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Meat and three sides is a wonderful meal idea I found out about on a recent trip through the south. Here are the choices...

NOTE:This is only what I have experienced in South Carolina, I do not know if these are on the menu of every meat and three sides place.

MEAT (choose 1)
  • Fried or baked chicken
  • Meat loaf
  • Fish unspecified, fried
  • Pork
  • on Thursday,Turkey with dressin'. I don't think the dressin' counts as a side, they just put it on top.
  • Chicken fried steak
THREE SIDES (choose 3)

Of course you get your choice of roll or corn bread, and you have to have a nice glass of sweet tea to go with it, all for the low, low price of $5.49.

Restaurants featuring this type of menu usually use such phrases as "down home", "country cooking" or other terms to convey to the patrons a quieter, less complicated lifestyle. Often the menu is presented to diners on numerous chalkboards situated around the restaurant within easy viewing of all of the tables

The "meat-and-three" (including the additional word "sides" will immediately clue the locals in to the fact that you aren't from around here) probably share their origin with the small town barbeque restaurants that are a mainstay of the small Southern town. Unlike the meat-and-three which is open all week long, the barbeque restaurants are usually open only Thursday through Saturday and serve enough food to feed a small army for the change you get out of your car's seat cushions.

In central South Carolina, the local meat-and-three is called Lizard's Thicket and features a green chameleon as its mascot. The origin of the name is not common knowledge, that I am aware of, but a t-shirt from said establishment makes for a dandy conversation starter in other parts of the nation.

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