Locals enjoy quaffing, chatting, and eating at Aiken’s main-street brew pub. The menu is a roster of basic beer companions — wings, ribs, burgers, deep-fried munchies. A half-dozen house-brewed ales and lagers are always available.
The menu has something for everyone, but our favorites are fragile-crusted fried okra, pork-rich pinto beans, and butter-sopped leaf spinach. It is essential to end any meal at the Blue Bonnet with pie. About eight or ten are available every day, plain or a la mode; and while we enjoy the apple pie and pecan pie, the one we’ll come back for is peanut butter cream.
J.J.’s is one of Fall River’s bounty of good hot dog shops, offering classic Coney Island wieners topped with sauce, onions and mustard as well as such local favorites as the hot cheddar cheese sandwich, chourico rolls, stuffed quohogs and South Coast chow mein.
Meals at the Frontier are great quick-eats, New Mexico-style. Count on superior huevos rancheros and oven-hot flour tortillas at breakfast; at lunch, there is green chili stew by the bowlful; there are broad enchiladas that can be had with beef or vegetarian-style with meatless green chili, cheese, and onions; and there are chalupas and tacos and excellent blue-plate hamburgers.
Singleton’s seafood includes nut-sweet shrimp bursting with flavor, briny oysters sheathed in fragile crust, devil crab that is moist and seasoned with eye-opening panache. Every meal comes with a pair of hushpuppies clad in a red gold crust that surrounds insides that are as moist as cake. We also had a good bowl of Minorcan clam chowder with datil peppers that provide a nice buzz to soup that is loaded with flavorful clams.
Carbone’s is a vintage Italian-American neighborhood grocery store that is known for heroically huge, beautifully composed grinders (sub sandwiches). House-made roast beef is a specialty. No dining facilities other than a few picnic tables outside.
A meal at the Blue Willow Inn is an event. A big, big event. Sunday supper to the max. Help yourself from an endless buffet that includes fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, dozens of vegetables, biscuits, cornbread, and countless desserts.