PATTI-O LUNCH GRILL
LOCATION: 1007 Old North Main St., Clover
HOURS: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
AMBIANCE: Small, casual bar and grill
This column offers a sampling of dining experiences in the area. It is not intended as a review of the restaurant other than to provide the reader with one diner's experience. It also appears in The Herald's Friday entertainment section, "Ticket."
Looking for a great burger and prices that won't hurt the wallet, a friend and I headed to Patti-O Lunch Grill off the beaten path in Clover on Old North Main Street. Were it not for the sign atop the front porch roof and parking in front of the handicap accessible grill, I'd have thought it just another house.
The one-room, open bar and restaurant is laid back with booths, tables in the center with a mix-match seating of comfy chairs and even a sofa, and several stools to belly up to the "L" shaped bar that runs nearly the length of the left wall and back of the room. As we looked around the room, we talked about the feel -- like a cabin in the mountains complete with fishing and sport memorabilia -- a men's lodge. Yet, it has feminine touches with pineapple chandeliers over the front tables with picture windows that let the light shine in. After all, Patti-O is owned by a woman. The only thing missing is the wood stove, and bunk beds, of course.
I'd heard, and the waitress confirmed, Patti-O grills up "the best burgers" around, so I knew what I was ordering. The short-and-sweet one-page menu consists of 10 appetizers ($3.50-$14.75) with everything from cheese sticks, seven styles of wings, poppers and Super Sampler to fried shrimp and even chicken livers; five salads ($5-$6) including chicken salad - stuffed tomato, grilled and fried, as well as tuna stuffed tomato and chef; five sides ($2.50-$3.75) of chili fries, onion rings and loaded baked potato, 16 sandwiches ($3.50-$6) with clubs, Philly cheese steak, grilled cheese mixes, hot dogs, steak, hot dogs, fried bologna and Yuppie Puppy -- chicken, viadalia onion sauce and mozzarella; and of course, four styles of burgers ($6) including one with chili and slaw, and a Patti Melt. Sandwich and burger prices include homemade fries or chips and tea.
My friend's French dip came loaded with roast beef, and my burger tasted like it came right off the grill at a backyard outing -- big and delicious. I knew I shouldn't, but I couldn't resist clearing my basket of the homemade chips -- not too greasy and oh, so good. The thick, homemade fries also received praise. Our lunch baskets were filling and just the right portion size.
Although Patti-O was busy and allows smoking, it wasn't smoky today. It was a nice, relaxed and quiet place for this business lunch. I could see this as a neighborhood bar (with a sign posted announcing happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. and a large jukebox in the front) and a place as a kid, I'd have gone for lunch to feed my burger cravings. The waitress was friendly, welcoming and quick serving our meals, and even the owner paid us a quick visit.
Patti-O's rustic charm is a simple, cozy escape with American fare at a good price.