This month the Culinary Critics are not reviewing an area restaurant, but rather, we are looking back at a year’s worth of reviews. We have thus far visited 11 different eateries; we took the month of December off (hard to fit one more meal in between all the Christmas celebrations). So this month, we will share our favorites, our not so favorites, and hopefully entice our readers to visit some of these restaurants if they have not already. We will return next month with an all new review.
Before we begin, let us list all the places we have critiqued thus far in order of their ratings. We will also include our favorite food item(s) we enjoyed at each. They are as follows:
Los Jarochos #1 5 Forks Everything
The Old Edgefield Grill 5 Forks Edgefield BLT
3rd Generation 4.5 Forks Fried Chicken and Mac & Cheese
Swine Dining 4.5 Forks BBQ
Persimmon Hill Grill 4.5 Forks 7 Layer Salad, Grape Salad, and Mac & Cheese
Juniper 4 Forks Corn Chowder and Tomatoes & Feta
Blue Collar Bistro 3 Forks Meatloaf and Peach a la Mode
Lakeside Grill 3 Forks Key Lime Pie
Poppie’s All American BBQ Grille 3 Forks Chicken Fingers
Peaches N’ Such 2.5 Forks Pimento Cheese, Chicken Salad, and Ice Cream
Airport Grill 2.5 Forks Red Velvet Cake
Now, in reviewing our critiques, we would be remiss if we did not name an Overall Favorite. That was quite easy as we both immediately named the same restaurant – Los Jarochos. However, it is also bittersweet and a little unfair for our readers, as Los Jarochos is no longer in business. Or rather, we should say, it is no longer in business with the same owners and cook. As we stated in our initial review, Los Jarochos was “not your momma’s Mexican Restaurant.” Our area lost a true hidden gem when it closed. In fact, we miss it so much that we have often felt we should track the former owner down and implore him to reconsider opening it again. Let us know if you know where he lives.
Since the original Los Jarochos is no longer open, we decided to name our Favorite Restaurant That Is Still In Business. That honor goes to The Old Edgefield Grill. The old Edgefield Grill is also where one will find our Favorite Burger, the Edgefield BLT. Simply a glorified hamburger, the BLT is just that – glorious! It is also the biggest burger we had ever eaten! It is so big that we had to use a fork and knife to eat it, and a fellow patron expressed his interest in seeing us try to eat it when it was delivered to our table. The Old Edgefield Grill is also the spot we chose as the Best and Most Romantic Date Night Spot. The ambiance is perfect for date night, and owner/server Stan Newsome goes above and beyond to make sure one’s dining experience is just that – an experience. We truly enjoyed our night there. However, we would like to add a Runner-up, if you will, for Best Date Night; Lakeside Grill. This is also a nice place for a date especially if you want to feel like you are at the beach. Watching the sunset over the lake as we dined was truly enchanting.
As we have named where to find the best burger from among the restaurants we have so far visited, we feel we must also tell where to find the Best Bar-B-Que in the area, as it, too, is a popular food among our readership. And naming our Favorite BBQ Place was easy – Swine Dining. It has, hand down, the best BBQ we have tried, and everything else there was great, too. Swine Dining is also our Favorite Family Restaurant. It has a fun, country-style atmosphere where adults and kids can enjoy a nice dining experience. If dessert is more your thing, and let’s face it – who doesn’t like a good dessert, then you will have a choice of places of where to find the Best Dessert as we came to a tie here. The Blue Collar Bistro is home to the Best Peach Cobbler, and the Airport Grille is where the Best – and Biggest Sliced – Red Velvet Cake can be found.
The Bests are important to review, but there were a few disappointments. We will mention our Biggest Disappointment, Peaches N’ Such, because our dissatisfaction had nothing to do with the food, but rather the service and atmosphere. The food here was great once we got it, and perhaps surprisingly, Peaches N’ Such is home to another one of our best – Best Ice Cream. (We did not count ice cream in the dessert category because, really, isn’t Ice Cream considered its own food group.) We are hopeful that since quality of service is seemingly easily remedied, our next visit (yes, we do hope to go again) will be a better experience.
We had bests and disappointments, but we also had a few surprises as well. Our Biggest Surprise was Persimmon Hill Grill. Not being huge buffet fans, we were truly amazed at the quality of their food. It was so delicious! The best 7 layer salad and grape salad can also be found here. It was not an uptight atmosphere but was, rather, very laid back, and we had an enjoyable dining experience.
Perhaps the best Best we have had this year is our readership’s response to the Culinary Critics. The idea for this feature was birthed, actually, at one of the above reviewed restaurants as we sat there one evening contemplating how many different restaurants there are in Edgefield County, but some, such as the one we were visiting, many people do not even know exists. So, after giving a pitch to the editor of the Oldest Newspaper in South Carolina, it was decided the Advertiser would visit different eateries in the county and surrounding areas in order to introduce our readership to restaurants they might not otherwise know about or try. Since we started, the Culinary Critics have received kind reviews and loyal followers. We appreciate all who read our reviews and especially enjoy hearing of those readers who follow behind us and visit our reviewed restaurants for themselves. We hope you are having as much fun visiting these restaurants as we.
If you missed any of our reviews, please visit our website, www.edgefieldadvertiser.com, where many of those past reviews may be found. We love to hear your reviews, too, and you can leave those thoughts on our site as well.
We look forward to sharing our latest dining experience with you again next month. You might be surprised where we take you.