Sweet Catherine's in Fountain Inn
Sweet Catherine's distinctively "sassy southern" style is all over its menu -- fried green tomatoes, Grandma Velma's trio of pimento cheese, chicken salad and broccoli salad on a bed of lettuce, and pan-seared cheddar grits topped with shrimp and Parmesan cheese. But the menu also includes items from other regions -- Margie's Marinara promises to make any Italian mother proud and the black bean and corn quesadilla makes claims of perfection.
The day I arrived for lunch (which is served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday,) I ordered up the inviting Chincoteague Island Crab Cakes Sandwich, a delicious combination of flavors -- seasoned crab cakes, fried green tomatoes and a tangy remoulade. The ample sandwich was accompanied by coleslaw tossed with a sweet vinaigrette.
The two-story restaurant is tastefully decorated in warm earth tones, and the exposed brick lends an element of the historical, which is consistent with Fountain Inn's resurgence that combines respect for the past and a commitment to the future.
Sweet Catherine is owned by Genie Mahaffey and Michelle Amrien, who named the restaurant after a friend, Angela Catherine Driskell Murdaugh, who died from diabetes. Amrien writes in the menu: "After high school, she was my first roommate and taught me how to cook. Over the years, we talked about having a business together but God had other plans."
Sweet Catherine's, a short walk from the town's beautiful new history center, is also open for dinner on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and offers a brunch / lunch buffet on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
If You're Going:
Sweet Catherine's ... a sassy southern cafe is located at 111 S. Main St. in Fountain Inn.