Thursday, December 31, 2009


Going to New Orleans on a regular basis has gotten me used to places that look like dives, but serve great food. You can read about those restaurants on my other blog IF I LIVED HERE, I'D BE DEAD BY NOW.

But here in Upstate South Carolina, we have a restaurant that could hold its own in New Orleans. The looks of the restaurant are definitely deceiving. One side is a bar and you can eat on that side, but be warned smoking is allowed in the bar. The other side is small, it might hold 60 people, so count on some wait time, if you go during peak hours. And keep in mind that there isn't a list or anything to sign, everyone just mills right inside the door or outside the door until a table is available. Believe me, it's worth the wait.

I have eaten or been able to sample off dining companions' plates just about everything on the menu and I don't hesitate to state that you could just blindly point at the menu and be pleased with whatever your finger landed on.

The restaurant's most famous dish is probably ribs and killer shrimp. My recommendation is to get the ribs dry rubbed and the sauces on the side. The shrimp are wrapped in bacon and grilled and smothered in BBQ sauce. The photo above shows part of a 1/2 rack (some had already been shared) and cheese/bacon fries.

My wife had the Carolina Medallions. Steak medallions topped with a combination of shrimp, mushrooms, onions, and jack cheese and sauteed in white wine garlic butter. The plate also has the baked sweet potato with brown sugar butter.

On my last visit, I had the Charleston Grouper. You can get the grouper fried, grilled, or broiled. I had fried. It's topped with shrimp and served with a crab cake in a cajun cream sauce. I also had the very creamy cheese grits. You get a choice of two sides with each meal. Our other sides were house salads. They're huge with cheese, eggs, and bacon.

Two meals with beverages only run around 26.00 before tip. Not only is this some of the best food you will eat here in Upstate South Carolina, but also a steal of a deal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


If you ever find yourself in Walhalla SC, you owe it to yourself to check out The Steak House Cafeteria on Main Street.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the name is somewhat of a misnomer. The only steak you might find on the cafeteria line is country style steak. I have heard that they serve steak once a year on New Year's Eve, but I can't confirm that fact.

What you really want, especially if it is your first time at The Steak House Cafeteria, is the "Arabian Rooster" fried Chicken
. This is what the cafeteria is famous for. The restaurant has been on Main Street since 1944, but the current owner, Abed Yassen, took ownership in 1973. Abed studied what made other people's chicken good and took a little from different recipes to come up with his own fried chicken.

Inside you will find your standard cafeteria line staffed by friendly people on the line and at the register. The photo below shows part of the restaurant from the exit door looking back toward the serving line. Don't worry, if the restaurant looks crowded, they have 3 rooms of tables.

On our last visit we both got almost the same things. I ordered chicken with baked macaroni and cheese pie and my wife got the chicken with black eye peas. I've never had any vegetable off the line that wasn't really good. These breasts look a little smaller than what they normally serve, but neither one of us could completely finish our chicken. And the tasty crust is equal to the juicy flavorful meat itself.

For dessert, I had the sugar free apple pie and my wife had the apple dumpling. The apple dumpling is her all time favorite, but they only serve it occasionally in the fall/winter months. If you're lucky it might be on the menu when you go. However, besides these two desserts, I find most of the other desserts just ok and usually put most of my eating effort into the chicken and the vegetables.

The Steak House Cafeteria is a little more pricey than most cafeterias. The above meals with a couple of beverages ran us around $18.00, but everything is such high quality and done right that I never feel that I overspent for what I got.

Please check out The Steak House Cafeteria next time you find yourself around the Wahalla, Seneca, Clemson area of South Carolina. I don't think you'll be disappointed.