You Can Go Home Again…

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Dear Reader:

My love affair with Eva’s Restaurant began in 1975 when I was pregnant with my first child, Mandy. The annual pre-season Summerville High School football camp, in Laurinburg, NC, was underway and I was due any day. So mother came to spend that week with me.

It was the “dog days” of summer and way too hot to cook but we both were craving some home-cooking. (Since I was still a relative “new-comer” to Summerville at the time, someone recommended Eva’s to us.) It ended up that mother and I ate supper there every night that week. We could hardly wait to see what the new “special” each evening would be…it was all delicious!

After that, every time mother came to visit over the years, we made sure we stopped and ate at Eva’s because it was mother’s favorite place and brought back memories of that special week together. After her retirement when she moved to Summerville, once again mother and I could be found (at least once a week) eating lunch or supper there.

Time went by…the children grew up and left for college and then new careers, but mother and I continued our ‘run to Eva’s.‘ For awhile after mother passed, it was hard for me to go in there for all the memories it brought back.

For a long time…I would simply call in my order and  pick up lunch or supper to go and take it home. As more time passed and retirement called my name…I discovered friends and neighbors who also loved Eva’s and they became my go-to lunch partners. The reminder of  Eva’s came calling every time my body reminded me to please go get some fresh vegetables.

IMG_9533Eva’s restaurant dates back to 1944 and the building site to 1952. For years when people would go to the restaurant you could see Mrs. Eva rocking in her chair snapping beans. She did this right up to the ripe old age of 96 -she died in 2011.

Because so many cooks had been trained by Mrs. Eva things continued along fairly well for a time but renovations were needed, money was tight, so alternative changes came in to help save the old restaurant ….over time new menu’s appeared and personnel changes followed …and suddenly, one day, you realized you didn’t know everybody’s name any more…and then nobody’s name any more.

So Eva’s was sold again to the owners of Honeycomb Cafe (Daniel Island) and today it is still Eva’s as the sign says outside…but officially it is Honeycomb Cafe @ Eva’s. The new owners had eaten at Eva’s and loved it….and wanted to restore the same atmosphere. Their mantra:

Nothing fancy

Nothing fast

Just Simple, Southern, Summerville 

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So yesterday, with my buddy and neighbor, Jane, we decided to try Eva’s again. We had come home! It was Wednesday so the special was baked chicken/dressing, three vegetable choices (butterbeans, stringbeans, squash, fried eggplant. etc.) I got the chopped steak and knew time had stopped….smothered in onions and gravy with mashed potatoes, veggies, and cornbread.

*Eva’s will now be open every day of the week from 7-3….there will be no evening meals.

*Breakfast will be served all day, along with the daily lunch specials with its diversity of vegetables. And now along with the wonderful traditional breakfasts, some new items like egg/meat burritoes and lots of different omelets will be available.

IMG_9530Before we left we knew almost everyone in the restaurant and we were all tasting and talking about which dinner every one had ordered was the best. They all were. There was lots of laughter throughout the meal.

Vivacious Jillian and our funny, long-time friend Robin, just added to the fun of the dining experience. They kept returning to the table to make sure everything was just as we liked it and remembered it. It was and it was!

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So until tomorrow…I once heard someone say “Praying is calling home”…if true, then pray dear friends… do call Eva’s and order the comfort food you deserve or even better pray come on down.

Here pictures of our two meals to tempt you do just that:

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* The Dingle boys (Tommy & Walsh) at the last Clemson game we attended when Tommy was still a student there! (We beat Florida State that day!)

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  • IMG_9540I had just gotten back from Eva’s when Gin-g surprised me with a wonderful visit and some goodies to boot! It is always so much fun catching up….we are like Sherlock Holmes and Watson solving all the world’s problems together…now if we could just get someone to listen to us?

 

*Mandy and John’s new sofa and center table came yesterday….Mandy said they are still looking probably for a couple of more pieces to complete it….but it looks great guys!

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“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to You Can Go Home Again…

  1. Anne says:

    So glad you finally got your mashed potatoes!

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  2. Johnny Johnson says:

    We are close friends with, as we called her, Aunt Eva’s niece. And yes indeed it has always been a great place to go and get good down home food. I remember how sad it was when Aunt Eva went home and there were wall to wall people at her service. Aunt Eva touched so many people in the area with great food and hospitality. I haven’t been since the buy out but looks like not much has changed. I hope Eva’s will always be a part of Summerville for more generations to enjoy.

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  3. Becky Dingle says:

    This is the second buy-out…the first didn’t work out quite as hoped…too much change in the menu …it got away from old fashioned southern cooking…but it was sold again and this lady from Daniel Island has gotten back the old cooks and Eva’s is cooking again!

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  4. Jo Dufford says:

    I started to leave a message yesterday but didn’t. I realized I just needed to say how important Eva’s was to so many. My Joe went every Friday and any other time I was away. As you said, Eva’s was where the Summerville family gathered. We gave him a signed picture of the building with Eva’s autograph (she was probably about 97 or 98 then). When his brothers visited and he wanted to take them somewhere he thought was special, they went to Eva’s, and they still talk about the experience. I remember how impressed Dalton, my grandson, was to eat breakfast with the mayor (Myers) when Joe took Dalt to breakfast. Thanks for the information about the present owners. Love this “Nothing fancy, nothing fast, Just simple, Southern and Summerville.”

    Like

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