Maurice’s Piggie Park Barbecue, West Columbia SC

Last month, I indulged on another barbecue road trip. I’ll relate the details in the next chapter, and use the space here to talk about my experience at one of South Carolina’s best-known barbecue joints, Maurice’s. It’s a pretty large family-owned business, similar in size and local impact to, say, Country’s Barbecue in Columbus and eastern Alabama, Buddy’s in Knoxville, or Golden Rule in Birmingham. The business as we can perceive it today dates back to 1953, but it claims a somewhat older lineage on the strength of its bottled sauce, which the current owners’ grandfather, Joe Bessinger, began selling in a restaurant in Holly Hill SC in 1939. (A restaurant called Villa Tronco, also in Columbia, claims to be the oldest continually-operating one in the state, and was founded in 1940.) Continue reading “Maurice’s Piggie Park Barbecue, West Columbia SC”

Skins Hot Dogs, Anderson SC

Last week, I mentioned that the South Carolina Upstate has a pair of quasi-chains local to the area, the various diners or drive-ins called Clock or Pete’s. A truer comparison point with Macon’s Nu-Way or Fincher’s, however, would certainly be Skins Hot Dogs. This is a chain in the proper sense of the word. All twelve of the stores, located in a triangle from Seneca to Greenville and stretching south to Greenwood, are owned under the same corporate umbrella, using the same chili and slaw recipes that the original proprietor, a man with the frankly awesome name of Skin Thrasher, developed in the 1940s. Continue reading “Skins Hot Dogs, Anderson SC”

Everyday Organic, Greenville SC (CLOSED)

This is Marie, contributing an article about Everyday Organic, a restaurant in Greenville that is, sadly, much too far away. I really enjoyed my meal there and would have very much liked to try more of their offerings. Continue reading “Everyday Organic, Greenville SC (CLOSED)”

Photo Post 15: Restaurants and Robots in South Carolina

We found some interesting spots on our trip through the Upstate that we did not visit this time around. Here’s an interesting sign in Anderson. In the brief period in the 1950s when Zesto was a nearly-national chain, this place opened. When the chain went bust around 1955, the stores were left to make it on their own. Sometime between 1955 and 1962, this store changed its name to Besto and it’s been happily serving up for the last fifty-plus years. It is closed on Saturdays. I guess nobody in Anderson wants a milkshake on Saturdays. (The actual building is a nondescript nothing of a fast food structure, not at all as fun and silly as many of the thriving Zesto stores in Atlanta and Columbia.) Continue reading “Photo Post 15: Restaurants and Robots in South Carolina”

Como’s Pete’s No. 4, Greenville SC

Quite a few of us in this hobby have a love for old, vintage restaurants, and, as you saw in yesterday’s chapter, and will see again next week, the South Carolina Upstate is really packed with businesses from the 1940s and 1950s that are still vibrant and fun. Continue reading “Como’s Pete’s No. 4, Greenville SC”

Sugar -n- Spice Drive-In, Spartanburg SC

Around the beginning of every year, Marie and I take a day trip to the Palmetto State. This was our fourth year doing this, and we decided to stick around the I-85 corridor this time around, and enjoy some good eating before and after a visit to Greenville’s Children’s Museum of the Upstate, about which a little more on Friday. Continue reading “Sugar -n- Spice Drive-In, Spartanburg SC”

Zesto, Columbia SC

Our readers in Atlanta are probably loosely aware that our small chain of Zesto stores is not entirely unique. Thanks to the wonderful work of Roadside Architecture, we know that there are Zesto restaurants, called, in some cases, “Zesto Drive-In,” all over the country, but they’re slowly but surely vanishing to time. The corporate chain, which launched in 1945, only lasted for a few years. A newspaper story on the wall of the store in West Columbia, SC claims that it disintegrated in 1951, but the Atlanta Zesto says that their one-time corporate owner, Taylor Freezer Corporation, didn’t halt operations for another four years. This left all of the original franchisees independent and able to grow, expand, or mutate at their own pace, no later than 1955. Continue reading “Zesto, Columbia SC”