Olivia Dish

Cheeseburger All the Way

In Restaurant, South Carolina on January 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm
The Stop Light

The Stoplight near Hartsville, SC

Why are the hamburgers at places like this always so good?  Someone else at our table asked it—but I was thinking the same thing.

These are not fancy pants Kobe beef burgers on hand-made brioche buns.  This isn’t a “gourmet” burger chain.

I’m having a cheeseburger at a gas station. And it’s hard to say how it could be any better.

Stop Light burger

Want greenery? Ask!

So is it the beef? I’m guessing not, how about you?  I think these burgers are good, one, because they’re made after you order them, and not a minute before.

Then there’s the way they put it together.  At The Stoplight, “all the way” doesn’t have anything to do with vegetables: it’s chili, mustard and ketchup.  If you want lettuce, tomato or onion, you’ve got to ask.

Stop Light Cheeseburger

Stoplight Cheeseburger All the Way

I had a chili cheeseburger, sorry, I mean a cheeseburger all the way.  I did not ask for lettuce or tomato.  And I was glad that no one asked me.

As you can see, this burger won’t be winning a beauty contest.  But maybe it should. The bun was glistening with something like butter. The cheese was melted just right. The chili was flavorful, a little spicy but not spicy-hot. The yellow mustard brought just enough bite to cut through the heavy meat and cheese.

Spanish visitors examine every item-will you?

My friend Zest Forlyth brought me to this place while I was visiting him at his farm.  Zest lived in Madrid for many years, and he told me he likes to bring his friends from Spain to The Stoplight.

Worth the trip, just to see this sign

They marvel at the country knick knacks.

They decipher the mysterious hand-made signs.

They always say there’s nothing like this in Spain.  Imagine that.

More decor

They love the atmosphere.  They love the burgers.

So do I.

If you’re driving anywhere around Hartsville and care to find The Stoplight, it’s on Old Camden Road (not far past the nuclear power plant–a secret ingredient?).

And an artist's rendition

If you’re on US 1, take 151 toward Hartsville, then right onto Old Camden Road.  Or get directions to the Hartsville Airport—since The Stoplight is nearby.

  1. So sad that they recently closed it down!

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