The Mother of All Meat-n-Three’s Wade’s Spartanburg, South Carolina Seeking The Best Food In SC
What’s up With Meg?
I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.
Why This Stop?
Tasty Tuesday This stop at Wade’s in Spartanburg falls in the category of seeking the best food dishes S.C. has to offer. It was before Thanksgiving week so maybe it was the subliminal messaging, I do love turkey, and I heard that Wade’s Restaurant has turkey all year long.
The restaurant is an unassuming concrete building that I have driven by multiple times. With a large parking lot that is always full, I just thought it was a shopping area. I stopped in on a Friday at 2:45 thinking I could pop in and grab a bite to eat for my blog. I was wrong. No turkey for me, at least not that day. Before moving on and to be clear, Turkey is served on *Tues-*Thur-*Sunday’s.
I had to return another day, and then another before I was able to get in without a lengthy wait.
The place was decorated for Christmas by the time that I returned. Even then, there was a line so I chose the buffet dining room instead of the sit-down restaurant room.
With so many choices and In case one does not go to Wade’s efficient website, or the dedicated phone number that lists all of the daily/weekly menus and sides of the day, on the way to the buffet, there are signs that list the dishes of the day, prices, and included items. On that note, I have to say that I write about restaurants a lot, a whole lot, and Wade’s website is super easy to use and is updated. Just this past week, I was researching yet another high-end restaurant and their website after two years was still not updating the menu. Annoying. Anyway, Wade’s has it going on.
After a short wait, no more than 15 minutes, and when I finally had a peek into the dining area,
…what I found was the “mother of all meat and three’s,” and is like no that I have ever seen on my travels. To begin with, the sheer size of the place with lines going out the door was honestly, a bit shocking for me. I asked if it was always like this, and the answer was, yes.
For you “non-southerners, meat and three.” is a place that serves a rotating and/or seasonal menu of meats and vegetables that often changes daily, in many instances, a cafeteria-style restaurant. One has a choice of one meat and three sides. At Wade’s, or the lighter appetites, there are options such as meat and two, four veggie sides, salads, sandwiches, SC hash, and desserts.
In the Express Dining Room (s), there is a cafeteria-style line, a throwback to my Catholic school lunch line cafeteria, complete with the trays and lunch ladies (women on this day.) Only this time, I get to choose my own foods-because there is something there that I want. Here is a closer look.
With 15 rotating sides to choose from, I can’t imagine getting bored with the choices.
And a closer look
My meal, and do not judge. and, I had already crossed the line, so why not go further? I chose the potato salad because it is one of my “decision-making standards.” The yeast roll is one of 3,500 that are handmade daily and may not look the best with my peanut butter pie.
And, I was able to taste a few other menu items pictured below.
MEGastars 5 ***** for over the top amount meat and three with a vast side choice menu. All of the food and I mean each dish was above average. The collard greens, the peanut butter pie, and the potato salad were superb. Wade’s definitely deserves another visit. One can’t just find this food in any old place in SC, or out of this state, and country.
MEGathoughts – If you ever want to know which sensible car to buy, look at the old folks. Ditto for restaurants. Yes, all ages are welcome but like the restaurant that I worked at in my hometown, the families and old folks know how to weed out BS, sensible, value, and no pretense. The only complaint that I have is that there are no to go boxes. I know that people would fill up their plate and take home food, but, there must be a way to avoid waste. I put my food in a napkin, and just put my leftover portions of macaroni and cheese and peanut butter pie in the styrofoam containers and then into my purse. Otherwise, my visit was perfect.
I would/will bring my company to this casual dining spot with a wide variety of home-cooked, old-school Southern family recipes.
- Wade’s Website Link with print-out capability. Wade’s Restaurant, Spartanburg SC
- Menu Phone Line 864-208-0711 I swear this is true.
- Wade has take-out. 864-582-3800
- Wade’s also has catering services
- Don’t like to cook for the holidays, for groups, or ever? Wade’s has you covered with frozen dishes for your family or for your guests. The kind of food that you can pass off as your own if you are that type. Not saying that I am.
- MEGapicks from Wades? I can’t even tell you what to eat, everything was perfect. Just go, chow down, repeat. I did hear that the fried chicken is worth the drive.
- Own a restaurant? Take note, this place has got to be a goldmine.
- Go hungry, if you think you can’t have a day of pleasure, do like I did, and cross that line.
This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.
Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina, as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way.
*I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab. I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”
Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”
I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.
I use a 5 MEGastar system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience. I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry. I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.
- *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 for me.
- ** 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 Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina 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.