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New Foodie to the area need help: Westminster, SC near Clemson

lady7694 Jan 26, 2009 09:22 AM

I just moved here to Westminster, SC in September and am looking for great places in the area. From diners, drive ins and dives to Polish, Portugese, etc. Westminster is located near Clemson University, Seneca, and Anderson area. I will be willing to travel as I do a lot of day trips and am looking forward to exploring the south as I just moved from NJ. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

  1. north2south Jan 26, 2009 10:34 AM

    Well first off, Clemson University may have the best made-in-house ice cream in the state at their '55 Exchange, an ice cream parlor located in their student center. They make the ice cream at the University's micro-creamery. It will not blow you away, but it is very tasty, with good texture, interesting variety, and fresh flavors. (Please note that I haven't come across much non-chain ice cream in the SC -- I'd be happy to hear suggestions.)

    Heading past Clemson into Anderson you can check out Split Creek Farms, a goat dairy. You can get fresh goat cheese, goat-yogurt shakes, and other goat dairy products there.

    Driving a bit further to Belton, SC will get you to Grits and Groceries, which I went to once for Saturday Brunch and hope to return to soon. This restaurant is a real treasure. Two native Carolinians who worked in restaurants in New Orleans returned to open up this casual, careful-cooking Southern brunch and lunch spot. It is kind of hard to find among the unmarked country roads, and there will be a wait when you get there, but it is worth it.

    All three of these places have websites and are easily googleable.

    Welcome to South Carolina, from someone who, like you, once lived up north.

    1 Reply
    1. re: north2south
      lady7694 Jan 26, 2009 03:26 PM

      I've already gone to the Clemson Ice cream store and agree with you, although very tasty and good texture it does not blow you away. Will definatly check out the other two Thanks

    2. b
      buckeye.mary Jan 27, 2009 10:13 AM

      I've heard good things about the Spotted Pig (BBQ) in Fair Play, but it's still just on my list of places I need to try (along with Grits and Groceries.)

      Search chowhound for thread about Clemson that popped up last year. It has some more suggestions.

      3 Replies
      1. re: buckeye.mary
        angie1175 Jan 28, 2009 05:04 PM

        I've heard recently that the ice cream is not made in house at CU anymore. The blue cheese is awesome. Split Creek Farms is amazing. Best goat cheese ever. Try the olive oil sundried tomato basil feta. Mac's Diner in Clemson is a must. Also the Blue Heron in Clemson is awesome. Wednesdays they have $10 bottles of wine. Super Taco in Clemson is also good. The Cafe at Liberty Hall in in Pendleton is excellent, almost everything is completely from scratch. I live in Anderson and like Jax New Orleans Bistro here. Also good is Sullivans. Great Thai place in town called Thai Spice. Grits and Groceries is wonderful.

        1. re: angie1175
          danna Jan 29, 2009 06:59 AM

          Angie - I get to Anderson once in a while for work. How far is grits and groceries? Could I make it there for lunch and back in a reasonable time (1 hour-ish)? Just yesterday I discoverd E City Java on Main Street, before I had been searching in vain for good coffee. ANy other recs?

          Must agree that Split Creek makes some fab stuff. I think their chevre average , but that feta marinated in oil is killer. I've also had the almond/apricot ball ...it's a nice cheesy dessert/snack. I have a hard time not eating the whole thing though.

          As for Westminster, i would also point out that you should explore to the north...around Highlands and Cashiers, maybe an hour away, and a gorgeous drive.

          1. re: danna
            angie1175 Jan 29, 2009 02:09 PM

            It takes me about 30 minutes or so to get to G&G. The directions are on their site. www.gritsandgroceries.com We usually go for Saturday brunch. ECity is really good. Downtown, hmm, Matty's is good, esp for burgers. Thai Spice is great for Thai. Very authentic. A friend who had lived in Thailand loved their food. McGee's is a great Irish pub. I do so love the cheese balls from Split Creek. I serve them at all my parties. The raspberry one is also amazing as is the goat fudge. Also try CocoBon chocolates, you can buy them at a kiosk in the mall. ABSOLUTELY amazing! Electric City Coffee by Bloom on 81 is good as well. Haven't tried it yet but have heard good things about Food Junkie in the mall.

      2. JB BANNISTER Jan 30, 2009 03:36 PM

        Jacks Bistro is great. They also have free wi fi. I also like Halfway to Habana on Main st. It is a great place for small dishes and wine. Keep in mind H2H is a cigar bar but the ceilings are very high and has a great look and food. Start there and move down to Jacks for dinner,

        3 Replies
        1. re: JB BANNISTER
          lady7694 Feb 6, 2009 05:39 AM

          Thanks for all the suggestions I appreciate it a lot. I'm very surprised, and I may be being very steryotypical, but I haven't seen more fried chicken or fried fish place's. There's the fast food chains of zaxbys, bojangles, etc but what about the more mom and pop small places, more home cooking. In New Jersey we had a great fish place in Keyport. Just a small shack building that fried up some of the best fish, and sold fresh as well.

          1. re: lady7694
            danna Feb 6, 2009 07:07 AM

            don't get me started on why you can't find good southern home style cooking in a restaurant...but it's really hard. Most "meat-n-three" places get their food from a can. Ironically, if you want great southern food, you may have to go to Watershed in Atlanta. Or get invited to someone's Mom's house for dinner. If they call it "dinner" but serve it at noon, that's a good sign ;-)

            1. re: lady7694
              danna Feb 6, 2009 07:10 AM

              oh, and another thing...while I don't think it's "all that" , there's an all you can eat southern family style place in Dahlonega , GA called Smith House that you might enjoy for the novelty. Hour drive, maybe?

          2. lady7694 Feb 11, 2009 04:58 AM

            Thanks to everyone for all theirs suggestions. I'm starting my new "southern" try these restaurants notebook to keep in my purse when I'm in the area suggested. I recently tried TD's in Clemson. Very college bar scene, but great wings and sour cream and chives french fries. Best to go when the kids are out of college, but if you don't mind the noise anytime is great.

            1. j
              jjsouth Feb 13, 2009 09:00 AM

              I think Grits and Groceries has the best icecream in SC, made with milk from a local dairy, and I just love their sophisticated/ rustic Saturday brunch menu. Saturday night dinners (by reservation only), when they do them, are just wonderful, too; live music, delicious food, a feeling of relaxed celebration. Joe and Heidi Trull are true community builders, employing half of the kids in the area, feeding the parents, and serving locally grown meat, vegetables and dairy products.

              I also enjoy the Steakhouse Cafeteria in downtown Walhalla, for traditional cafeteria food.

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