I didn't mean to start another collection...I swear I didn't...but if 3 makes a collection, I have already passed that point, mostly due to thrift stores. My first find was the above LP - Making Love - that I found at a Miracle Hill Thrift Store.
Next I found the sealed soundtrack to The Devil In Miss Jones at a Goodwill Thrift Store.
The next LP, Lessons in Love, was scored at another thrift shop, but I can't remember which one, but this made 3 and started the collection.
My fourth find was at an estate sale instead of a thrift shop and is titled Erotica, The Rhythms of Love, which turned out to be bongos with some moaning and groaning in the background.
And finally (so far), I found The Way To Become The Sensuous Woman at another Goodwill Thrift Store. So, that's my unintended collection so far of erotica LPs, but who knows what oddball vinyl record I'll turn up in another thrift or estate sale to add to my unintended collection. Update: Found the below at Salvation Army in Greer, SC Another Update: Found a second copy of the below LP, approximately 2 miles up the road at the Goodwill in Greer, SC.
A year or so ago, the Wade Hampton Clock Restaurant was on the verge of closing due to a raise in rent. A panic went up among all their long term customers and the landlord made a deal with the owners instead of becoming one of the most hated men in Greenville. We went more frequently, since we realized how an institution we grew up with could become "Ain't Dere No Mo". During this renewal the older co- owner, George, decided to retire and he sold out to the younger co-owner, John. Unfortunately, this gradually caused a slip in the quality of the food - dry chili on the hot dogs, hard onion rings, under cooked french fries, and reports of super thin hamburgers. Regretfully, we just stopped going, even though John is a nice guy, the food was no longer up to what it used to be.
Well, the grease is back, because George came out of retirement and opened another Clock on Congaree (just behind Haywood Mall). Finally, all the old favorites: hot dogs, chili cheeseburgers, 1/2 and 1/2 (onion rings and fries) are being served once again with the taste we remember. How good was it.....well,as soon as I walked out the door, I was thinking about how soon I would be back! I guess the only drawback is the sweet tea is just barely sweet, but then that's the way The Clock has always served it.
Just like the old Saturday Night Live skit...this Clock....like the Chicago restaurant spoofed in that skit, has "NO COKE, PEPSI!"
Mad Cuban Cafe is tucked away in a strip mall just off Fairview Rd in Simpsonville. We saw their roadside sign on our way back from Southern Catch. Since I'm always looking for a good empanada, we thought we would give them a try.
We ordered two empanadas (a Cuban stuffed with ham, pork, Swiss cheese and a Carne), plus we split a Croquetta Preparada Cuban sandwich which had pork, ham, Swiss cheese, smashed croquettes (breaded deep fried minced ham balls), mustard and pickles. My wife really liked the Cuban empanada, and I really liked the Carne (ground beef), both were excellent. The sandwich, on the other hand, even with all those ingredients was pretty bland, if it hadn't been for the mustard and pickles, it would have been fairly tasteless. We also split an excellent tres leches for dessert. The staff were friendly, greeting everyone on arrival and thanking everyone on departure, which is always nice to see a restaurant appreciate their patrons. Would we return? Well, if we were already in Simpsonville and wanted empanadas (and some of that great tres leches), the answer would be be yes, but I wouldn't make a special trip to eat there.
Flat Rock Wood Room is one of those places that we've driven by, but never gave much thought about visiting. A couple of weeks ago, on our way back from Asheville, we noticed how crowded the parking lot was for a late Sunday afternoon and decided it might be worth a try.....and was it ever.
My wife ordered an Under The Tuscan Sun Pizza (Fior di latte mozzarella, basil, fire roasted garlic and sliced tomatoes) and since my order was taking a little longer to arrive I was able to sample several slices. After the first bites, we both agreed that this was one of the best pizzas we've had and would definitely be coming back soon for another. Below is a photo of the pizza oven and without his hat, we really thought the pizza chef looked like Rupert from the Hello Deli on the David Letterman show.
Even though I was happy noshing on my wife's pizza, they brought me a piece of cornbread, since my sandwich hadn't arrived. It comes with a smear of honey pecan butter. It was so good, almost half of it was gone before I realize I should take a photo.
The service was casual and the prices were a couple of dollars higher than might be expected for a pizza and a sandwich, but even with four beers, our total was only $40.00 before tip, and I felt it was worth every penny. Thankfully, it's only about a 45 minute drive from our house to Flat Rock and we'll be able to enjoy more great food with only a short ride, which we'll be doing very soon.
I can't remember where I first heard about Southern Catch, but wherever it was I want to thank them because this is one more fine seafood restaurant.
We happened to go while they were celebrating their one year anniversary, and they gave us a free order of fried pickles, an item we often order elsewhere, and we both agree these are the best we've ever had.
I ordered the catfish basket (3 catfish fillets, fries, hush puppies, coleslaw). These rank with some of the best catfish I've ever had, and maybe even rank as the best, might be because they were breaded with corn meal. We also requested our fries be made extra crispy and they arrived as ordered.
My wife ordered the small shrimp basket (6 shrimp, coleslaw, fries, hush puppies). I traded one catfish fillet for 2 shrimp and was blown away at how good the shrimp were. My wife concurred. She stopped eating shrimp for a few years because no place seemed able to cook them right. Her only regret today is that she traded away two of hers!
Not realizing that the baskets came with hush puppies, we ordered a side of hush puppies. These are some great tasting sweet hush puppies, which appeared to have pieces of pimento in them. Sadly, we had so much other food, we really couldn't make a dent in the extra hush puppies. We also were given a couple of pieces of cake in celebration of their anniversary.
The restaurant is small (I counted 24 seats inside and there's a couple of picnic tables outside). Southern Catch is a pretty good drive from Taylors...but well worth that drive and We'll definitely be going back.
Italian Garden, 2716 Wade Hampton Blvd. Greenville, SC
We were really hoping to like this restaurant, since it would be close to our house and whenever we were in the mood for Italian Food it would be mighty convenient. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on either food or service.
This was a Mexican restaurant previously and I forget what it was before that, but the new owners have really done a great job on renovating the inside as can be seen above.
We went at lunch and ordered two of the lunch specials - meatball sub which came with fries and spaghetti with meat sauce which came with a salad.
Both selections were just ok, not bad, but definitely nothing above average (to us, they both had the look and taste of food bought from Sysco, rather than being made in-house). The meatballs were sliced to make it appear there was more meat in the sandwich, but it was still only half full of meat (you can get a pretty good idea from the photo of how much it was lacking). The meat in the spaghetti sauce was almost non-existent, you had to really search hard to find any of the tiny morsels of meat. Add in the fact that the salad dressing appeared to be watered down and the sweet tea really should have been called "barely sweet tea" and I came away with the idea the restaurant was trying to cut as many corners as possible to make a profit. Personally, I would rather pay a little more and get a couple of decent meals. Our server was under-trained and almost comically bad. Once she brought our order, she disappeared until we were almost finished eating, then she returned again within a few minutes, and then once again a few minutes later to ask us if we wanted.....there was a long pause....because she couldn't remember the word "bill" or "check". Maybe things are different at evening service, but we'll never know because this lunch was such a disappointment, we won't be returning.
Holmes Hot Dogs, 925 W Blackstock Rd Arcadia (Spartanburg), SC
Even though my wife grew up in Spartanburg, she had never had a Holmes hot dog. We happened upon it when we first went to Bubba's BBQ & Bash and could see Holmes Hot Dogs from Bubba's parking lot. Doing some online research, most everyone seemed to be in agreement that this was Spartanburg's best hog dog. Spartanburg has several of our favorite restaurants, so it was quite a stretch to drive to Spartanburg for "just" a hot dog. It turned out that Holmes Hot Dogs was well worth the trip.
What can you say about a restaurant that has a great hot dog, great sides, great decor, and a super friendly staff, other than "why haven't I been here before?" We both got single hot dog plates, which included fries and slaw. My wife says this is the best hot dog she has ever had and I tend to agree with her. The fries were done to perfection and the slaw was the creamy mayonnaise type that I like. The only misstep was on my part...I rue the fact that I didn't order the TWO hot dog plate. Next time we're in the mood for a hot dog, it looks like we'll be driving to Spartanburg and I would recommend you do the same. Menu below:
Addendum: After visiting Holmes Hot Dogs approximately every other week since my initial review, we tried another item - the bologna sandwich - which is served with mustard, chili, and onions. This was really good and I can, without reservation, highly recommend it. A grilled thick slab of bologna on a warm bun with the above accompaniments. The only problem was I had to omit one of my hot dogs for 1/2 of this sandwich.
Northwest Grill, 13045 Old White Horse Rd, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
I know polls mean nothing, except how many people you can get to vote for you. However, Northwest Grill piqued my curiosity when it was recently voted #2 in WYFF's Best Burger Facebook Poll. It's 26 minutes from my house to Northwest Grill and I'm happy to say that the trip is well worth it.
We both had cheeseburger plates, I got the large (probably about 1/3 pound) and my wife got the small (probably about 1/4 pound), both were delicious, cooked right and accompanied by fresh cut french fries. On top of the great burger, John, the cook who had a name tag that said "Burgerologist" (and he definitely deserves that title), insisted that we try the banana pudding, which was made from his Grandmother's recipe. This was an outstanding banana pudding and I think the only one I've had that was better was at OJ's Diner, and John's was darn close.
Be aware when you go that each order is made fresh, so if there's a few orders in front of you, there will be a short wait. Once your burger arrives, you'll know it was well worth that wait and if you're anything like me, you'll be thinking "I'm definitely coming back to Northwest Grill".
I've eaten at Charlie's Bar-B-Que before, but it was many years ago. We've driven past the restaurant several times over the last few months, so I thought I would give it a another try. Unfortunately, that was a mistake. I'll give them credit for having a very friendly and efficient staff; however, that doesn't make up for the low quality meals that we ate there today.
I had a chopped sandwich plate with macaroni and cheese and the loaded potato salad. My wife had the same plate but with slaw and baked beans (see photo below). Much to my dismay, the macaroni and cheese was your standard "Kraft" style. I think this is the first time I've been in a BBQ restaurant and been served a children's dish. The loaded potato salad was the best thing we had, but I'm assuming they buy it from someone, since it was pretty obvious they didn't put much effort into their sides (slaw and beans were both just ok). If the BBQ had been good, I could have overlooked the sides, but the meat was practically tasteless and my guess is that is why they put sauce on it before serving it to you. My recommendation for Charlie's Bar-B-Que is spend your money at about any other BBQ restaurant in Greenville and you'll be better off.
Circle M BBQ in Liberty SC made the SC BBQ Association's 100 Mile BBQ List (BBQ that you would drive 100 miles to eat). Everybody's taste in BBQ is different and I have to say, that for my taste, Circle M was just pretty good, but more like 10 mile BBQ (BBQ that I would drive 10 miles to eat....that's still not bad, since there's some BBQ I wouldn't drive a mile to eat).
When I say BBQ, I mean only one thing, the classic chopped/shredded pork Q on a bun. So I had the small bbq sandwich plate which comes with slaw and beans (no choosing sides at Circle M, these are the only two sides, with one exception, you can replace one of the sides with Brunswick stew for an additional .75. My wife had the same plate with an added side of Brunswick stew.
The sandwich was good, but the smoked meat already had some of the pepper vinegar sauce they use (the only sauce available). It was ok, but I would have preferred tasting the meat and deciding if I wanted any sauce. If the meat is good enough, it shouldn't need any type of sauce. I thought the beans were pretty good, the wife thought they were fair. She did really like the marinated slaw, which to my surprise was sweet. Hearing that the owner had learned to cook Q in NC, I was assuming he would fix a "red slaw". I'm not big on Brunswick stew and my wife said she had had much better. If I was in Liberty and someone said let's go to Circle M for some Q, I would be agreeable; but I certainly wouldn't ever drive from Taylors to Liberty again on my own, I can get much better Q in a much shorter trip.
We've driven by Sugar n Spice Restaurant many times over the years. Recently, I ran across the fact that they were famous for their roast beef (cooked in house) sandwich, so after the Hub City BBQ fest we thought we would give them a try.
"A-Plenty" seems to be regional to Spartanburg, since I don't think I've run across it anywhere else. Our Greenville variation would be "big boy( or plate) half and half"
We split a Roast Beef a Plenty plate and the restaurant was nice enough to, not only provide an extra plate, but also another serving of slaw. Our opinions differ on this plate. I found the roast beef, which truly is like home cooking, to be flavorful and mighty tasty. My wife on the other hand thought it was too fatty. We did agree on the slaw, it was dry and could have been improved with some mayonnaise. Sugar n Spice was much better than The Beacon (the only other restaurant of this type that we've eaten at in Spartanburg) and for a roast beef sandwich I don't think you'll find better. Would we go back? Maybe, but there's so many better places to eat in Spartanburg, that Sugar n Spice wouldn't be one of our top picks.
For a person who doesn't like to eat in chain restaurants, I sure have been eating in a string of them over the last few weeks. First there was On The Border, then Texas Roadhouse, and now Chuy's, which turned out to be the best of the trio. One drawback is it's on Woodruff Road, but thankfully it's on the lower part near Verdae Blvd. and here's a hint: you can
turn at the red light before you get to the restaurant and go through a
couple of parking lots and arrive at the back of Chuy's.
We split a couple of plates. Above are the Chili Rellenos - two anaheim peppers fire roasted and filled with ground sirloin with ranchero sauce, battered then fried and served with a drizzle of sour cream. Very tasty with almost a sweetness to them. You can also have these with chicken, shrimp, or cheese.
Above is our other plate - Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken - a pounded chicken breast, breaded with Lay's potato chips, deep fried and smothered in green chile sauce and cheddar cheese. The combination of all the ingredients worked and made for a flavorful entree.
Both plates came with rice and beans, which were both pretty standard. We were served pre-meal complimentary chips and 2 dips - salsa and creamy jalapeno. The chips were the thin variety but very salty (which was only noticeable if you ate them without dip). My wife liked the salsa, but I thought the lime in it was overpowering, the creamy jalapeno was basically ranch with jalapeno. Overall, this was a pretty good meal and a chain restaurant I could see putting into our regular line-up of places to dine. My only real disappointment was I didn't notice until late in the meal that they had Shiner Bock, making me realize I had missed an opportunity to drink one of my favorite beers.
I didn't realize until this weekend that I had never reviewed Capri's of Easley. Until a couple of years ago, we had a Capri's in Greer, SC, which went belly-up due to poor management and of course, many years ago we had several other Capri's in town.
We usually have two salads, a small picture of Yuengling and split a small pizza with sausage, green pepper, and onion (which you can see in the background of the above photo). This is one of my favorite pizzas, but some of my prejudice toward liking this pie is it's the taste of pizza I grew up on. If you didn't grow up eating at Capri's in the Greenville area, you may or may not find this pizza as wonderful as I do. This week, I ordered a cheeseburger with a baked potato (this is the combo I got used to when eating cheeseburgers in New Orleans). What a great burger, juicy and cooked just right. One final thing to add about Capri's of Easley, the service is always top notch. Hint: If you going on a Friday or Saturday night, go early or be prepared for a short wait.
We've been to Texas Roadhouse many years ago and everything was fine. We recently got a coupon for a free appetizer and since they had fried pickles on the menu, thought we would give them another try.
The fried pickles were tasty and we would order them again. I had a cup of their chili which was really good and wouldn't mind picking some up sometime when it was cold outside.
We split a cheeseburger plate and while it was good, the main problem was the meat was too high a grade. In other words, not greasy, which made it a little dry. The steak fries were also good. Plus, we had four beers (at 2.75 each, these were almost 1/2 of our bill). They also serve you roasted peanuts and complimentary rolls with cinnamon butter. The service was outstanding, very attentive without being over powering. As with previous visits, my reaction to Texas Roadhouse is, it's fine, but nothing to make me want to go every week; however, a visit every now and then wouldn't be out of the question.