The stately home, which now is the location for the Old Edgefield Grill, is situated a block off the Edgefield town square. What was once a prominent family home now serves satisfied diners who live in or visit the Old 96 District in South Carolina. The food is Southern comfort at its finest with surprising twists.
Location: 202 Penn Street, Edgefield, South Carolina
Menu: The menu for both lunch and dinner is basically the same with occasional specials based on seasonal availability and the chef’s whim. Old Edgefield Grill is closed on Sundays and Mondays and only open for lunch on Tuesdays, but those in the know come ready for a mouth-watering lunch or dinner in an elegant setting every Wednesday through Saturday. The Grill is so popular that reservations are strongly recommended.
The most popular items without a doubt on the menu of appetizers are the Fried Green Tomatoes with bacon remoulade and melted pimento cheese. Other fun choices include Cajun Popcorn, which consists of fried crawfish tails served with Cajun honey mustard sauce, or Deep Fried Pimento Cheese.
Don’t worry too much about all of the fried items. Standard salads, such as the house, Caesar, and wedge, are available, but you’ll also find specialty salads like Crawfish Salad and Craisin Salad with smoked turkey breast and pecans.
The array of sandwiches and burgers from which to choose is very intriguing, each served with a side such as French fries, sweet potato fries, slaw or stone ground grits. The sweet potato fries are very tempting with a sprinkle of salt, cinnamon, and sugar. I personally recommend the Grilled Angus BBQ Burger. It is served with housemade peach barbecue sauce and onion straws. It might be a challenge to open your mouth wide enough to accommodate this impressive burger.
In the typical fashion of Southern comfort foods, both shrimp baskets and chicken finger baskets are on the menu.
Entrees include shrimp and grits, duck breast, steaks and crab cakes. The duck breast was said to have been a favorite of Senator Strom Thurmond, an Edgefield native who served as South Carolina’s United States Senator for 48 years. The popular Shrimp and Grits entree was featured in Southern Living Magazine.
Thoughts: Walking up to the two-story Victorian home with its thick columns and wide wraparound veranda shaded by magnolia trees, it is easy to believe it is a place filled with stories. Construction began in 1906, and it was finally a family home in 1907. In addition to serving the Reel family as their home for over 60 years, it has also been a boarding house for teachers, was once converted into three separate apartments and then became a high-end furniture showroom before it finally was turned into a restaurant in 1992. It was bought and named Old Edgefield Grill in 1999.
There are four dining rooms on the first floor and the porch is used for outdoor dining when the weather permits. One of the rooms has a bar, and two rooms are themed to match the area. One contains memorabilia about Senator Thurmond, and another has turkey decor everywhere. After all, the National Wild Turkey Federation’s headquarters and museum are only a few miles away.
The home was one of the first brick houses built in Edgefield, and the present owners have retained the original floors, fireplaces, and ceilings. The pocket doors still function as they did in 1907, too.
Service is attentive. The food is delicious, and the setting contributes heavily to an enjoyable dining experience. Just ask your server for details about the architecture or the building’s history. He or she will be happy to oblige or will find someone who can share all the facts. Generally, the dress is casual, but this type of ambiance could easily justify dressing up a bit.
Price range: Appetizers are $9 -11. Salads are $5 and $7 for traditional ones and $9-15 for specialty salads. Sandwiches are $7-13, and burgers range from $11-15. Entrees range from $15 for the Crab Cake Dinner to $35 for the Grilled Angus Filet.
Connie's book "Telling It On The Mountain: 52 Days in the Life of an Unlikely Missionary" was published in 2016 and is available on Amazon.In addition to her blog, www.theregoesconnie.com, she is a regular contributor to The Yums,Trip101.com, MilesGeek.com, Epicurean-Traveler.com, ShortWeeks-LongWeekends.com and other print and online travel publications.
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