Betsy’s on the Corner

Diner | Meat-and-Three | Soda Fountain
excellent
Worth a detour
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Betsy’s on the Corner is a soda fountain, a diner, and a town café, source of square meals with a southern accent and of a grand, all-American ice-cream splurge.

The big menu offers salads, soups, sandwiches and rugged burgers with all sorts of toppings (turkey or veggie patties also available), including a “Corner Burger” that is a South Carolina paradigm topped with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese. All-beef Nathan’s brand hot dogs come nestled in New England-style split-top buns that are griddle-toasted to a crisp. I like one called The Murphy Dog, which is a Dixie dog variation, with chili and slaw plus dill pickle chips. Continue reading

Betsy’s on the Corner is a soda fountain, a diner, and a town café, source of square meals with a southern accent and of a grand, all-American ice-cream splurge.

The big menu offers salads, soups, sandwiches and rugged burgers with all sorts of toppings (turkey or veggie patties also available), including a “Corner Burger” that is a South Carolina paradigm topped with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese. All-beef Nathan’s brand hot dogs come nestled in New England-style split-top buns that are griddle-toasted to a crisp. I like one called The Murphy Dog, which is a Dixie dog variation, with chili and slaw plus dill pickle chips. Onion rings available on the side are superb: fragile-crusted and fresh, needing a good sprinkle of salt to attain perfection.

Betsy’s serves a Blue Plate Special every day, a meat-and-two affair that includes a couple of side dishes (try the rich, motley-textured mac ‘n’ cheese), a corn muffin, and a drink, all for $9. On Sunday only, Betsy’s also is open for breakfast.

Ice cream service is a kick, ranging from cones and cups to sundaes to a top-of-the-line “Heavens to Betsy” that is eight scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch, caramel and marshmallow toppings, pineapple, strawberries, bananas, Heath Bar crunch, Oreo crumbles, peanuts, whipped cream, and cherries. I like the Nutty Buddy sundae, which is vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and peanut butter sauce, crumbled Reese’s Pieces, whipped cream and a cherry. There is nothing extraordinary about the ice cream or the fudge, but these concoctions are well-constructed and will satisfy all but the fussy ice cream epicure.

What a lively place to dine – cacophonous and crazy-busy, with what looks like 100 waitresses bustling about and calling to the kitchen and among themselves above the din of chattering diners. It appears to be chaos, but the staff are so in synch and coordinated that one time as I told my waitress what I wanted to drink, another waitress, behind her, eavesdropped and presented the drink to me before I finished ordering my meal! A mere glance of worry or impatience from a diner elicits an “are you alright?” from one of the passing staff within three to five seconds.

Betsy’s clientele includes visitors, locals, and, at lunch especially, people who work in Aiken’s downtown district.

Dishes to try
Betsy’s on the Corner, Pimento Cheese & Bacon Sandwich
Pimento Cheese & Bacon Sandwich
Must-Try
A winning combination. Between two slabs of grilled-crisp sourdough bread are a schmear of pimento cheese, bacon strips, and tomato. It was such an oozy, drippy sandwich that I soon resorted to knife and fork. If it is not messy enough or spicy enough for you, chili is an optional topping.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Fried Chicken Dinner
Fried Chicken Dinner
Must-Try
Fried chicken is the every-Wednesday blue plate special. The skin is crisp and well-seasoned, the meat within running juice.
Betsy’s on the Corner, German Chocolate Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Must-Try
As soon as we sat down with our friend Len Cherry, he got right up and went behind the counter to reserve a few pieces of German Chocolate Cake for after main courses. Made that morning, it was audibly moist and sweeter than sweet tea. A powerhouse!
Betsy’s on the Corner, Elvis Sundae
Elvis Sundae
Must-Try
The Elvis sundae: chocolate ice cream topped with peanut butter cream and freshly-fried bacon
Betsy’s on the Corner, Pecan Pie Pound Cake
Pecan Pie Pound Cake
Must-Try
Best of both worlds: creamy pound cake topped with ooey-gooey pecan pie.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Italian Cream Cake
Italian Cream Cake
Must-Try
Buttermilky Italian cream cake is layered with cream cheese frosting speckled with nuts and shreds of coconut.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Murphy Dog
Murphy Dog
Listed on the menu as a Murphy Dog, this fine creation is in fact a Dixie Dog, combining cole slaw and chili. The dog itself is all beef and the bun is Yankee style, buttered and grilled on both sides.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Onion Rings
Onion Rings
Betsy's onion rings are shattering-crisp. These arrived still too hot to touch.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Nutty Buddy Sundae
Nutty Buddy Sundae
After I ordered my Nutty Buddy sundae, the waitress returned with a hangdog face to announce they had just run out of vanilla ice cream! In consultation with her and two other waitresses, we decided that coffee ice cream would be a good substitute. It was indeed: a wonderful base for peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, and crumbled Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
The flavor of Betsy’s mac ‘n’ cheese is comfort-food mild; the texture is a motley range of soft, chewy, and crunchy.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Squash Casserole
Squash Casserole
Squash casserole is about as rich and luxurious as a vegetable can be. It is a frequently-available side dish to go with Betsy's daily specials.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Pot Roast Dinner
Pot Roast Dinner
Tuesday's Blue Plate Special: pot roast with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. A fine comfort-food square meal.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Lemon Curd Cake
Lemon Curd Cake
Lemon curd cake is a very nice balance of sweet and tart.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Red Cabbage
Red Cabbage
Red cabbage comes on the side of Tuesday's pot roast Blue Plate Special. It's a mild version of the dish, neither very sweet nor sour.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Waldorf Salad
Waldorf Salad
Betsy's version of a Waldorf Salad is a fruitful bonanza that includes mandarin oranges, grapes, strawberries, and craisins, plus greens and a tremendous amount of blue cheese. It's sweet enough that the two cups of dressing are not at all required.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Corner Burger
Corner Burger
I like the concept of the Corner Burger, topped with pimento cheese, fried green tomato, cole slaw, and zesty 'bistro sauce,' but it doesn't quite come together. The crisp, tart tomato is delicious and the pimento cheese and slaw are fine, but the package needs a thick, juice-dripping burger, which this one is not.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Easy Street Burger
Easy Street Burger
Named for Aiken's Easy Street, which intersects Whiskey Road less than a mile away from Betsy's, the Easy Street burger is a classic: no adornment other than beautiful condiments. It comes with a side dish of choice. In this place, onion rings are the way to go!
Betsy’s on the Corner, Banana LayerCake
Banana LayerCake
Banana layer cake, a Betsy specialty, is moist and sweet and yummy all by itself, but I couldn't resist gilding the lily with a couple of scoops of chocolate ice cream.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Hound Dog
Hound Dog
Note the beautifully toasted bun. That's an all-beef dog topped with relish, mustard, onions, and cole slaw. It's listed on the menu as a Hound Dog
Betsy’s on the Corner, Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread Cake
There sometimes are as many as a half-dozen pulchritudinous layer cakes marshaled on caked stands across Betsy's corner. This one is gingerbread -- dense, moist, spicy -- with cream cheese frosting.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf
Moist, vividly seasoned meat loaf is an every-Monday special, here shown with collard greens and creamed corn.
Betsy’s on the Corner, It's Greek To Me
It's Greek To Me
The burger named "It's Greek to Me" comes on a toasted brioche bun dressed with feta cheese, pickled onion, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, and tzatziki sauce.
Betsy’s on the Corner, French Fries
French Fries
French fries aren't nearly as unctuous as Betsy's onion rings, but they deliver good spuddy satisfaction.
Betsy’s on the Corner, Broccoli Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Broccoli gets no more sumptuous than this cream-rich side-dish casserole.
Directions and Hours
open now
SundayCLOSED
Monday11:30am - 7:30pm
Tuesday11:30am - 7:30pm
Wednesday11:30am - 7:30pm
Thursday11:30am - 7:30pm
Friday11:30am - 7:30pm
Saturday8am - 4pm
Information and Policies
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Reservations Accepted
No
Delivery Available
No
Takeout Counter
Yes
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