Y'all know about Bee Bee's right? I mean, how could you not. But still. My recollection is that the first time I went to Bee Bee's was with Big A Goldsmith (which is consistent with quite a few of other "firsts" in my life which will no doubt be woven into future posts) in the late 1980's or perhaps the early 1990's back when it only had 3 or 4 tables. But Bee Bee's really took hold for me during high school. Several of us Not My Boys frequented it all the time. The Mike Gallagher combo - cheeseburger, half onion rings/half fries, sweet tea - was $3.05 (tax inclusive). It may seem odd that I can remember the price of a fast food combo from 20 years ago, but we had this one Not My Boy by the name of Killa Cannon (much love!) that used to only bring 3 singles and ask to borrow a nickel from whomever else was in our group. This happened about every time we went over about a three year period, and we easily ate there twice a month on Saturdays for lunch, if not more. Each trip became funnier as more and more Not My Boys refused to give him the nickel and make him break a bigger bill (you know, like a $5).
Anyway, I feel like I have grown up with Bee Bee's, which has been operating for 28 years. I remember when Vasilios "Bill" Melanis was behind the counter and his wife Maria was on the grill, with their two young children in the restaurant. I remember when they added space to the dining room. I remember when they didn't take credit cards (still no AMEX). I remember the bulletin board on the wall being the original reddit (first place I ever saw the Clinton/Prosperity sign with the arrows pointing in opposite directions). I remember Bill's stroke and how he worked through it without the use of one arm and then his untimely death. Brandt and I have continued to routinely hit up Bee Bee's when we really need to get down to business, such as planning Not My Boys and our forthcoming barbeque competition team (well, don't hold your breath, but dum spiro spero).
Now, Honey loved The Flag - the Stars and Stripes that is - but I don't know that there was a prouder American in Greenville County than Bill Melanis. When Brandt and I were talking about a good first restaurant post, it was a 2-0 vote for Bee Bee's. And of course we had to conduct a site visit and get a picture with Maria, who is still there every day nearly 30 years later. I encourage you to pop in for a "Mike" and to support the American Dream.
Order: The Mike Gallagher - cheeseburger your way, half and half , sweet tea with free refills, $7.55 (tax inclusive - there is that tricky nickel again).
Maybe Don't Order: The shrimp plate (I have never had it so this is not objective, it just seems like an aggressive choice).
Pro Tip: The food comes on a tray with a piece of wax paper under the (styro) plate. The tables aren't big enough for everyone to have their own tray on the table, and the plates are full so no room for condiments. Pull the wax paper to use for the ketchup and hot sauce dipping and ditch the tray asap.
I Don't Believe I'd Told That: The original order board for the drive through now has a plastic cover over it on which the full menu is printed with updated prices. It looks like the original board is wearing an ill-fitting condom. Damn brother!
One more thing. Now that The Flag is on my mind remind me to tell you a good story I have about Big A, The Flag, Honey, and President Reagan; for now that story will have to wait for another day.