Archive for the ‘South Carolina retro, vintage’ Category

Retro Roadmap pal and reader TikiSoo sent us this retro report from Myrtle Beach, SC back in March – and since the beach season is now upon us, what a great time to share her story. (Mod Betty Sez YAY The Gay Dolphin is Still There!)

One of us is a member of the 50 States Marathoners, so we found ourselves traveling to Myrtle Beach in February. This is a good deal for our family, as our runner is only absent about 4 hours and the rest of the time is devoted to exploring.

If your pooch is part of the family, finding pet friendly resort hotels isn’t unusual in Myrtle Beach. We chose the Ocean View, part of the Oceana chain of resorts because they had an indoor pool – not all do -and it’s too cold in Feb to swim in the ocean. Be aware many hotels in the area require a “non refundable deposit” upon booking and I had big discussions with my credit card company before allowing the charge. I was assured if the hotel did not meet my standards (after all, it’s the south and insects can be an issue) my credit card would stand by my decision and refund my deposit. The hotel was sparkling clean with an ocean view balcony, beach rights, a kitchen in every room & the fluffiest towels! A happy bargain for $70/night, pet fee included.



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Hats off to George Motz’s book Hamburger America for hepping me to this hidden gem of a lunch spot – The Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, SC. Up until we walked in the door I was curious if we had the right place, as it’s the corner anchor of a nondescript strip of storefronts tucked into residential Greenville, SC. But once we entered and saw that it was indeed a real soda shop with all the vintage trimmings we knew we had made it to the right place.

Northgate Soda Shop CounterOriginally opened in 1947, the soda shop look was preserved by long time owner Jim DeYoung who bought the place in 1965 . He owned it up until 5 years ago when current owner Catherine Christophillis took over and was smart enough to keep the decor and menu unchanged. You have your choice of sitting at the vintage counter, or at one of the tables in the 2 small dining areas. We opted for a table in the corner – my fave place to sit, so I could take in the decor.

The shelves on the walls are laden with local photos and historic ephemera, and the Northgate is said to have one of the largest collections of historic Greenville photos around.

Northgate Soda Shop InteriorDecor-schmecor I bet I hear some of you saying – what about that heavenly burger? Well yes, I knew what I was going to order before we even left Pennsylvania, as the Northgate is famous for their pimento cheese burger. I lift a perfect passage from George’s book (which is a great resource and the updated version of Hamburger America comes out soon, so buy it!) in which the pimento burger is described thusly:

“The pimento cheese for their sandwiches and burgers is a tangy mix of mayo, cheddar, and diced pimentos. “We make it right here, fresh every day,” veteran waitress Maudie told me of the over forty year-old recipe. The beef is also fresh, picked up daily from a butcher just up Main Street (this fact is also proudly announced in their menu, complete with the butcher’s name and address).”

Now I will admit I was a wee bit trepadacious (?) because my only experience with pimento cheese (a southern staple I’m told) has been out of one of those Kraft “swanky swigs” jars when I’ve made a retro-party-worthy cheese ball. RetroRoadhusband did not want to be nearly as adventurous as I and ordered a tuna sandwich.

Well let me tell you- once I saw this burger I knew I made the right decision- in fact every time I look at this photo I begin to crave a pimento cheese burger. Just look at the way that cheese melts and oozes onto the grilled bun,, that bright green lettuce and red tomato, and the tasty burger patty peeking out underneath it all.

Pimento Cheese Burger(nom nom, drool, mmmm)

The pimento cheese flavor was mild yet tangy, the burger was moist, and the juice and cheese combined to make a lovely seasoning absorbed by the grilled bun. I could not help but feel bad for RRH when he got his tuna sandwich. He loved it and all, and did not care for his bite of my burger, but why order tuna when you could have one of these burgers, at the place that is famous for them. Ah, to each his or her own.

Here’s a photo of his tuna sandwich and fries – crinkle cut- my favorite kind. And it was cute to see many of the places at the tables and counter had been claimed by regulars, with a commemorative brass plaque. Thanks for sharing your table with us Essie Arnold!

Essie Arnold's Tuna Melt

A family of six sat next to us and some of them later left riding a golf cart up the hill, much to the delight of the younger boy along for the ride. From our perch in the corner I could take close up shots of the ephemera, and also notice when a couple – probably feeling as out of place as we did when we first walked in – tentatively sat at the counter to order their food.

I was glad that we only ordered one side of the fries, as the sandwiches were delicious and filling, but the only bummer being, once again, that there was no room for dessert from their assortment of baked goods and ice cream treats.

Northgate Soda Shop Deco Ice Cream CounterAs I stood near the art deco dessert counter I inquired about a delicious looking multi-layered cake under the dome and was told by the waitress that it was a, “carmel cake, or caramel cake, however you want to pronounce it”. I did not want to pronounce it, I wanted to eat it all up! But then I was reminded, at the door, that might not be a good idea.
Weigh Your Fate on a Vintage Scale

Whatevs, scale – I still fit into my clothes, AND into the RetroRoadmobile that we hopped into and reluctantly headed to Atlanta in. I wish we had more time to explore the Greenville area and many other places in SC, but am SO glad we took the advice of George “Hamburger America” Motz and ventured into the Northgate Soda Shop!

Northgate Soda Shop
918 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 235-6770

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We just got a swell tip from the neat folks over at Savannah Off The Beaten Path website – who do the Retro Roadmap type of thing for Savannah GA and the surrounding area. They share with us Harold’s Country Club in Yemassee, SC – who put the country in Country Club for sure!

Thanks SOTBP –  and keep’em comin’ everyone; WE LOVE READER SUBMITTED PLACES!!

“Harold’s still sells gasoline and live bait, but owners Harold and Mary Peeples cook up a hearty potluck dinner on Thursdays (menu varies week to week) and rib-eye steak on Saturdays (6:30 pm or 8:00 pm) for area hunters, fishermen, motorcycle riders, plantation owners and whoever else calls ahead.

Last time we were there gas (cash only) was $3.20 per gallon but the pumps could only do $1.60 per gal. so you multiply the price on the pump by two. Shirt and shoes are required; camouflage hunting attire is common. Beer and mixed drinks are available, as is a game of pool.”

Click here to read an excellent writeup on Harold’s on the SOTBP website.

Thanks so much for swinging by the Retro Roadmap SOTBP. When we saw this on your About Us page, well we knew we were kindred spirits:

We consider this project to be an example of social entrepreneurship –
a contribution to the kind of community that we want to strengthen and maintain.”


Harold’s Country Club
97 US Highway 17A 21
Yemassee, SC 29945
(843) 589-4360

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