Last weekend, I went home to Greenville to visit some of my family and friends. I spent some quality time with my mom shopping at the Haywood Mall before being overcome with hunger pangs and deciding to go get lunch. My mom suggested we go downtown to the Velo Fellow–she’d been there before and really liked it. She read me the menu as I drove, and the food sounded amazing. So with high hopes, we entered into the Velo Fellow.
They market themselves as a “british publick house,” and the interior was dark and filled with leather chairs, wooden booths, and mismatching furniture to make the place look like it had been there for years. I instantly loved the way it looked inside; it was so homey and comfortable. And the bar was really impressive. As we settled into our booth, our emotionless, condescending waitress (looking annoyed that we’d decided to eat there) came over to get us drinks (I ordered sweet tea. This was not southern sweet tea. This was unsweetened tea that someone put some sugar in. Not what I had hoped for). We asked her some questions about the menu, which she answered matter-of-factly and without any detail other than what was required. So far, our trip was not off to a great start. [My favorite Yelp review stated that "Hipster McHipster meetings here on Tuesday nights (bc Wednesday is just too middle of the road and complacent)." Very accurate...and hilarious]
We decided to order appetizers first, before deciding what we wanted for entrees. The first dish we ordered was the fried green tomatoes with garlic pimento cheese ($8.95). The tomatoes came out hot and crispy, and we eagerly dug in. The breading was cornmeal based and a little thick for my liking, but they were fried to perfection. The garlic pimento cheese had a really good taste to it, but the texture was kind of weird–it almost tasted gritty. All in all, I’d say this dish was pretty good.
Our second appetizer was the Bowl O’ Tots (deep fried tater tots covered in melted cheddar cheese, $5.95). If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty obsessed with tater tots. And cheese. So this should have been my new favorite thing. And it was good, don’t get me wrong, but it was literally fried tater tots toped with shredded cheddar cheese. A monkey could make that dish. I was hoping for some housemade cheddar cheese sauce or something creative and awesome. And although it tasted good, I really just felt like they could’ve done more.
Our third appetizer was a cup of the soup of the day (price varies daily). It happened to be creamy tomato-basil soup, topped with croutons and served with a nice hunk of bread. The bread was delicious. The tomato soup, however, would have made more sense being served atop spaghetti noodles instead of in a bowl. It was way too thick to be a soup, and although it tasted good, I just couldn’t get over the feeling like I was eating tomato sauce out of a jar with a spoon.
Our final appetizer was the basket of raw fries under bleu cheese crumbles ($6.95)…because we hadn’t gotten enough carbs with our carbs. My mom really liked these and ate basically the whole basket. I’m not a huge fan of potato chips, and I was hoping that these were going to be more on the undercooked, potato-y side, but they were very much potato chips. I think they would’ve been better had they been a little more “raw,” but to each his own.
After being unhappy with our appetizers, we decided not to bother with entrees. I was really sad, because I wanted to love this place. But from the service to the food, I was really disappointed. They have a 92% approval rating on Urbanspoon, which leads me to believe that maybe our experience wasn’t the norm. I’ll be willing to give it another shot sometime in the future, but I don’t think I’ll be ordering any of these appetizers again.
The Velo Fellow
1 Augusta St #126
Greenville, SC 29601