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Raines on Main: A Sandwich That Melts in Your Mouth

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

The Lunch Box is a weekly feature of the Anderson Observer. The feature is not paid advertising, and the opinions and suggestions belong to the writer of each selection. 

One of the highlights of my life is finding a good place for a tasty lunch. Each week The Lunch Box will highlight a meal I have found to be a delicious and consistent go-to choice. This is not a restaurant review, it is more a “best of” what to eat for lunch in Anderson County. If you have suggestions for a great plate of food, email me at 

Today's Lunch Box


Opening The Lid

If you are looking for a great sandwich, it’s hard to beat a good patty melt. The tastier cousin to the cheeseburger, the patty melt features ground beef, melted Swiss cheese and caramelized onions on toaster/grilled rye bread.

The origins of the sandwich can be traced to Los Angeles (or some would argue Brooklyn) in the 1950s, and it has been a favorite part of my menu for well over 50 years. 

But even though it’s essentially a fancy cheeseburger, finding a good one locally is not always easy. Fortunately Raines on Main downtown provides a patty melt you worth ordering again and again. 

It starts with fresh-ground prime chuck, a hallmark of Raines. Their hand-pattied burger finds an even better home on a patty melt. The onions are not overcooked and well served on the bed of melted cheese. The rye bread is toasted just right.

Raines’ patty melt is filling and full of flavor and it comes with two sides, but I also sampled a third.


The fries are crispy and a good match for this sandwich. The cole saw good, but maybe a little bland for my tastes (I ate every bite, though, so I obviously still enjoyed it). The fried okra was excellent and always a welcome side dish.

Iced tea is the only acceptable beverage with this kind of lunch, and Raines’ tea is good. Bonus points for having fresh lemon.

Service was also excellent, my tea glass did not go dry, and friendly. 

Closing the Lid

The patty melt is $7.99, which includes two side dishes, and tea (of if you have to have a soft drink) comes in at $2.29. So for just over $10 you get a great lunch that will hold you until a late supper of even breakfast the following morning.

Jeff Raines said when he founded the  restaurant he wanted to regularly give back to the community, and he has kept his word, offering various events and nights in which he donates a portion of receipts to local charities. This is something we can all applaud. There is also a big room on site for parties, and with Christmas less than 32 weeks away, you might want to book now.

Raines on Main Bar & Grill is at 312 South Main Street in downtown Anderson, just south of Bleckley Station. For hours and full menu, which includes steaks, salmon, huge chef salads (I saw it at my table, it’s big) and more, visit their Facebook page, or their website.

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