1000 N. Pine St
Spartanburg, SC 29303
HRS: Mon-Sat 10:45am – 8:30pm
Sun 10:45am – 3:00pm
Perfect for: Family style meals in a hurry, casual dining, kid-friendly choices
Menu: American family style
Bar/Drinks: No alcohol served. Tea, soft drinks, and juices available
Parking: Large lot makes parking no issue, even on the busiest days
Good to Know: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday are Turkey and Dressing days. These are
VERY popular, so be aware a short wait may be required.
Bathrooms: It’s a bathroom, what more do you expect?
So….I have a confession. I have resided in Spartanburg for 24 years and I am pretty familiar with Wade’s Restaurant, to be honest i’m a regular. Located on the outskirts of downtown. In fact, if you live in Spartanburg County, chances are you’ve heard about it or enjoyed it at some point. Its legendary menu and history have made it a staple for the area – IT’S THAT GOOD. When the opportunity came up to eat there and spread the news to you guys about this place, I jumped at it. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and this time was no different.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Spartanburg, and in a number of them, you can get fried chicken, green beans, or tea. But I am aware of very few places where people are happy to chance a lengthy line to get them like they will at Wade’s. Recipes date back to 1947 when Betty Lindsey served hot southern-style meat and vegetable plates from the small grocery store that she and her husband Wade had purchased to workers from Duke Power and Draper. Back then, food was real and you couldn’t get a pecan pie at just any grocery store. Plus, a microwave was unheard of. What started as a hotdog and sandwich counter turned into a place to get a good wholesome meal. Fast forward to a few relocations later, Wade and Betty’s children and grandchildren are continuing the recipes that were sought after so long ago.
I pulled up to Wade’s Restaurant on a chilly Thursday night with my favorite dining partner and a 6 and 8-year-old in tow. Thursday nights are quite popular, so the line was out the door. They open an express line during the week if you want a faster experience – same quality food but in a more cafeteria-style serving line. I enjoy the service more in the sit-down area, so we were willing to wait. Before you get to the hostess station, there is a wallboard with the 9 entree and 13 side dish options for that evening, perfect for pre-planning your meal before you even get the printed menu. (The menu changes daily. If you would like to know before you go, the menu line can be reached at 864-208-0711.) Thankfully, the line moved quickly and we were soon seated within 15 minutes in a jam-packed dining room. Couples, families, large groups, and a few businessmen and women were having an animated conversation between bites.
This is truly a place that will suit anyone. We were quickly greeted by our server and orders were placed – hamburger steak topped with mushrooms, boneless fried pork loin, and two fried chicken kid’s meals. Sweet or unsweet tea are included in the meal prices (sodas are extra), and each meal includes your choice of cornbread muffins or their famous yeast rolls. One of the things I love best is that kid’s meals offer more than the standard chicken fingers and fries. Under age 7 eats for $1.95 and under age 13 eats for $4.95. With choices like fried chicken, tuna salad, baked ham, grilled chicken, BBQ hash and numerous side dishes, you can expand your picky eater’s palate.
Four steaming plates arrived before we could even finish our rolls and were carefully placed in front of each of us. The girls’ eyes were shining, ready to have the sweet potato souffle and cinnamon apples that were in front of them. I agree with them that life is short – eat the sweet stuff first. The good news is they also enjoyed the green beans and crispy breaded fried okra that came with it. The adults had identical side dishes – creamed potatoes with brown gravy, homemade macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Add a juicy boneless pork loin and a hamburger steak with mushrooms and the meals were complete. You can tell when a restaurant works from scratch and does not rely on canned food. The hamburger steak was hand-formed and cooked well, topped with thinly-sliced sauteed mushrooms and savory brown gravy. The macaroni is made the ONLY way it should be — with real eggs and milk and baked to perfection. You know the one — the casserole/pie version that requires LOTS of cheese. My grandmother spoiled me on green beans as a child. She cooked them in a pressure cooker until they were so tender they required very little chewing. This is one of the few places that I can get that same preparation, and I LOVE them.
Unfortunately, we were quite stuffed by the end of our meal, so we did not get any dessert. I can tell you from past experience that the peanut butter pie is the choice. Creamy, thick pudding-type pie, sweet, but not too sweet. Other choices include strawberry cobbler, french silk pie, apple pie and Betty’s very own pecan pie. There are no bad choices there, guys. NONE.
If you are hankering for Wade’s food at home, they offer to-go dishes and frozen, cook-at-home favorites, perfect for the upcoming holidays. Impress your family and friends with your “homemade” specialties and we will keep your secret safe.
A pleasant experience, good variety, quality food, and sweet (so sweet) southern-style tea served by attentive staff, all at a great price. What more could I ask for on a Thursday night?