The care and expertise chef Chris Williams applies to what he cooks suggests that Roy’s Grille is a fine-dining establishment. In a way — the Roadfood way — it is. The small cafe is located at one side of a convenience store in an Exxon service station. Most meals are prepared for the take-out trade; and even if you do decide to eat at one of five tables in the tiny dining area, plates and utensils are of the disposable sort.
For all the seeming nonchalance, it is abundantly clear that an accomplished cuisinier is at work in the kitchen. Bacon is cured and smoked in-house and served as short, mahogany-colored strips that are reminiscent of something cooked over a happy campfire. There’s nothing fancy about Roy’s grits, but they are thick and full-flavored. Hamburgers are hand-pattied, available topped with luxurious house-made pimento cheese. Banana pudding is a sunny wonder. Shrimp and grits are especially magnificent, their Creole sauce as complex as gumbo, dotted with bits of pepper, sprinkled with herbs and grated cheese. South Carolina’s shrimp and grits standards are high, and these rank among the state’s best.
Lunch specialties include the likes of Ghost Pepper Chicken, pulled pork nachos, and pork chops …. all available with a full complement of such southern side dishes as hash on rice, collard greens, fried okra, smokehouse rice, and, of course, mac ‘n’ cheese. And do note the smoker outside. Roy’s Grille BBQ some of the best around, including fall-off-the-bone ribs and festival-textured pulled pork. House-made Bold and Beautiful sauce adds just the right hint of sweet and a twist of citrus twang.
Named for Chef Williams’ grandfather, Roy’s is a happy place where a steady stream of regulars all seem to know each other and, of course, know Chris, who knows what they like to eat. It was impossible for me to sit at a two-top in the small dining area and not get involved in conversations with customers who, when they found out about Roadfood.com, became outspoken champions of the fine food served in this gem of a cafe.