I’m Robert Earl Carter, and while I’m a HUGE fan of high school football in South Carolina, I am also a big fan of FOOD, especially those little out-of-the-way, hidden culinary gems around our great state.
I absolutely LOVE to eat, and I love all kinds of food. I’ve loved it so much in the past that I’ve had to change my diet and cut back on some things to drop a few pounds, but Friday nights will be my “cheat” night! I’ve had the good fortune of traveling all over the Palmetto State covering high school football, and one of the biggest highlights of every season for our OTS broadcast tandems is the opportunity to visit great local restaurants in big cities and small towns.
Each week this season I’ll be sharing with you my suggestions of where to eat on your road trips when following your favorite team in “Robert (the) Earl (of) Carter’s Royal Road Feast”!
Week #0 features only two road games for teams covered by the OTS Sports Network: Nation Ford at Forestview, and South Pointe at Irmo.
Let’s start with Nation Ford at Forestview. Forestview High School is located on NC 274 between Lake Wylie, SC and Gastonia, NC, so for folks traveling from the northeastern York County area, you’ll be heading out to Highway 49 to go across the lake. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places other than fast food between Ft Mill and Forestview, so my recommendation is to head over to the Rivergate area (N.C. 160 at N.C. 49) and try one of 2 great places: Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ or BT’s Burger Joint. The little cornbread muffins they bring to the table at Jim ‘n Nick’s will quickly cause an addiction if you aren’t careful! Their chicken is outstanding, as is the pulled pork, but my recommendation is the spare ribs. They are H-U-G-E! Fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy, these ribs will make you slobber (that’s a step above mouth-watering!). The sides are great, too, with excellent baked beans, and some of the best mac-n-cheese you’ll ever eat.
BT’s Burger Joint is a build-your-own burger (or chicken sandwich or salad) joint, and there is no shortage of toppings to choose from! My personal favorite burger has all the garden stuff (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles) plus bacon, bleu cheese, and avacado! If you’re up to a challenge, ask them about the “40/20 Challenge”, though I don’t recommend that before a game! Make sure to try the boardwalk-style fries with malt vinegar, too! And you can finish off your meal with a fabulous milkshake!
For the South Pointe fans traveling down to the west side of our capital city, you’ll find a ton of fast-food joints, and all the big national chain restaurants along Harbison Blvd, but THE place to eat when visiting the Irmo area is Mathias Sandwich Shop. However, let me suggest that you call in a “Tailgate” order and get down there early to pick it up- they close at 6:00pm on Friday, so grab your order to-go and tailgate at the stadium! Wings, fingers, burgers, and sandwiches galore, but the specialties are the chicken salad, great pimento cheese, and the Pimento Burger. Less than a ½ mile northwest of Irmo High School on St. Andrews Rd makes it convenient (except for the early closing time).
Also, Mikino’s Diner is an Asian restaurant about a half mile down St. Andrews Rd. to the southeast of the high school. Featuring a great variety of Japanese and Vietnamese dishes at very reasonable prices, you’ll love this place if you like Asian food. Make sure you leave early enough to enjoy a sit-down dinner experience if you decide to eat here.
For those of you who are “health conscious”, these places all have dishes to fit your needs, but skip that on Friday night and ENJOY yourself!
Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ
13840 Steele Creek Rd
BT’s Burger Joint
14130 Rivergate Pkwy
Mathias Sandwich Shop
7235 St. Andrews Rd
6169 St. Andrews Rd.