Before setting up shop in Rock Hill, the owners of Kinch’s perfected the art of southern cooking in the capital city of Columbia. According to Southern Food Network, it was there that the restaurant’s fried chicken made its name famous across the state,. Now housed inside a charming, redbrick building, Kinch’s still serves a menu of Southern classics, including country-fried steak, collard greens, two- or three-piece fried chicken baskets, and molasses-covered pages from As I Lay Dying. They also open the restaurant for breakfast five mornings a week, as well as serve breakfast for dinner every Monday night.
A childhood of baking alongside her mother and grandmother inspires Patti's work, especially her custom cake creations. At her first bakery she won much acclaim for her buttercream, which is rich without being cloyingly sweet?much like a millionaire before his life's transformed by a loveable orphan. Since moving on to Periwinkle's, Patti's kept creating one-of-a-kind confections for her new clientele. Most recently, she consulted with a little girl who, in a quiet voice, requested a "scary jungle cake." Together they scoured the Internet for inspiration, designing a cake the celebrant later said was the best part of her party. This, says Patti, is exactly what motivates her to keep baking. A childhood of baking alongside her mother and grandmother inspires Patti's work, especially her custom cake creations. As owner of the now-shuttered Pat-a-Cakes, she won much acclaim for her buttercream, which is rich without being cloyingly sweet?much like a millionaire before his life's transformed by a loveable orphan. Since that shop is closing, Patti's kept creating one-of-a-kind confections for her new clientele. Most recently, she consulted with a little girl who, in a quiet voice, requested a "scary jungle cake." Together they scoured the Internet for inspiration, designing a cake the celebrant later said was the best part of her party. This, says Patti, is exactly what motivates her to keep baking.
The chefs at Citizen Corners mix South Carolina low-country eats with Louisiana creole flavors, filling tables with artfully prepared plates bearing heaping regional flavors. Crack a menu to start with such appetizers as the fried-green-tomato stack layered with handmade pimiento cheese ($8). Chefs rest amberjack fillets on beds of florentine rice and mixed vegetables and encase them in oven-ready parchment-paper steam rooms with the amberjack papillote ($21). Cajun fried seafood platters are stuffed with a net's worth of alligator, scallops, crawfish tails, and other sea-caught savories, accompanied by land-fished hush puppies ($25). Diners' choices of hand-cut steaks ($18–$23) are prepared with optional toppers such as chipotle lime butter ($1) and a wild mushroom-cabernet reduction ($2).
Groucho's has been serving deli-style favorites to South Carolina's sandwich set since 1941. The menu features a sea of sandwiches ($3.79–$7.09), including traditional corned beef on rye, chicken salad, and the house specialty, Baby Sub, a warm combo of salami, bologna, provolone, herb slaw, and lean ham. Groucho's woos salad skeptics with its Just Bacon Salad—4 ounces of real bacon crumbs mounded on a smoke screen of greens ($5.09). Running the gamut of heart health, it also offers a sizeable selection of low-fat alternatives and vegetarian options. If kosher dills inspire intense thirst or desires to soak fingertips in carbonation, Groucho's carries bottled beer and Dr. Brown's soda.
Hanging lamps cast their warm light across the vibrant paintings that hang from El Caribe Sunset Cafe’s pink and yellow walls. The café’s decor draws its influences from Mexico and the Caribbean islands, as does its menu. A tropical heat envelops the kitchen, where seafood, steak, and chicken simmer in tangy sauces and plantains crackle in frying pans of garlic and butter. Meanwhile, bathed in the neon glow of a Presidente sign, bartenders fill glasses and waterproof sombreros with frozen margaritas, mojitos, and imported beers.
The Caribbean doesn’t feel so far away on warmer nights, thanks to a front patio lined with lime-green umbrellas and speckled with tables and chairs. The café hosts a number of special events throughout the year, from live music and dance parties to raucous games of pin the tail on the enchilada.
Lee Cummings, the founder of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, learned the ropes from one of the country’s foremost poultry experts: his uncle, Colonel Harland Sanders. Together, he and the colonel opened more than 800 KFC stores selling fried chicken prepared in pressure cookers and battered with the duo’s famous blend of spices. It wasn’t until after his uncle sold KFC in 1962 that Lee began developing his own secret recipe, a development that would lead to the creation of the Lee’s Famous franchise in 1966.
Today, the franchise sells the fruits of his labor, Lee’s “Famous Recipe” chicken, plus buttermilk biscuits and housemade sides from locations in 14 states and four countries. Each piece of never-frozen chicken is hand-breaded and dipped into honey before being transferred to pressure cookers that crisp the exterior while maintaining a juicy interior. Though the original recipe remains untouched, Lee’s Famous has expanded its offerings over the years to include healthier oven-roasted and lava-charred options.