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Aug 2, 2010 12:37 PM

Clemson 2010

Judging by the age of the other posts on Clemson SC, and the reorganization of the boards under South, it seems like it is time to update the postings regarding Clemson.

I'll take first crack -- outling my expereinces with a trio of old Clemson favorites that left me, for the most part, muttering that the food was all pretty OK, but certainly not worth a detour off I-85.

The first place on my tour is Sardi's Den Restaurant & Lounge, a place that the reviewers of Tripadvisor and Yelp assured me was a famous old Clemson landmark featuring fine ribs in a somewhat divey location.

I had the famous ribs. My wife had the not so famous prime rib. The prime rib was fine -- but an order medium rare, in the grand tradition of OK -- not great -- restaurants, was translated to medium. The ribs were a bit of a disappointment. The ribs themselves were meaty and not greasy -- worth the reputaton. The sauce, however, was very middle-of-the-road in flavor -- not much different in flavor than something from Applebee's. Onion rings -- very crispy -- and Beacon-style sweet ice tea, on the other hand, were genuinely superb. If I were in Clemson, I would try this again, but I dont think I'd do the ribs.

The second place was Paws Diner (just outside of town on US 123) -- a meat and three that did good fried chicken, good mac and cheese, and did not get its vegetables out of the Sysco can. The place isn't utterly brilliant -- but the fresh vegetable ingredients were a nice surprise. (Okra and tomatoes and fried squash were quite nice). The downside to this place is that the inside of the restaurant is downright nasty. It's clean enough, but the dingy 80's style furnishings need to be burned and replaced.

The third place was the Super Taco, which was mostly a takeout counter, but had a few chairs. This place was advertised as being authentic, and I would agree with that. The Torta Cubano was not the cuban sandwitch you would get in a Cuban place. Instead, it was a collection of many shredded meats (pork, chicken, among others) that had a really great flavor. My wife would not let me sample her burrito. I think it was good.

Super Taco
1019 Tiger Blvd Ste 120, Clemson, SC 29631

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  1. Gads, in the decade or so since I graduated, I remember Pixie and Bills being quite decent as a special occasion place. There was also a decent N'awlins style place that I believe may have closed. Note that neither of us mentions ANY of the local bars...sighs....if only college towns could figure out how to do tavern as something other than dive.

    1. So that's it? Bummer.

      I make the trip every other year to Clemson, and I have not yet had a decent meal. Any other ideas?

      1. Received recommendations of the following, and I'd love some more input:

        Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse
        Super Taco
        Friends Cafe Hookah and Eatery
        Blue Heron Restaurant & Sushi
        Brioso Fresh Pasta
        Nick's Tavern & Deli
        Mellow Mushroom
        ESSO Club
        Tucker's of Anderson

        Super Taco
        1019 Tiger Blvd Ste 120, Clemson, SC 29631

        Brioso Fresh Pasta
        360 College Ave # 100, Clemson, SC 29631

        3 Replies
        1. re: UrDaddy

          I live in nearby Anderson. Have lots of friends in Clemson and spend a lot of time there. Really quickly:
          Super Taco is fantastic!! Make their own tortillas and salsas daily. My whole family loves it!
          Friends Cafe is good solid Middle Eastern fare. Really enjoyed it the times I have been. Unique experience at night with the hookahs. :-)
          Blue Heron is a solid upscale place. No bad meals yet! Wednesdays are what we refer to as Wino Wednesdays. $10 bottles.
          Brioso Fresh Pasta is amazing!!! So happy they are expanding to Anderson. All pastas made fresh.
          Groucho's is good. Love their Special sauce. Haven't been to the one in Clemson. I have been to ones in the Columbia area.
          Mellow Mushroom is yummy pizza, good atmosphere, pretzels are amazing.
          ESSO Club is a Clemson must. Solid food.
          Tucker's is off and on. I have had excellent meals and awful ones. J Peter's Bar and Grill is a better bet. Excellent salads!!!

          Super Taco
          1019 Tiger Blvd Ste 120, Clemson, SC 29631

          2009 Broad River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210

          Brioso Fresh Pasta
          360 College Ave # 100, Clemson, SC 29631

          Bar and Grill
          4005 New Bern Ave, Raleigh, NC 27610

            1. re: angie1175

              Reporting back, post-trip:

              Loved both Friend's Cafe and Nick's Tavern. The food isn't incredible at Nick's but it's a perfect(!) beer nerd hangout with good, solid pub food.

              Super Taco was closed all weekend. Bummer.

              ESSO Club didn't serve food after the game - a big disappointment.

              In fact, no beer or wine was being served after midnight on Saturday night. It may have been the cataclysmic loss of the Clemson Tigers that inspired this insanity, or maybe that's how it always is - I don't know. But I do know that those restaurants could make TONS if they would serve food late night after football games. The only food options were fast food and pizza chain places as of about 11:45.

              J. Peter's was okay. Sort of.

              Super Taco
              1019 Tiger Blvd Ste 120, Clemson, SC 29631