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Best place to try for the FIRST time a pimento burger

michael b Jan 20, 2006 09:36 AM

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

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    mark RE: michael b Jan 20, 2006 10:11 AM

    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
      RPrice RE: mark Jan 20, 2006 01:39 PM

      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. m
      Mike D RE: michael b Jan 20, 2006 01:28 PM

      Enlighten us. What is a pimento burger?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mike D
        mark RE: Mike D Jan 20, 2006 01:55 PM

        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
          Mike D RE: mark Jan 24, 2006 12:06 PM

          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
            mark RE: Mike D Jan 24, 2006 01:02 PM

            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
              Mike D RE: mark Jan 25, 2006 04:05 PM


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

      2. p
        Paul in Irmo RE: michael b Jan 21, 2006 07:20 AM

        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
          mark RE: Paul in Irmo Jan 21, 2006 08:47 AM

          excellent rule of thumb!

          1. re: Paul in Irmo
            michael b RE: Paul in Irmo Jan 21, 2006 09:07 AM

            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
              YourPalWill RE: michael b Jan 22, 2006 09:37 AM

              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
                michael b RE: YourPalWill Jan 24, 2006 11:47 AM

                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. s
            Spanky28017 RE: michael b Jan 21, 2006 09:03 PM

            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
              deibu RE: Spanky28017 Jan 23, 2006 10:15 AM

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

            2. e
              Ellen of SC RE: michael b Jan 23, 2006 04:16 PM

              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. s
                sourweedjm RE: michael b Feb 25, 2008 01:35 PM

                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
                  tmbarboun RE: sourweedjm Jun 21, 2013 08:34 AM

                  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
                    pamisu RE: sourweedjm Aug 16, 2013 04:54 PM

                    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. jamiecarroll RE: michael b Feb 26, 2008 11:32 AM

                    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
                      quazi RE: jamiecarroll Feb 26, 2008 03:01 PM

                      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
                        rassie RE: jamiecarroll Mar 8, 2009 11:00 AM

                        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. f
                        fussycouple RE: michael b Feb 26, 2008 12:45 PM

                        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
                          JoanInNC RE: fussycouple Mar 8, 2009 01:42 PM

                          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. cheinonen RE: michael b Mar 8, 2009 01:40 PM

                          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. b
                            billyjack RE: michael b Mar 9, 2009 03:30 PM

                            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. re: billyjack
                              waitress RE: billyjack Jul 31, 2009 03:54 AM

                              Pamenna is so funny and true!!!

                            2. JB BANNISTER RE: michael b Mar 9, 2009 04:56 PM

                              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
                                carolinadawg RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 9, 2009 05:53 PM

                                Is Burger Place the name of the restaurant?

                                1. re: carolinadawg
                                  buckeye.mary RE: carolinadawg Mar 10, 2009 09:21 AM

                                  I think JB is talking about Northgate Soda Shop.

                                  1. re: buckeye.mary
                                    carolinadawg RE: buckeye.mary Mar 10, 2009 10:27 AM


                                    1. re: carolinadawg
                                      JB BANNISTER RE: carolinadawg Mar 10, 2009 06:17 PM

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

                              2. l
                                LGD RE: michael b Mar 11, 2009 02:58 PM

                                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
                                  Brawny RE: LGD Mar 14, 2009 11:41 AM

                                  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. Suzy Q RE: michael b Mar 12, 2009 01:33 PM

                                  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. waitress RE: michael b Jul 31, 2009 03:57 AM

                                    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. Gheph RE: michael b Jul 24, 2013 04:45 PM

                                      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.

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