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A Knife And A Big Butt Seeking The Best Food in South Carolina

What’s Up With Meg and Tasty Tuesday’s?

Currently Playing find and seek while 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? I heard this restaurant has some of the best steaks in the “Upstate” region of S.C. 

The Place?  Carolina Cafe’, A Southern Steakhouse is located in a small unassuming building in the countryside of South Carolina. The parking lot is always loaded with cars in the early evening. With an address of Gaffney S.C.. population 12,507 (2019) it obviously is not a huge city but, a gazillion visitors pass very nearby its location every single day, 365 days a year.   

Located minutes off of I-85 that runs from Montgomery, Alabama to Petersburg, Virginia, and just south of Charlotte, this is a highly traveled section in the USA. Carolina Cafe is also located on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway, Hwy 11.   Also located minutes from Cowpens National Battlefield, which is an important Revolutionary Battlefield Site and a destination for people from all over the globe. And, there is a major outlet mall.  But, there is another claim to fame. 

People who follow Atlas Obscura or curious roadside attractions also drive to Gaffney for their bucket list. Gaffney is located in what I call “the fruit basket of S.C. and if you are driving on I-85, you may guess this fact when you pass by The Peach


The Peachoid in Gaffney South Carolina-Photo courtesy of my good friend Lamar.

Shout out to my friend Lamar Ledford for running over to grab this photo when I was out of town!

Called The Peachoid, it happens to be a water tower and the world’s largest peach and became famous after the Chapter 3 House of Cards episode on the Netflix series House of Cards. If you have not seen this episode, it is a long story but it involves quotes like “Please, distract me from giant peaches and dead teenagers” and “I hate God” blurted out in church. Also, the peach’s crease looks like a butt. It does, it just does. So that anatomical analogy has even been written about in The Wall Street Journal when it was called the “butt of jokes.”  Also known as the great butt in the sky. Anyway, it is a thing that people do.

The mission statement on the website states “…We strive to serve great food at reasonable prices in a family-friendly..”

Pictured is the main dining room and off to the side is a bar area. 

Carolina Cafe Gaffney SC Interior was all decked out just after Christmas

  The local accolades are for *Best Overall Restaurant* and winner of 2019 *Best* from The Spartanburg Herald-Journal for Best Ribs and for the *Best Steakhouse*. That’s a big deal for this countryside restaurant.


The Food: The cafe does not have a large menu yet they offer solid specials and choices.  Their menu also offers burgers, fish, chicken, pasta, and dessert.  The price range runs from approximately $7.99-$25.99 for a 20oz steak made with two cuts of steak. The steaks are hand-cut and grilled.

I hate to waste my digital space with this photo but one of my mottos is that you can always judge a book by its cover and in this instance, the salad is the cover.  I like that they do a little something extra to give this ho-hum salad a bit of appeal. 4*  Dinner rolls are included with a meal (not pictured.)

Now for the knife part of this story. Pictured below is the Thursday Special 9-oz of hand-cut ribeye, and 5 large pieces of shrimp that may be grilled, fried, or blackened. The price point for this meal is a very reasonable $10.99.  This is my new favorite.  Just yum!img_0512

Now for those award-winning ribs are seasoned with a dry rub and finished with a choice of BBQ sauce: Traditional BBQ, Carolina Gold, Carolina Red, or Dry Rubbed and one choice of a side & salad.  I’m not a huge rib fan but they were outstanding.

MEGastars: 4 **** I love the place and I love this Thursday night special. Love it! I would have given them 5* but they do this thing that is one of my pet peeves, they charge me for a glass of water.  There is absolutely no reason for this. None.

MEGathoughts-I could write an entire blog about this subject but unless it is from a mountain spring, my general rule is that I will not visit a place with this practice.  Also, to note, there is a charge for sharing/splitting plates.  Having said that, my steak was made to my liking, grilled to perfection and some of the best steak plates around this area.  I have had this meal several times and those decapod crustaceans are deep-fried perfection. 


1. Closed on Sunday-Monday. Open Tue-Thursday 4-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 4-10 p.m. **If you are visiting at opening or at closing, you may want to verify hours ahead of time. I was unable to view the hours on their website. a newspaper article dated a few months prior also gave conflicting hours. Phone: (864) 406-0333

2. Website Link for location and menu  Carolina Cafe

3. The Tuesday Special as of this writing is a hand-cut choice ribeye served with baked potato & salad  $11.99. The Wednesday special is the 8oz. sirloin served with baked potato & salad  $10.99. And of course, the Thursday night special is Steak & Shrimp
9oz. choice ribeye with five shrimp (choose shrimp grilled, fried or blackened) served with baked potato & salad  $14.99 (Killer shrimp $1.00) I am not 100% sure but I think that the killer shrimp are prepared wrapped in bacon, grilled, smothered in BBQ. 


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