Friday, May 15, 2009

Harold's Country Club: Saturday Steaks, Pickled Eggs

Went rambling the other day down the countryside toward a little beach overnighter near Beaufort, SC.

On the way, came across Harold's Country Club in Yemassee, SC.

My long-ago San Francisco neighbor Sybil (who now runs an excellent consignment shop in Mill Valley, CA called Diamonds in the Rough) once returned from a solo afternoon jaunt to the Golden Gate Park nine-hole golf course, where she was befriended by a little pack of old fogies on the putting green.

They invited her for a post-golfing beer at their country club on Fulton Street. Naturally, she accepted!

Um, their country club? Just a street-level garage with the door open, some folding chairs, an astroturf rug (if I recall correctly -- I might just be making that up) and a cooler of cold, cheap beer.

Beautiful. Sybil had a great old time.







So I especially love it when a shacky enterprise refers to itself as a country club.


This one has a big jar of pickled eggs on the counter, like a lot of southern roadside spots, but in true lowcountry fashion, there's a difference:

They put bay leaf in their pickled eggs.


















Love their barroom. There's a warren of dining rooms in the back set up with vinyl-backed chairs and cafeteria tables for their Saturday night steak dinners.

Reservations required, 6:30 and 8pm seatings. You call ahead and let them know how many steaks your party will be having, and how you'd like them cooked.









Nope, no outdoor seating, unless you'd like to set down at this one.

















This steakhouse/gas station can also handle your bait and tackle needs.

















I'm a sucker for old-looking things.

(Unless they're eggs in a pickling brine.)














****
photos: TB

3 comments:

  1. In the late 1990's, I was in a bluegrass band called the Cross Creek Ramblers and we used to stop for some cold brews at Harold's after playing a local gig for a builder and his employees at the builders plantation.
    On one occasion, Harold asked us to play a few tunes and we were happy to do so. At the bar were some hefty fellows with muscular tattooed arms. I said the boys, we better be good or we may never get out of this place alive. After each song, the big huskies clapped but never smiled. We figured we did okay.
    Harold was always happy to see us. He was a great man and I will never forget him.

    John Cleveland, aka "Codfish"

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  2. That is so cool! Thank you for sharing this lil piece of Yemassee cultural history. I still haven't gone for steaks at Harold's, but I want to!

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  3. We used to go to Harold's almost every other Thursday (pot luck, whatever was on sale at the Piggly Wiggly) or Saturday (call ahead steak night). Eventually, tour buses discovered the place, and a load of curious folks might descend from I-95. But for the most part, Harold's was a place that would drive the locals out of the woodwork...

    Joel Silver, the Hollywood producer, owns the Frank Lloyd Wright plantation (Auldbrass) just down the road, and would host Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, Arnold, and a few other of his heavies there when they needed to escape Tinseltown. Every so often, a major star would show up for steak night, and the entire slowcountry would be buzzing like cicadas. I drank a lot of PBR around Harold's pool table, and had many a good supper in the workshop bay, before driving back down Highway 21 and home to Beaufort. Like Bowen's Island restaurant in the 80s, or the Wreck of the Richard and Charlene in the 90s, I will never forget Harold's Country Club for some wonderful culinary experiences and down home hospitality...

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