Caro-Mi Tryon, NC
If you like great country ham and grits with red-eye gravy or pan fried trout this place is worth the short drive off 1-26. Caro-Mi is a true hidden treasure about 35 minutes south of Asheville and about the same distance north from Spartanburg, SC. My brother and I ate there a couple of weeks ago and had a fine time talking with the owners who are both retired school teachers. The food is served family style and the only choice you have is the meat. I had the trout and my brother ordered the ham and we shared the generous portions equally. The sides were quite good and included a unique slaw, baked apples, green beans, grits, and a few others I can't remember. This rustic restaurant is situated on the banks of the Pacolet River and you can sit in a rocking chair on the porch and enjoy the view and the river sounds. There is even an old covered bridge that crosses the river just in front of the restaurant. We went there on a Wednesday evening and it was not crowded but I understand it's a different story on the weekend. Other choices on the menu are golden fried spring chicken and pan sauteed chicken livers. The owner said the chicken was her favorite but I could not have been more pleased with the ham and trout which I will order again when we return. Guess I'm spoiled with the fried chicken at Shealy's in Leesville, SC which is so good that it's made grown men cry. The Caro-Mi though is a true gem off the beaten path.