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."
The Knothole Saloon & Eatery in Lake Wylie is known for its night life and hosting benefit poker runs. Now, it's adding lunch to the menu.
I've been to the watering hole for drinks and dancing, but never eaten here. Outside the gray building hangs a banner welcoming bikers, and there's a huge pizza takeout sign. Inside are two rooms, both with bars. One room has pool tables, foosball and four televisions. The other larger room is where the crowd gathers for the big dance floor and to hear bands play on the weekends, and there's one TV over the bar.
When we lunched here, it happened to be the second day The Knothole was open for lunch. It's a different place during the day. It's quieter, and although still dark with a few fan lights overhead, I could take in the décor, noticing the huge disco ball over the dance floor, reminding me of doing the Hokey Pokey at the roller skating rink as a kid. The walls are like a like cabin; there's a gong hanging at the bar, a huge totem pole and a big, scary wooden man tucked in on a wall. There's a lot to look at. Plus, it's not smoke-filled anymore, thanks to the new law that went in effect this month in York County.
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As soon as we sat at one of the many tables, we were quickly greeted and given the new lunch menu with nine sandwiches ($4.99-$8.99) and eight appetizers ($3.99-$7.99). Sandwiches include a Knothole 1/2-pound burger grilled and topped with onions, peppers and provolone on a hoagie roll, fried shrimp basket, Buffalo sandwich, wraps and new to the menu, Philly steak or chicken sandwiches. The appetizer list includes wings, shrimp, fried mushrooms or cheese, and a Southwestern roll of chicken, black beans and cheese wrapped in a crispy shell served with sour cream.
While we were deciding, the friendly waiter brought us fried zucchini sticks to try. They were lightly fried, and not too greasy.
We decided on the club sandwich, but also wanted something of the dinner menu - the pizza. He brought us a menu and said since it was slow, he would ask the cook. The dinner menu has a few other variations, too, like fried pickles, sampler basket, roast beef and blackened chicken sandwich, and of course, hand-made pizzas.
We split our sandwich and a small Buffalo chicken pizza ($8.49). Both were delicious, but the pizza was absolutely fantastic. Thin with a crunchy crust, the Buffalo chicken on the pizza packed a little heat and was quickly gobbled up. I would say since the server is a bartender, it's no wonder our drinks were always full, thankfully because we needed it with the chicken.
Neither of us hesitated to say we'd be back with friends to have lunch here again, not only because the food was so good, but because it was such a friendly place. During football season, The Knothole plans to open on Sundays and pull down 20-foot screen television, too. That'll be fun.
On Friday and Saturday nights, The Knothole's parking lot is full. I suspect lunch time will catch on soon, too.
KNOTHOLE SALOON & EATERY
Location: 4070 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie
Hours: 4-12 Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday
Ambiance: Friendly biker saloon