Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach)

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DirtDude
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2011/02/20 10:58:48 (permalink)

Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach)

I have seen that a lot of people may pass through this area going to Myrtle Beach, or just traveling I-95. I've tried to put together some of the restaurants in the area so there was a thread people could refer to in the future. I put some keywords in the title, so hopefully a search can pop this thread up. You can add any sites I have missed out on. I'm just going to group a post by the city, so I can add to it later if I see anything new. I figure this thread fits into "Where Should I Eat" better than "Trip Reports".
 
 FLORENCE, SC:
 
Apple Annies (Palmetto Street, headed east, past 5 points):
My favorite bar in town, sit on the deck because they smoke like crazy inside. I air my clothes out every night from this place. I would say that their wings are the best, but most of their sandwiches are pretty good and they have a great beer selection (for Florence). I also recommend the Thai Chili sauce on wings or the tuna medallions, they got the sauce from a local Thai restaurant (now closed).

 

 
Below are the chicken wings, with the hot honey mustard sauce. You can get the sauce on the side, you really can't go wrong with their wings.

 

 
The South Carolina Classic Pimento Cheeseburger. They make their own pimento cheese at Apple Annies, and those homechips are from a bag, but are much better than fries.

 

 
 
Southern Hops (Palmetto Street [Hwy-76]):
Southern Hops just opened. If you get off at the I-95 Timmonsville, Hwy-76 exit and head into Florence, it will eventually be on your right past the Bojangles. They have two beers that they are brewing themselves. It is a new place, so lets hope it lasts. There used to be an Italian restaurant in town that everyone says had the best Pizza, and Southern Hops bought the recipe. They do not own a fryer, its mostly pizza, salads, appetizers, and some sandwiches. Its really nice inside, but people have been complaining about the service, but they opened in December 2010, so hopefully they pull that together. 



 
Below is the pulled pork pizza. It has a sweet local BBQ sauce, gouda cheese, onions, and pulled pork. It could use more pulled pork, but is otherwise excellent.
 

 
 
The Drive In (Palmetto Street [Hwy-76]):
 
If you like Drive Ins, this is a good place to go. But I think there are better places to eat, unless this is what you crave. Fried chicken, hamburger steaks, and Greek dishes. Quite a few restaurants in Florence have Greek dishes, and even can get awards for being the best Greek restaurant. In my opinion,  we only have one real Greek restaurant in town (meaning they don't serve fried chicken, cheeseburgers, and gyros), and its called Athens. Its off Celebration Avenue, near Southern Hops, if you would rather try that.
 

 
Here is a hamburger steak dinner from The Drive In. Its good, but I never make a trip just to eat here. But you can hit it on the way to the Beach if you want to try it.
 

 
 
The Lamplighter (Irby Street, just south of intersection with Palmetto):
 
You may find that sign kind of cocky. But they are not lying, its really good. I was surprised and pleased the first time I ate here, the pancakes were great. Not that its hard to make a pancake, but you can get lax on them. They are open everyday, but only from 6am till about 2pm. If you are staying in town this is the best breakfast. There is also the Venus Pancake House, which is better known and open all night. So if you come for the nightlife in Florence (you don't), you can always get a better version of the Waffle House at Venus.  But my Sunday morning preference is the Lamplighter.
 

 
Pancakes with patty sausage, the grits are great as well.
 

 
 
 
Sav-A-Lot (Savannah Grove Road):
Ok, so technically this is in Effingham and not Florence. But the best way to get here is off I-95 at the Hwy-76/Timmonsville/Florence exit. Head towards Florence, take a right onto Twin Church road (should be the first light). At the 4 way stop take a left onto Alligator. Follow it past the Dollar Store, watch for Savannah Grove on your right, follow it down to a PINK Sav-A-Lot store. Unless you are local you would never think of stopping here. TRUST ME. This place has the best country food in the area. Don't wear your jacket in the store, because it will smell like grease when you leave. There are only a few chairs, show up about 12-12:30 pm so the food will still be there, but don't get there too late or he may run out.
 

 
This is BBQ chicken, which I love down here in the south. Its always so tender. His collards are the best I have had, and that flapjack cornbread is the bomb. All my southern freinds at work agree, this guy can cook.
 

 
       
Smothered pork chops, they are really tender as well.
 

 
 
For right now thats all the photos I have. For BBQ there are three good places in town, Rogers, Woodstone, and Cains. Everyone in the area prefers one or the other, but as a Yankee I say they are all good. Well, I have never been to Woodstone, so I guess I can't speak just yet.
 
For fried fish there is Orangeland on Irby, and Ham's on Palmetto.
 
I do have a photo from Angelo's (West Evans Street [Hwy 52]):
 
The flounder is really good. Sorry, all fish is fried around Florence.



 
People may tell you to go to Red Bone Alley. Don't. That guy from Sav-A-Lot can cook circles around that place.
post edited by DirtDude - 2011/02/21 07:44:59
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 11:14:36 (permalink)
    DARLINGTON, SC
     
    Jewels Deluxe (In the Square):
    If you ask anyone from Darlington where to eat, it will be Jewels. Open Monday-Friday, about 11am-2pm (I think), it is really good. We often order it over the phone at work and go pick it up, because it is always crowded in there. To get to Darlington from I-95, just get off at the Highway 52 exit and head west. Jewel's is downtown in the square.
     

     
    They have a regular menu that you can order off of, but most people do it this way. Choose a meat, 3 sides and a dessert, menu changes daily, and weekly. Some of the meats are standard, but the sides will change every week. The only thing I have never liked is the sweet potato souffle. It tastes like a scented candle to me. This is a very enjoyable place to eat, I don't think you will regret the atmosphere or food.
     

     
    The meals also come with cornbread and biscuits, both are good. This one looks like its got stuffing with gravy, beef tips over rice, broccoli, and string beans.
     

     
    Here is a fried chicken plate with the candle flavored sweet potatoes. Sorry, I just prefer sweet potato casserole I guess.
     

     
     
    Ward Street Cafe:
    I really like this place, the food is always good, and the inside has a really pleasant homey feel to it. While most people in town prefer Jewels, I like to go here. Its not as crowded, but its just as good. 
     

     
    Now doesn't this look good?
     

     
    I have eaten at other places in Darlington, but those two are the best so far. You can also try the Dairy Bar (I'll get a photo one day) if you want a cheeseburger, milkshake, and chili fries.
     
     
    Racetrack Diner (Highway 151):
    Oops, almost forgot the racetrack. Darlington has one of the oldest NASCAR tracks in the country, they only have one race here now, but the Raceway Grill is open year round. The building is not obvious, its pinkish in color and has a beer sign in the window. They have a short menu, mostly hamburger steaks.
     

     
     
    Heres what I was talking about, you can add cheese and onions to your hamburger steak. Its good if you are in the mood for it and want to eat at a good old NASCAR establishment.
     

     
    Joe's Grill (360 Russell Street, Darlington, SC 29532 (843) 393-9140): -added 03/12/11
    This is another local place that people like to hit up often in Darlington. It is a meat and three, which changes everyday. From what I can see they write down the menu on a sheet of paper, then photocopy it for the day. It is a really nice little diner, I enjoyed the lighting coming through the window. So if you are visiting Darlington, this is probably the lowest key place in town. The walls are covered in NASCAR related posters, and its also cash only. So be prepared.
     
    It ain't big, but it sure is cozy.

     
    I enjoyed the lighting by the booth, although it was not conducive to low light photography.

     
    I'm just putting all the food in one photo. We had a meat n three, but the third was the lemon pound cake (my favorite part of this meal). On the left you have a pork bbq plate (with coleslaw and pintos), but it was a sweet sauce, not the vinegar based you find around here. With the plethora of bbq joints that cook pigs in the Pee Dee, I don't think I would get this in Joe's Grill. On the right is a hamburger steak, it was quality meat and did not taste watery. Comes with a biscuit and cornbread.
     

    post edited by DirtDude - 2011/03/13 09:52:24
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 11:21:39 (permalink)
    TIMMONSVILLE, SC
     
    David Trulucks (Hwy-76):
    Everyone in Florence says the best seafood is in Timmonsville. Again, everything here is Calabash style (fried). But this is a great little place, and it gets crowded on Friday and Saturday night. Apparently they are going to widen this road, causing them to lose some parking. But I can't imagine it shutting down.
     

     
    But if you don't want it fried, then get it fresh and you can do it yourself. They get most of their fish from off SC, NC or VA waters.
     

     
    Here is some fried shrimp, butter beans, stewed tomatoes and rice, along with hush puppies. You can get the shrimp with hot breading if you want. The bread was not too thick at all. The hushpuppies tastes like funnel cake, as a friend of mine figured out after rolling them in powdered sugar at home.
     

     
    And here are some fried oysters, since its SC you can also get them fresh for roasting.
     

     
     
     
    post edited by DirtDude - 2011/02/21 07:46:17
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 11:28:58 (permalink)
    HARTSVILLE, SC
    Home of Coker College, this is a nice little town. It has several paces to eat, but so far I only have this one to report on:
     
    Ruths Drive-In (659 West Carolina Avenue):
    I liked Ruth's a lot. The people were very nice. Since it mostly gets locals, you are sure to meet some pleasant people when you visit. Especially if you are roadfood'er taking photos.
    They have a lot of standard foods, but they signatures are things smoothered in gravy.
     

     
    Guess who this is:
     

     
    Somewhere under those fries and gravy is a hamburger steak.
     

     
     
     
    #4
    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 11:39:28 (permalink)
    Between Darlington, Bishopville, and Hartsville:
    There are two places I eat at as I travel between research sites, but I am not sure what town they are in. More like along the highways.
     
    Mr B's (964 W Lydia Hwy, Hartsville, SC):
    I usually hit this place travelling between Bishopville and Darlington SC on Highway 15/34. Its a good buffet, pretty standard fare. But I have never had a bad meal there, and coming out of the research fields, its nice to know this is on the way back.

     
    Here is one of my many, many, buffet plates from there. I think they have fish fries on Saturday nights. I also believe they close about 2pm, because we have barely made it in sometimes.
     
     

     
    Mayflower Seafood (Hartsville, SC):
    The Mayflower just reopened. Its between Darlington and Hartsville on 151. You get a lot of food for a little money, and if you like fried seafood, its definitely good.

     
    Here is a nice big plate of founder and fried shrimp. Can you believe I have gained 20 lbs since moving to Florence?
     

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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 11:46:48 (permalink)
    MULLINS, SC (on the way to Myrtle Beach).
     
      O'Haras (East Wine Street):
    A friend had his wedding reception here, so I went to visit it with him once. This is a very good buffet style in an old home. Both the food and atmosphere are perfect for a Sunday afternoon meal. I don't know about it as a travelling to the beach stop, but I am sure roadfood'ers can eat anywhere, anytime and enjoy it. There is another buffet in Mullins somewhere that my french friends say is better (Beneteau, the French boat maker has a factory here), but I have never been to it. 
     

     
    Isn't that biscuit gorgeous? I think you can see the quality of the food from this photo. This reminds me that I need to go back soon.
     

     
    And they have plenty of dessert plates as well. With ice cream to scoop out on the side.
     


    #6
    ann peeples
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/20 12:22:05 (permalink)
    Very, very nice!!!
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    45013
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/21 02:11:38 (permalink)
    What's this I-76 you speak of?  Are you sure you're not in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, or Colorado?
    #8
    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/21 07:47:53 (permalink)
    ann- Thanks, I have been sitting on these for a while, I hope they come in useful from someone passing through.
     
    45013- I double checked all of those states and came up with Highway 76!
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    Captain Morgan
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/21 10:31:55 (permalink)
    well I'm slobbering.  Any pics from Myrtle coming?
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    Ralph Melton
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/21 16:06:25 (permalink)
    I really enjoyed this. Thanks, DirtDude!
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/21 17:50:07 (permalink)
    I just drove through there Saturday and now I'm sorry I didn't stop to eat!  I wouldn't eat anything that tasted like a scented candle either. :)
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    cavandre
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 07:26:48 (permalink)
    Can anyone educate me on the why it's called the "Pee-Dee region"?
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    cavandre
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 07:26:49 (permalink)
    Can anyone educate me on the why it's called the "Pee-Dee region"?
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    Georgieporgie
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 10:47:39 (permalink)
    Wow, I just thought I would glance at this, My family and I are road tripping to Edisto Island, SC this summer, looks like I have to mark down some places to stop!
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    Captain Morgan
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 10:53:37 (permalink)
    Because the Great Pee Dee River runs through it.
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 21:46:43 (permalink)
    Captain Morgan- I have always gone down to Pawleys since I moved here, just to avoid the crowd. Where should I go in Myrtle?
     
     
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/22 22:24:26 (permalink)
    DirtDude, I'm gonna jump in here, just because we were just there.  We found this Italian place in NMB called Ciao, and it's really tiny and slightly spendy, but the food was unbelievably good.  We also ate at a place called Flo's Grill in Murrells Inlet that was also good--not as insane good, but pretty solid.
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/23 06:43:56 (permalink)
    Thanks Nancy, when were you at Murrells? We were there on Monday, and ate at the River City Cafe (I think thats right). I thought the cheeseburger there was pretty solid as well. The problem with the beach is that all those restaurants look the same, but the quality ranges immensely.
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/02/23 11:02:48 (permalink)
    We were there Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, and ate in Murrell's Saturday.  You're exactly right--they all have that kitschy exterior and they're either awesome or you want to scrape your mouth out.  Although I'm pretty much never walking into a place with a fiberglass crab over the opening.  I really kind of love the Hot Stacks Pancake House--we had a really good breakfast there on Friday and you'd never think it from the raisin-ranch exterior.
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/03/05 14:31:22 (permalink)
    HEMINGWAY, SC
     
    Scotts BBQ (Hwy 261):
    The NY Times did a review of this place about 2 years ago. If you are headed south to Georgetown by Highway 51, all you have to do is take a right in Hemingway onto 261. Scotts will be at the crossroads of Cow Head road and Hwy 261. They cook whole hogs here, it is has a small grocery so you can buy sodas, bread, and fried pork skins. You can pick up pulled pork , whole hogs, or chickens from Scott's. It is one of the very few places I have been to in SC that is not buffet style. They are only open Thursday-Saturday, the rest of the week they are getting wood so they can cook again. Apparently they go through 7-8 hogs per DAY, at least on Thurs-Saturday. They let us go back and look at how they cooked the pig, which I thought was cool of them. It is definitely a SC cultural experience. But if you prefer buffet style, Big D's and Kenny's are right in Hemingway. I have not tried either one yet, but I will get around to it.
     
    Here is a photo of Scott's:
     

     
    Order your meats and sauces from behind the counter:
     

     
    Don't forget to pick up some bread so you can make a sandwich. Unless you want to just eat it with a fork.
     

     
    A soda and some pork skins might also do you good.
     

     
    Your gonna have to make your own sandwich though, unless you want to eat it straight from the container!

     
    Here is a shot of the picked over pig in the cooking barn, along with the sauce and mop that is used to spread it around.
     

    #21
    familydok
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/03/05 15:59:52 (permalink)
    If you are ever in North Myrtle Beach on Sunday, go to the House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch-great buffet and wonderful music!  We were there last Sunday and had a great time.
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    familydok
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/03/05 16:03:22 (permalink)
    DirtDude

    Thanks Nancy, when were you at Murrells? We were there on Monday, and ate at the River City Cafe (I think thats right). I thought the cheeseburger there was pretty solid as well. The problem with the beach is that all those restaurants look the same, but the quality ranges immensely.
    Yes, it is River City Cafe-several in the Myrtle Beach/Murrells area.  They also have great french fries-very reasonable prices!

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    merg01
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    Re:Pee Dee Region, SC (I-95, Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Mullins, Myrtle Beach) 2011/03/17 09:39:59 (permalink)
    We visit Myrtle Beach for 2 weeks every October.  We, too, loved the House of Blues.
     
    Prosser's in Murrells Inlet serves a wonderful country buffet.  We always go to the Sunday buffet (11:00 - 2:00, I think) and the Thursday night fried oyster buffet (4:00 - ?). The fried chicken is always crisp.  The Carolina bbq is some of the best we've eaten; my husband loves their greens; and they always have mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole.  They often have a chicken and dumpling that my sister really likes.  Usually two choices of dessert plus sliced cake.  I'll never understand why they have the salad bar at all.  They always have hush puppies and a flat corn cake.  Don't be alarmed if the parking lot is packed...they build an addition on the back so there's plenty of seating.....and even if the line is occasionally long, it moves quickly.
     
    We stay in North Myrtle Beach so it takes around 40 minutes to get there but it's well worth the ride.
     
    Mary Ellen
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