Idle Hour serves up old favorites with nostalgia

The hamburger steak special, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad from the Idle Hour.

Anyone with an appetite for old, reliable provisions such as ham and cheese sandwiches, chili burgers, hamburger steak specials and sweet tea is welcome at Idle Hour.

For that matter, so is anyone with an appetite for nostalgia.

Owned by Dolly Frock, Idle Hour calls the Olde North Charleston Business District home, just as it has for decades.

A classic name for a classic place.

The entrance leads to a narrow interior, memorabilia lining the walls, as the worn flooring gives way to several booths and tables on the right and counter service on the left.

From there, you’ve got a courtside seat to watch the ladies of Idle Hour get after it, laying big patties on the flattop grill, prying lettuce and pickles from clear plastic containers, plucking soft, juicy hot dogs from the stock pot and ringing up customers.

Many of the plastic dishes are cast in faded, pastel colors, the shade accounting for timeless meals and succeeding washings.

The essentials are all here: egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches, big ol’ burgers and peach cobbler.

Sides are plentiful, too, ranging from lima beans over rice; a creamy, fine coleslaw; macaroni salad; potato salad; macaroni and cheese; green beans; fries; and cabbage.

As specials go ($7.50), the breaded shrimp are of the fantail variety, cooked in hot, deep oil, surfacing with their tails connected.

It’s a nice coating, and the shrimp are fried just right.

But as far as favorites are concerned, please consider the hamburger steak. These are perfectly juicy and moist, draped in onions and gravy and fitted beside a pair of pressed biscuits and choice of two sides. The only thing better might be a nap afterward.