on Thursdays.  And whether your party is 2 or 10, they will reserve your table (see Open Table for more).  

Now that you have the 411, it’s time to plan your visit.  We are ready for our encore!

Encore…a Gastrolounge . 732 South Main Street . Greenville . 864-520-1618 . encoregreenville.com


drinkin’ on the job…wining and dining at Foxcroft


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Our latest TALKGreenville contribution has hit stands…


Photo by Lila Callum-Penso

We stumbled upon a new charmer…all handsome, warm and well-versed in our favorite fermentaitonsconveniently ensconced on Main Street.  Foxcroft Wine Company pretty much had us at hello!  We had been briefly introduced in Charlotte a couple of years back (owner Conrad Hunter has two locations there), but now that we can visit right here in Greenville on the regular, good luck luring us away!  


Photo by Nathan Gray

A wine shop with some major bonuses

Foxcroft offers a plethora of ways to enjoy the juice.  Looking for a great bottle for your drinking pleasure at home?  Take a stroll through the place and pick a bottle or two (or go all in with a case).  Want to enjoy a bite and a bottle?  Grab one off the shelf, have a seat, order a nibble or two, and enjoy…sans the typical restaurant mark-up.  Can’t make up your mind?  They have 40+ wines on tap, ready for some sippin!  You can choose to have just a taste, or a half-glass, or go for a full glass if one really tickles your fancy.  


Photo by Nathan Gray

The Chappellet “Mountain Cuvée

This particular vin is a beautiful blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot which  if you ask us– is practically perfect in every way…the Mary Poppins of wine! It is smooth and well-rounded on the palate and has some weight without being too heavy. This one is a great choice to sip while enjoying some of the fabulous nibbles Foxcroft has to offer.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Crémant de Bourgogne 

We are always downright delighted to sip on some bubbles. This sparkling gem left us wanting more…so we did…just sayin. A flirty, frisky, fresh option that is not too sweet and just the right amount of dry, the Cremont was the perfect glass of fizz.  We would pick this bubbly when it’s time to celebrate something special…but, frankly, we would pick it when celebratin’ nothing at all!  It’s a winner any which way you look at it!

Photo by Nathan Gray

Frank Family Chardonnay 

We are sending a most appreciative thank you out to the Frank Family for creating this delightful white wine. While a Chardonnays can often be acidic and have too much of a “tooth”, this one has the exact opposite taste. It is creamy, mild and buttery, making it the perfect option for an easy afternoon beverage.

Photo by Nathan Gray

One of everything please

Here’s the real bell-ringer…Foxcroft is far more than just a “wine company.”  The menu is to-die-for!  We were blown away by the choices coming out of the kitchen and had a heck of a time deciding what to try.  We went for the ricotta and truffle fries (our guilty pleasure), but could have ordered one of everything.  And the beautiful part of it all…the menu is especially designed to be enjoyed with just about any bottle in the place…no special pairings needed.  Their philosophy – “eat what you like, drink what you like”. 

Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 11 pm, and on Sunday from 5-10 pm, Foxcroft is ready and waiting for you!

Foxcroft Wine Co . 631 S. Main Street . Greenville . 864-906-4200





belles are primed and ready…


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We are both “winter babies”, and as we celebrate, we also become more and more interested in age-blurring, age-defying, wrinkle-smoothing, et al. Lately, we have been digging into the world of primers and have found a few that really do the job.

This Tatcha silk canvas primer is true to its name. It is velvety and smooth and a bit luminous. It makes a great base for your foundation or tint and helps keep the makeup out of your pores. hence fewer clogged pores and potential “bumps”. It can also be applied on top of foundation where you want a little highlight or glow.

Available at Sephora

Fenty Beauty is new to us, but from the first try, we have to give a big shout-out and a huge thank you to Rihanna for creating this line. This primer provides more matte coverage. You can use it all over or just in T-zone. It provides great pore coverage and a beautiful blurring effect. We use this one when in warmer temperatures, or when we want to avoid shine. We also love this because it is hydrating at the same time!

Available at Sephora

While the other two primers are firmly in our rotation, this one might be at the top of our list at the moment. In fact, the words holy grail come to mind. Charlotte Tillbury is fast becoming a belle favorite. This Flawless Filter does exactly what it says and more! We have used it as a primer which creates a beautiful glow without any sparkle, we tried it mixed with foundation for luminous staying-power, and we’ve even used it on its own when we just need a hint of coverage (for those non-makeup makeup days). It can even be used on top of makeup for a little extra coverage! If you can only have one, pick this one. (Although we really think you need all three so that you are prepared with the product that best fits the moment. Just sayin…)

Available at Sephora and Nordstrom

Oh…and all of the above only require a small amount so they all will last a long time!

Glow on belles!


cheeky kicks…belles dig happy feet


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On a recent visit to Tuscaloosa to see a junior belle, one of us made a very happy Lola Cruz purchase…

We just love a touch of whimsy…and this little sneaker has it in spades!!

The military green is pretty awesome, too…

Or get this pink version here

We can’t help but feel happy every time we see (and wear) them!!



still our fave cozy pj’s…


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We’ve mentioned these before, but we just can’t get enough! Maybe it’s the cold weather and our penchant for snuggling down in our pj’s a bit more often than usual!

From PJ Harlow, available on Amazon, we are loving the “Laura” top in navy…

…and our all-time fave pants, the “Jolie”

Or perhaps you would prefer a sweet Valentine’s-inspired color…the “Daisy” in blush…

And the matching blush “Jolie”

And hint, hint…they make a really good Valentine’s gift for the junior belles!


the perfect faux glow for every belle…


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Mid-winter skin can be dry and pale, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it! We’ve raved about this belle-ringer before, but thought you might need a little reminder…’cause it’s the total bomb-diggity!

Available at Nordstrom, Neimans , Saks, and (of course), Chanel…Soleil Tan de Chanel gives us just the right glow to combat the pale-skin doldrums and just the right amount of moisture to keep the flakiness at bay!

Glow, belle, glow!


drinkin’ on the job…over at the Bourbon Barrel


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from BourbonBarrelBeefandAle.com

Our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ excursion this month took us to the most perfect little neighborhood spot in the Hazelwood area of Haywood County, North Carolina…”the Gateway to the Smokies.  Ashley Owens, owner of Bourbon Barrel Beef & Ale, graciously welcomed us to her delightful establishment with cocktails ready for sippin’ and nibbles ready for nibblin’.  “Blown away” would be a very mild way to describe our experience!


photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon

No surprise here…with bourbon in the name, there’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll find some interesting brown liquor drinks on the menu!  While the fine stuff is so often enjoyed neat, Ashley isn’t afraid to toss a shot of Basil Hayden or Bulleit into a killer cocktail.  In fact, all three of our featured libations have a healthy dose of the brown stuff.  That’s right up our alley!


photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

The BB Bloody Mary

The first in this trifecta of bourbon concoctions is a real taste thrill…a Bloody Mary made withBasil Hayden! Spiced up a bit with a touch of Absolut pepper vodka and garnished with bacon, pickled okra and olives, this bloody is a belle’s sure cure for a crazy Saturday night…or a good start to any easy Sunday morning. #nobetterbloody

photo by Brindley Faile Haywood County TDA

The Classic Old Fashioned

A classic is never a bad idea, and this one is genius in its simplicity. Bulleit Bourbon is the anchor in this strong, consistent, reliable comfort-in-a-cup.  Need something you can count on? The old-fashioned is your answer.  Just sayin #bourbonistheanswer

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

The Blackberry Bourbon Smash 

If you have a hankerin’ for a beautiful beverage inside and out, the smash is the coveted elixir in this threesome. Knob Creek bourbon is the star of the show here; however, the fresh muddled blackberries, orange zest, sparkling water and a garnish of fresh mint and blackberry certainly earn their spots for best supporting ingredients. #smashitlikebourbon

Though we have gone heavy on the bourbon here, we can safely say that even a non-bourbon drinker will be delighted with the other options available on the cocktail menu.  In fact, Ashley has gone to great lengths to call attention to her other specialties with “Margarita Monday”, “TiniTuesday”, “Wine Down Wednesday” and the ale-focused “Throwdown Thursday”.  Cheers!

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

About those nibbles

All this drinking can get your appetite up, and we were more than delighted to try some of the local fare. Amazing is an understatement- elegantly plated, delightfully portioned and only the freshest ingredients make the dishes worthy of any gourmet’s palate. The fried oysters were heaven and the French onion soup was magnifique. Not to be outdone, the firecracker shrimp and fried green tomatoes were positively scrumptious, and we are still dreaming about the roasted pepper, artichoke and feta dip as we headed back down the mountain!


from the Haywood County TDA

We were quite charmed by this little neighborhood as well as the greater Waynesville/Haywood County area!  Nestled in the mountains with the Blue Ridge Parkway weaving through, there is an abundance of mountain-inspired activities to keep the whole family busy.  And at only an hour-and-a-half from downtown Greenville, it’s just a hop and a skip.  Well worth the visit in our opinion! Take a peek at what the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has in store for you! #haynow

Bourbon Barrel Beef &Ale . 454 Hazelwood Ave . Waynesville, NC . 

828-452-9191 . bourbonbarrelbeefandale.com





an impromptu purchase turns into a belle hallelujah!


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While exchanging a pair of slippers for a junior belle (she got these), we happened to notice a super cute pair for ourselves

We are huge followers of the “one for you, one for me” mantra…just sayin!

Here they are…

Via Amazon

And here we are sporting them

So comfortable & cute… and we especially love the heavy duty rubber sole for quick jaunts to mailbox or getting the paper!

So slip into something new belles…we did😜