And those of us from Dinerville (aka Joizee) would never mistake it for such.
But this tiny roadside eatery is an authentic not-to-be missed slice of America with great dishes, an endearingly gruff atmosphere and solid value. In fact, it's so real it's been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
It's Harold's Diner on William Hilton Parkway (the island's main drag) in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Harold's is basically what used to be called a dinette -- a quick-eat attraction that predated fast food and offered countertop service (and a few small tables) in a compact, non-nonsense environment. This is a breakfast and lunch place (they close before the dinner hour) with a limited menu, fresh off the grill. The place is so small and cozy that the dishes are cooked-to-order, consumed and washed all in the same room. It's all there right in front of you -- so you know it's clean, fresh, hot and tasty. And it's a favorite of island locals.
Harold's is all about burgers, dogs and sandwiches as well as down home southern breakfasts. Their motto is "Eat here or we both starve."
Upon entering, guests fill out a form (one per guest) indicating their orders, turn it in and wait for their names to be called. When your name is called, you'd better answer promptly and you'd better be ready to eat.
Harold's burgers are full, juicy and succulent. And the fries are fresh cut, cooked ans served with an aroma that is almost intoxicating Plus, the portions are VERY plentiful.
Harold's is easy to miss. So, slow down near the Exxon station on the way onto the island and Harold's is tucked right in there near the intersection of 278 and Singleton Beach Road.
Check it out!
BTW: Harold's is cash only. No checks or credit cards.