Robert ‘the Earl of’ Carter’s Royal Road Feast: Week 2

Posted September 5, 2013 4:25 pm | Filed under Sports, Sports Calendar

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 2 features three road trips for fans of OTS Sports Network fans: Northwestern @ South Aiken, York @ Boiling Springs, and South Pointe @ Chester.
Northwestern has the longest trip of the week as they visit the South Aiken Thoroughbreds. From downtown Rock Hill, this will be exactly a 2 hour drive, so be sure to leave early enough to enjoy a great dinner before the game at Auten’s Family Restaurant ( Auten’s is a family-owned restaurant that is all about fun! They feature a “schoolhouse” theme with several student desks, a couple of teachers’ desks, and blackboards on the walls. They are only open for lunch most days, but Friday and Saturday they are open till 9pm. The food is good ol’ country cooking and like eating in your grandma’s kitchen. Their menu changes daily, featuring things like chicken & rice, meatloaf, pork chops, fried chicken, country fried steak, mac & cheese, blackeyed peas, pinto beans, potato salad, slaw, etc. Come hungry!!
The York Cougars will be making the trek to Spartanburg County to take on the Boiling Springs Bulldogs. Two very good restaurants which I always enjoy in Boiling Springs are the Copper River Grill (, and The Clock (no website). I reviewed The Clock last week for folks heading to Dorman, but there is also one on Highway 9 heading into Boiling Springs. The Clock features a huge menu with a vast selection of sandwiches, burgers, meat & 3, salads, and outstanding desserts. With their fast, friendly service, you’ll never make a mistake by eating at The Clock! The Copper River Grill goes slightly against my “anti-chain restaurant” campaign- there are 8 Copper River Grills in SC, NC, and KY – , but this is a great place for steaks, and grilled salmon. The grilled salmon is my favorite here, but everything is great, and the service is top-notch. Be sure to stop by the Clock or the Copper River Grill on your way into Boiling Springs.
Finally, the South Pointe Stallions are headed south to my hometown, Chester- the Cyclone City! Having grown up in “Chestah,” I know a thing or two about eating there. My two recommendations are KJ’s Wings (no website), and (what else?) the Cyclone Restaurant (no website). KJ’s is a little bit hidden behind a couple of other businesses on the By-Pass just past the new Walmart. You’ll find traditional pub fare here with great wings, burgers, and salads, and a friendly wait-staff to take care of you. I like the Pimento Cheeseburger and onion rings. The Cyclone has been a Chester icon for over 40 years, and though it changed ownership a few years ago, the food is still delicious. The new owners added some Italian and Greek dishes to the menu, but there are some things that just can’t be topped: the Cyclone Burger Steak (hamburger steak) plate is always at the top of my list. Ask for it smothered in onions for an extra treat, and always ask for extra sauce (it’s homemade with a secret recipe-you can thank me later!), and get it with a baked potato as your side. When you order the potato, be sure to get it with sour cream. The Cyclone is famous all over the world for its sour cream. It, too, is made from a super secret, classified recipe and will have you begging for more. I’ve known people who have moved from Chester that come back and buy Cyclone sour cream by the quart to take home- it’s THAT good. They also offer a Cyclone Tater (ham, bacon, cheese) that is absolutely awesome!

Auten’s Family Restaurant
969 Pine Log Rd.
Aiken, SC

The Clock
3597 Boiling Springs Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29316
(864) 814-0033

Copper River Grill
2104 Hwy 9
Boiling Springs, SC 29316

KJ’s Wings
1631 J A Cochran Bypass
Chester, SC 29706
(803) 385-1222

The Cyclone Drive In
249 Columbia St.
Chester, SC 29706