Weekend in South Carolina

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Lisajo
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/04/07 10:18:11 (permalink)
Now we will have to go to Charlie's too.  We were under the impression the prices were much higher, but they look reasonably to me. I like the looks of those onion rings too!
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/04/07 10:54:50 (permalink)
Lisa, my partner and I routinely split the 'steak for two' special--a large sirloin cut into four or five manageable pieces, plus the potato/onion ring options plus the salad, and with a couple of teas we routinely get out of there for less than we would have spent at Outback, and often can't finish the steak.  We were there about a month ago before the Shawn Colvin concert at the Peace Center and I think our bill with a generous tip was less than $50.  They also have 'steak for three' if you want more meat than that.
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/04/09 11:18:07 (permalink)
Brad_Olson 
Is there an old-style phone number (ala National 2-9000) on the matchbooks?
Brad
There are some numbers (29541) listed, but is that the phone number?  I'm thinking it is.

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/10 22:37:35 (permalink)
Hop-on Nancy here.  I was so intrigued by Cliff's trip to PK's Homestyle Cooking in Spartanburg that I vowed that the next time I was in the Upstate I would make it my meal.  Last Sunday presented such an opportunity, so we did it.  Had a lovely stroll first at the Mary Black Rail Trail, one of those repurposed railroad tracks running right through the middle of town, and what a gorgeous day for it.



So with a well-primed appetite, we approached PK's, about five minutes away from the trail.  We were seated at probably the same booth Cliff got.  There was a nice crowd there, everybody chatting and animated.  Our waitress gave us menus and took drink orders and we focused on the specials board:




I'll let you sit with that a moment.  I nearly never turn down a chance to have good turkey and dressing; it's one of my very favorite comfort foods, so I settled on that, with limas and crowder peas on the side (I can never decide when it comes to legumes.)




I cannot recall the last time I've had a plate of food this utterly lovely in front of me.  The turkey was downright succulent--perfectly cooked, and so flavorful.  You need to know that I personally am known for my dressing--family members make sure it's on the roster when they're coming for Thanksgiving--and this was just about as good.  (And if I'm being really honest, a lot moister.)  The gravy was the perfect accompaniment--a tasty moistener without overtaking anything.   

I don't want to overuse the word 'perfect' but the limas were--there's a point you can take baby limas to where they're completely soft inside but not disintegrating and gummy yet, and these were exactly at that point.  The crowder peas were delicious and nutty, filled with tiny slivers of white onion cooked in them.  I don't have a good picture of it but Julie (wisely saving room for dessert) opted for just a bowl of pinto beans and the old fashioned cornbread (which you can see in the corners of this picture) which were also delicious.  The pintos still had some tooth to them, which could have been the only quibble, and very minor at that.  

Cliff had noted in his original post here that he didn't care much for the old fashioned cornbread and our waitress explained that the difference is that 'old fashioned' is the cast-iron-skillet-baked unsweetened circle that many of us grew up with and the other style is, as she put it, 'you know, Jiffy corn mix.'  Or very sweet.  There's no real wrong answer here, just what you're used to.  I thought this was a very good example of that kind of cornbread, but I can see where it's underwhelming if you're used to the second.

Now back to that board.  Do you have a question about it?  Because I did.  They added the item 'Better Than Sex Cake' while we were sitting there, and I immediately started bobbing up and down in my seat trying to get somebody to splain Lucy splain to me.  The waitress for the table behind us didn't know.  I took a trip over to the dessert case:




(see its flickr original http://www.flickr.com/pho...set-72157624237202146/ for the version with notes) and could only see a large serving bowl on top of the dessert case sitting in an even larger bowl of ice.  Eventually Miss Peggy (PK herself) started wandering out of the kitchen and touting the amazing qualities of the Better Than Sex cake.  I had to have some.




Eventually I pieced together from her description that it is two layers of cake with a filling made of pineapple (she said it was fresh, but cooked, and I didn't get further clarification of what she meant by that), pecans, vanilla pudding, with cool whip and cherries layered on top.  Man oh man it was good.  Sweaty from the walk and with a belly full of turkey and legumes, I made room for Better Than Sex Cake, and boy am I glad I did.

But of course, the topic of the name was going to come up again, as you would expect.  I went up to the cash register to pay and was standing next to a gentleman when Peggy swung by to check on how we'd liked things--I believe his table had a bowl of it as well.  She looked at me and said 'so what did you think' and I said, 'well, it was awfully good.'  She went on: 'honey, if he's not treating you right, you just need some of this cake and you'll be fine.'  I was just grinning and nodding and saying 'yes ma'am' because who am I to argue with the inventor of Better Than Sex Cake?  After a couple of minutes the gentleman piped up: 'but I don't even know her!'  At which point everybody busted out laughing.  

I'm already planning my next trip.  I think I have to try the fish.

ayersian
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/10 23:29:42 (permalink)
So Nancy, how about a review?  Cut and paste from above -- then submit.  Piece of cake...  Chris
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 06:23:38 (permalink)
Nancy-
As grateful as I am for you piggybacking onto my trip reports, it does clearly show how much better your photos and narrative are than mine.  You really have a talent for it.  Excellent job!
 
It sounds like you had a great experience at PK's.  Is that one of the all-time best looking dessert cases or what?  And next time, I will definitely be looking for that turkey and dressing, although being a nut frowner, I will have to pass on the Better than sex cake.  Oh, and the baby limas are on the list now.  Thanks for the explanation on the cornbread, too.
 
On both my visits, I sat in the first booth on the right, as you walk in.  Always looking for that natural light. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/06/11 10:50:14
Lisajo
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 08:47:14 (permalink)
Nancy,

Just saw your recomendation to get the sirlion for two at Charlies, which is a great idea.  Loved reading about PK's! 

We are heading up to Gaffney to go shopping on Saturday and are going to try a place called Ike's Corner Grill in Spartanburg. 
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 08:55:17 (permalink)
Lisajo-
Ike's was one of the places I tried to visit before finding PK's.  If I remember correctly, it is a NASCAR themed bar with highly regarded burgers.  Does that sound right?  Let us know how it was.
Lisajo
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 09:02:30 (permalink)
Buffetbuster,

Yes, it is a NASCAR themed bar and I was told if you wear Game Cock clothes and hat it really makes them happy!!  So Ric will have to leave the Clemson stuff at home!  Besides the burgers, I would like to try the philly cheesesteak and fries.  The fries are cut and go right into the fryer, I only hope they are as good as Does in MS!!  I will let you know what we find.
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 10:18:11 (permalink)
Cliff you make me blush.  Thank you very much.  I think I just manage to get into funny situations.  I have one of those faces.  Chris, I will do that--just the laziness prevents me.  Lisajo, the folks at Charlie's will treat you right, but if you're taking your camera to Ike's don't be shy about coming back here and giving the skinny.
billyboy
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 10:29:31 (permalink)
nancy, great write-up!  Like Cliff says, you really do have a knack for it!  I love the ridges from the can on the cranberry sauce.  That turkey did look fantastic and I loves me some homemade cornbread dressing.   I think the Red Velvet cake in the upper corner of that case is calling to me!
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 10:51:19 (permalink)
Nancypalooza
I think I just manage to get into funny situations. 
Now, that is something I think we both have a talent for!

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 11:07:47 (permalink)
I forgot to tell you guys, they remembered Cliff, what, five months after the fact?  Our waitress saw my camera and said 'there was just a guy in here taking pictures, said they were for a website.'  And I said that was a friend of mine and I was here on his strong recommendation.  She wanted to know all about Cliff and what he did, and said 'so this is his passion' and I said yes, and she smiled very contentedly.  He left an impression for sure.  Billy, this same waitress was pushing the red velvet cake hard.
MiamiDon
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 11:30:28 (permalink)
Great write-up, Nancy!  That dessert looks a lot like something a friend of mine used to make, except she called it a trifle.  Whatever the name, it looks tasty and decadent.
Ahi Mpls.
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 21:37:26 (permalink)
  Please to be explaining Crowder Peas to me now.      Thanking you very much.  
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/11 23:28:03 (permalink)
Don, that's exactly what I was thinking the whole time she was explaining it, this is a trifle.  And then I hear 'it tastes like feet!' in my head.

Dawn, I don't know quite what to tell you about crowder peas.  If you grow up here and your parents plant some kind of pea or bean they might be black eyed peas or one of its many colored varieties, they might be butterbeans or some related lima-shaped creature, or they might be crowder peas or another vaguely roundish but definitely not green thing.  They taste like a black eyed pea, but they do not have the distinctive eye or any kind of marking, and they are a dun brown to almost purple, and cook to the brownish color you see in the picture.  Then there's also peas and snaps, which look and taste like tiny crowder peas and also include bits of the pod.

I bet our friend Rowland Alston from 'Making It Grow' could enlighten us, but I can't really watch that show without wishing I had a minor drug habit.
MiamiDon
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/12 06:26:20 (permalink)
For what it's worth, here is what Wikipedia has to say about crowder peas:
 
Cowpeas are a common food item in the southern United States, where they are often called field peas . A subcategory of field peas is crowder peas, so called because they are crowded together in their pods, causing them to have squarish ends.
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/12 09:02:18 (permalink)
Huh!  Thank you Don.  I sort of always assumed it was somebody's name.   
Ahi Mpls.
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/12 11:57:05 (permalink)
  Thanks gang! I'll be on the lookout.....Maybe the co-op?  Hmmm.
mr chips
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2010/06/12 12:55:24 (permalink)
Great addition to the thread, Nancy. Please do write a review. Someday, I hope the chips family will have the opportunity to visit your neck of the woods.
sudie
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2011/01/13 09:05:14 (permalink)
We stopped by PK's on Sunday, January 9, in hopes of tasting some of that highly touted BBQ.  They're gone!  A small, sad sign said that they're closed for good.  How disappointing that we missed them by just a few days!  

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2011/01/13 09:57:24 (permalink)
Oh No!   Say it isn't so!  How disappointing.  When I visited the second time, Miss Peggy told me that business was up and they were doing well.  Hopefully, her health is okay.  What a shame.....
 
Sudie-
Thanks so much for reporting back, even if it was bad news.
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2011/01/13 10:19:37 (permalink)
Oh noooooo!
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2011/01/19 09:58:27 (permalink)
I went to PK's Facebook page, but there was no more information there.  I wonder what happened?
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/02/27 22:46:47 (permalink)
Over the weekend, I was back in Spartanburg for the first time since PK's Homestyle Cooking closed down.  Although I knew it would be sad, I had to drive by and take a look.

The building is still there, but no signage at all.  Very disappointing and I would love to know what happened.
 
It wasn't all bad news from Sparkle City.  While doing a little research for this trip, I found out that Beacon Drive-In

is now open on Sundays.  This apparently started about a year ago.  And I got double lucky because JC Stroble,


the man who has been calling out orders for over 50 years was working.  Arriving around 1:30 and having missed the after church crowd, I did get to chat with Mr. Stroble for a few minutes, which you can never do when they have a line.
 
Having tried quite a few things over the years, I was ready for something new.  This is the pimento cheese sandwich-a-plenty,

along with the famous sweet tea.  The sandwich came with lettuce and tomato and was a pleasure to eat.  The fries and onion rings are both greasy, but are still perfect the way they are.  I'm not saying they have great food at the Beacon, but it is one of those iconic places that I always feel better after a visit.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/02/27 22:48:28
wanderingjew
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/02/28 06:47:33 (permalink)
One of these days I will need to hit the Beacon- I should be in the area in late summer (close to labor day weekend) for my last trip of the year- however no "sweet tea" for me
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/02/28 07:31:04 (permalink)
WJ-
Here is hoping you do get to the Beacon later this Summer.  And while I certainly understand why you don't drink sweettea, if you were going to have some, this would be the place.
 
ayersian-
I asked, but they no longer make or sell JC Stroble bobbleheads.  So, thanks to CarolinaBob, you have a real collector's item!
cecif
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/04/12 23:46:13 (permalink)
I just have zero friggin' clue how I missed this report the first time around! Of course I loved it, BB.
Missed a good opportunity to tell my USC/USC joke too (well, not exactly a joke, but funny...). SIGH.
(And fergoshaskes, I had no idea you and Nancy had not met til then!)
Foodbme
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/04/13 02:31:22 (permalink)
BB,
I started reading this thread from the first post thinking it was a current one only to discover it went back to 2009. A great story about PK's Home Cooking. When it was later reported that it had closed, I surmised that the lady in the picture you took back then was probably PK and guessing she was quite old, she probably passed on to that big Soul Food Kitchen and is whipping out her heavenly food for the Angels.
Foodbme
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina 2012/04/13 02:35:08 (permalink)
cecif

I just have zero friggin' clue how I missed this report the first time around! Of course I loved it, BB.
Missed a good opportunity to tell my USC/USC joke too (well, not exactly a joke, but funny...). SIGH.
(And fergoshaskes, I had no idea you and Nancy had not met til then!)

My daughter graduated from USC in CA. She now lives in TN and has acquired a TN Twang. People there ask her how she liked living in Colombia, SC. I'd like to hear your story!
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