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May 9, 2007 12:34 PM

Carolinas road food: Heading east

I'm working on a story about places to eat on the way to the N.C. and S.C. beaches from Charlotte, and I want to make sure I don't miss any gems. If anyone has suggestions for these towns, please let me know. (I promise to share my discoveries when I get back.)
My route will be U.S. 74 in N.C. (of course) and the S.C. 9/S.C. 38/U.S. 501 route to Myrtle Beach. I'll take any detour of 5 miles or less off those.
I'm looking for suggestions in: Wadesboro, Rockingham, Hamlet, Laurinburg, Lumberton (yes, I have Fuller's on the list) and Whiteville (I have a good stop for Lake Waccamaw). Also Conway, Marion, Bennettsville and Cheraw, and points in between, of course.
Fish camps, diners, good dog or burger stops, meat and threes, bakeries -- I'll consider all candidates. Thanks.
UPDATE: And now my route has changed a little, so I'm also looking for suggestions in Bladenboro, Pageland, McBee, Darlington, Florence and Marion, S.C.

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  1. Redbone Alley in Florence. Not bad at all. They have a web site, so you can check it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Stack8

      Isn't Redbone Alley a chain? I've eaten at the one in Columbia and unfortunately it was standard chain fare.

    2. I forgot to recommend Lugi NY Italian Trattoria in Myrtle Beach. 503 61st Ave North. Just off 17 buss. north. (843) 497-7080. True Italian, no Greek twist here. It's the real deal.

      1. Kathleen,
        I love El Sharif in downtown Cheraw, particularly their souvlaki chicken. Not exactly central SC or beach fare but I will stop there for lunch if I am taking hwy 9.
        I also used to eat at The Hub in Wadesboro (left side of 74 before you enter Wadesboro) but it has been a few years but I liked their fried chicken.
        The buffet at The Thunderbird in Florence was great at one time but I understand it is under new managemant and has gone downhill.

        1. Roger's BBQ in Florence is hard to beat . It's all you can eat and there are many great choices on this well stocked buffet. Unique to the Pee Dee region of SC is BBQ liver hash which you eat over rice topped with red gravy and you'll find it at Roger's. This treat may not exist outside of Florence County. Besides the fine Pee Dee Q which is right up there with the best of Lexington, NC, you'll find well seasoned veggies and cobbler to die for. I have eaten at Fuller's in Lumberton many times but it can't hold a candle to Roger's. Another excellent choice in Florence County is Schoolhouse BBQ in Scranton, SC. Located in a restored early 20th century school house, I believe it won the WIS-TV best BBQ award a few years ago. You may want to check out the Country Kitchen (908 Chesterfield Highway) in Cheraw for a good lunch. The BBQ joints in SC are usually open only 3 or 4 days each week. Radd Dew's BBQ in Conway used to be good but I haven't heard anything about it lately. Best seafood at Myrtle Beach hands down is the Sea Captain's which has been there forever. Stay away from anything labeled Calabash. Calabash = creek shrimp.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Doodad

            Thanks. I had lunch at the Country Kitchen on Friday. Good crowder peas. Also, there's a new, small barbecue place in Darlington called Nick's that has hash and chicken bog. I've found hash in several places in S.C., so I don't think it's limited to Florence. I made two tries at Gore's Barbecue in Aynor, but it was closed both times. Pity, it looked fabulous. But other locals told me the hours are very erratic.

            1. re: kathleen purvis

              Hash is plentiful all over SC but not liver hash which I've only found in Florence County. The Farm House at 5th Ave. N. is my absolute favorite place to eat in Myrtle Beach. The place has been there over 40 years so it's stood the test of time. Their country cooking reminds me of my grandmother's. Love the old player piano. Prepare to rock on the front porch till your name is called.

              1. re: Doodad

                Thanks for all the help and suggestions, folks. If you're interested, my story with my finds ran in today's Charlotte Observer. You can see it here:
                We also have a slide show, and we have a forum up for people to post their own suggestions.
                Thanks again for the assistance.

          2. Carolina Roadhouse is one of the best places in Myrtle Beach, and the lines, year around atest to that. Another favorite is Umberto's at Barefoot Landing, but the burgers are great at River City Cafe (a couple of different locations).