Beacon Drive-In – Spartanburg, SC

When we first moved to Columbia, SC from the big city of Orlando, FL, I was disappointed the there were not as many big chain stores I was used to having nearby. Like the fact there is no Apple Store (Greenville or Charlotte are not close enough for me).  However we were thrilled that were SO MANY great local restaurants, because in Orlando all we really seemed to have were chains.

Watching a PBS special about great places to eat in South Carolina, they mentioned the Beacon Drive-In located in Spartanburg.  Then a few months later we met a women from Spartanburg who told stories of going there as a teenager with her husband (then her boyfriend) and made it sound SO GOOD!  So on our next trip toward Asheville, we stopped by!
Beacon Drive-In
The iconic sign still stands and directs you back in time. Then you go inside to order. It is like stepping back in time when you walk in. Opened in 1946, and the man at the front (J.C. Strobel) has been there helping call in the orders for all the customers since the very beginning!  In fact, they even say you gotta “CALL IT” when you step up.  Be ready and know what you are getting, otherwise they will move you out of the way so others can order!  The line moves FAST!  *(see what it is like on this video link).

That is him, standing off to the left of my kids….
When you get to the Beacon, you gotta "Call It"

We managed to order and get down the line only to find they do not take debit or credit cards (they will take checks which we were thankful for…) and get ready to chow down!|
YUMMY BURGERS AND FRIES AT BEACON
I got (and loved) the cheeseburger and I had to get it “a plenty”.  That is what they call their “meal” deal there and means it come with fries AND onion rings! It is something that started back in the days after the depression and when times were hard, but you could get a meal there for just a little money but the meal was “a plenty”.  *(if you get your meal “a plenty” just know you can share your fries and rings with a friend… no need for both of you to go “a plenty” or you will NEVER eat it all!   And in case you are like my daughter and you do not like burgers or hotdogs, do not worry. They have tons of other options!  She got chicken soup and ate every drop!

Check it out if you are ever anywhere near Spartanburg.  It is good old-fashion fun!
*(and be sure and get some ice cream too before you leave!)

www.BeaconDriveIn.com 

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Metro Burger – Greenville, SC

Couple of weeks ago, Tina and I were in Greenville, SC and before we headed to a movie, we wanted to find a bite to eat.  We had resigned to the fact we would be eating typical chain, fast-food, but thankfully we stumbled upon a local place that sounded interesting instead.

Metro Burger is a locally owned gourmet burger shop at 1102 Woodruff Rd, in the old Jack In The Box location, right across from the movie theater.  On the Metro Burger website, they list it as a chain (and have info about franchise options) but this is currently the only location.  I would LOVE to get one of these in Columbia!  It is so much better than a Five Guys or any other burger joint I have been into a while.

They have lots of great signature burgers on the menu, but also have a build-it-yourself option too, so you can create almost any possible combination.   Tina built a wonderful turkey burger with lots of great toppings (regretfully I did not get a picture of it…).  I had one of their signature items called a Carolina Slawster Burger!  Angus beef burger, blue cheese slaw, tomato and one onion ring!  It was delicious! And I was pleasantly surprised to see they serve Duke’s mayo with it! (my favorite!)

The Carolina Slawster Burger!

If you are looking to save money, and get a cheap, super-quick burger that is ready the moment you order it, head to MickeyD’s or something… but if you have a few minutes to wait, and can spend a little more, this is the place to get a burger in Greenville.

www.MetroBurger.com

***(And I will promise to frequent the location if someone in Columbia wants to open one up!  Just let me know!  🙂

Kovachi’s – Lexington, SC

On South Lake Drive, just south of Main Street in downtown Lexington, there is some great Greek and Italian food being cooked up at KOVACHI’S.

Kovachi's

We literally just found it by accident, as we drove around on a Sunday night looking for a good place to eat.  We had been running around town all day and were starving, but seemed like every place we tried was closed!  (Sunday night in a small town)  When we arrived we were a little concerned because there was almost no one there… but we had nothing to worry about. The food was great, and the portions were huge!  The kids meals were as big as adult meals at some places… And BONUS, we found out that it Sunday nights, kids eat FREE!  🙂

My wife was daring and got Spanakopita (cheese & spinach layered between phyllo dough), which was delicious.

Spanakopita

My daughter got the KIDS portion of Fettucini Alfredo and a salad (and had so much left over she had more than enough for lunch the next day).Fettucini

My son loved the Kids portion Pizza, which was big and thick on a hand tossed crust. (he added his favorite topping, onions, from his sister’s salad!)Pizza

My Gyro platter (Lamb) was really good and spiced just right. And with all the fries and hot, fresh pita great too, it was a lot of food.  Lunch the next day was not quite as satisfying since microwave-reheated lamb is not as good as it was right out of the oven, but still better than most of my lunches.

Gyro Platter

Casual atmosphere, with inside and outside dining.  Family friendly but not run over with kids either.

Kovachi's Outside

I made my wife very happy when I got her a desert to go… fresh baklava.  🙂  Baklava

Suffice to say I would highly recommend Kovachi’s for anyone looking for good authentic Greek or Italian.  Next time I want to try their “Taste of Greece” or “Taste of Italy” platters (which are big enough to split with a friend) and get a sampling of several more of their different specialties!  🙂

www.Kovachis.com