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 South Carolina and *Smokin Hash.* Meg’s Best of 2018 Food picks

 

What’s up Meg?

In 2018, my new gig was to find 100 Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While You Are Alive or Dead while checking out The Best Restaurants in each South Carolina County.

Unlike my quest to try each of the Dishes listed on Alabama Tourism “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” there is no formal South Carolina list. So, I am making my own. With that said, this year my list was slanted towards the beautiful state of South Carolina, with some of these foods finding a place in my best food picks of the year.

Definitely, 2018 was the year that I became obsessed with beautiful South Carolina and hash. Let me just start here.

Most shocking food.

You know, the kind of food that you say “there is no way that I will like that.” Here are several of my mentions. 

  1. South Carolina Hash

Take a look at it, I mean a really good look at the food in the lower left corner.

Midway BBQ

BBQ pork, macaroni and cheese, butter beans, white bread, marinated vegetables, and beef hash. Midway BBQ, Buffalo SC

All brown and mushy looking. You can use your own imagination.  I have to admit that I was pretty squeamish for a few seconds before I dove in, but once I did, it was high times on that hash.  I am a convert, no, I am now obsessed with this “Upstate” Carolina style hash.   I mean I spent one Saturday night watching documentaries about hash, and neither Amsterdam nor Cheech and Chong were involved.  It turns out that there is a whole lot to learn about this delicious S.C. hash. I have a new bucket list and it involves the different styles of S.C. hash.

  1. Midway BBQ’s Hash is my MEGapick for best beef hash in South Carolina. To note, this restaurant was also listed on Snax of Jax list of best restaurants in each of the 46 South Carolina Counties.  I am going to agree with this one. I loved all of the food on that plate.  Link to that blog. High Times With Hash at Midway BBQ Buffalo, South Carolina
  2. It turns out that there are several styles of hash which are somewhat regional.  Mustard Hash at Henry’s Hog Hauler gets my vote for the best mustard hash. Pictured in the lower right corner of this photo.  Blog link Smokin Mustard Hash With The Hog Hauler South Carolina Style Hash
    mustard hash

    Henry’s Smokehouse BBQ clockwise L-R pulled pork, macaroni, and cheese, hash.

    2. Geechie Frites-were another thriller. I didn’t think that would care for them but they were a delicious treat. Made with grits from the local Geechie Mills and fried, they were almost like hash browns but to me, even more flavorful. They were sprinkled with a pinch of coarse salt and maybe? Chives. Served on paper, the Geechie frites were not oily and these are the details that elevate a meal from simply food to full food experience. Blog Link The Obstinate Daughter A 46 South Carolina Best Restaurant MEGaStop

odshrimproll

Lowcountry Shrimp Roll with Geechie frites at The Obstinate Daughter, Sullivans Island

3. Buffalo Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps, Marinated Cucumber and Red Onion, Asher Blue Cheese. from Husk-Charleston S.C. location What can I say? I had never nibbled on a pig’s ear before this little number.  They were super salty, so wrong, yet so right.

Blog link Nibbling On Some Pig’s Ear in High Style Husk Charleston, South Carolina.

pigearhusk

Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wrap at Husk in Charleston, S.C.

4.  Cheese Curds Poutine. Fries covered with cheese curds, pork carnitas, and beer gravy.  I’ve lived in Canada and Wisconsin and this hot mess wasn’t to be for me, and then it was. The Gastropub in the Dane County Airport, Madison, Wisconsin. The Tale of Two Curds – Cheese Curds And Cheese Curd Poutine

poutine

Non-Traditional Cheese Curds Poutine Madison, Wisconsin

5. Country Ham Balls with Pepper Jelly. An appetizer of crisp-fried orbs made of country ham and pimento cheese rolled in corn flakes and presented on this delicious sweet-hot pepper jelly. Just did not sound great but they were so delicious. From Grits and Grocery in Belton, South Carolina.

GRITS AND GROCERY BALLS

Country Ham Balls from Grits & Groceries SC Photo thanks to Lamar L.

*This restaurant was featured in the “46 Best SC List”  Link to Blog Southern Food Meet Midwest Value and NOLA Pizazz at Grits & Groceries Seeking The Best Food Of South Carolina’s 46 Counties *Recipe Links*

6. Fried Grits with Tomato Gravy.  Had I not been with my friend Lamar, I never would have tried this or the appetizer above.  It was a bit of a sweet dish, surprisingly yummy.

GRITS AND GROCERY GRITS

Grits & Groceries Fried Grits in Tomato Gravy South Carolina

7. Seafood Volcano at a Mexican Restaurant. Juancho’s of Spartanburg, S.C.   I mean what could go wrong?

seafoodvolcano

The Seafood Volcano at Juancho’s in Spartanburg S.C.

Apparently, me because this thing was the sh*! blog link That Day Juancho Surprised Me

 Best Restaurant 2018

  1. The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.  Absolutely perfect spot for me.  These chefs get what people want.  Access to the best food in a casual environment.  The menu reflected foods from this low-country area of South Carolina. Fresh seafood, gourmet pizzas, local oysters.

    Their version of Frogmore Stew is the real deal! Link to blog *See Geechie Frites above.

Honorable Mention for Best Restaurant. 

  1. HUSK at the Charleston, S.C. location.  One of Sean Brock’s fleet.  Having visited a few of Chef Brock’s restaurants,  I have not been blown away by this group but at the Charleston location, I had great service, Chef prepared local foods in a comfortable setting. *See blog link above with Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wrap

Best Pizza

  1. My favorite pizza of 2018 is from Pi-Squared of Spartanburg S.C.  A North Carolina Pizzeria that serves Detroit Style Pizza!

    Just thick cheesy goodness- yummy! Link to blog 3.14159… Reasons That Pi-Squared Pizza Is My Favorite Pizza In The Carolinas

Best Mexican 

Having eaten at upscale Mexican Restaurants this past year, Limone’s of Asheville, for example. I leaned toward the street style tacos. My two picks of 2018

  1. Farmhouse Tacos of Hiking, Biking, Mushrooming, And Taco Grooving Seeking The Best Food In South Carolina  

Taco Willy-of Spartanburg. Taco Willy -Seeking The Best Food of South Carolina

Speaking of Tacos, this was one of the more interesting taco stops of 2018.

The – 2cnd Annual Goat Roast at The Southern Growl.  Yes, goat meat, tacos, craft beer, and a band.   Really great tacos made of fresh ingredients, an interesting menu.  I would recommend this annual outing to anyone who enjoys all of the above.

Best Burger

I have been to a few fancy schmancy places for a burger this year.  You know the place a $15.00 burger that feeds cows grass while a maiden plays the harp.  But by far,  the best burger that I have eaten this year was at a bar, in Spartanburg South Carolina.

A burger as big as my face,  never frozen, hand-pattied, and fried on a griddle. Served with a side of fresh house-made chips and ranch dressing.  Then they have this chili dog that is grilled, plus, they also do this thing with pimento cheese on the hamburger. Oh man, alive.

And, I have been back to Ike’s twice and can attest to this fact. A bonus is that the owner has remodeled and cleaned up the joint.  Blog link I Went All The Way at Ike’s Korner Grill With A Hamburger

Best Burger Runner-Up 

  1. Cribbs in Spartanburg South Carolina. See Blog link below on drinks.

    cribburg

    Cribb’s “Jamiepoo” hamburger and fries.

Best Steak Sandwich- 

One of the best steak sandwiches of my year is from Daddy Joe’s.  Known for their barbecue,

daddysandwich

Daddy Joe’s Take-out Prime Rib Sandwich with Potato salad and special sauce

I also love their smoked kielbasa, BBQ, grilled veggies-etc! One of my favorite BBQ restaurants to bring guests to in the Southeast.

Best Drink of the non-alcoholic variety.

This soda pop is a South Carolina thing.  I got so buzzed off the caffeine that I was awake until 4 a.m.  Cheerwine tastes like cherry cola. Super delicious!

cheerwine

c

Cocktails 

Since this was not my cocktail, I can not remember what it was but I do know that it was from Cribb’s in Spartanburg. I take my guests to Cribb’s Restaurant for consistently great food and drinks.  Chillin At Cribb’s Kitchen Seeking The Best Food In South Carolina

Taco Willy

Runner Up Best Cocktail 

Willy Taco of Spartanburg known as an upscale tequila bar, this place is also owned by the Cribb’s group.  They make some bang-up Margaritas. I mean you may not get wasted on $3.00 but when you want good clean tequila, this is your place.

Best Breakfast

This was a tough choice for me.  I live in this spot where we have outstanding breakfast eateries. Even having traveled quite a bit this year, the breakfast cooks in this upstate South Carolina are on top of their game.  My first choice has been the Hen House of Spartanburg, but they have combined forces with The Silo and I have not yet visited their new menu.  An example of one of their former menu item, tdf.

Waffle at the former Hen House of Spartanburg.

The Fruity Tooty at the former Hen House in Spartanburg might even be on the menu when they move in with The silo at RJ Rockers Brewery

The next three places are all worthy of “The Best Breakfast.” I love all of them.  Also to note, *This restaurant was featured in the “46 Best SC List”  and are all worthy.

  1. The Farmer’s Table.  Now in their new home in Spartanburg.  The breakfast menu is outstanding, the food is as the name suggests, fresh and local. blog link. The Farmer’s Table *To note, this is one of the restaurants mentioned in the “46 Best Restaurants List.”

2. The Creperie tied with

3. Mon Amie. Both places also happen to be in Spartanburg. Both serve crepes, gourmet coffee, and other dishes. Mon Amie blog That Time I Put Some Ooh-La-La In My Morning – Mon Amie of Spartanburg, S.C. 46 Best Restaurants in 46 S.C. Counties While Mon Amie has a larger menu with flexibility, the creperie does this magical thing with their eggs. The Creperie blog Some je ne sais quoi In My Breakfast-Seeking The Best Food In South Carolina

Mon amie Crepe

Spartanburg Mon Amie Savory Crepes

4. Poogan’s Porch – if one loves macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and She-Crab soup for breakfast, this is your place. blog link Megaschooled on Lowcountry Cuisine A Dead Dog And A Visit To Poogan’s Porch Charleston South Carolina

But, there is this place that got this Tuesday party started.  Sunny’s Donuts in Gaffney S.C. was voted as having the best donuts in S.C. and was listed as one of the best restaurants in 46 Counties.

I wouldn’t agree with the restaurant part but I do agree with the best donut part.  Link to blog Have A Sunny Day With The Best Donuts in South Carolina

Best Street Festival

In 2017, I was in Miami and got to check out the Cuban Sandwich Contest.  The street food at this event was mind-blowing.

Just when I thought this would be hard to match, I went to this fantastic BBQ Contest in Spartanburg S.C., where I was able to try chicken wings-which I generally do not like-and BBQ.  Not to mention the competitor’s grills and many other interesting foods. Link to blog Swined and Dined – Hub City Hogfest 2018

Best BBQ Place of 2018 

  1. Carolina BBQ My sister and her two teenage boys live in Tennessee. My sister and I have been food critics since way back when.   But the boys know their food and know Southern BBQ.  Oh, and that Cheerwine soda that I mentioned earlier? They make Cheerwine BBQ sauce that we absolutely loved.
    carbbqmeal

    A smorgasbord of my birthday meal from Carolina BBQ of Spartanburg

    We absolutely loved the beef (In the South where pork is king) We dug into the pork and just flipped out over their sweet potato casserole.  Link A Birthday Oink at Carolina BBQ Spartanburg

  2. Midway Barbecue the place that serves that killer hash. Link and photos above.
  3. Big Daddy’s in Gaffney SC Links and photos above.

Best Meat and Three/Southern Food/Soul Food

  1. Wade’s Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C. Hands down this was the best meat-and-three restaurant that I have ever visited.

    I call it the mother of all Meat-and-three restaurants. blog link The Mother of All Meat-n-Three’s Wade’s Spartanburg, South Carolina Seeking The Best Food In SC

Best Dessert

  1. Caroline’s Cakes also in Spartanburg SC Just out of this world delicious. Expensive, but delicious. Voted as one of Oprah’s top things as well as her bff Gayle. Blog link I Found My Soul Cake In South Carolina

    On that note, I live in one of the most delicious fruit baskets in the world. In this part of the world, peaches, strawberries and on and on.

  2. Ice Cream from Strawberry Hill Cafe. Strawberry Hill, SC. I choose the peach or strawberry.
    strawberryhillice

    Homemade strawberry ice cream from Cooley Farms Strawberry Hill U.S.A.

    Both are made in-house with fresh cream and berries.

  3. Strawberry and Peach Bread made from Abbott Bakeries in Cowpens.

    One of the most reflective food travel moments that I had this past year was the opportunity to say goodbye to Anthony Bourdain. I, like a gazillion other people, was a huge fan.  He was a one-of-a-kind food storyteller.  With eloquence and crass, he made laugh so hard and unassumingly balanced humor with mind-provoking questions of humanity, ethics, and life. I found myself in Dublin just after his death and found the “Chipper” from one of my favorite drunk food episodes.

    I sat in the exact spot where he sat and pondered the loss of a great mind to suicide. The newspaper of the day was a fitting Irish moment. I laughed.

    romachips

    Roma II Curry Chips and the daily paper.

    and ate some crappy curry chips while sober. Godspeed Anthony Bourdain. Link to this blog Paying Homage to Anthony Bourdain At A Dublin Chipper

Live today, be inspired to learn and inspire others. So there you have it, a few of my “bests” from Tasty Tuesday blogs.   I hope this inspires you to try new foods, food travel, and fun eats. Thanks to my readers and Facebook page followers for hanging in with me this past year when I traveled a lot and had life changes that stopped me from blogging each and every Tuesday.

Happy New Year! Eat on and stay healthy.

Meg

[1] SnacksofJax.com 46 Counties

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, I’ll come back and read this post again. Did you have any idea that this would actually be an educational post? There are so many dishes here that I’ve never heard of, that I think we don’t have here in Europe..

    February 21, 2019
    • Thank you for your read and kind response. I am a small time food blogger and love food history. This food is not unique in the human tale of slavery, poverty, and necessity but is unique in the combinations of peoples ie Carribean, African, Native American, and Europeans that melted their foods together to make this particular dish unique. Once again, thanks for your time and kindness! Meg

      February 21, 2019

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