I have visited the Fin and Filet across from Walmart out on the byway in Greenwood, SC several times and never been disappointed. But when I headed there for dinner this April, I was stunned. The place was gone! What the hay went wrong!? Always a good crowd; good and inexpensive menu: very good and friendly service...
So I turned around and headed for Greenwood's fading downtown. But already on Montague Avenue, I found myself standing on the brake: There was the Fin and Filet, but in new, yet familiar, digs. You see, the new location used to be "Orde's of England," which came into being with the Greenwodd arrival of one John Orde, an odd little Engiishman who selected a pleasant villa on the northern outskirts and recreated the food and beverage profile of a typical small English village inn. Actually, it was better than most such plagiarism in the US.
The bar was comfortable, with good stools and a half dozen good English and Irish drafts, and very good barkeeps. The menu was reasonable and featured the British musts, with fish and chips, various banger combinations, but no Haggis. Fortunately, but I'm not going to describe haggis, because you'd stop reading..
There are many tales about what went wrong and scared John back to England, and I don't know which one is true, but I suspect all of them.
But the good news is that from the detritus of John's stash rose an improved Fin and Filet, which probably is a much better fit for Greenwood anyway. Let's face it, if you've ever been to Greenwood and hung around for a while, you'll instantly agree that cosmopolitan flair ain't what comes to mind about Greenwood.
And here's what we found in that British-Carolinian creation on Montague Avenue:
The food is good to very good. It won't get into Michelin's red bible, but you get a lot for your money. Wife had a yellowfin tuna steak she pronounced superb, and she's a connoisseur of raw-to-rear tuna. I had shrimp with grits that was adorable, served with a very agreeable pint by a young, attractive waitress who smiled a lot and liked her work.
One note, somewhat on the order of due diligence: My opinion may have been influenced by a long-held view that a place like this is something this little southern town needs, not least because I like it a lot.