Judging by the age of the other posts on Clemson SC, and the reorganization of the boards under South, it seems like it is time to update the postings regarding Clemson.
I'll take first crack -- outling my expereinces with a trio of old Clemson favorites that left me, for the most part, muttering that the food was all pretty OK, but certainly not worth a detour off I-85.
The first place on my tour is Sardi's Den Restaurant & Lounge, a place that the reviewers of Tripadvisor and Yelp assured me was a famous old Clemson landmark featuring fine ribs in a somewhat divey location.
I had the famous ribs. My wife had the not so famous prime rib. The prime rib was fine -- but an order medium rare, in the grand tradition of OK -- not great -- restaurants, was translated to medium. The ribs were a bit of a disappointment. The ribs themselves were meaty and not greasy -- worth the reputaton. The sauce, however, was very middle-of-the-road in flavor -- not much different in flavor than something from Applebee's. Onion rings -- very crispy -- and Beacon-style sweet ice tea, on the other hand, were genuinely superb. If I were in Clemson, I would try this again, but I dont think I'd do the ribs.
The second place was Paws Diner (just outside of town on US 123) -- a meat and three that did good fried chicken, good mac and cheese, and did not get its vegetables out of the Sysco can. The place isn't utterly brilliant -- but the fresh vegetable ingredients were a nice surprise. (Okra and tomatoes and fried squash were quite nice). The downside to this place is that the inside of the restaurant is downright nasty. It's clean enough, but the dingy 80's style furnishings need to be burned and replaced.
The third place was the Super Taco, which was mostly a takeout counter, but had a few chairs. This place was advertised as being authentic, and I would agree with that. The Torta Cubano was not the cuban sandwitch you would get in a Cuban place. Instead, it was a collection of many shredded meats (pork, chicken, among others) that had a really great flavor. My wife would not let me sample her burrito. I think it was good.
1019 Tiger Blvd Ste 120, Clemson, SC 29631