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ElSapo's Profile

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Six Plates Wine Bar, Durham, NC

I was at Six Plates over the weekend and had a pretty good experience. I'd say the important thing to know here is that it's primarily a bar (whereas most "wine bars" these days are full-strength restaurants). No waiters, no table service, order at the bar, limited-but-tasty menu.

The spring rolls and croquettes were really good. The lamb chops were pretty good, the lamb sloppy joes were ok. The flatbread du jour was awful, unfortunately. Parts were badly burned, all was pretty dry. I try to avoid blowing things out of proportion, so given that everything else that came out of the kitchen was pretty good I have to think this was an anomaly.

I didn't think the wine selection was all that great, honestly (by the glass, anyway). Several of the wines are widely available in retail stores in this region, for around $10/bottle, so paying the per-glass price wasn't so great. But that said, it was also an inexpensive list. The most expensive glass I saw was $8.

I had a good experience and would definitely go back.

Jul 08, 2008
ElSapo in General South Archive

Best dinner in downtown Columbia, S.C.?

Maybe we'll try Motor Supply. Seems to have some supporters on here.

I grew up in Irmo and went to school in Columbia until 1999. Left shortly after and have not really been back since. Obviously it's a special area for me, so my memory may be biased, but I remember it as having a lot of independent coffee shops and restaurants. Columbia was never a big city, but it certainly had potential.

Most of my time was spent in Five Points, so I didn't know the Vista as well as a student. But I have fond memories of Goatfeathers in Five Points and a place called Norah's in the Vista for dessert/drinks. I think I had dinner at Garibaldi's one night. There was a place on the corner, upstairs - Saludas? Savannahas? Is it still around?

The coffee shop, Immaculate Consumption, was across from my apartment (as was the already-mentioned Hunter Gatherer, later reopened as something else, I think).

Senate St. in West Columbia had a couple of good coffee shops as well. Did the Sherlock Holmes Pub ever reopen?

Fun times...

Jun 20, 2008
ElSapo in General South Archive

Best dinner in downtown Columbia, S.C.?

Garibaldi's is still around? Wow.

Mr. Friendly's dinner menu online uses the word "famous" seven times on a single page. That's hilarious.

I've never been to Motor Supply - could have opened after I left, maybe we'll try that. I remember Columbia having a fair share of interesting and independent businesses when I left about ten years ago. Hopefully it's still doing well.

Jun 20, 2008
ElSapo in General South Archive

Best dinner in downtown Columbia, S.C.?

I'm looking for one good dinner on a Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. Probably be in or around the Five Points area, but I'd go to the Vista area as well. It's been years since I've been there, so I'm looking forward to exploring, but a few suggestions for a dinner would be much appreciated.

Jun 19, 2008
ElSapo in General South Archive

Best of Myrtle Beach in 2 days

I recently had BBQ at the "Pig & Chicken" in Murrels Inlet, and it was pretty good. Chef-brother called it the "first commercial Q I've had in a while that I didn't hate."

Really good onion rings. Stay away from the mac and cheese unless you just love velveeta.

Oct 31, 2007
ElSapo in General South Archive

24 hours in Charleston, S.C.

Charleston's "touristy area" is pretty big, but that does sound like the place.

Oct 28, 2007
ElSapo in General South Archive

24 hours in Charleston, S.C.

Thanks for all the replies. The trip turned out really well, with lots of good and some great food.

We wound up eating at SNOB, Magnolia, Jim 'n Nick's BBQ, City Lights Coffee and Social.

SNOB - Probably the best meal we had there. We went for a late dinner - the filet was cooked perfectly, the shrimp and grits was lighter than you'd expect (especially seeming close to a gumbo, with sausage and ham added), and the strawberry shortcake was really interesting with a cornmeal cake for a different texture. Also good - crab cakes and the oyseter stew.

Magnolia - Went for lunch so it was certainly more casual, but a pretty good meal also. The house-made potato chips were completely overwhelmed by blue cheese, but this was the only dish we had that truly missed the mark. The shellfish and grits was completely different than SNOB's - much more rich and creamy, so it was interesting to see that difference. SNOB's was really lighter and cripser than I'd thought it would be, Magnolia was much heavier and decadent. Parm-crusted flounder was excellent, but the apple cinnamon cake for dessert may have been a little too sweet.

City Lights Coffee - We stopped in for coffee and found the place inviting and friendly, and owner is an ex-resident of Carrboro, N.C. (where we just moved). Nice, friendy, casual cafe.

Jim 'n Nick's BBQ - a regional chain, yes, but not bad. The grilled catfish sandwich had some great flavor and the brisket and pulled pork were pretty good.

Social - People warned that this wine bar was relatively mediocre, and I think that's accurate. The bartender was very helpfup, perhaps too helpful, and he warned that the wine list tilted away from California-style high-alcohol wines and more towards old world construction. That's fine, though I do like Zins. The Cab-Merlot flight was a little under-whelming. We also ordered the truffled risotto balls, which were fried perfectly but had little flavor other than the deep-fried goodness. Ah well. Nice location and atmosphere. I'd give it another shot.

Oct 27, 2007
ElSapo in General South Archive

Southern Rail, Carrboro

I had dinner there soon after it opened, and it was a disaster - service was clunky, dishes were bland. But that's right after it opened, and it's really not fair to judge by that. I've been to the bar a couple of times since, and it's nice: cozy, cool setting.

I'll go back and try again, but having lived in D.C. for a while and knowing St. Ex, I get the feeling it may wnid up more of a "scene" than a serious place to eat. And that's fine, of course, you just have to know what to expect.

Oct 17, 2007
ElSapo in Southeast

24 hours in Charleston, S.C.

I'll be in Charleston, S.C., for about 24 hours - enough time for a few meals, some drinks, and so on. Because of limited time, and because my girlfriend has never seen the city, I don't think we'll be leaving the Downtown/Historic District.

We're not necessarily looking for southern food/soul food specifically. Just some good food. I've read through older threads and saw the NYT's "36 hours in..."

A few questions:

Coast v. Slightly North of Broad? Better meal?

Tropical Toast at Diana's - is this a chain? Is it worth eating here?

Plenty of bars in Charleston, of course. We'll be there on a Friday night - suggestions on a solid place that may not be too crowded?

Many years ago I remember a cafe in Charleston that was dark and relaxed and extremely narrow - shoebox shaped, almost. Any ideas where this was and if it's still around?

After Charleston we're heading to Myrtle Beach - if anyone has thoughts on good cooking or good seafood in the Surfside/Garden City/Myrtle Beach area, I'd love to know.


- Robert

Oct 16, 2007
ElSapo in General South Archive