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 Weekend in South Carolina

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carolina bob

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Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/15/09 9:04 PM (permalink)
Captain, the Snappy Lunch in Mount Airy is alive and well. So well that, when I was down there three weeks ago during the Mayberry Days Festival, I had to stand in line out on the sidewalk for roughly an hour before I could get in to have my pork chop sandwich. Unfortunately, long-time owner and master pork chop preparer Charles Dowell did have to retire last year due to health problems, but he still comes in occasionally to have a pork chop, as he did during my last visit. I'm not certain, but I think that the Snappy Lunch was mentioned in only one episode of The Andy Griffith Show

    Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 9:44 AM (permalink)

    Since I am so close to the end of my trip with what has already been posted, I mind as well finish it and then go back to the beginning.  Sorry if this is confusing.  I wasn't planning on turning this into the movie Momento.

    After leaving Spartanburg, I was looking for my favorite I-85 landmark, the giant peach water tower.  Unfortunately, trying to snap photos at 70mph is not advisable and this

    is the best I could do.

    It was getting to be time to catch my flight home, but I still needed to make one more stop.  In Gastonia, NC, is a cool place named Tony's Ice Cream

    Besides the really good ice cream, they also have a hot food menu, too.  I stopped in here earlier in the year and had an excellent ham biscuit and a couple scoops of fresh ice cream.  My plan was to stop in and get some better photos, so I could write a Roadfood review for it.

    Before my trip, I contacted Roadfood's Charlotte area food expert, Chris Ayers of ayersian and asked if he had been to Tony's before.  He had not, but still came through with some excellent suggestions, courtesy of his dad, who sounds like is a semi-regular.  Chris wrote I should try the livermush on a bun, with mustard, chili and slaw plus the Cherry Lemon Sun Drop at the fountain, not too much ice and a couple slices of lemon.  He also mentions that the milkshakes are made with real ice cream and real milk.  This sure sounded good to me!

    When I pulled up, the parking lot was jam packed.  With the way that many of the customers were wearing Carolina Panthers football jerseys, I figured out that these were fans who stopped on the way home after the game.  The line for the hot food was 20+ people long

    and I just didn't have that kind of time.

    There was no line at the seperate ice cream counter (what is the matter with these people?), so I still had time to grab a milkshake.  I asked the young lady if they had a particular flavor they are best known for.  She told me chocolate was their most popular flavor.  Since they have so many different flavors (20+) and I can get a chocolate shake anywhere, I decided to go in another direction.  I told her since I just saw a giant peach next to the highway, I will take a peach shake.  She laughed and said, "Good choice".

    I watched her mix the shake on one of those old time shake mixers and before she gave it to me, put another scoop of peach ice cream on top.  Chris had given me a heads up on this and his dad said they do it, "for an extra boost of cholesterol", which I thought was funny.  Here is my peach milkshake. 

    Isn't she a beauty?  It was almost too pretty to eat.  Yeah right!

    I gulped it down and headed for the Charlotte airport and the end of my weekend.

    Tony's Ice Cream
    604 East Franklin Boulevard
    Gastonia, NC

    I have traveled this route prably a hundred times.  From certain angles, the peach appears as a huge human butt. 
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN 


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      Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 9:59 AM (permalink)
      I have traveled this route prably a hundred times.  From certain angles, the peach appears as a huge human butt. 
      Paul E. Smith
      Knoxville, TN 

      I think you've been hitting that Tennessee moonshine again!

        • Total Posts: 3778
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        • Location: Columbia, SC
        Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 3:50 PM (permalink)
        No, I'm a teetotaler and I see the butt too.  Maybe that's sort of a personality test and Paul and I failed.

          Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 4:06 PM (permalink)
            carolina bob

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            Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 6:00 PM (permalink)
            Nancy, aren't you the the one who refers to Pilot Mountain in NC as "Boobie Mountain"? Boy, talk about a one-track mind!

              Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 6:17 PM (permalink)
              The shake with a scoop is similar to Hodad's version.

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                Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 7:41 PM (permalink)
                Listen, I am not the only person who calls it that, or the only person who sees the butt.  I just may be more honest about it than most.  :)
                  Vince Macek

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                  Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/16/09 9:57 PM (permalink)
                  Oh yeah - it's a butt. I think they've tried to de-emphasize it recently with paint and a leaf..."but"...

                    Re:Weekend in South Carolina Sat, 10/17/09 8:24 AM (permalink)
                    From a certain angle, it certainly resembles a huge orange butt.
                    Paul E. Smith
                    Knoxville, TN

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                      • Joined: 1/23/2008
                      • Location: Snellville, GA
                      Re:Weekend in South Carolina Mon, 10/19/09 11:19 AM (permalink)
                      sk bob

                      PK's looks like a diamond in the rough.
                       if you took a picture of that peach from another direction it looks like something entirely different.

                      Yes, indeed it does!!!!

                        Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 10:44 AM (permalink)
                        This is another (rather poor) pic taken while I was driving, which shows what Paul and the others were talking about with the giant peach water tower.

                          Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 11:24 AM (permalink)
                          On Sunday morning, I was scheduled to meet one of my very favorite people from these forums, Nancypalooza.  Getting into the downtown Columbia area a few minutes early, I killed some time walking the grounds at the South Carolina state capitol building,
                          which I had previously toured a few years ago.

                          When I pulled up outside Cafe Strudel at just a few minutes before 10:00AM, Nancy was outside waiting.  She greeted me with the words that I have one of the most recognizable faces on Roadfood.  HMMMM.  That could be both good and bad, but with it coming from her, I took it as a good thing!

                          Cafe Strudel

                          is a restaurant inside what used to be a two story house in West Columbia.  There was no doubt that she brought me to the right place when I saw this

                          right inside the front door.  We paused for a few minutes, oogling the desserts, before we went upstairs.  Nancy selected a table right next to the window, which was perfect for taking photos and also gave me a nice view across the river into downtown Columbia.
                          She started off by ordering a hot chocolate, which sounded good to me. 

                          Really good!  For an entree, Nancy went with a bagel,

                          with what looks like turkey and sprouts on it.  Sorry I can't remember more.  As usual, I am more focused on my own food!  Mine was something called Hangover Hashbrowns.  As you can see,

                          this is a big plate full of hashbrowns, eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, melted cheese and other things, all mixed into one.  Add some chili and we could have called it a slinger!  And after a weekend of eating bbq and other not healthiest of things, I got a bowl of fresh fruit. 

                          This was wrapped to go and eaten while driving around the rest of the day.
                          Though the entrees were quite filling, there was no way a couple of serious Roadfooders could pass up dessert.  Especially after seeing that case.  Nancy got her favorite thing, the gooey cinnamon roll,

                          which was wonderful.  That photo is kind of deceptive, because it is actually much bigger than it looks.  What I thought was a piece of raspberry chocolate cake was actually Black Forest Cake,

                          which was fine by me.  The was also delicious and way too big for a normal appetite.  I wasn't able to finish it.
                          Finally meeting Nancy was a sheer delight.  She is just as smart and funny in person as she comes across in the forums here.  She was also nice enough to bring me a jar of excellent raspberry jam from the Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, NC.  Thanks Nancy!  Unfortunately, I did forget to ask the waitress to take a photo of us.
                          Cafe Strudel
                          118 State Street
                          West Columbia, SC
                          <message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 10/21/09 11:27 AM>

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                            Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 2:07 PM (permalink)
                            You wouldn't think I was so smart and funny if you could see me giggling and snorting like a 12 year old at the orange peach butt picture.  :)  Cliff is fabulous company and I enjoyed finally getting to meet him in person at least as much.

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                              Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 2:13 PM (permalink)
                              Wow!!! Cafe Strudel is now on my must hit list. Everything else looks incredible. That egg platter...there are no words....and that chocolate

                                Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 2:14 PM (permalink)
                                Nancy, notice how I said nothing about mature!

                                  • Total Posts: 3778
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                                  Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 2:18 PM (permalink)
                                  No, mature would be a stretch.  ;)

                                  I forgot to provide detail--I have a Kyle's Special Bagel, which is smoked turkey, red onions and provolone grilled, then spread with cream cheese and the sprouts.  I love it, and it's available the rest of the day on sourdough too.
                                    Buffalo Tarheel

                                    Re:Weekend in South Carolina Wed, 10/21/09 7:22 PM (permalink)

                                    Another great trip report - those pictures of the fried chicken have me starving and in need of a trip to the homeland before too long.  Thanks for sharing the photographs. 

                                    As far as meeting Nancy for a meal, it is always great to meet another Roadfooder in person, whether a group outing or just a trip like yours.

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                                      Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 8:15 AM (permalink)
                                      buffetbuster & Nancypalooza, Sounds like a great time.  Nice report.

                                      I think I saw that peach from the same angle as skbob 

                                        Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 3:01 PM (permalink)
                                        On Saturday morning, my friend Lisa picked me up at my hotel, the Comfort Suites in Lexington.  Just minutes away is a Lizard's Thicket,

                                        a popular local Southern food chain.  She warned that the food here is just okay and that is about where I would rate it, too.  Here is my plate of country ham, home fries and scrambled eggs. 

                                        The ham was fine, but the home fries were these puffy, air filled cubes, that as soon as you put your fork into it, they deflated.  Very odd.  The biscuit was hard. 

                                        Lisa at least thought her baked apples

                                        were good.  I most likely won't come back, unless someone tells me lunches are much better.
                                        Lisa was able to come up with some free tickets to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (USC) vs. University of Kentucky Wildcats football game.  Being a huge college football fan, I couldn't pass it up.  Before we headed into Columbia, she took me to an unusual store.  In the middle was a nice jewelry store.  But on one side, was a store that sold nothing but Gamecocks merchandise and on the other side, another store that sold all kinds of Clemson Tiger stuff.  They really do take their college sports very serious down here.
                                        Still having some time to kill, we stopped in at the USC Bookstore.  Outside, they had a giant Gamecock painted on the road

                                        and all those buses are waiting to take students to the game.  It does seem a little strange that the stadium is at least a mile away from campus, but putting it on the state fairgrounds does make sense.
                                        We parked a couple of blocks from the stadium and started walking.  One of the best parts of the college game is the atmosphere, specifically the way people dress up for the game.

                                        One of the traditions they are best known for here is the Cockaboose. 

                                        This is a series of railway cars, outfitted in Gamecock colors and designed for tailgating.  Or is that traingating?  These are private cars, but Lisa mentioned that she wouldn't mind seeing inside of one.  Just then, I looked up and saw the owners of the car inviting some Wildcat fans in. 

                                        So, I just went inside with them.  Talking to the one girl at the door, she told me this car belongs to the School of Journalism.  I think it is very cool that the fans of these rival teams can be friendly with each other.  I love seeing good sportsmanship!
                                        While walking up the ramp to our seats, I noticed the guy in front of me had a white t-shirt on that said it was his son's first game.  So, of course, I had them pose for a picture. 

                                        Very cute!
                                        Our seats were pretty far back on the lower level, but I am in no position to complain about free tickets.  Here is the band spelling out USC

                                        before the game and then the team runs out on the field through the mist.

                                        My new camera has a much better zoom than the last one and I enjoyed playing around with it, trying to get some action shots.  Here is the Gamecocks returning the opening kickoff

                                        and a screen pass a few minutes later.

                                        As much as I enjoyed the atmosphere, the 80+ degree, high humidity day was really rough on me.  I'm just not used to that kind of weather.  By halftime, my shirt was soaked, so we left.  Besides, there is a pimento cheeseburger just down the road that needs eaten!
                                        <message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 10/23/09 10:29 AM>
                                          mayor al

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                                          Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 4:21 PM (permalink)
                                          Nice Job, Cliff. I always have trouble with the "USC" initials, after growing up on the 'other' coast where the U S C Trojans rule the roost! USC (Southern Cal) is a private University with excellent standards and a great record (minus the infamous O J Story). But Your coverage of the spirit at the Gamecocks events was neat...BTW  What is a Gamecock...isn't that the thing they swat around at Badmitton games??

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                                            Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 4:59 PM (permalink)
                                            (sigh)  That's a shuttlecock, Al.  Listen, don't make me defend the mascot.  I grew up here, I have almost three degrees, I work here, and even I think it's maybe not the best choice.  I keep telling people if we switched mascots we'd probably win more games.

                                            Last winter I was in LA visiting my mother and went to her monthly poker game with a bunch of old college friends--one of whom is a department chair at Southern Cal (which is what we would naturally call that place, but we are the only ones who would) and when I introduced myself and said what I did I asked her if maybe Carmina Burana was supposed to start playing since we were in the same place at the same time.   :)

                                              Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 6:10 PM (permalink)
                                              Nancy, what in the world are you talking about?  I grew up there, too, and I love the Carolina mascot.  At the very least, the school has more pride than any other SC college, Clemson included. 

                                              Al, our USC came first, plain and simple: 1805.  The Trojans followed 75 years later.  When you say USC in South Carolina, no one thinks about the West coast.  I, too, don't always agree with her politics, but that's where I'm from.    Chris
                                                mayor al

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                                                Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 11:35 PM (permalink)
                                                Nancy, At  least you know the mascots from your alma mater(s). I got my BS ( from Salem State in Mass. The HS there are the 'Witches' (naturally) but I don't think the University had a Mascot...All the publications at the time used the Clipper Ship logo but I don't know if that was or wasn't official. Then the two graduate degrees came from SUNY Oswego. Again I haven't a clue about who represented the school??? It should have been a shivering Polar Bear and Nanook of the North !!

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                                                  Re:Weekend in South Carolina Thu, 10/22/09 11:47 PM (permalink)
                                                  Al,  wasn't the SUNY Oswego mascot someone dressed up as a bottle of Labatts Blue?

                                                    Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/23/09 11:16 AM (permalink)
                                                    Just a little more than a mile away from the football stadium is Rockaway Athletic Club

                                                    Don't look for a sign, because there isn't one.  I was expecting this place to be a smaller tavern type place, but instead, it was big and airy, with several rooms to dine in.  Here is the bar area.

                                                    We sat near a tv they had set up, so that we could watch the second half of the football game.  Now that I was in air conditioning, I was a much happier man.  And I got even happier when my Pimiento Cheeseburger

                                                    and Pimiento Cheese Fries

                                                    showed up.  The burger was good enough that it could have stood on its own, but the addition of the pimiento cheese made it something to remember.  I am starting to understand why Southerners love pimiento cheese so much.  Unfortunately, the fries weren't as big a hit with me.  No doubt, a part of the problem was that by the time I got done taking photos and eating part of the burger, the fries were no longer hot.  And cold or even luke warm pimiento cheese doesn't have the same impact.  Plus all that cheese may have been overkill.  Next visit, it will be one or the other, probably the burger.  Lisa also wanted to try the fried mushrooms,

                                                    which were quite good, too.
                                                    Our waitress was an engaging young lady, who was a student at USC.  I asked why they didn't have a sign, but she really didn't have an answer.  She did tell me that the previous building, which burned down seven years earlier, didn't have a sign either.  As for the unusual name of the place, it was so that when wives asked their husbands where they were going, they would think the guys were heading for the gym, instead of out for a few beers.  At least that is the story story she told us.
                                                    Lisa spent some time driving me around the city, showing off the local sights.  One place in particular I liked was the Historic Columbia Canal,

                                                    which is now a lovely park, where you can walk quite a distance along the canal.  Here is Lisa

                                                    in front of the dam and some other photos of the scenery.

                                                    By this time, I was pooped.  After stopping at Sonic for some cold drinks, Lisa dropped me off at the hotel so I could take a nap.  Man, I am getting old!
                                                    <message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 10/23/09 11:20 AM>

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                                                      Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/23/09 11:40 AM (permalink)
                                                      I'm glad you guys hit the river; I think it's the prettiest thing here and once they have all the pieces-parts connected it'll be possible to take about a 20 mile roundtrip hike downtown.  We were on a walk in August back where you guys were, on a weekend in the evening, and on the opposite bank from the canal there were a pair of deer.
                                                      Oh, nice cheeseburger too!  :)

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                                                        Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/23/09 11:42 AM (permalink)

                                                          Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/23/09 3:02 PM (permalink)
                                                          What really impressed me about the canal area is that it is basically still part of the downtown.  What a great place for walking and bike riding.  Very cool!  Had it not been so humid that day, we would have seen more of it.
                                                            mayor al

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                                                            Re:Weekend in South Carolina Fri, 10/23/09 3:18 PM (permalink)
                                                            Louisville built their Football Stadium on what was a major RR Yard for the L & N RR. Beside the stadium they installed a row of renovated Cabooses ( cabeese ?) as pre-game party cars for group activity. Here is the University of Louisville's version of that Activity Center.

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