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Ellen of SC's Profile

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Best places to eat in South Carolina?

In Columbia for dinner? Try Hunter Gatherer for a unique casual experience. I have yet to find anything less than delicious. Runs the gamut from duck to pizza. Great burgers. Signature beers. Jazz on Thursday nights.

Motor Supply for lunch or dinner. Menu changes daily.

DiPrato's for a fine deli lunch. Don't miss the pimiento cheese with pita wedges. Best anywhere.

Apr 16, 2008
Ellen of SC in Southeast

Columbia SC best burger - Hunter Gatherer

Since the closing of Blue Dog and Eddie's, I have decided that HG's burger is the best in town. (MUCH better than Rockaway's.)

They provide choices for toppings - I love the blue cheese. Served with crispy hash browns. Yum! Wash it down with their ESB home brew. Add their unique atmosphere and you've got a real winner. Service is fine, too.

Mar 02, 2008
Ellen of SC in Southeast

Columbia SC - Al's Upstairs vs Young Folks

My 22 year old son has a new girlfriend and wanted to take her someplace special (romantic) for Valentine's Day. He asked my advice. I mentioned several favorite spots and included Al's as having a great view but so-so food. It was not high on my list.

Sadly, Al's was his choice. He checked the website and found their V-Day package. Four course meal with wine, champagne, and beer. $125 for two. He phoned.

"Do you have a credit card?" (Answer was yes.) "Go to our website and see what we offer."

He already had, but he checked again. Phoned the website's number and the same woman answered. "Didn't I just talk with you?"

She took his card number and made the reservation. Son and date arrived on time and were taken to a small room with four tables - NOT the main dining room with the cityscape view. Very cramped. He and date were seated next to a half-wall hiding a servers' station.

Son noticed that the other tables held only young couples. The room included - get this! - a TV showing regional sports! Others in the room commmented about the odd coincidence that everyone there was under thirty. He decided not to spoil his sweetie's dinner by complaining, and said the server was obviously aware of the age-ist segregation. She did her best to make the young couples happy.

I'm more displeased about this situation than he is. My child is no gourmand, but he was reared with good taste and good manners. I can't describe how much he was looking forward to impressing his date. His $125 was the same as anyone else's in the place, yet I feel he was treated very poorly. Because of his youth. Outrageous!

On top of that, he said there was an inter-racial couple there, seated off in a dead-end corner that almost looked like a broom closet.

I've never before heard of such treatment. Chowhound posters have tried to steer diners toward better venues. I'd like to take it a step further.

Do NOT spend your dining dollars at Al's Upatairs Italian. Please. Friends don't let friends eat there.

whig (cola, sc) (& a soon-to-be place in asheville)

I tried the Whig one evening right after they opened. Two friends and I got a couple of drinks each. No food.

It was bar service - no table service. I left a dollar cash tip. (Which was plenty based on my tab.) One gal wrote in a one dollar tip on her credit card. When her statement arrived the tip amount had magically changed to two dollars.

I haven't been back.

One night in Columbia, SC

Yep. Still there and still serving good shrimp and grits. Also durned fine collards.

Columbia, Sc - Lake Murray area

Sadly, Boars Nest has closed. But drive south a little ways on 378 off I-26 and try Hudson's Smokehouse for very good BBQ.

I wasn't thrilled with Granny's.

Best burger in Columbia, SC

I like Salty Nut's burgers, and Vella's too. And boy do I miss Eddie's - miss Blue Dog even more. Their burgers and raw fries were the BEST hands down.

But Wednesday night I had a burger topped with Gorganzola at Hunter Gatherer. It's by far my new favorite burger in Colatown. Give it a try - served with crispy hash browns. Add a HG Wheat and baby you're set! Only complaint is that they don't serve lunch.


In Columbia check out Edna's #1 on River Drive. Great old walk-up stand. Great dogs and a 1950s atmosphere hard to find these days.

Thailand Restaurant, Columbia, SC

I am very sorry to hear that. I enjoyed a lovely dinner there.

Thailand Restaurant, Columbia, SC

SweetPea, thanks for the heads up. I had forgotten about this place, but you jogged my memory. If it's the place I think, I dined there once many years ago and enjoyed it very much. Can't even remember what I ate, but do remember the service was excellent.

Is this located in the same stretch with CiCi's and a Mexican restaurant? Across from the K-Mart center?

I will make a point of visiting again soon. Thai Dish, too. It's been awhile.

Restaurant O, Greenville, SC

" imagine the server commented on the amuse because many people have never seen one. "

I have never seen one. From your comments it's akin to an appetizer portion of food. ?

Bourdain's S.C. Show- Whadda ya think?

Thought it was nicely done; very happy he found Sweatman's. Pleased with Lake High's performance - had worried his ultra-conservatism would be a factor. Enjoyed the contrast between Civil War re-enactors and high-brow Charleston garden partiers. What a kick!

Wish Tony had opted for oysters at Bowen Island Restaurant, but the private roast was fine. Maybe next time...

Best fried chicken and breakfast in Charleston, SC?

Get thee to Poogan's Porch for the quintessential southern biscuit.

Columbia, S.C. Restaurants

I had heard nothing about remodeling. Third-hand story I got was that the building's owner had passed a huge city tax increase to his tenants and Eddie's owner decided it was too much.

It would be great news if they are not permanently closed.

Columbia, S.C. Restaurants

Since I posted this in March Boar's Nest and Eddie's have closed.

Some good Columbia SC choices

Suzy, the only German restaurant I've visited in the area was on St. Andrews Road and burned to the ground many years back. Sorry I can't help you.

Some good Columbia SC choices

This topic arose elsewhere; sharing my thoughts here.

In the Vista: Motor Suppy has excellent upscale food with mid-to-upper range prices. Gervais and Vine is a nice tapas bar. The Blue Marlin offers good seafood with a Southern touch. Nonnah's for desert.

In Five Points: Yesterday's is a local institution for good comfort food, casual dining. More upscale, check out Mr. Friendly's. Though I've never been, I hear Bahn Swann (sp?) serves excellent Thai.

Best kept secrets, off the regular restaurant path:
1) If you want a truly Southern meat and three lunch, try Nathan's at the corner of Hampton and Green. It's in an old pharmacy. Don't miss the stuffed potato - it's not what you think.
2) And if you are not claustrophobic, find a fun lunch experience at The No Name Deli on Elmwood near Bull Street. Always packed but the line moves quickly. They have the most incredible range of yummy choices! And I know of no other place anywhere that offers a dish of fresh mint leaves next to the iced tea pitcher.

Quick BBQ note: Little Pigs, Hudson's and Shealy's cook with wood. Palmetto Pig does not, but it is convenient to downtown.

Minneapolis Hound in Charleston, SC this Sunday

My prayers are with your townsfolk.

One of the plantations is said to have a wonderful lunch - maybe Middleton Place? Hope you enjoy your visit.

Columbia SC new deli/restaurant

Ms Rowena, I'm sorry to hear of your experience at DiPrato's. And quite frankly surprised. I've lunched there at least a dozen times and have always found the food and the service to be far better than average, and think the prices are fair.

Dianne, the owner, can be seen waiting tables and greeting customers. That she was unpleasant to you comes as rather a shock.

Caffe Venezia-Columbia, SC-Gelato, espresso

Is this at the Peak exit? Sounds like I'll be making a trek out there Saturday.

Raw Bar? Isle of Palms-Charleston, SC Area

I like Shem Creek Bar and Grill - good food but not fancy, good service, and a nice patio overlooking the creek. (If they've trimmed the myrtles next to the railing you get a good view!)

But most folks around here don't do raw oysters in the summer. Might want to wait until the weather cools down a little. Like - October.

Sweatman's BBQ

I believe I'd have to go on and phone the local post office or fire department or sheriff's office. They'll know.

Sweet little dive in Aynor SC

Gore's Bar-B-Que & Country Kitchen.

Stopped in today after finishing some business in Aynor. Sadly, arrived at 3:00 and they were preparing to leave. But Mr. Gore fixed me a BBQ sandwich and Mrs. Gore poured me a glass of tea - and at the height of good old Southern Hospitality it was all on the house.

I had to use both hands to hold the sandwich and still some meat escaped the bun; there was enough piled on to make three sandwiches! Vinegar/pepper based but not too hot. Smoke flavor shone through.

Mrs. Gore rattled off a long list of comfort food they have on their menu and added that tomorrow she was also serving pig tails because some of the local Mexicans had requested it. Mr. Gore chatted away, obviously happy with his success.

They've been in operation for twelve years.

Don't let the very rustic exterior dissuade you. Try it! I will go out of my way to return.

Gore's Bar-B-Que & Country Kitchen. 818 N. Main Street in Aynor SC.
Open for lunch M-Sat says Edward Gore, owner and cook. Close at 2:00.

Update on Bub Sweatman's BBQ

Above is link to Sweatman's on GoogleMaps. Also, if you search the Southeast board you'll find lots of info. It appears they close for three weeks - possibly late July into August? Their phone number appears with the map link.

Good luck!

Columbia SC new deli/restaurant

The cobb salad - yummy! Makes two meals for me. The pita chips with the pimiento cheese are wonderful snacks for an informal party - they sell both to go. (Reheat the chips in the oven - not microwave.)

Try the pastrami sandwich. Sooo good.

Columbia, SC: the old 123

I noticed that a couple of days ago. They should do well.

Boar's Nest, Columbia

What in the world? They were very good. Arrrgh!

Columbia, SC - Near Township Auditorium

I had the ginger cheesecake. Smooth and subtle. Mmmm.

Good BBQ around Columbia, SC?

Hudson's where Bo was? YAY!!!

Jun 19, 2007
Ellen of SC in Southeast

Columbia, SC - Near Township Auditorium

OK, here's my report on Mr. Friendly's. Super! Arrived at 5:30, seated right away at that early hour. (Filled up after 6.) Started with a Cosmopolitan and appetizer of crab cake. Very good. My entree was the ribeye with baby portabellas in a rich sauce. Served over white rice with braised kale on the side.

The steak was excellent; moist, tender and flavorful. And quite large. I couldn't finish it. First time I'd had braised kale so it's difficult for me to comment. Tender leaves, crunchy stems, vinegary flavor.

Service was excellent and the manager stopped by twice - once to chat and again to bring us a complimentary slice of caramel pecan chocolate pie. (One of my companions is a chef and they had swapped stories.) Very rich and very satisfying. And mighty fine customer service.

Along with one glass of wine and a generous tip my bill came to $65.00. I will definitely return for special occasions.

And Lyle Lovett at the Township really floated my boat!!! Dessert at Nonnah's afterward made the evening complete.