Gaffney SC

Carolina Cafe

The Foodie Crew went out of our comfort zone, and back into South Carolina this week!  I must admit, I was doubtful of my friend’s pick.  When I called for reservations, I was told they didn’t take them.  Strike one!  Not only am I impatient about waiting, but after the accident, I find it hard to stand for long periods of time.  I’m so glad I prevailed!

This place is pretty far off of the beaten path.  You have to know it’s there, you probably are not just going to “run across” it.  Grab your GPS, plug in the digits (people still say that, right?) and head out.  When you arrive, you’ll see it jam packed with people.  Put your name on the list and wait.  When you sit down, you’ll see cinder block walls.  Get over it.  Seriously.  My steak was better at that hole in the wall than at Ruth’s Chris.

So, let’s see…we have an out of the way location, a lack of atmosphere and no reservation taking.  Doesn’t sound too promising, right?  Settle down.  The food is worth the trouble.


We ordered two appetizers, one was the Aloha Chicken and the other was fried onion rings.  The Aloha Chicken was a hot dip, with a creamy base then topped with cheddar cheese.  It was served with tortilla chips.  It was so good, though at first we were taken aback by how soupy it was.  We got over it quick, because it was so flavorful, with tender chicken, and just a tiny amount of sweetness from the pineapple juice.

The onion straws were nothing special, but they were good!  They were thin strips fried crisp and served with a spicy dipping sauce, reminiscent of a Remoulade.  The onions were a tiny bit oily but they were delicious, so no one complained.  We couldn’t finish them, however.  They give you a very healthy portion.

Aloha Chicken
Onion Rings
Onion Rings


All of the meals come with a salad.  They are nice sized and very fresh, with homemade dressings.  I didn’t get a picture, because you know…it’s a salad.


We all, for once, got four different things.  The first entree was the Beef Tips smothered with mushrooms, peppers, onion and shrimp and melted Monterrey Jack cheese covered all.  The tips were filet and Jeri pronounced the meat very tender, and the shrimp very fresh.  As you can see below, it comes with a large sweet potato, and that mixture in the cup?  Yeah, that’s melted butter and brown sugar.  My lord, it is good.

Beef Tips, smothered with mushrooms and cheese, with shrimp
Beef Tips, smothered with mushrooms and cheese, with shrimp

My hubs got the Cajun ribeye.  It was served with more of those yummy shoestring onion rings and cheese grits.  The steak was cooked perfectly and spicy and the grits were cheesy creamy goodness.

Cajun Ribeye with Onion Rings and Cheese Grits
Cajun Ribeye with Onion Rings and Cheese Grits

Robert ordered the Barbecued Ribs everyone raves about.  They were very tender and smoky, and just fell right off of the bone.  He got the whole rack, and was about to eat only half.  It came with French Fries, crispy and salty!

Barbecued Ribs
Barbecued Ribs

I got the Filet Mignon and added mushrooms.  It was served with a baked potato, but that was so unnecessary.  That might have been the best steak I’ve ever had, and I KNOW it was better than Ruth’s Chris.  Tender, juicy with just the right amount of chargrilling….and perfect doneness.  If only this place wasn’t an hour from my home, I’d eat there once a week.

Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon


Oh my goodness we were so full after that delicious meal, but what’s that the waitress said?  Homemade desserts??  Yes please.

The men opted for the Lemon meringue pie, and it had the perfect tang that only comes from fresh squeezed lemon, a perfect crust and a creamy firm meringue.  Nothing could be better, right?

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie

Well.  Then we tasted the Apple Dumpling with ice cream.  Cinnamony, pillowy, appley goodness.  I don’t even like apples, and that is the best tasting dessert I’ve had in a long time…ever?  If you go..get that.  Even if you don’t like apples, either.

Apple Dumpling
Apple Dumpling

We put off going to Carolina Cafe once and almost did again because of the distance and lack of reservation taking.  I am so glad we sucked it up and went.  It is truly one of those “diamonds in the rough” places.  Enjoy!

Carolina Cafe on Urbanspoon

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