Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lizard’s Thicket Columbia SC Area

SC Lizard’s Thicket, the basics: 

14 locations in the Greater Columbia Area, 1 in Florence, SC
Open 6:00 am until 9:00 pm; breakfast until 11:30 M-F & noon on weekends

Home-style Southern cooking, such as fried chicken, beef stew, cubed steak, fried pork chop, meatloaf and fried fish
A plate with 1 meat and 3 sides at $7.99; 1 meat and 2 sides $6.99, 1 meat and 1 side $5.99

 Country Fried Steak, fried okra, squash casserole, 
potatoes & gravy

The Williams family opened their first Lizard’s Thicket restaurant in a renovated house on Broad River Road in 1977.  As I recall, it was in the area of the Forestry Commission, SLED, and prison.  My family must have started patronizing the Thicket in that first year or two.  Then as now, the Williams family pride themselves on “offering authentic regional Southern home cooking that families have enjoyed for generations”. 

There are now 15 Lizard’s Thicket restaurants, mainly in the Greater Columbia Area of South Carolina, and one in Florence, SC.  There are 7 restaurants in Columbia, 2 in West Columbia, 1 in Cayce, 2 in Lexington, 1 in Irmo, and 1 in Blythewood. 

The Thickets now have large printed menus with color photos, but their primary meat, side, and dessert choices remain on large boards, usually several in each restaurant, reminiscent of the original chalk boards.  On a recent visit, the Irmo Lizard’s Thicket offered a choice of 10 meats, 25 sides, and 10 desserts. 

Lizard’s Thicket Menu Board

There are also daily specials.  As of this writing, the following specials are listed on the Lizard’s Thicket website: 

Sunday:  Turkey & Dressing, Southern-Style Pot Roast
Monday:  Chicken & Dumplings
Tuesday:  Fried Chicken Livers
Wednesday:  Meat Loaf
Thursday:  Pulled Pork BBQ, Liver & Onions
Friday:  Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast
Saturday:  BBQ Chicken

One of my early favorites at the Thicket was the beef stew.  It is one of my mom’s favorites.  The broth is nice and thick, like brown gravy.  I find it to be far superior to the Cracker Barrel beef stew, which has a thin, soup-like broth. 

 Beef Stew with sweet potato fries, $5.99

Over the years, the country fried steak has been one of my top favorite meat selections.  It is also one of my sister’s favorites.  Countryfried steak is battered and fried beef cubed steak, that is then simmered in the pot with gravy for an hour or two.  (Chicken fried steak has a heavy coating of batter that is crispy fried.  It’s very popular in Texas, but I don’t care for it at all.) 

 Country Fried Steak, green beans, tomatoes & okra, 
macaroni & cheese

Tied for favorite for me is the fried flounder.  My sister and I often debate between the flounder and cubed steak, then divide and conquer.  One of us orders cubed steak, the other flounder, then we share. 

Fried Flounder, baby limas, macaroni & cheese, 
squash casserole

A more recent favorite for my sister is the baked chicken.  Ironically, she has not ordered it lately.  She also likes the fried chicken, leg and thigh.  Mom is a fan of fried chicken, always the breast.  Mom is also a fan of a good fried pork chop. 

Fried Chicken leg & thigh, squash casserole, cabbage, 
fried okra

Fried Chicken breast, sweet potato fries,
 cabbage $6.99

Fried Pork Chop, cabbage, dressing, baby limas

My cousin ordered the daily special last week, the grilled boneless chicken breast.  A couple months ago, my sister and I ordered the daily special, the hamburger steak.  It was huge, and very good. 

Friday special, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast, cabbage, 
squash casserole, $6.99

Daily special a couple months ago, 12 oz 
Hamburger Steak with grilled onions, French fries, 
squash casserole, baby limas

As you can see from the pictures, my family definitely has favorite sides.  Mom and I often get the baby limas.  All of us like the squash casserole and cabbage.  We also frequently get the fried okra and mac & cheese.  Mom likes the sweet potato fries and dressing. 

Mom’s Sweet Potato Fries with powdered sugar

My family most often dines at the Irmo location, and one of the original locations on Broad River Road, near Dutch Square Mall.  The Irmo location is especially convenient to the area where Mom and I have our routine medical appointments.  We especially look forward to Lizard’s Thicket after fasting blood work!  My dad has breakfast at the downtown location after his fasting blood work.  It’s good too, but for breakfast I prefer Cracker Barrel. 

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