Harold’s Restaurant Inspired By The Guy
Tasty Tuesday with “The Guy” at Harold’s Restaurant in Gaffney, Cherokee County, South Carolina
On a quest to find interesting and the best food spots around South Carolina and having seen Guy on the billboard (s) on I-85 a gazillion times, I finally popped into Harold’s.
Guy Fieri is a Chef, writer, and restaurateur. The winner of the Food Network’s Star in 2006, which led to a series of television shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, an Emmy award recipient.
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives are referred to as Triple-D. He is the “guy” with the bleached white hair that drives around the U.S.A. in a convertible seeking out Triple-D’s to profile on the show. He wears his sunglasses on the back of his head and speaks with his own language or that of the 1990’s with words like gangsta, righteous, this is money, off the hook…and on and on. I watch Triple-D from time to time.
The show has a following and many people seek out his adventures as a guide to make their own food list. In the past, I have taken a peek at where the show has chowed down. Like the dude or not, it’s a thing, and Harold’s is one such place.
A few miles off of I-85, downtown Gaffney, is like many dying downtown areas across the U.S. with empty buildings, for rent/ sale signs. At the edge of the downtown district sat a historical building with a “you can’t miss it Guy Fieri banner.
Judging by the billboards on I-85 and Harold’s exterior, I got the impression that Guy’s stop was the claim to fame. It must have been super exciting for the folks of Gaffney and the third owner of this 80 plus-year-old business. From Harold’s website, I learned that this restaurant has also been featured in South Carolina Off The Beaten Path, A Guide to Unique Places.
So Guy was here.
Above my booth, there was a “best of” award for hamburgers from the local paper Reader’s Choice Awards. However, there are no hamburgers on the menu. I read several articles on the wall from the time that Guy Fieri and The Food Network popped into town. That was 2007.
The menu is old-school diner for the South with items such as fried bologna, pimento cheese sandwich, BLT, homemade chicken and tuna salad. The prices are in line with an old-school diner.
Of course, I ordered the “world famous chili burger” and the world-famous chili dog” along with a side of cole-slaw and onion rings, so that I might have a good overall taste of the fame.
The “chiliburger” is again, not a burger. It arrived on a cold bun (when I later watched the DDD episode, it was served to Guy on a steamed bun.) The meatball in the center was quite cooked.
As you can see, the sandwich is more like a sloppy Joe with a meatball centered. I ordered the sandwich “fully loaded” which means that it had mustard and onions Maybe on/under the meat.
Not only was the bun cool, the sandwich was lukewarm. I didn’t hate it but wouldn’t choose to order it again. What did I think? It would give the sandwich a 2**
The chilidog, not in the wiener’s circle, at all. The cheese was idk, sticky. The coleslaw did not fresh taste and the onion rings tasted of old oil, both of the sides went uneaten and I would give them both a 2 MEGastar rating.
I wanted to love the place and the food, I really did. I always ask myself two basic questions, would I be proud to bring my friends and family here, or, would it be fun. The answers to both of these questions are No.
You know, the kind of place that shares space with a bar and smells of smoke, where you have to send your kid into the dark dingy bar, past the patrons to use the restroom. That kind.
The walls, the signs, the memorabilia all just looked tired, worn out, and well, sad. Everything in the place was in need of a darn good cleaning, by like one of those commercial cleaners who specialize in after fire clean up.
Having just visited two establishments in Gaffney that I gave 4.5 MEGastars ratings, Sunny’s Donuts and Daddy Joe’s; I was disheartened not to give a great rating to another locally owned restaurant. Speaking of ratings, don’t believe me, check out some of the ratings on Trip Advisor and Yelp.
I never read a review prior to my visit. Even after reading the reviews, I would have visited. Let’s just say they sure are entertaining. To be fair-ish, the ratings are all over the place but Yelp is fairly accurate for me with a 2.7 of 5.
“Food Network Failed” MEGaresponse, the show filmed in 2007, not sure what happened since that time but the restaurant is not very welcoming to it’s out of town and state folks, and has put a stain on DDD stops.
“The place smelled of cigarette smoke from the bar and it needs to be cleaned. Better yet gut the place.” This from May of 2017 Trip Advisor
MEGaresponse: Yep, and it still does.
“…After placing the order we were charged almost $1 to use our debit card and $.40 for a cup of water. In a nutshell, this place was overpriced and nasty. Save your money and do not waste your time….”
“It’s fine if you like hot dogs and beer at 7 am. We were not at all impressed with this restaurant, if you want to call it that.”
MEGaresponse: Yeah, kinda like that in the evening also.
YELP 2.7 out of 5
- “My suggestion would be, go to a store buy something in a corrugated box cut a 6 inch square put Hunt’s ketchup on side, fold square in half and consume. I just saved you wasting ya money on this,…….thing.
I admit it’s a Dive, I love dives but it has to have something of taste and substance to the food, this did not.” MEGaresponse: MMM, OK
- While passing through we decided to stop for a bite to eat. It was as I expected and assumed which is extreme hangover cure meets ball field food. After getting about halfway through our food a little friend decided to stop by. I named him Guy the cockroach.” MEGaresponse: And, on YELP, this reviewer has a photo to prove it.
- “Tip – they charge 79 cents for credit card use. On a $6 lunch that’s a 13% surcharge. A little over top wouldn’t you agree?”
MEGaresponse: meh sketchy.
- Should you visit? If you are anything like me and have an adventurous anything-goes attitude, Sure, why not. Unlike me, know what to expect.
- Go during the day hours. Trust me on this fact.
- Do try the burger and chili dog. If you have a hearty appetite, you will have no problem eating both sandwiches.
- Let me know about your visit.
- Here is the link to Harold’s website. The website is well done and will answer your logistical questions. Harold’s Restaurant Gaffney, S.C. From this homepage, you can follow a link to Youtube to watch the Triple-D visit to Harold’s Restaurant.
- Join me on my quest to visit each of the 46 Best Restaurants in South Carolina in each of the 46 S.C. counties and my quest to find the best food, food spots, restaurants, and chefs.
- Bring Cash if you do not want to pay the charge to use a card.
ABOUT: This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post and may be helpful if you are new to my escapades.
*100 Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive or Before You Die, Whichever Comes First.” is my compilation of food to chow down on “Carolina style.” It is my S.C. Food Bucket List and you may follow as I chow down like Ms. Pacman in another gorgeous state that I call home. I am loosely following Snacks of Jax 2016 46 County Best Restaurant List as a guide. From the Mom and Pop diner to the James Beard Chef, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food. From my bucket list, I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  http://www.snacksofjax.com
I use a 5 MEGastar rating system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and generally, the experience gets one shot at how I view the food. I factor this in using my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes and people behind them. I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.
- *Meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? Or, the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina. This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write.
- ** Passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
- *** Good but not outstanding or unique.
- **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/or truly highlights Alabama Pride.
- ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.