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Sunday brunch in NE Columbia?

Le Peep is a chain, but pretty good all the same. It's in The Village at Sandhill. Another one is opening soon in the Vista.

Sep 13, 2013
ColaCat in Southeast

ISO pimento cheese

Palmetto Cheese is the real deal, made here in South Carolina and marketed on the east coast. You should be able to find it at Stop & Shop in the Boston area. Addictive!

Aug 08, 2013
ColaCat in Greater Boston Area

Carolina BBQ on I-95 for non-pork eaters?

Certainly DO skip Maurice's, but don't miss out on mustard based barbecue while you're down this way. Your best bet is to get off I-95 onto I-20 west at Florence. Just east of Columbia take the Alpine Rd exit and head to Little Pigs BBQ. Open Wednesday through Sunday, their buffet includes barbecued chicken and brisket, all offered with either mustard, red, or vinegar based sauces. Awesome sides - just be sure to ask which ones are prepared with pork. I don't go to buffets anymore, but I do remember disgracing myself over those hush puppies back in the day. When you're done, get back onto I-20 west and pick up I-77, which will take you to I-26. Halfway to Charleston you can pick up I-95 again if you're heading that way, or just continue on to Charleston if that is your destination. Enjoy your trip!

Apr 12, 2013
ColaCat in Southeast

Local recommendations-Columbia SC

My brother was visiting last week from New York - he's a Manhattanite through and through, and something of a food snob, but he loves exploring Columbia restaurants with us. He's much less of a food snob than my brother in Charleston (we are native Columbians). My brother wanted to eat out at least once a day (and wanted to pay!) and so we did. The first night we ate at the Blue Marlin. It is our mother's favorite restaurant, and she was scheduled for hip replacement surgery so we went there to indulge her and enjoyed our meal. Not memorable, but always a solid value and we appreciate the excellent service there. The next day I was craving chicken soup, so we went down the street to Zoe's and each had a cup of their excellent chicken and orzo soup, and split a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. I do love this place for simple comforts. Afterwards we went across the street to Rosso and made reservations for that evening. At the risk of going on forever and ever I won't offer much detail except to say that it was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. Perfect martini, superb meal (lamb shank with white beans and the most amazing collards I have ever eaten - a special that night and only $18.00) and delicious dessert. We ate lunch at DiPratos the next day - very tasty grouper tacos (a special that day) which we coulda/shoulda split. DiPratos always serves excellent fresh food in generous quantities at a reasonable price. Their Sunday brunch absolutely rocks. Over the next few days we ate the buffet lunch at Palmetto Pig (meh), another superb supper at Rosso (antipasto platter, soup and pizza which my brother declared "as good as it gets." Then, we discovered the best new deal in Columbia at Mojitos Tropical Cafe on Gervais Street. If you're heading west on Gervais it is on the left in the first block past Assembly Street, next to Z Pizza. For lunch we split a Cubano and a plate of plantains. My brother also had the excellent Sangria salad. He was so impressed that he wanted to go back the next night (even though he originally wanted to do the high-end reservation thing that last night of his visit) So, we went back on Saturday night and easily got a table. I had the lime cilantro roasted chicken, and my brother had the pulled pork. Both dinners came with yellow rice, black or red beans, plantains and yucco con mojo. Just $12.95 per dinner. We're sold. This restaurant is the best thing to hit Gervais Street in years. Totally authentic, excellent service, THE BEST island food and wonderful atmosphere. This place is family owned - you should hope that the mother visits your table while you dine as she is lovely and gracious. The pineapple cake that we split for dessert was AWESOME. I can't wait to go back and hook my friends on this wonderful find.

Hope you try these places and add them to your list of great places to eat! I'm so glad that you appreciate the locally owned restaurants in Columbia. We should all patronize these places so that they're here for many years!

Blue Marlin
1200 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Dec 14, 2010
ColaCat in Southeast