Fire & Spice

Eclectic | Sandwich Shop | Smoke House
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
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I will try to remain calm as I describe Fire & Spice and I promise to limit my use of superlatives and exclamation marks; but it’s not easy. This food is exciting — in concept as well as flavor. Take, for instance, the BLT. Instead of ordinary bacon, it is made with thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon that fairly vibrates with jerk-seasoning zest; mayonnaise is jalapeno-spiked; toast is double-thick Texas style. Oh, and did I mention that the amount of bacon is enough for two or three sandwiches? A couple of times while chomping through it, I actually had the insane thought there might be too much bacon. (A thought easily dismissed)

Jerk seasoning is a star player all over the menu. Jerk chicken is abundantly juicy, tender, and gentle — all qualities that are stunningly counterbalanced by a sharp fusillade of peppery spices. Likewise, jerk pork has that velvety-sweet quality of smoke-cooked meat, but a veil of jerk seasoning makes it a mouthful of reveille.

Much of the menu is sandwiches. Big ones: Cubans, Reubens, subs, roast beef, and French dip, plus such interesting creations as Korean BBQ cheese steak and Greek lamb cheese steak. The classic Philly cheese steak is, according to the friend with whom I shared it, “the best cheese steak on this or any other planet.” Moist, booming-flavored shaved beef — a tender joy to chew with its few crisp edges — is piled into a long torpedo loaf with your choice of cheese (but no Whiz) and options of grilled sweet onions, mushrooms, or peppers. I would stack it up against Philadelphia’s best.

Even if you’re eating a sandwich, I suggest you skip chips and focus on the side dishes that come with hot-meal plates. I can’t remember collard greens so scrumptious: big, weighty leaves that are tender but not mushy glow with vegetable sweetness. Silk-textured baked beans are laced with pork and radiate smoke savor. Fried plantains are sweet but not candy-sweet, their sugar content balanced by the sharp citrusy twist of fruit that is not quite fully ripe. Rice, dotted with beans, is flavored with coconut. I was so intrigued by macaroni salad with its crunchy bits of pepper and pickle and some other vibrant but elusive flavor that I asked the chef to tell me what was in it. He grinned, silently, the implication being that if he told me, he’d have to kill me.

A modest storefront just off Broad River Road, Fire & Spice is an earnest, eager-to-please, mom & pop operation. (Mom = Lynette DeMusis; Pop = her husband and chef, Michael George.) It’s as casual as any neighborhood deli. Place your order and pay at the counter where the day’s specialties are posted, then find a seat to which your food is brought. Nothing on the menu costs over $10.

Do note that the bill of fare changes daily, and that the jerk bacon BLT is, so far, only an occasional specialty. Also note that Fire & Spice is open only from 11-3, and only Tuesday through Friday.

What to Eat
Fire & Spice, Philadelphia Cheese Steak
Philadelphia Cheese Steak
Must-Try
First-rate cheese steak, loaded with savory shaved beef: large appetite required!
Fire & Spice, Jerk Chicken
Jerk Chicken
Must-Try
Moist and saturated with jerk-spice heat, chicken makes lips and tongue tingle.
Fire & Spice, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Must-Try
Firm, flavorful, luxurious collard greens
Fire & Spice, Baked Beans
Baked Beans
Must-Try
Porky baked beans are sweet and gentle on the tongue.
Fire & Spice, BLT
BLT
Must-Try
Jerk-seasoned applewood-smoked bacon stars in a grand BLT.
Fire & Spice, Rice & Beans
Rice & Beans
Must-Try
Rice and beans packs subtle coconut flavor and alluring aroma.
Fire & Spice, Plantains
Plantains
Must-Try
Plaintains are the must-eat side dish to any meal.
Fire & Spice, Jerk Pork
Jerk Pork
Must-Try
Jerk pork at first tastes only sweet. But then hot spices take command.
Fire & Spice, Korean Lamb Cheese Steak
Korean Lamb Cheese Steak
Must-Try
Beef seems wan compared to the super-spicy lamb in a ferociously hot Korean cheese steak.
Fire & Spice, BBQ
BBQ
Must-Try
Boston butt, soft as velvet, dressed with tangy-sweet Carolina mustard sauce.
Fire & Spice, Macaroni Salad
Macaroni Salad
Must-Try
Macaroni salad is like what's served in Hawaiian BBQ joints, but without the shredded carrots.
Fire & Spice, Bacon BBQ Cheese Steak
Bacon BBQ Cheese Steak
Must-Try
Shaved beef + plenty bacon + cheese + BBQ sauce + onion strings = sandwich happiness.
Fire & Spice, Pot Roast
Pot Roast
Must-Try
Wednesday chef's special: Uncomplicated, unimprovable pot roast
Fire & Spice, Jalapeno Slaw
Jalapeno Slaw
Even cole slaw is extraordinary, dotted with hot jalapeno peppers.
Fire & Spice, Pickled Okra
Pickled Okra
Pickled okra sports extra crunch and extra peppery spice.
Directions and Hours
closed now
SundayCLOSED
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday11am - 2pm
Wednesday11am - 2pm
Thursday11am - 2pm
Friday11am - 2pm
SaturdayCLOSED
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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