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ROAD TRIP: Harry & Harry 2 – 719 Sumter Highway, Bishopville, SC

Posted by The LunchMen Tuesday, November 23, 2010



Burgers Prepared 88 Ways.

This week I found myself passing through Bishopville, South Carolina, about 50 miles east of Columbia. Unfortunately, the purpose of my trip was not to capture the infamous “Lizard Man” on film or to visit South Carolina’s premier alpaca farm. Work, as usual, was the basis of my trip to Lee County . As always, I intentionally scheduled my meeting for 11:00 am, thereby ensuring I would need to stop and sample some of the local flavor for lunch before heading back to the office. As anyone from the area knows, the best place to do that is right off Interstate 20 at “Harry & Harry Two.”



H&H2 sits on Sumter Hwy in a building that looks more like a Duck Camp than a restaurant. However, the welcoming sign boasted that they can prepare hamburgers no less than 88 different ways, so I knew I was dealing with some folks who take their food seriously. Encouraged, I walked in and looked for a spot. 



Like many small town locales, most of the people inside looked to be regulars who knew the way things were supposed to run. There was no need for a hostess or a sign directing me to sit down or any other wasteful formality. A little intimidated and feeling the glances of the native diners, I quickly found a seat in the non-smoking section and ordered some iced-tea. The drink only confirmed my long held theory: There is an inversely proportional relationship between a town’s size and the amount of sugar in their sweet tea. The smaller the population, the greater the amount of sugar. As you can surmise from Bishopville’s size, the H&H2 tea was extremely sweet and extremely delicious.

As for the menu itself, in addition to the aforementioned burgers, H&H2 also serves a large variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads. Most of you faithful readers know that I go with salads most every time, but road trips are different. Once outside Richland or Lexington County, I allow myself the small indulgence of ordering whatever I damn well please. Thanks to some local insight a few friends let me in on, that meant on this trip I was going with Mrs. B’s famous chicken salad on texas toast. From the looks of things this is their signature item, and they do it very well.



The sandwich itself is massive, and if I had Mrs. Rabbit with me we probably could have split it and both been full. Unfortunately on this day I dined alone, so I had the daunting task of finishing it off by myself. A tough job, but someone had to do it. Accompanying the sandwich were some of my favorite type of French fries. I’ll call them steak fries for lack of a better term, but to give you a point of reference, they tasted like the ones you can get at those “Great Steak & Fry” places in the mall, but with less grease. These crisper versions were a perfect compliment to the entrée, and there were none left behind at the end of my meal.

As for the place itself, it stayed busy the whole time I was there, but a few staff members who had obviously been doing this for a while seamlessly kept the place running and everyone’s drinks filled. There were a few tables where folks who had long finished their meals were staying around just to chat, enjoying the slower pace of life in a small town. As I learned on my way out, one of those tables is known simply as “ The County Council,” and apparently features pillars of the Bishopville community who make H&H2 their lunch destination on a pretty consistent basis.

H&H2 saved the perhaps best for last, presenting me with a bill for $6.00 for my entire lunch, drink included. I don’t think you’d get half of this meal in Columbia for that price. I happily paid my bill and was walking out when the matriarch of H&H2 said “Wait, that’s a Columbia boy, hurry up and add some more to his bill!” as she blew a puff of smoke from her freshly lit Salem Light. I smiled and thanked her again, thinking geez – is it that obvious I’m not a local? Apparently so.

- Rabbit

3 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. This seems like a different call for you, indeed, Rabbit. I'm impressed by your order this time.

     
  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. This indeed is a great place to eat. I love it! You can get great food at a great price. My husband & I can go out to eat for lunch for under $15. Just to let you know the type of fries they serve are called homestyle fries.

     
  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. The matriarch is none other than Mrs. Barbara, wife of Harry and mom of Harry Two..she's awesome as is the entire Elmore family. One of the great things about H&H2.....no cell service inside!! You can actually sit, eat and have a face to face conversation with just about anyone inside (especially Barbara, who I adore) in real time, exchange expressions, laughs, and a nudge or two that only comes with up close and personal interaction, not the exchange of cut and dried impersonal texts we've unfortunately become accustomed to during lunch. Yes, I'm a Bishopvillian :D...and very glad of it!! ....P. K.

     

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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.

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