Dave’s Grill & Grocery

Bar-b-q | Grocery Store | Hamburgers | Meat-and-Three
Memorable
One of the best
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By any measure, South Carolina is more a barbecue state than a burger state, but eaters of Aiken County spend an inordinate amount of time debating where the best hamburgers are served. It was during one such discussion that Deirdre Stoker Vaillancourt directed me to Dave’s Grill & Grocery out in Couchton. Dave’s is an ethanol-free gas station convenience store that also happens to be a butcher shop and cafe.

Thank you, Deirdre! While they are in no way aristocratic, Dave Golding’s blue-collar burgers — hand-pattied from freshly-ground beef — are short-order paradigms: rugged-textured, juicy enough, full-flavored, and reaching five-dollar resplendence when fully dressed with mustard, mayo, lettuce, onion, and tomato.

French fries to accompany the worthy wimpies also are extraordinary. Hand-cut with plenty of skin still on and fried to honeytone pulchritude in clean oil, they are ideal companions for burgers, sausage burgers (sausage made here, of course), chicken sandwiches, pork chop sandwiches, hot dogs, or chopped BBQ with tangy-sweet mustard sauce.

Beyond burgers and BBQ, Dave’s offers breakfast sandwiches and a lunchtime meat-and-3 selection that usually includes crisp-fried pork chops along with collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, southern-style green beans, and intriguing hash on rice.

Much business is takeout, but a coterie of customers occupy bare tables that share floor space with shelves of packaged groceries, local produce, motor oil, Little Debbie snack cakes, and household goods. Place your order at the counter (where there’s a view of the meat & 3 selections), find a table and wait to be called back to pick it up. Most dine-in customers pay when they’re finished with the meal. According to one member of the staff, this method of service is known as “Eat your way in and pay your way out.”

What to Eat
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Cheeseburger
Cheeseburger
Must-Try
Cheeseburger, works: Dave knows his meat!
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, French Fries
French Fries
Must-Try
Crunchy, creamy, radiant with spud flavor
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Pork Chop Sandwich
Pork Chop Sandwich
Must-Try
(Bone-in) pork chop sandwich
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Sandwich
Must-Try
Boneless chicken is run through a tenderizer before getting breaded and fried.
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Red Velvet Cupcake
Red Velvet Cupcake
Must-Try
An ingenuous little red velvet cupcake
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Chocolate Cupcake
Chocolate Cupcake
Must-Try
Chocolate cupcake, buttercream frosting: simple, perfect
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Strawberry Cupcake
Strawberry Cupcake
Must-Try
Strawberry cupcake is a bake-sale beauty.
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, BBQ
BBQ
Finely-chopped pork dressed with tangy mustard sauce
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Hash on Rice
Hash on Rice
Pungent hash comes upon a bed of rice.
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Mild-mannered mac 'n' cheese always is available as a lunchtime side dish.
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Sausage Burger
Sausage Burger
Dave's sausage burger is just barely porky
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Green Beans
Green Beans
To soft, porky, country-style beans, Al Dente is just a guy's name.
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, Sausage Dog
Sausage Dog
A rugged sausage dog, all the way
Dave’s Grill & Grocery, BBQ Ribs
BBQ Ribs
Meaty BBQ ribs gilded with tangy-sweet South Carolina sauce
Directions and Hours
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 227 MILES | 4 hr 13 min

Hash (on rice) is the star side-dish at barbecue parlors throughout South Carolina. A byproduct of whole-hog cookery, but frequently also made with beef, it can vary from soup-loose to stew-chunky. It delivers intense barbecue flavor, but beyond that dreamy duet of meat and smoke, it can vary from relish-sweet to savagely peppery. True Barbecue

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

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