As the young folk say, it’s been a minute since I added new content. The domain and hosting just renewed and college football isn’t taking up my Saturday’s so I figured it was time to do a little something with the Culinary-Passport.
I decided to just pull up Google Maps and scroll around until I saw something that intrigued me. I found Pat’s Cash & Carry in Salem, SC.
Pat’s is in an area I haven’t been through before and the route would take me by Lake Keowee on a mostly sunny winter day so I might see if I could get a good picture of it in addition to lunch. It was a nice drive through the country with the lake on one side and at a certain point the Oconee Nuclear Power Station on the other. The first photo below is the view from my parking place. Restroom outside and around the building, Oh Yeah! This was going to be good.
This was very obviously a converted old country store and if the outside didn’t give it away the interior did even though it is a restaurant you can feel the old store vibe. There was one lady working the place and I got there just behind 2 other parties. A trio of gents was seated and a young lady and her daughter were getting some dog’s to go. I placed my order for two Hot Dogs – Works. The lady’s name working the counter I learned was Karen. She asked me if I wanted “Mustard, ketchup, mayo…” and in my enthusiasm I cut her off and said “all of it, all the works”. Karen told me to have a seat and she’d get them to me. The drinks and chips are in coolers and racks, you grab what you want and pay at the register when you’re done.
I was eyeballing the place while waiting and I liked the atmosphere. The tables have cloth covers but then they are covered by thick clear plastic sheeting. Clean up’s a breeze. Some of the signs look original and some might be newly aged but the big photo of the place from a few decades back is real enough.
I grabbed my soda and a bag of Zapps Cajun dill chips to go with my dogs and settled in to absorb the ambiance and listen to the 3 old guys at the next table gabbing about stuff. I say old, 2 of them were right in my age bracket but that other guy, he was old. Anyway it didn’t take long before Karen showed up as promised.
For those playing at home the Works consists of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, onion, chili, cheese, slaw, and relish on a tasty hot dog and lightly steamed bun. I don’t think there were any fancy made on premises toppings here but it was all fresh and good quality. In hindsight I should have gotten one hot dog and chips or two hot dog and no chips or any of several other options that meant shoving less food in my mouth but sadly I did none of those things. Consequently I paid cash and carried out a very overfed belly.
I did get a good dose of history when one of the trio asked how long the place had been around. Original building was erected in 1910. The add on where the bathrooms are is actually the side where the original front door was. Also when the county was paving the main roads where this intersection is they brought in equipment to lift and rotate the building. Another add on and shop completed work. After the history class I headed home. I did manage to pull off the side of the road and get some shots of Lake Keowee (created by the damming of the Keowee river for the power plant).
Overall it was a pretty good first outing of 2023.