There are a few food items which I'm almost obsessed about: Meatloaf, Meatballs, and Reuben Sandwiches. If any of these show up on a restaurant's menu, there's a 99 per cent chance I'll be ordering them.
The Reuben Sandwich at Karrie's Deli and Pub, which is billed as "The Best In The Upstate" is for once truth in advertising. I've remarked before how is shouldn't be hard for anyone to make a good Reuben. It's a sandwich with just a few ingredients: corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 island dressing on grilled rye bread. The only secret to the sandwich is using the right combination of each item and using top level ingredients. Unfortunately, most restaurants have trouble doing this, but not at Karries'. Without hesitation, I can state that this IS the best Reuben In The Upstate.
You get to pick one side with your sandwich: I chose macaroni salad which was mighty tasty and pictured in the photo above. Even better was my wife's choice of potato salad with pieces of bacon mixed in....the bacon as our old TV pal Emeril would say "Kicked It Up A Notch".
The only warning I would give about Karrie's is go hungry or just order a half sandwich, since the sandwiches are larger than what you usually receive in this area. I think if you go once, you'll be thinking about your next visit as soon as you leave.....I know I am!
1. The greeter/seater left us hanging while he wandered off looking for a table for us. He made us feel we were sort of a bother to him, not a good way to be welcomed into a restaurant.
2. Our server would be better off seeking a job in another field other than food service. The minimal effort she put forth on serving us and busing other tables was way below standards.
3. The floor of the restaurant was dirty with food scraps from the time we arrived until we left.
4. Pricing for this type of meal was excessive (10.00 for a meat and 2??). Luckily we had a coupon (buy one get one) making 10.00 for both of us acceptable.
5. Even though they have servers, you have to fetch your own drinks (This of course leads to unsanitary conditions, i.e. we noticed children playing with the tongs for the lemon slices).
6. Food arrived at the table lukewarm, whether this was due to the kitchen or the fault of our server not picking up the food fast enough is undetermined.
7. The crowd appeared to be mostly yuppie type families with children not kept in rein (not the fault of the restaurant, but still not your typical clientele for this type of restaurant).
8. Even though the restaurant wasn't huge, the noise was near din level.
9. The booths were big hard benches, probably to make sure customers don't linger, enabling the restaurant to turn tables faster.
What was right with this restaurant:
1. Even though the food should have been served a little hotter, it was all tasty and cooked good. I have to give Southern Fried Green Tomatoes props, since they could easily serve a lesser quality of food to the type of customers they seem to be attracting and probably get by with no one complaining.
With a 2 for 1 coupon, the meal was worth the price. Without a coupon, I would definitely recommend you spend your food dollars elsewhere.