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Best Bites: Danny Ford

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Former Clemson football coach Danny Ford enjoys meat-and-three restaurants offering traditional Southern fare.

THE PERSON: Danny Ford, former Clemson football coach (1979-89), won the first of the Tigers’ two national championships in 1981, finishing 12-0. Since wrapping up his coaching career with a 122-59-5 record, including 96-29-4 at Clemson and five seasons at Arkansas, he farms near Pendleton, where he grows, among other crops, legalized hemp. Ford still makes occasional appearances at Clemson home games and other fan events.

 

THE DISH: Calf’s liver with onions and gravy; also chicken livers with onions, turkey and dressing.

 

WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? “I’ve never met a food I didn’t like. I just like good food at a restaurant where you have fun and cut up with people. I like any kind of buffet and mom-and-pop [places]. In Pendleton, I like Dyar’s Diner, where I eat about every day, a mile from the house. 

   

“They started doing calf’s liver with onions and gravy on Tuesdays, and they do a good job with that. It’s very tender. On Wednesdays, they do a good job with chicken livers and their turkey and dressing. I get those with beans, corn, turnip greens — the whole deal. I really like that place.”

 

FROM THE KITCHEN: Cook Michael Chancler: “The calf’s liver, I deep fry it for a few seconds, then take it out of the fryer and bake it for 20-30 minutes. Then I saute it in onions and add the beef gravy. That’s pretty popular. We get the chicken livers fresh, bread them in seasoned flour and fry with the sauteed onions. The turkey, we bake that and make the dressing from scratch. Coach Ford likes all those, and he gets the senior discount on Wednesdays and Sundays. He likes all those with any kind of beans.”

 

Dyar’s Diner, 2216 Old Greenville Highway, Pendleton; (864) 646-7880

Bob Gillespie
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.