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 #1 features three road games for teams covered by the OTS Sports Network: Rock Hill @ Dorman, Fort Mill @ Lugoff-Elgin, and Lancaster @ Andrew Jackson
We’ll start with Lancaster at Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson High School is just a short drive across the county down Highway 521 to Kershaw. You’ll need to eat before you go because there aren’t any restaurants between Lancaster and the high school. One very good hole-in-the-wall type restaurant on the way out of town (but slightly out of the way by ½ a mile) is Sambo’s 903 Drive In (no website). Just off Highway 521 on Highway 903 on the left headed toward the Beach, Sambo’s offers some of the best short order food you’ll find anywhere! Burgers, dogs, club sandwiches, BLTs, hamburger steaks and the like are really good and the service is always friendly. You’ll be glad you tried it!
For the Yellow Jacket faithful heading down to Lugoff, you have to give Lugoff House of Pizza a try! Offering a full menu of pizzas, strombolis, pastas, salads, and sub sandwiches LHOP is sure to satisfy any appetite. They also have several Greek dishes such as gyros and Greek salads, as well. I personally like a “Hawaiian” Stromboli with ham, pineapple, pineapple, pineapp…(you get the picture), and cheese! Not too many other options in Lugoff beside fast food chains, so get over to the House of Pizza and eat where the locals eat.
Last, but not least, the Bearcats are heading to Spartanburg to take on the Dorman Cavaliers. Spartanburg has MANY dining options, but I have two favorites that I try to visit any time I’m in town: the Beacon Drive-In, and The Clock.
The Beacon will be a little out of the way for most of you heading to Dorman, but the experience there is worth the drive. For over 50 years, the Beacon has been one of the most fun places to eat in South Carolina. Serving all manner of short-order foods like burgers, dogs, sandwiches, BBQ, and hash, the Beacon serves it up faster than ANY of the nationally franchised restaurants. It can be intimidating the first time you step up to the order taker at the end of the counter- you need to know what you want, and then “caaaaaaaallll it!,” and “talk and walk” to “keep it moving”. If you don’t know what you want when it’s your turn to order, you’ll be instructed to “step aside until you know, then come back and see me” by the order taker. All the plates come “a-plenty,” which means with French fries and onion rings. You can order “all-potato” or “all onion,” if you prefer one over the other, but a-plenty is the way to go!! On a somber note, 71-year old J.C. Stroble who has been the order caller at the Beacon since he was 14 passed away Monday afternoon. JC suffered a brain injury from a fall a couple of weeks ago and had been unresponsive and in intensive care since. Business will go on as usual according to the owners. The Beacon is a great place to eat, but the experience will be a little different without JC at the counter.
Also in Spartanburg is The Clock. The Clock has several locations in the Upstate area, but the one closest to Dorman High is just off I-26 exit 22 on Reidville Rd. You will NOT leave The Clock hungry! Portions are huge, and the food is outstanding. You’ll find a LARGE menu at the Clock featuring fried chicken, shrimp, flounder, burgers, sandwiches, meat & 3s, lasagna, soups, salads…just about anything you can think of for any appetite. Try to leave room for dessert, if you can because The Clock has a huge selection of homemade cakes and pies! You can’t go wrong with The Clock.
2725 Reidville Rd
Spartanburg, SC ?
(864) 804-6496 ?
The Beacon Drive-In
255 John B White Sr Blvd
Lugoff House of Pizza
841 Highway 1 #18
Lugoff, SC ?
(803) 438-2472 ? • lhopizza.com
Sambo’s 903 Drive-In
1445 Flat Creek Rd
Lancaster, SC 29720