By Megan Baxter
TR ‘gem’ delivers taste of nostalgia
The Hungry Drover describes itself online as being located in the heart of Travelers Rest. Perhaps it means the geographic heart, because this gem rests well outside the streets of downtown. The restaurant fills an old general store that has been left relatively untouched by this repurposing.
The table cloths are the plastic, sticky checkered kind that my elbows remember from family reunions and church picnics. The chairs and mugs mismatch like my grandmother’s used to. Every time I went to The Hungry Drover, I returned to my small town in the woods, where everyone knew everyone and there was just one store and no stoplight. It was my retreat, and so I went there alone for my last visit.
Megan’s last meal
That morning, pickup trucks filled the lot and the tables were full of regulars enjoying their second cups of coffee from those mismatched mugs, talking road construction and the weather. I ordered the Big Drover Breakfast with three scrambled eggs, bacon, and sourdough as well as a single buttermilk pancake and a cup of tea.
The Hungry Drover sources its eggs, bacon, butter, and milk from farms in central Travelers Rest. The eggs tasted bright and a little bit like sunshine (from the grass-grazing chickens), the bacon (ordered extra crispy) was thick-cut and salted to perfection. The bread presented its own little slice of heaven — thick-cut sourdough mixed, risen, and baked in the back of the old general store, toasted and spread with bright yellow local butter. My pancake came out as my breakfast plate was cleared. It filled the edges of a small plate with a crispy buttermilk griddle-cooked crust. I let a
cube of butter melt into its bubbles before drizzling it with syrup. I cut off one small bite of pancake at a time until I had emptied my plate.
‘Drover’ defined: A person who moves livestock, usually sheep, cattle, and horses, long distances.
What to order:
The Big Drover Breakfast / $8.95
Three eggs any style with bacon, sausage, grits, and sausage gravy or fruit and a biscuit or sourdough toast.
Loaded Grits Bowl / $7.25
A generous bowl of our homemade grits topped with bacon, ham, sausage, peppers, onions, and tomatoes with two fried eggs. Served with a biscuit or sourdough toast.
Drover’s Famous Tomato Pie / $6.95 or with Smoked Gouda & Bacon / $8.25
Both versions are packed with tomatoes, herbs, and lots of cheese. Comes with your choice of fruit or grits.
The Pancake Breakfast / $7.50
Two buttermilk pancakes, two eggs any style, and your choice of bacon, sausage, or fresh fruit.
*For lunch and Friday dinner menus, go to www.hungrydrover.com.