Lyly’s Kitchen – Rural SC meets Vietnam and New Orleans

By Tom Hanchett, January 2011

lylykitchenDawn is just breaking in the South Carolina countryside as construction workers, men in hunting clothes, farmers, and a few Lake Wylie retirees crowd the tables at Lyly’s Kitchen and Exxon Station. For decades folks have been eating biscuit and livermush breakfasts, sandwich and burger lunches here where S.C. Highway 55 meets S.C. Highway 49. But these days there are also Vietnamese spring rolls and shrimp po’boys on the chalkboard menu.

Ly Dinh, age 26, took over the gas station and grill about two years ago when the former owners retired. Her Vietnamese-born mom Lan Nguyen, dad Hai Dinh and brother Trieu Dinh help out.
They keep the menu mostly Carolina traditional. That means country ham, grits and the piedmont Carolinas’ own distinctive livermush, a cousin to scrapple, brought by German settlers a couple of centuries ago. “We serve a lot of livermush here,” confirms Ly. “It’s one of our top sellers for breakfast.”

The only obviously Vietnamese menu item is a spring roll. It’s different from egg rolls found at Chinese take-outs – tighter wrapped, filled with tangy pork and vegetables.

Wait, there’s also that po’boy, a submarine sandwich with subtly spiced Cajun mayonnaise, spilling over with fried shrimp. How’d that Louisiana specialty get here? “Well, there’s lots of Vietnamese on the Gulf now,” says Ly. “My mom and her friends down there get together once a year, come up with recipes for all their restaurants.”

Lyly’s Kitchen and Exxon

6 am – 8 pm daily

6034 Charlotte Highway (S.C. 49)
York, SC 29745

803-831-2299

foodheader
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Swiss-German bakery
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico + Greece = holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam
Little corner of El Salvador
Arepas from Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Colombian soup
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Mexican take-out
Mexican Tamaleria
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Nigeria in east Charlotte
Korean BBQ
Brazilian bakery
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Halal Latino
Russian-Turkish Grocery
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews

Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Family-style Ethiopian
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Oriental buns
Greek pastries
Bosnian sausages
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
Guatamala in east Charlotte

North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Mexican carnitas
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Indo-Chinese
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
Westward
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Fried baloney
Grits & cornmeal
El Tamarindo
Laos in Kings Mountain
Lawrence Caribbean