Mon. – Thurs.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. 131 West Augusta Street
Friday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. McCormick, SC 29835
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. 864-852-9500
As the summer is in full swing and lots of readers are headed to nearby lakes and waterholes for relief from the heat, the Culinary Critics decided to traipse over to the town of McCormick to see what dining experiences might await our friends who are venturing that way for some lake fun. We found ourselves this month at a little hole in the wall pizza eatery called Michelle’s Pizza. However, don’t let the hole in the wall description fool ya. In fact, some of our favorite places to eat have fallen into this category. And here to represent those little easily over-looked establishments is a place that has a whole lotta good food to choose from.
We had actually visited Michelle’s many years ago, and since that time, the restaurant has added a bar area so that now there is a “restaurant” side and a “bar side” to the establishment. Being there longer, the restaurant side has not seen the updates and spoofying up that naturally is a part of the newer bar side. That is not to say it is not nice, just know it will not appeal to the eye as the bar side which boasts a shiny, wooden bar and shiny, wooden high tables most of which whose table tops are old road signs. Pretty neat! We sat on the restaurant side, and since we went in the late evening on a Friday night (Michelle’s stays open til 11:00 on Friday nights!), found it occupied but not overflowing. It was also darkly lit but had low hanging lights over the booths that line one side of the room that shone brightly onto the tables. There is table seating in the middle of the room as well along the opposite side of the wall. Let us say here that if you are looking for a quiet, romantic date night sight, this is not the place for you. That is not to say it is not somewhere to go for a fun date night, though. Just don’t expect that romantic ambiance. Michelle’s is lively and loud with an atmosphere indicative of patrons having fun. Rock music adds the backdrop to voices and laughter – a sure sign of fun times.
Setting aside, let’s get to the food. Michelle’s offers a surprising array of choices from lots of appetizers to subs, wings, burgers, and, of course, pizzas. There’s even a steak plate to be had. We decided to start our meal with an appetizer sampler which allowed us to choose 3 of 8 options. We chose onion petals, mozzarella sticks, and fried mushrooms. Yum, yum, and yum! And Michelle’s serves you a gracious plenty. One could easily let the appetizer serve as the meal. Michelle’s make their own sauces to go with their appetizers, too. We were given marinara, ranch, and a horseradish based sauce. All were very tasty, but the ranch was WOW! One of us even stated we could just drink the ranch – just hand over a straw. In fact, if they bottled that stuff, it, next to gravy, could be a new favorite Southern drink!
As we began to place the rest of our order, our delightfully knowledgeable and helpful waitress, Reagan (named for a Playboy bunny and not the president, she informed us), clued us into to the fact that we could add an all-you-can-eat salad from their fresh salad bar for $2.99 with the order of our meals. Well, always trying to mind our waist lines and at least give the impression of healthy eating, we signed up for this. The salad was great. Crispy lettuce, fresh veggies, and lots of choices. It did not disappoint. Then we got to our main meal. Michelle’s serves New York style pizza, and, since this is a pizza place, we ordered a 12” with extra cheese over the entire thing, mushrooms on half and Italian sausage, pepperoni, and onions on the other – feel free to henceforth refer to that as the Culinary Critic’s Champion Pizza. We also ordered a wings basket with half garlic parmesan wings and the other half teriyaki. The pizza was very tasty, and the wings were a big hit with the teriyaki being the preferred of the two. We enjoyed it all – from the appetizer on, and it was hard to pick a favorite, but those little slivers of purple onion would be right at the top! (And that new drink flavor – Ranch.)
As already stated, Michelle’s has a lot of choices from which to choose. Their large array of appetizers range from about $5.50 to $8, 12” subs are about $7 with ½ inch being about $5, wing basket are around $7, and pizzas range from nearly $6 for an 8” to right at $13 for a 16”. Add-ons and specialty pizzas are more. One could also simply make a meal of the all-you-can-eat salad bar for $5.69. Our meals, which consisted of A LOT of food, were a bit over $40 with a tip included.
McCormick is about a twenty minute drive from the west side of Edgefield County. However, for those already at the lake, the little town is even closer. We would definitely recommend anyone looking for a fun night out with good food to give Michelle’s a try. While we had no young critics in tow this time, we think Michelle’s would make a great family night outing. As the male of our pair declared, “I really enjoyed it. It’s worth coming back for!” We think you’ll agree.
Michelle’s Pizza rating: 4 ¼ forks (Apologies to Kate, our wonderful graphic artist)
Rating System: 0-5 Forks
0 forks – Not good at all; 1 fork – bad but might try again; 2 forks – fair; 3 forks – good; 4 forks – great; and 5 forks – excellent.