The notion of “fast and casual” isn't new—most chain restaurants adhere to the concept, as do many conversations with abandoned sock puppets. However, at Brioso Fresh Pasta, efficient service merges with local and organic ingredients to bump "fast and casual" into the glow of a new spotlight. Italian dishes range from house-made pasta to fork-free paninis, all of which arrive at tables on the arms of friendly servers. Brioso’s culinary team also respects special dietary needs with gluten-free pastas and vegan menu options.
Sweet Grass Diner's mission to help keep neighboring businesses thriving holds strong in its menu, which bursts at the seams with home-cooked meals comprising eggs, dairy, and fresh produce supplied by local farms. Helmed by Ray and Karan Stratford of Brioso Fresh Pasta, the diner’s kitchen turns a cheek to the owners' usual Italian fare and instead churns out breakfast all day, sating appetites with fresh-made pancakes, waffles, and farm-fresh eggs. Grilled-chicken sandwiches, hearty chili, and chicken-fried steak doused in sausage gravy all vie for palate popularity from visitors hungry for lunch and dinner. Bread pudding and lemon-meringue pie meet diners at meals' end, granting a sweeter farewell than an unexpected hug from the ice-cream man
In 1964, brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel banded together to come up with a new restaurant concept. Arby's took off almost immediately on the coattails of its hallmark roast-beef sandwich and the founders’ idea of providing customers with fast, quality food. Over the company's 48-year franchise history, its foundational pièce de résistance of thinly sliced, juicy beef has been served in a many permutations, and continues to be popular today, served at more than 3,500 stores in North America. Today’s menu still ignites appetites with traditional beef sandwiches, plus hot and seasoned curly fries, fresh-chopped salads, and desserts good for richly capping off meals or bribing any bridge trolls on the way home.
Using local ingredients whenever possible, the chefs at Palmetto's Smokehouse and Oyster Bar smoke prime meats with flavorful rubs, carefully shuck oysters for fire grilling, and prepare other specialty dishes such as creole jambalaya, shrimp five ways, and fried green tomatoes. Customers can order oysters prepared four ways?raw, steamed, grilled, or fried?and dive into smoked meats such as brisket and pulled pork. As they eat with eco-friendly tableware and sip on sweet tea or wine, diners can admire digital artwork by local photographers.
Within the kitchen of Clemson Sushi Bar, chefs prepare the same creative sushi rolls and Asian cuisine offered at sister restaurant Calamari’s Sushi & More. They sear filets of oh-so-fresh tuna, simmer miso soup, and fry sizzling calamari. They also fashion specialty rolls such as the Monster roll, a medley of shrimp tempura, bacon, tuna, salmon, and shrimp—all served by a waiter wearing a Frankenstein mask. Vegetarians can also nosh on meat-free snacks such as rolls filled with marinated carrot and asparagus.
At Smoke & Blue, diners pile plates high with buffet-style barbecue in a family-friendly setting. The cavernous wood-paneled dining area seats 300 people at long tables with checkerboard tablecloths, and the eatery welcomes buses, RVs, and large spaceships. On the weekends, family-oriented bluegrass, country, and rock bands take the stage as patrons dig into plates of smoked chicken, pulled pork, and spare ribs with sides of sweet-potato soufflé, creamy coleslaw, and collard greens.