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I was looking for a quick lunch, but I also wanted to sit down, so I stopped in at Warren's Grill. I must admit, I have been leery of the grill idea at a gas station and convenience store, because I thought it must be a "greasy spoon." However, what I found was something completely, and surprisingly, different.
Walking in the front door, to the left is a high counter with four seats and a sparkly, clean kitchen and grill. The three women working exuded what one would expect only in the South with the warmest hospitality I've ever felt, introducing themselves and welcoming me after their lunch rush.
The special of the day was meatloaf with pasta salad, baked mac-and-cheese and a dinner roll for $5.99. Home-cooked meal specials are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, while simple specials, like two hot dogs and fries, are made Monday and Friday.
Looking over the front-and-back paper menu chock-full full of breakfast and sandwich lunch offerings, side orders, burgers and sandwich/biscuit combinations and breakfast plates, I asked, "What's the best thing you make?" This day, with Sheri cooking, it was the club sandwich ($4.29). I was in luck; I love the club. As I looked for a side, I was told, "You won't need anything else. It's big."
As my sandwich was being made, I observed the friendly smiles and greetings with deliveries coming in for the store. And, the ladies know everyone by name. It seemed like a happy place to work with a lot of laughter.
Then I noticed just how "big" big is -- like a skyscraper, my three-level sandwich of wheat bread, lunch meats, cheese, lettuce and bacon with a little mayo soared to well over one-hand high. Wow, as many clubs as I've eaten in my lifetime, I've never seen one quite this size, nor with more meat than bread.
She put it in a to-go box, knowing I wouldn't be able to finish. Honestly, although she had flattened it down some and quartered it, I still wasn't sure just exactly how I would wrap my mouth around it. I tried; too big. I ate the first quarter bottom up. The sandwich was so fresh, even the dill pickle spears on the side were crisp and juicy. I do declare, this is "the best club sandwich."
I was told other hot menu items include the chef garden salad ($4.29), which comes topped with bacon, onions, black olives, shredded cheddar cheese, turkey, roast beef, ham, and upon request, jalapeno peppers and pickles, and the pimiento cheese sandwich ($1.99) or pimiento cheeseburger ($2.79), with the cheese steamed to the burger. Asterisks denote homemade items, like the pimiento, and the chicken and egg salad sandwiches. The hot roast beef sandwich ($2.99) is another top request with choices of cheese and raw or grilled onion.
And for the sweet tooth, check for the specials, which could be homemade apple, strawberry or peach cobbler, or even pound cake. Always available is an apple fritter for $1.19.
Although Warren's Grill gets a lot of take-out orders, I recommend grabbing a seat, if available. In a day when everything is fast-paced, it's nice to find such a welcoming, small-town place to unwind. Plus, with nothing on the menu costing more than $4.29, and portions like my club sandwich serving as two meals, the price is definitely good for the wallet.
Warren's Grill knows what great customer service means and how to keep customers coming back. I'll be seeing you at the grill!
Catherine Muccigrosso, Lake Wylie Pilot editor
LOCATION: 5800 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie
HOURS: 5:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
AMBIANCE: Friendly, small counter grill