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Best place to try for the FIRST time a pimento burger

  • m

Never had one and would like to try it. I assume in the Columbia, SC area.

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  1. back in my college days, i got mine from the dairy bar on rosewood in columbia. don't know if it's still there, or still good if it is, but it was good back then.

    hope you find one. they're delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mark

      Dairy bar still exists on Rosewood and they still have excellent pimento burgers. You can get excellent pimento (cheese) burgers at Rockaways on Rosewood and Stuffy's on Main street. All these are in Columbia SC.

    2. Enlighten us. What is a pimento burger?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mike D

        a burger topped with pimento cheese. usually a lot of it.

        if you don't know, pimento cheese (and the recipes vary, this is a very basic outline) is cheddar (usually sharp), something to make it spreadable/dipable (cream cheese, mayo, etc), seasonings (worcestershire, mustard, vinegar, pepper, etc), and diced pimento peppers. variants abound from the basic form. i'm partial to jalapeno-pimento cheese.

        1. re: mark

          Well, Columbia's quite a drive. And although I'm not that far from the Gaffney location, I decided to do it myself.

          Now I may take some heat from the purists, this is what I did: I spiced up and grilled a couple of hamburger patties, to which I added home-made chili, mayo slaw, tomato slices, and the pimento.

          My wife gave the messy, two-handed sandwich a good grade and said I should do it again sometime.

          Thanks to all for the suggestion!

          1. re: Mike D

            sounds wonderful.

            diy is my usual remedy as well as i now live 3 hrs from the parts of sc where pimento cheese burgers are common.

            did you make your own pimento cheese? if so, and you liked it, please post on "home cooking" as i'm always looking for new recipes/variants.

            1. re: mark


              No, I have never attempted pimento cheese. I went with the Sedgefield brand out of Greensboro, NC.

      2. GWB ate his first pimento burger at Rockaways ( Rosewood Dr. in Columbia ) and loved it. I think their burgers are pretty special. When I was in Carolina grad school the Dairy Bar( RIP )on Main St. behind the state house was the place for a pimento burger and a lemonade. That's the first place I ever had one. I never encountered one while growing up in Pickens County and attending school in Spartanburg. I always thought it was a Columbia thing but now see where they are popular in other areas.

        A good rule of thumb : If it takes two hands to hold it, you know you've got a pretty good pimento burger.

        Another hound mentioned a Dixie Burger. The only place I recall having what was called a Dixie Burger was at the Dixie Drive-in ( Greenwood, SC ). Don't know if it's still in operation but they had some good food.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Paul in Irmo

          excellent rule of thumb!

          1. re: Paul in Irmo

            Thanks for your recommendation but being an alumni of both USC and UNC I can assure you that there is NO Carolina in SC. Chapel Thrill being the oldest state supported university and all that. The bars are better at East Carolina however.

            1. re: michael b

              As a graduate of the Carolina, I can assure you that there is a wonderful place called Carolina in Columbia that many of us remember fondly. It's probably just not big enough to hold the gargantuan egos of UNC graduates.

              I'm sorry to hear that the Dairy bar has closed. It was a fave of mine for a pimento burger back in the 80s.

              1. re: YourPalWill

                THE Carolina is an old institution of learning which most assuredly has a bunch of egos that could not fit into a dump truck. I always remember the song line " if rabbits walked on two legs they'd be Carolina girls'

                However...best place for a pimento burger is????????

                Sorry about the Dairy Bar being closed as I am sorry about Wad's in Charlotte being closed...but best place???

          2. Hwy. 11 Restaurant in Gaffney has a mean 3/4 lb pimento burger on Texas toast with home made pimento cheese.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Spanky28017

              I happen to be in Gaffney today for work, so this might be worth checking out in about an hour!

            2. My first pimiento burger was had at the Dairy Bar on South Main Street, Columbia in the mid-80s. I wish they were still at that location.

              Can still find a great one over at the Rosewood Dairy Bar. (Plus real milkshakes.)

              Rockaway's offers a good pimiento burger.

              Might want to try Eddie's on Assembly Street. They have always served a mean burger. Recently I heard a grumble from a friend that quality was declining, but I pray they are wrong.

              I've heard Hunter Gatherer serves good burgers, but I don't know first hand. Also don't know if they have the pimiento variety.

              Good luck!

              1. I worked at the Dairy Bar HOME OF THE PIMENTO BURGER on Main St. in between the capitol and the Campus Club from 1973-1976 while attending USC! I wish I could find my old boss John as he and his family were so good to me! Janis M

                2 Replies
                1. re: sourweedjm

                  Was just browsing for info on Dairy Bar in Columbia, I worked there '82-83 timeframe. John and his wife were wonderful. Still remember walking in freezer one day and seeing a frozen bobcat that John has shot (he caught it going through his trash at home).

                  1. re: sourweedjm

                    My husband and I ate many of these great burgers in the mid 70's while we were attending USC, I am going to try to replicate
                    them this weekend with homemade pimento cheese using roasted Hatch chilies!

                  2. Wow, I've only ever had a pimento cheese burger at the Varsity in Atlanta. I had no idea it was a regional specialty in South Carolina (only parts of SC I've ever been to are Charleston and Hilton Head). Is it mostly just the Columbia area where they can be found, or are there other places in SC where they are common?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jamiecarroll

                      I am not sure about sc but they are all over nc. DO a board search for pimento cheese burger and you will find lots of posts. definitely not gilding the lily. In my opinion probably one of the best versions of the hamburger around

                      1. re: jamiecarroll

                        I will be trying my first pimento burger here in Charleston. On Sam Rittenburg there is a Sports bar, Bobby Harnet. Supposedly there burgers are good. And they always seem to have a crowd.

                      2. Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches are fine all by themselves, it's a bit "gilding the lily" to add burger to it.

                        Though I do admit that in my neck of the woods there is a local country store where I can get a pimento cheese BLT on toast, and um. . wow.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: fussycouple

                          I like the pimento cheese at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville. They serve it hot with tortilla chips. You can also get it on a burger (Angus beef or black bean burger). You can get it in a sandwich with a side of tomato soup. Or in an omelet. If you go here, be sure to order the sweet potato fries!
                          Raleigh is farther from you than Asheville, but you can find some specialty items with pimento cheese here, too. I want to try the homemade biscuits with pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomator (PBLT). They also serve Barbecue Fries: hand-cut fries with melted pimento cheese, chopped 'cue, chives, and barbecue ranch dressing. Their pimento cheese sandwich is served on Texas toast with BLT.

                        2. Though it won't help this author, it might help someone else to know that at ACME in Carrboro, NC you can get a 10 oz Kobe burger (cooked how you like) with pimento cheese on it (as well as bacon) that's just fantastic. It's the only one I've had, but it's one of the Top 2 burgers I've had in NC.

                          Acme Food & Beverage Co
                          110 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                          1. If you're in Charlotte, head to the Comet Grill. Or you could just get their pimento cheese served hot as a dip. Either way good stuff.

                            p.s. its usually pronounced "pamenna" :-)

                            1 Reply
                            1. There is a Burger Place on North Main street in Greenville SC. It has been written about as one of the top 50 burgers in the the US. I looks like it is from the 60s, Good burger!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                Is Burger Place the name of the restaurant?

                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                  I think JB is talking about Northgate Soda Shop.

                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                      Thats it. Sorry i have not been online in a few days

                              2. Knoxville, TN -Broadway exit off I640. Go North for approx 2.5 miles. Turn right on Essary and you will see Litton's on the left. Incredible burgers and pimento cheese burgers. They grind their meat and make their own buns.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LGD

                                  NO ONE can beat a Litton's Thunder Road! Great burger topped with sauteed onions, pimento cheese and jalapeno peppers. It is so good.

                                2. To bring the discussion back to Columbia, where you mentioned in the original post, I'd second the recommendation for Rockaways. There also used to be a decent pimento burger at Harpers in Five Points.

                                  1. Harper's is a chain restaurant and I know that is a bad word on Chowhound, but they have GREAT burgers and you can have it with pimento cheese!!

                                    1. I heartily recommend Mr. Friendly's in Columbia, on Greene Street in Five Points. Their pimento cheese is delightful, and their burgers are large and expertly prepared. As an added bonus, you can opt for tater tots that have actually been fried, so they're the perfect combination of crunchy and tender.