The modest, glass-fronted building between Poinsett Highway and Rutherford Road has enjoyed numerous incarnations in its lifetime. Independent Public Alehouse is a combination venue for live music and food. It’s also Alabama native Chef Daniel Dobbs’s culinary playground. Whether he’s strutting the sidewalks in his pink pig suit or pulling apart perfectly cured pork, Dobbs is certain of one thing: it’s all for the love of food.
What piqued your interest for a career in the culinary arts?
“I started cooking when I was 17 at Cheryl’s Briar Patch, a lost Greenville classic. She took me from the dish pit and taught my stubborn self how to cook. I then cooked my way through Auburn, finding my way to the mountains of Virginia. After learning the truth about what it takes to be a real chef, I went to Johnson and Wales University in Charleston and was eventually taken in by the good people at Soby’s.”
How did you come to IPA?
“I have been in and out of the Upstate scene for 10 years now. My latest job was for Chef Francis Turk at The Cliffs Keowee Vineyards, who was and is a great influence to have. I was able to explore and express myself in his kitchen. It was very hard to leave such a great gig, but the temptation to sell DoBBieQ was too strong. Now I am DoBBieQ and IPA all the way.”
What is DoBBieQ?
“DoBBieQ is a food concept that involves local goods and good locals. It’s a line of smoked brisket, chicken, catfish, and appetizers that incorporates a chef’s touch and some classical French methods. I use pork and beef from Greer, our chicken and catfish are from close by in North Carolina. Even the shrimp we use is from my home state of Alabama. IPA provides me with a stage for my art, my food.”
What relationship do you think there is between music and food?
“If there is laughter and fun, there is always music and food. The owners of IPA, Michele and Alan, have provided our guests with a similar experience, where you can come eat great local food and drink awesome local beers with a background of live local music. For me, it starts in the kitchen. I start my early morning off with a good dose of Motown, Stevie Wonder, Talking Heads, and then a mix of reggae. It gets my head right and makes the food tight.”
COARSE OF ACTION
I recommend the section of our menu called “And Grits.” I make some darn good grits, which are topped with pulled pork, chicken, shrimp, catfish, or DoBBieQ smoked brisket (the most popular choice), then garnished heavily with bacon, pepper- jack cheese, and green onion.
I also make a new macaroni and cheese every few days. Dishes range from PBR Mac to Quest Pumpkin Mac and Chevre to Garlic Parm Mac. Up next: Jerk Mac!