I came back to Clemson last night for a wedding in Greenville on Saturday. For lunch today, I went down to the Esso Club to enjoy the "Meat & Three" lunch that they offer. It is a place that we frequented back in the school year, and it was a pretty good lunch for not a lot of money.
While I cannot be sure, it seems to me that the "Meat & Three" (alternatively known as the "Meat, Three, & Sweet Tea") restaurant is a particularly Southern tradition. Basically, one chooses a meat and three vegetables/sides from the daily selections, which usually change on regular basis. It is best accompanied by sweet tea as a beverage. These restaurants feature Southern or home-style cooking and usually are quite affordable: the perfect meal for a poor college/grad student.
After visiting a number of such establishments around the Clemson area (as well as back in Birmingham), it seems to me that the quality of the food can be best judged on how good its fried okra is. If it is hand breaded, you are in for a treat since the rest of the food is likely of the same quality.
If you are unfamiliar with the "Meat & Three" concept, this website provides listings of such restaurants in 24 different states (plus D.C.), so hopefully you can find one near you.