Weekend in South Carolina

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buffetbuster
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Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 2:20 PM
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This past weekend, I flew in and out of Charlotte, although most of the time I was in the Palmetto State.  Typically, I do these trip reports in chronological order, but one place was so special, I couldn't wait to write about it.  
 
Sunday afternoon, I was driving around Spartanburg looking for a place to eat a nice late lunch.  The original plan and the reason I was even in sparkle city was to dine at Wade's Restaurant, famous for their Southern vegetables.  Unfortunately, too much time messing around in Columbia cost me as I didn't arrive into town until 3:20PM and Wade's closes at 3:00PM on Sundays.  A backup plan was ready and I headed to Ike's Corner Grill, locally known for their burgers.  According to a website, Ike's is supposed to be open on Sundays.  But when I arrived, they were closed up so tight, they must have thought Travelin Man was coming.
 
Well, I'm no quitter.  I punched up the closest restaurants feature of the GPS and drove to Skillet Restaurant.  Closed.  Next was Sugar 'n Spice Drive-In.  Closed.  I know the great Beacon Drive-In is closed on Sundays, so that isn't an option.  Next was Ricky's Drive-In.  Closed.  The oddly named Boots and Sonny's Drive-In.  Closed.  Okay, now I am considering being a quitter after all, because it isn't looking too good.  On the last screen of the GPS was a place called PK's Homestyle Cooking.  I called and the line was busy.  Good enough for me and I was on my way.
 
When I pulled up out front, I found a small, unassuming rectangular building,

with a brick front.  The signs on the front windows,

"Daily Lunch Specials" and "Homemade Desserts", gave me some hope.  I already knew by the neighborhood that I would most likely be the only white person eating here.
 
I walked in and was greeted warmly by the waitress, who told me to sit anywhere.  In choosing a seat in a restaurant, I look for somewhere there it lots of light, preferably natural light and where my photo taking won't be too obtrusive.  But with this place being so small,

(four booths and five tables), that really isn't an option.  So, I settled on the booth next to the window.
 
PK's reminds me of another soul food restaurant, Niecie's in Kansas City.  All the other diners certainly knew each other and were often conversing, usually from table to table and across the room.  Besides being a restaurant, this place is also part community center. 
 
My waitress brought me a one sided laminated menu

and soon after, a sweet tea. 

The tea is super strong and so sweet, it makes you feel like your teeth are about to fall out.  In other words, great tea that is not for the weak-kneed!  I should have spent more time looking at the menu, but there was something at the front of the room that was distracting me.  More on that later.
 
When she came to get my order, I asked if there is anything they specialize in or are famous for.  She replied, "Everything is good".   That's no help.  I asked, "How is your fried chicken"?  "You'll like it", she replied.   Okay, now we are getting somewhere.  From here things became more difficult.  My waitress had such a thick Southern drawl to my Northern ears, I really struggled with the questions she was asking.  White meat or dark meat, I understood.  I ordered the dark.  But once she started describing the pieces, I was lost.  I just nodded my head in approval, figuring I will probably like whatever they bring out.  She wanted to know which cornbread I wanted.  The second one she said was like grandma's.  Not understanding what she had said about the first type, I said the second one.  For vegetables, two come with your meal, so I took my usual two favorites, green beans and macaroni & cheese.
 
Okay, back to that distraction.  How about this dessert case?  

I walked up and queried what was what and hopefully, I remembered correctly.
 
Top Shelf:  Devil's Food Cake, Pineapple Cake, Cinnamon Nut Cake, Chocolate Nut Pound Cake
 
Middle Shelf:  Coconut Cake, Iced Lemon Pound Cake, Double Chocolate Cake
 
Bottom Shelf:  Strawberry Cake, Cupcakes, Turtle Brownies
 
The cakes looked spectacular and I noticed that almost all of the diners here were finishing their meals with dessert.  There was a sign on the wall which mentions Red Velvet Cake, but apparently they were out.  Okay, I guess they can be forgiven for this.
 
The first food to arrive at my table was the vegetables.  The green beans

were cooked soft and lay in a deep pool of pork juice, which gave them a strong piggy flavor.  There was no meat in the beans, though.  The very cheesy macaroni and cheese

was wonderful.  I loved the combination of the soft noodles and the crusty top layer of this dish.  Since I suspected they would have a way with vegetables here, I had earlier ordered an additional side, the squash. 

The squash itself was baby food soft and was laced with onions, which gave it a faint sweet taste.  I have never had squash like this before.
 
Unfortunately, the bland cornbread 

was a disappointment.  Keeping the menu at my table to look at after I placed my order, I noticed the other version was a sweet cornbread.  No doubt, I would have much preferred this version.  What I was served was still hot, fresh and crumbly and maybe a true Southerner or bread lover would have enjoyed it more. 
 
While I was eating my sides, an older woman came out of the kitchen and sat behind the short counter, by the register.  From the photo on the wall, I could tell that she was the owner.  One by one, she called out across the room to all the tables, asking if everything was okay.  When she got to me, she asked if I wanted some cha cha.  Now, the only cha cha I know is a dance and it is safe to assume that isn't what she meant.  So, with a confused tone, I replied, "I don't know what cha cha is".  Well, this broke the whole place up and most of the other diners turned around to see the dumb Yankee.  Still sitting at the front, she told me it was like a relish and she would have my waitress bring me some.
 
Not knowing what to do with the cha cha,

I asked.  This was also amusing to them and the other diners started telling me what to put cha cha on.  I heard greens, turnips and cabbage and others I didn't catch.  Not having any of those things currently on my table, I asked my waitress if I should try it on my green beans.  She gave me the Are You Serious? look and said, "You can do whatever you want with it" and walked away.  I'll take that as a no.  So, I ate the cha cha by itself.  As you can see, there is green tomato, corn, beans and peppers in there.  The shocking thing was how hot it was.  It packed a considerable punch.  It is easy to see how this could jump start some boring vegetables, but the ones here at PK's didn't need any help.
 
At this point, I still didn't have my chicken.  Figuring this meant that it is cooked to order and not just sitting around, waiting for someone to order it, I didn't mind at all.  They did bring me out a couple of wings

to tide me over.  The wings had a nice, heavy coating and were well done, just how I like them.  Delicious!
 
Finally, my chicken arrived.  She told me they ran out of some pieces (at least that is what I think she said!), apologized and gave me three legs instead. 

These legs had a thick, luscious crunchy crust that reminded me of what I ate earlier in the year at the Bon Ton Mini Mart in Kentucky.  The inside meat was plenty tender, but could have been juicier.  Maybe that is just the nature of leg meat.  I really would have loved to have tried a thigh or even a breast to see how juicy they are.  The feeling here is that they are probably something special.
 
Enough screwing around, let's eat some cake!  Having plenty of time to mull over this monumental decision, I went with a slice of the Devil's Food Cake to eat there and a piece of the strawberry cake boxed up to go.  The Devil's Food Cake

was supremely chocolately and moist, with light, sweet icing.  The pretty pink strawberry cake

(which I ate at the Charlotte airport) was even better, if you can believe it.
 
My bill?  Just under $14.00!  While paying, I asked the owner, who was quite happy to pose for a photo, 

for a business card or a take-out menu.  They didn't have either, so she gave me one of their regular menus.  Here is a hand written sign

on the wall with more food items, plus their specials of the day.

 
I enjoyed PK's Homestyle Cooking so much, I am already planning my return trip.  Next time, I am going to get the fried chicken again.  Or maybe the pork chop sandwich.  Or maybe the perch.....
 
PK's Homestyle Cooking
1011 Union Street
Spartanburg, SC
864-515-0873
 
Hours
M-F 11:00AM - 8:00PM
Closed Saturdays
Sundays 11:00AM - 5:30PM
Open 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Sundays of each month.  Closed on 4th Sundays!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 10/28/09 8:10 AM>

mayor al
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 3:21 PM
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BB
I am sure you've figured this out already, but the "ChaCha" translates to "Chow-Chow' The relish like substance well noted in Amish meals and many Southern condiment trays as well!  Time to get that Rosetta Stone Language Software for Southern Dialect English, Ehhhhh?

Looks like a good place to visit. Thanks for adding another stop to our SC list.

mar52
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 3:52 PM
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Yummy!  I love Southern Food.

Give me some of those piggy green beans!

Greymo
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 3:52 PM
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What a fun place to go.......................nice that all the others were closed so that you ate here and reviewed it for us.  L would love to go there.

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 4:17 PM
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Oh Cliff that stuff looks awesome--I'm gonna have to try this out. 

Their chow-chow looks like it might have okra in it too.

That's stewed squash, and what you would normally receive for ordering squash around here.  Not bad and not usually a lot of calories for the amount of taste.

She may have offered you some version of Southern or Yankee cornbread; the Yankee version has sugar in it, but most Southerners were raised on the baking-powder flavored thing that I imagine you had.   Looks like they used white cornmeal too.
 
Oh that dessert case would have killed me.  I'm glad you tried the strawberry cake; I'm real nostalgic for one you can't get anymore around here because I'm afraid the lady who made it might have passed.  Or the lemon pound or the iced pound would have done me fine.

mayor al
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 4:34 PM
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We grow a lot of 'Patti Pan' Summer Squash and often it winds up stewed as these folks do it. Onion pieces and sometimes stewed tomatoes combined with it makes a great summer side dish! Jan likes to add a scoop of Italian red sauce over hers for a lower carb Italian dinner side.

The Travelin Man
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 4:37 PM
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Cliff and I spoke while he was at the airport.  I was lamenting Doe's being closed in Little Rock and he began to tell me about this place.  He started off with the story of how all the other places were closed.  I was starting to feel better about myself.  Maybe these things don't JUST happen to me. 

Then, he gets to the part where he tells me of this all-out gem.  His words - day of, mind you - didn't do this report justice.

Sounds like a winner...and that there may be a flock of white people who read this story and head over there!  They may not know what to do!

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 4:46 PM
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Well no, but if the doofuses just shut up and eat, they'll be fine.

chewingthefat
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 5:28 PM
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BB, what's with all the places closed on Sundays? Is it a Religious thing? Dang, Sunday is my second biggest day of the week, many times the biggest, if the weather is good.

Greymo
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 6:04 PM
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I do think it is part of  that  "I Got That Old  Time Religion In My Heart"!

Louis
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Tue, 10/13/09 6:50 PM
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In the South, it is hell trying to get a non-chain restaurant meal on Sunday.  Such restaurants exist, but you have your work cut out for you in looking for one.

As to what to order when you can't understand the waitress, this is what I've done: I stand up, tell the waitress to wait by the table, walk around and look at what the other people in the restaurant are eating, spot something that looks good, point to that person, and say in a loud voice to the waitress: "I'll have what he/she's eating!"  And then sit down.  If you're in a strange town, they'll probably never see you again, so there's no impediment for not doing it.


NC Cheesehead
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 10:40 AM
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chewingthefat


BB, what's with all the places closed on Sundays? Is it a Religious thing? Dang, Sunday is my second biggest day of the week, many times the biggest, if the weather is good.


Buffettbuster...Excellent report as usual.  I will keep all places in mind since most of these are practically in my backyard.

Chewingthefat, I thought the same thing when I moved here from Wisconsin 2.5 months ago.  I thought why in the world would a place close on what could possible be the most profitable day of the week.  What the lifelong local residents tell me is that Sunday is a sacred day.  Since many people in the area are Southern Baptist, they believe that this should be a day spent at church and with family.  Agree or disagree, it's the tradition/culture.  However, every chain restaurant is still open.

Looks like Louis beat me to the punch on this....This was my take as well.
<message edited by NC Cheesehead on Wed, 10/14/09 10:46 AM>

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 3:05 PM
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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
704-853-0018
 
http://tonysicecream.com/index.htm
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 10/14/09 3:13 PM>

NC Cheesehead
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 3:15 PM
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Buffetbuster!  You just gave me the best tip since I moved here...I'm heading to the mountains this weekend and will be passing right through Gastonia.  Looks like I'll have to take a detour to Tony's.  Thank you for the report.

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 3:41 PM
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buffetbuster


Unfortunately, trying to snap photos at 70mph is not advisable and this

is the best I could do.


And yet without trying you somehow still managed to include signage for 1, possibly 2 barbecue joints.
 
Brad

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 4:03 PM
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Brad-
I didn't do that on purpose, but thanks for the laugh!

 
NC Cheesehead-
Excellent!  If you make it to Tony's, please report back how it was.
 
Louis-
Well, that is certainly one way to make sure you get what you want. 
 
As for the closed on Sundays thing, it can be really, really hard to find open restaurants in the South on Sundays.  The Charlotte area can be especially difficult.   
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 10/14/09 4:26 PM>

sk bob
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 8:17 PM
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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.

myterry2
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 8:48 PM
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I just finished dinner...and all of a sudden I am starved again.  What a great trip, pictures, and report.

wanderingjew
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 9:06 PM
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Gee, do  have to read this inane drivel all the time!
Buffetbuster Travels, Buffetbuster eats lots of pie (or cake in this case), Buffetbuster gets to eat some amazing looking mac n cheese and Buffetbuster gets to do the Cha-Cha with the owner @ PK's!

Meanwhile I'm stuck here in Rhode Island and get to enjoy that "little bag of peanuts" for a snack every afternoon- at least I have a bonfire to go to this weekend (excuse to get off diet)

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 9:28 PM
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Yeah! What he said.

will_work_4_bbq
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 10:41 PM
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Your pictures get better and better with each trip!  And they have always been very good.  I could take a bite out of these!

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 11:32 PM
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Brad, I assume you're right about Daddy Joe's, but Fatz is an Upstate-based chain that's maybe about two clicks up from an Applebee's.  I think they specialize in Calabash chicken tenders and sweet crescent rolls before your meal.  I haven't been to one in a long time.

Cliff I'm sad you missed the livermush.  But it's a beautiful milkshake.

billyboy
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/14/09 11:45 PM
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Nobody knows how to work a room like Buffetbuster!  You're the Frank Sinatra of food, Chairman of the specials board.  You ate it, your way...!  Seriously, life gave you lemons and you somehow found a way to "make" Iced Lemon Pound Cake!  Great report man and true Roadfood all the way.  They'll be telling the story of that "funny Yankee fellow" for years to come.

The Travelin Man
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 12:51 AM
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BB - I know that it is a crazy suggestion, but you COULD pull off the road to take a picture of cool roadside stuff!  Hotel internet is not "photo upload friendly" (read: slow as helllllll), but I will see if I can supplement your photos.

I have also been to Tony's when heading through Gastonia.  I thought the ice cream was very good - and, while the place was completely overrun with tweens and teens on my visit (looked like a school field trip - but why would they go for ice cream?), no one batted an eye at my picture taking.

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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 9:26 AM
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I had no idea about the Sunday thing until last April when I was in Memphis trying to find ribs on a Sunday.  I ended up at Corky's which was about last on my list becasue nothing else was open.

Around here I've noticed that some of the family owned places are closed on Mondays.  I assume to rest up after a big weekend.

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 12:25 PM
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mayor al


BB
I am sure you've figured this out already, but the "ChaCha" translates to "Chow-Chow' The relish like substance well noted in Amish meals and many Southern condiment trays as well!  Time to get that Rosetta Stone Language Software for Southern Dialect English, Ehhhhh?

Looks like a good place to visit. Thanks for adding another stop to our SC list.
Al, thanks for bringing this up.  I did make the chow chow connection.  After I left the restaurant, I called my Kentucky born mother and asked her if she had heard of cha cha before.  She had, but not since she was a little girl.  I asked if it was similar to chow chow and she had never heard of chow chow.
 
There is no doubt that cha cha and chow chow are related, but I'm not sure they are identical.  I have found some references to cha cha recipes.
 
http://www.olsouthrecipes.com/chacha.html
 
If this is on your way between Louisville and Charleston in February, it may be worth a visit.


mayor al
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 2:02 PM
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We have tried many variations of Chow Chow. The best (so far) was stuff we bought at Dillard's In Georgia. It was a sweet Onion Chow Chow that was much like some Amish Onion Relish we found in Indiana and Ohio. Absolutely the best condiment ever for Hot Dogs and Burgers !  Lots of sweet onion pieces and some good Mustard flavor as well.

Captain Morgan
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 3:01 PM
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that's the kind of roadfood joints I like to see....excellent
pics, thanks for the time and effort, and looking forward to
more.

I'd really love to see a pic of the pork chop sandwich.

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 3:05 PM
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Captain Morgan

I'd really love to see a pic of the pork chop sandwich.
I'd really like to eat one of the pork chop sandwich!
 
Thanks for the kind words.


Captain Morgan
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 4:16 PM
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has anyone here every done a thread on the pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Grill in Mt. Airy NC?  very interesting story.  Andy Griffith,
who grew up there, referenced the Snappy Grill several times on the Andy Griffith show.  The place was famous for it's pork chop sandwich.
They had some ancient machine thing that somehow tenderized the pork chop.

The same guy had been cooking on the tiny grill for a century or show, and tons of Mayberry fans had gone there to eat.  Then he
apparently fell ill with Alzheimers or some sort of dementia, and
is no longer cooking, but the grill lives on.



carolina bob
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/15/09 9:04 PM
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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

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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 9:44 AM
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buffetbuster


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
704-853-0018
 
http://tonysicecream.com/index.htm

 
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 


wanderingjew
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 9:59 AM
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Sundancer7
 
 
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 


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

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 3:50 PM
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No, I'm a teetotaler and I see the butt too.  Maybe that's sort of a personality test and Paul and I failed.

MiamiDon
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 4:06 PM
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carolina bob
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 6:00 PM
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Nancy, aren't you the the one who refers to Pilot Mountain in NC as "Boobie Mountain"? Boy, talk about a one-track mind!

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

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/16/09 7:41 PM
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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
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Oh yeah - it's a butt. I think they've tried to de-emphasize it recently with paint and a leaf..."but"...

Sundancer7
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Sat, 10/17/09 8:24 AM
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From a certain angle, it certainly resembles a huge orange butt.
 
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2213
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

kevincad
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Mon, 10/19/09 11:19 AM
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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!!!!

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/21/09 10:44 AM
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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.

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/21/09 11:24 AM
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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
803-794-6634
 
http://cafestrudel.com/
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 10/21/09 11:27 AM>

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/21/09 2:07 PM
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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.

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

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

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/21/09 2:18 PM
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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
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Wed, 10/21/09 7:22 PM
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Buffetbuster,

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.

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

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

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/22/09 3:01 PM
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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
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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??

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/22/09 4:59 PM
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(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.   :)

ayersian
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Thu, 10/22/09 6:10 PM
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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
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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 !!

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

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/23/09 11:16 AM
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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>

Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/23/09 11:40 AM
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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!  :)

Wintem01
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/23/09 11:42 AM
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Ummm...Cockaboose?

buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in South Carolina - Fri, 10/23/09 3:02 PM
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Nancy-
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
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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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