I grew up in Rock Hill, SC. I remember several restaurants that my family would go to when I was young that have all closed now. I don't remember the names of any of these places, but they served the Platonic ideal of Southern Food. One place I remember specifically was just a house on the side of the highway that had been converted into a restaurant, with the kitchen upstairs. The whole place was creaky wood floors and stairs, with a fireplace and the food was straight up classic southern: some barbecue from out back, some fried chicken, some local fish, shrimp or crawfish, cornbread, hush puppies, chicken and dumplings, okra, grits, peach cobbler, etc... And the biscuits... my god, they were like little fluffy clouds - we would smear honey or blackberry or fig preserves on them. The place is abandoned now.
So, twenty-something years later, I have absolutely no idea where I might be able to find food like that in a setting like that. Not even my family cooks like that anymore. A quick search for "restaurant" on google maps in Rock Hill yields a bunch of chains (Hooter's, McDonalds, Olive Garden, Bob Evans, Applebee's, Arby's, etc), and a few generic new American places. I can think of a few places that are fine for local flavor, but the food is nasty (such as Mary's Cafe or the Varsity in Rock Hill).
I live in Boston now, and I know of plenty of New England style restaurants that fit the bill perfectly... But when I visit my friends and family, I end up eating from the local equivalent of Whole Foods and that's pretty much that, except if I get to drive down to Columbia.
So, does anybody know of some wonderful little place that might make me enjoy being in the South again? Hopefully something that's not in a strip mall, where some ancient grandmother is the chef?