First Impressions: The Common Cure

Augusta Street seems to be somewhat of a food enigma within Greenville.  There’s multiple small bakeries, local chains like Corona’s and Oriental House, upscale dining, long standing institutions, and lots of fast casual chains.  It’s all over the place culinarily in a very short stretch of road.  When Local Taco first came to Augusta Street a few years ago, it was one of few places in Greenville to get tacos that weren’t just beef or chicken.  It was a unique food experience especially for where it was located.  Now, it seems there are alternative taco places on every corner.  Local Taco is no longer around at that location.  Local Taco changed hands a few times but after its closing, its original owner got the space again and opened The Common Cure.  Focused on being a family friendly, casual bar and grill for mainly Augusta Street residents, it serves upscale bar food.  But is The Common Cure anything other than common?

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon around lunch time and the parking lot was pretty empty.  Upon walking into the restaurant, it was in the same state as the parking lot.  Not only were there very few customers, we waited around five minutes before we even saw a waiter or host to seat us.  We ate there before it was announced that Oakblue had been closed indefinitely to move staff to The Common Cure to keep it open, so this experience now makes sense.  Once seated, I looked around the restaurant.  There were very few things on the walls.  It seemed sparse and not well decorated.  Are you sensing a theme here?  I am.

IMG_3923

The pharmacy theme that’s trying to be conveyed is a good concept, but there needs to be more done to the overall restaurant than just a few decorations.

For an appetizer we ordered the chips and queso.  The first thing I noticed was that some chips were crunchy and some were chewy.  It’s pretty clear they were either fried at different timesIMG_3922 and at different temps or there were too many in the fry basket, lowering the oil temp and making some of the chips soggy and chewy from soaking up the oil.  The second thing I noticed was that the queso didn’t taste like queso.  Included were jalapenos or some other type of chile or pepper within the queso, but they had no flavor at all. My initial reaction was that some of the cheese had been scorched on the bottom of whatever warmer they had it in and that flavor had seeped into the dip.  After a few tastes of the cheese, I figured out what it tasted like: alfredo sauce.  It wasn’t great alfredo sauce either.  There were flavors of parmesan and nutmeg laced in the queso and it tasted just like jarred alfredo.  Now, I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but it didn’t go well with the chips, be they soggy or crisp nor was it what I expected.  Maybe if  some fried semolina dusted farfalle were in the basket instead of chips, it would be better.  But it wasn’t a good start.

For the entrees, we got the smoked wings and the fried chicken sandwich served hot style with onion rings.

The smoked wings were definitely smoked.  An overwhelming smoke flavor permeated the wings.  Once you got past the heavy smoke, the other flavor of the chicken was good and it came off the bone well, but was a bit dry.  I don’t know if their temperature is off in the smoker, if they were in there too long, or they’re using the wrong kind of wood, but they could be much better.

As for the hot fried chicken sandwich, I will say that it has the most spice of a hot chicken sandwich that I’ve had in Greenville, which isn’t saying much.  You can at least see the pepper on the crust.  IMG_3927

It still doesn’t give you that heat and spice kick I would expect from a hot chicken that you’d get at say Rocky’s in Asheville.  The chicken was dry and could have used some mayo or other sauce on the sandwich.  The onion rings were good, but I was having a hard time trying to figure out if they were frozen or fresh as they did have a slight freezer burn taste to them.  Overall, it was an average sandwich that didn’t wow me.

The Common Cure, in fact, is pretty common over all.  It seems to be a good place for residents of the Augusta Road/Street area to go for a quick drink or dinner in their golf carts, but nothing that we ate makes it worth the drive from much further than that.  Now that they, like every other restaurant in Greenville, are facing staffing issues, they might need to become uncommon to survive.

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