Published on September 19th, 2012 | by Kevin Barron5
First Look: Lizard’s Thicket in Florence
Bright and early at 6:00 AM a tweet went out to the followers of Lizard’s Thicket on Twitter (@LizardsThicket) announcing that the new Florence location (1712 Palmetto Street) of this Midstate staple of home cooking and hospitality was open for business. I have to admit that I wasn’t quite awake at that point, but did see it come across my feed not long after.
If you’ve read our recent updates here and here, then you know that we’ve been following the progress of the remodel of the old Carolina Wings into the new Lizard’s Thicket on Palmetto Street. All in all, it didn’t take long, but the transformation is extensive. Check out those previous posts for the history of the restaurant and the most recent update based upon my tour with Sara Krisnow just a couple of weeks ago. Sara handles social media, among other things for Lizard’s Thicket statewide.
A FIRST LOOK
My friend, Will Crosswell with Palmetto First Credit Union, and I had planned to meet today for lunch. With the announcement coming out about the opening of Lizard’s Thicket this morning, we quickly knew where we were headed. It was time for a “meat and three.”
Meeting at the entrance of the restaurant about 11:30 AM, we said hello and shook hands. It had been some time since we last saw each other. The last we communicated regularly was about restaurant recommendations for New Orleans, as Will was headed there for a conference. Thankfully, my recommendations turned out to be winners all around. It certainly helped that I have great deal local knowledge having spent many a formative year in the Big Easy.
Will opened the doors and we were greeted by a welcoming employee. We were seated near the kitchen, but not in the line of sight of all of the activity, which was nice. As I hoped, we ran into Sara and said hello. She was as excited as everyone else in the restaurant appeared to be, having pretty much a full house for this first day of operation.
Menus in-hand, we chatted a bit and caught up on life’s goings on recently; my health issues, his trip to New Orleans, and much more. There’s a pretty good age difference between the two of us, but we both enjoy a good meal and are into social media. That made for a fast friendship several months ago and since we’ve met for lunch at least four or five times.
Eventually, making our menu decisions we folded them up and set them aside for our server. My order was to be the Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Green Beans, and Tomatoes and Okra. Will was to have the Fried Catfish and the sides of his choice. Choices weren’t easy, I have to admit, because they offer 10 different meats and at least a dozen vegetables and sides everyday. Plus, because we were a bit early for lunch, the breakfast menu was also still available. A bit of advice, don’t forget that you can order their signature Chicken and Waffles all day long.
Both plates were delivered promptly, as was a side of rolls and corn bread. The portion sizes were good, especially considering that each of us had four items, plus an available basket of breads. I enjoyed my entree and the green beans were excellent. My mom would be proud that I actually finished my green beans before approaching anything else on my plate; they were that good. The stewed tomatoes and okra were really not my thing, but I’m glad I tried them nonetheless. The mashed potatoes and gravy were good and I’d order them again. Will seemed to enjoy his lunch, as well. I’m pretty sure he cleared his plate also. I’ll ask Will to add his comments below, so that you can get his feedback as well.
In short, while I expect that not everything on the menu is prepared from scratch, Lizard’s Thicket represents a good value. It’s family friendly, as well as friendly to the pocketbook. Lunch for each of us was $7.49, plus drink, tax, and tip. Our server was friendly and helpful, as was the person who handled our check at the register. It’s easy to see the winning combination that Lizard’s Thicket has built and why they are expanding, even in this difficult economy.
I’ll plan to publish a more complete review after that next visit. This “first look” is provided mainly to get a bit of information out to those who are curious about this new market entrant, as well as to share a few photos. Let me know if you’d like our feedback on anything in particular on the full review.
Have you been to Lizard’s Thicket? If so, tell us what you thought of your visit by writing in the comments section below. We want to hear from you!