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PLAY&STAY What to Do and Where to Sleep in Columbia | Fall 2010

FALL 2010

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the best rewards

are enjoyed one bite at a time.

924 Senate Street At the Hilton Columbia Center | In the Congaree Historic Vista District 803.212.6666

Open for Lunch and Dinner 7 Days a Week Private Party Facilities for 10 to 225

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Get Raw With Us 803-931-0700

Fresh, Incredible Sushi. Bold, Flavorful Grill. Mouth-Watering Mojitos. SakiTumi boasts Columbia’s most diverse menu and innovative atmosphere. For those who love sushi, and those who do not – now there’s a place for all of you to celebrate. Full service bar, casual upbeat atmosphere and great music. For specials, sushi class info and more, visit

Specials Every Day! 2for1 Mondays • Wine Club Tuesdays S&M Wednesdays • 50¢ Sushi Thursdays $5 Fridays • Champagne/Sake Saturdays

SakiTumi Grill & Sushi Bar • Vista (Across from Hampton Inn) • 807 Gervais St • Columbia, SC 29201 • 803.931.0700


Slice Pizza Draft Beer

Now Open in Irmo! A Burger & Chicken Joint

Locals Famous BIG Slice Pizza and BIG 32 oz Draft

Open for Lunch & Dinner! Check our website for Killer Daily Specials!

Serving Pizza by the Big Slice or a Large 14-inch Pie!

Locals in 5 pts: Open Tues-Sat 7pm-2am


The Best Crowd of Young Professionals In Columbia

7811 Broad River Road • Irmo, SC 29063

Locals • 640 Harden St • Columbia, SC 29205 • 803.255.0818 Thousands of Photos:


(right beside Waffle House)

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by Cuisine

Attractions and Nightlife

6 American/Southern

16 16 16 26 28 30 30 30 30 36 36 39 40 40 40 41 44 45 47 47 49 49 54 54 54 54 54

Asian Bagel/Bakery Bar/Pub Food BBQ/Wings/Ribs Bistro/New American Brew Pub Café/Coffee House Cajun Caribbean/Latin Chinese Deli Dessert German Greek/Mediterranean Indian Italian Japanese/Korean Mexican Middle Eastern Pizza Seafood Steakhouse Sushi Tapas Thai Vegetarian Vietnamese

8 Downtown 20 32

USC South Main Street


Northeast Forest Acres Fort Jackson Blythewood Camden


Lake Murray Lexington Harbison Irmo

Vista Riverfront State Street Vista West Five Points Devine Street Rosewood Olympia

ON THE COVER: Motor Supply Co. Photo by Jonathan Sharpe

bites&sights Published by Portico Publications, LTD. 1534 Main Street • Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 765.0707 • (803) 765.0727 fax • |


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Lexington: Hwy. 378 (Target Ctr.), 356-1007 Northeast: 460-2 Town Center Place, 788-6200 Vista: 931 Senate St., 799-0441

American/ Southern

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Made with fresh-ground beef, offered with a dozen different toppings and with the perfect amount of grease moistening the bun, these are what burgers in heaven must taste like. The fresh-cut fries are great, too. Grab a handful of napkins and enjoy. ¢.

300 Senate Vista: 300 Senate St., 748-8909 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Daily lunch menu features upscale traditional Southern favorites with new twists. Private dining room available for banquets and special events. $.

Flight Deck Lexington: 109-A Old Chapin Rd., 957-5990 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar

Family owned restaurant with an extensive collection of World War II-themed memorabilia and photographs. Menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to ribs, pizza and Greek specialties. Everyday blue-plate special includes one meat, two veggies, dessert and a drink. ¢.

Harbison/Irmo: 5185 Fernandina Road, 7494767 Lexington: 605 Columbia Avenue, 356-6889 Northeast: 245 O’Neil Court, 736-6104 Northeast: 10102 Two Notch Road, 419-2235 Southeast: 4505 Devine St , 787-4687 St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2344 Broad River Road @ I-20, 731-2853 West Columbia: 2815 Augusta Road, 926-1759

Fuddruckers St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1801 Bush River Rd., 798-3775 Sun-Thu 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.

Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

Sure, chain restaurants aren’t exactly synonymous with trend-setting culinary arts, but therein lies their appeal. At Applebee’s, you won’t be the guinea pig of some budding French chef; instead, you’ll get time-tested American fare with a proven track record. From steak, chicken and seafood to absurdly decadent desserts, there’s a reason why there are 1,600 Applebee’s in this country.

blue. Vista: 721-A Lady St., 251-4447 Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-2 a.m. (Kitchen closes at midnight.)

A tapas bar and cocktail lounge that features the city’s only ice bar to go with breads and spreads and 14 different tapas items, including Wasabi Encrusted Ahi Tuna and a Filet with Red Wine Reduction. Also serves salads, chips and dips and desserts. Enjoy sitting outside under the patio listening to the waterfall and take advantage of a happy hour that includes half-off all tapas and drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. ¢-$.

Bodean’s Comfort Cuisine West Columbia-Cayce: 2738 Emanuel Church Rd., 356-0623 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.

Family restaurant with lots of Southern and comfort food favorites: deep-fried turkey, meatloaf, spaghetti, barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, fried mushrooms, wings and more. Salad bar, kids’ menu aand weekend seafood and barbecue buffets.

Cafe Millwood Southeast: 2911 Millwood Ave., 771-0441 Tues-Fri 7-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

At lunch, this neighborhood restaurant offers up meat-and-three specials, plus assorted sandwiches, burgers and salads. At breakfast, the café serves the classics: omelets, eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast and more.

California Dreaming Downtown: 401 S. Main St., 254-6767 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Located in a historic railroad station, California Dreaming opened in 1984 and ever since has been a popular destination. Serves large salads, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, chicken and steaks. Truly outstanding mixed drinks, and the honey croissants always are a hit. ¢-$.

Carolina Ale House Vista: 708 Lady St., 227-7151 Harbison/Irmo: 227 Columbiana Dr., 407-6996 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

North Carolina-based franchise offers extensive appetizers, signature sandwiches and all manner of chicken, steaks, barbecue and


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Specializes in hamburgers cooked to order with fresh ingredients. Beef is ground daily and hamburger buns are baked daily. ¢.

Great American Grill @ Hilton Garden Inn

MoMo’s Bistro

Harbison/Irmo: 434 Columbiana Dr., 407-6640

File photo

ribs and seafood entrees to complement pizzas and salads. Features more than 30 beers on tap and 40 or so bottle selections. Downtown Vista location features Columbia’s most popular rooftop bar and 99-cent kids meals. ¢-$.

Carolina’s Downtown: 1615 Gervais St., 771-8711 Breakfast: Mon-Sat 6:30-10:30 a.m.; Lunch: MonSat 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Mon-Sat 5-10 p.m.; Sun Breakfast: 6:30-10 a.m.; Sun Brunch: 11-2 p.m.

Located at the Clarion Hotel, Carolina’s offers a popular Sunday brunch featuring hot breakfast, pork loin, salmon, cold salads, carving stations, boiled shrimp and an extensive selection of rich desserts. Daily breakfast and lunch buffets are above average, along with a limited menu featuring Reubens, burgers, chicken salads and club sandwiches. Extremely popular for its Mother’s and Father’s Day buffets. ¢-$$.

Cayce Cafe West Columbia-Cayce: 901 Holland Ave., 794-6543 Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Open early for classic Southern two-egg breakfasts with everything from liver pudding to smoked sausage on the side; big omelets; breakfast sandwiches; Adluh stone-ground grits; and biscuits and gravy made using the original Parris Island Marine Corps recipe. Lunch, too: Check out the daily meat-andthree board for specials. ¢

City Center Grill

Downtown: 1200 Hampton St., 771-7000 Mon-Sun 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.

Mon-Thu 6:30-10 a.m., 5:30-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7 a.m.-11 a.m., 5:30-10 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-11 a.m., 5:30-9 p.m.

can’t go wrong with Compton’s meat and two veggies with iced tea and bread for just $5.20. Regular lunch entrées include fried chicken, stewed beef and rice, salmon patties, livers and gizzards, country-style steak and the expected sides: fried okra, buttered spinach, squash casserole, June peas, etc. ¢.

Dam Bar & Grill Lexington: 1605 North Lake Drive, 808-0882 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sun noon-2 a.m.

From the Dam Burger to the Dam wings, there’s about something for everyone at Lexington’s Dam Bar & Grill. Great starters and sandwiches, plus nice finds such as catfish nugget baskets, quesadillas, bucket specials and even a lite menu. Also has pool tables. $-$$

Drake’s Duck In Downtown: 1544 Main St., 799-9290 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Known for its cheeseburgers, chicken filet sandwiches (only $2.55!) and very affordable eats, Drake’s Duck In offers some of the best, fastest fast-food-that’s-not-fast-food you’ll find anywhere in town. ¢

Edna’s Drive In North Columbia: 3609 River Dr., 252-6696 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

A modest kiosk that’s been dishing out some of the city’s best hamburgers and hot dogs to generations of Columbians. A genuine local institution. ¢.

End Zone Grill Shandon/Rosewood: 1332 Rosewood Dr.

Hotel dining under the atrium at the bottom of the Marriott. Serves Southern standards like fried green tomatoes, crab cakes and shrimp and grits. The Lowcountry egg roll with collard greens, chicken and smoked cheddar cheese is deep fried and served with peach chutney. Good lunch buffet. $.

929-7677 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-until

Compton’s Kitchen

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

West Columbia/Cayce: 1118 B Avenue , 791-0750 Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-2:15 p.m.; Sat 6 a.m.-noon

Located in the old Jerry Kelly’s location, End Zone Grill keeps up the former’s tradition of great burgers, salads, soups and sandwiches along with gator bites and daily meat-andthree specials. ¢.

Forest Acres: 4751 Forest Dr., 787-3178 Harbison/Irmo: 285 Columbiana Dr., Suite N, 407-6443

Upscale apps, soups, salads, sandwiches, grilled specialties and more. Highlights include a Smoked Salmon Ciabatta Sandwich, a Porterhouse Steak and a Mustard Sage Pork Loin. $.

Harper’s Restaurant Five Points: 700 Harden St., 252-2222 Mon-Thu 11:15 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:15 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Part of a small Charlotte-based chain, Harper’s exceeds chain standards both in the quality of the ingredients and the level of attention paid your dinner by the kitchen. While the menu has burgers, sandwiches and beef, Harper’s also offers fresh seafood, creative salads and more. Get there early for lunch or you’ll have a wait. $.

Houston’s Low Country Grill North Columbia: 3800 N. Main St. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Longtime caterer Frank Houston’s North Main Plaza restaurant serves up Southern faves from collard greens to crab cakes.

Jillian’s The Vista: 800 Gervais St., 779-7789 Mon-Wed 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Thu 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-midnight

Jillian’s is designed for eating, drinking and mingling, with plenty of visual stimulus from 15 TV monitors and 13 big-screen TVs. The menu includes appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, soups, salads and desserts. ¢-$.

Kingsman Restaurant West Columbia/Cayce: 936 Axtell Dr. (Parkland Shopping Center) , 796-8622 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

This longtime Cayce favorite offers an extensive menu featuring everything from fried appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and wings to salads, lasagna and even liver and onions. Known for their grilled rib eye, which is one of the city’s best, they also brag on Taz’s Taters (grilled potatoes with onions and ham). Busy lunch, lots of atmosphere. ¢.

With most everything made from scratch, you

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Kovachi’s Lexington: 309 S. Lake Drive , 356-1366 Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 501 Knox Abbott Dr., 791-0314 West Columbia/Cayce: 2234 Sunset Blvd., 794-0923

The Vault serves up martinis in the former bank vault, and the rooftop bar offers one of Columbia’s best views. $.

Family friendly restaurant features signature Greek and Italian-themed subs, sandwiches and salads alongside an array of specialty pizza offerings, calzones, strombolis and desserts. Try the chicken breast stuffed with spinach and feta or, if you dare, try Mike’s Giant Cake. ¢.

Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Original Pancake House

Meat loaf, fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, fried okra. Good lord, what more could you want? A true local institution that thrives on the meatand-veggies formula. This is what Southern cooking is all about. ¢.

Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr. (Trenholm Plaza), 782-6742

Liberty Taproom & Grill

Five Points: 2303 Devine St., 834-5144

LuLu’s Hot Dogs

The Vista: 828 Gervais St., 461-4677

Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.;Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m. all week.

Simple and effective: grilled hot dogs with mustard, chili, slaw and onions; chips; beer; and soft drinks. What else could you possibly need, anyway?

Liberty begins with sturdy American fare (mmm...burgers) but doesn’t end there. Known for its delicious salads, you’ll also find an array of appetizers, succulent soups and colorful entrees. You can’t go wrong with the Freedom Burger, which has everything including a fried egg on it, or try any of their fresh seafood, pizzas, chicken and pastas. $.

Lizard’s Thicket Downtown: 818 Elmwood Ave., 779-6407 Forest Acres: 3147 Forest Dr., 787-8781 Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7938 Garners Ferry Rd., 647-0095 Garners Ferry/Southeast: 402 Beltline Blvd., 738-0006 Harbison/Irmo: 7569 St. Andrews Rd., 7321225 Lexington: 621 W Main St., 951-3555 Northeast: 10170 Two Notch Rd., 419-5662 Northeast: 7620 Two Notch Rd., 788-3088 St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1824 Broad River Rd., 798-6427 West Columbia/Cayce: 2240 Airport Blvd., 796-7820 | Fall 2010

Mac’s on Main Downtown: 1710 Main St., 929-0037 Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; WedThu 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-midnight; Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sat 5 p.m.-midnight

Yam fries! Shrimp and grits! Barbecue! Premier jazz and blues club by night; popular allyou-can-eat Southern lunch buffet on weekdays. Rotating buffet items include ribs, fried catfish, Moncks Corner Meatloaf and Cajun Pork Chops. ¢-$.

Main Street, Rooftop Bar and The Vault at the Sheraton Downtown: 1400 Main St., 988-1400 Main St: Mon-Sun 6:30 a.m.-until Rooftop: Mon-Sun 4 p.m.-until Vault: Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-until (kitchen closes at midnight)

Located downstairs in the Sheraton hotel (you enter at street level), Main Street offers up eclectic fare ranging from duck ravioli to burgers, soups and salads, barbecue chicken, quesadillas and even a Bac ‘N’ Blue Shrimp and Grits, which is the classic shrimp and grits combo with bacon and blue cheese added.

Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Pancakes as you like them. Offering a full menu including cinnamon-glazed apple pancakes, freshly squeezed juices, homemade fruit syrups and more. And if you’re not in the mood for pancakes, try the new meat-lovers omelet. ¢.

Pawley’s Front Porch Five Points: 827 Harden St., 771-8001 Sun-Mon 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Tue-Wed 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (bar open later Fri-Sat)

Ever since its burgers were featured in February 2010 on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives the lines outside Pawley’s Front Porch have grown much longer. There’s more to the menu than burgers and shoestring fries — for example, fried oysters, fish tacos and a gourmet BLT — but make no mistake: it’s the all-beef behemoths and atypical toppers that keep people lining up at this Five Points bar and grill. Fancy a fried egg, applecured ham, pineapple, melted brie, guacamole, portobellos or a pair of onion rings stuffed between the half-pound patty and the ciabatta bun? Pawley’s can do any of the above and a great deal more. $.

Rush’s Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7450 Garners Ferry Rd., 783-5201 Harbison/Irmo: 283 Harbison Blvd., 781-1277 Lexington: 201 Columbia Ave., 359-8858 Northeast: 10016 Two Notch Rd., 699-1376 Northeast: 2500 Decker Blvd., 736-0101 St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2640 Broad River Rd., 772-2393 West Columbia/Cayce: 2332 Sunset Blvd., 796-2396 Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-midnight (Decker Blvd. Location closes at 10 p.m.)

A locally owned chain serving better fast food than you’ll find anywhere else for the price. Great burger baskets, hot dogs, shakes, etc. Why give your money to conglomerates when there are locals ready to beat their prices, quality and service? ¢.

Salty Nut Café Five Points: 2000-A Greene St., 256-4611 Kitchen: Sun-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.midnight. Bar: Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-until. (Limited late-night menu after 10 p.m.)

Known for its huge half-pound burgers — topped with chili, Cajun spices, jalapeños or other toppings — this relaxed Five Points staple also offers wraps, salads and sandwiches. Draws a diverse crowd at lunch, while the nighttime vibe is more college hangout. The wraparound deck is packed in warm weather. ¢.

Rockaway Athletic Club Shandon: 2719 Rosewood Dr., 256-1075 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (bar open later)

This local institution was a stop for President Bush during a visit to Columbia, and for good reason. For years, locals have been flocking to Rockaway for its unbeatable pimento cheeseburgers and excellent seafood. Until God makes a cheeseburger, you won’t find its equal in this town. ¢.

price key ¢ = average entrée less than $10 $ = average entrée $10-15 $$ = average entrée more than $15

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bites&sights | freetimes


Downtown USC South Main Street


ith The Vista and Five Points nearby, downtown is often overlooked as an entertainment district. But before you skip this part of town, you should take another look: In addition to all the history you can soak up at the State House, there’s a burgeoning nightlife, too. The Whig is one of the hippest bars in town; Frame of Mind is hosting monthly art parties; The White Mule is bringing in top-notch musical acts; and, as always, the Columbia Museum of Art has a steady stream of exhibitions and events to help keep culture alive downtown both day and night. Plus, there’s jazz and blues at Mac’s on Main and an impending move by the Nickelodeon Theatre. Bottom line: One small step at a time, things are happening downtown. Just south of the Capitol is a string of establishments catering largely to university students and faculty, as well as state employees. Whether it’s coffee, sandwiches, frozen yogurt or locally brewed beers at Hunter-Gatherer, this part of town gives students without cars little reason to lament their lot.

What to Do Attractions Busted Plug Plaza 1400 Block of Taylor St. Love it or hate it, this giant metallic fire hydrant by Blue Sky is indeed the face of public art in Columbia. Damn, it’s tempting to climb into this thing on a July afternoon.

Columbia Museum of Art

Main and Hampton streets, 799-2810 Permanent collection emphasizes European fine and decorative arts, while its traveling exhibitions bring an eclectic array of exhibitions, some of which feature contemporary works. Also offers arts classes for children and adults, concerts, lectures and multidisciplinary programming.

Finlay Park Truth be told, Finlay Park (opened in 1991) has seen better days, as it’s become the city’s unofficial haven for the homeless. Nonetheless, it can still be a good place for a walk amid the hustle of downtown, and kids love its two play areas. Also hosts occasional concerts and festivals. Located behind the Assembly Street post office.


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Governor’s Mansion 800 Richland St., 737-1710 This is where Mark Sanford lives when he’s not traipsing around Argentina. Built in 1855 as a residence for officers of the Arsenal Military Academy, Gen. Sherman’s troops spared the building at the end of the Civil War and it became the official Governor’s Mansion in 1868.

Hampton-Preston Mansion

1615 Blanding St., 252-7742 Built in 1818, the Hampton-Preston Mansion opened for tours in 1970 and its rooms reflect the Federal period to the early postbellum years.

Koger Center

1051 Greene St. Info: 777-7500 Tickets: 251-2222 The Koger Center is operated by USC and has served as Columbia’s primary facility for the performing arts since 1989. Seats just over 2,000.

Mann-Simons Cottage 1403 Richland St., 252-7742 One of only a few houses in South Carolina owned by free blacks in antebellum

Main Street File photo. days and preserved as an historic house museum. Celia Mann and her descendants owned the house from the mid-nineteenth century until 1970. The house serves as the focal point for the annual Jubilee Festival.

McMaster Gallery (USC) 1615 Senate St., 777-7480 html, A small, unassuming gallery tucked away inside USC’s Department of Art, McMaster is nonetheless a gem of the city’s visual arts scene. Features student and faculty exhibitions along with contemporary traveling shows.

McKissick Museum USC Horseshoe, 777-7251 Offers exhibits relating to the cultural, political and natural history of South

Downtown/USC/South Main | play&stay

Carolina and the southeastern United States.

Nickelodeon Theatre 937 Main St., 254-3433 Specializing in foreign and independent films, the Nickelodeon has ongoing plans to move into the Fox Theatre on Main Street. Also presents the popular annual Indie Grits Film Festival.

Ponder Art Gallery (Benedict College) 1600 Harden St., 758-4460

Features works by African-American artists.

Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden 500 Wildlife Parkway off I-126 at Greystone Blvd.

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10 freetimes | bites&sights

Downtown USC South Main Street



Governor’s Mansion. Courtesy photo., 779-8717

Sylvan Building

Aside from its panda bears, the Atlanta Zoo has nothing on Columbia’s main attraction. From reptiles to birds and everything in between, Riverbanks Zoo is by far Columbia’s biggest tourism draw. Home to more than 2,000 animals and a 70-acre botanical garden, Riverbanks also hosts popular annual events such as Boo at the Zoo, Brew at the Zoo and Lights Before Christmas.

1500 Main St.

Robert Mills House and Park 1616 Blanding St., 252-7742

The Robert Mills House is best known for its designer, who also designed the Washington Monument. Open for tours, it is one of only five National Historic Landmarks in the city.

Seibels House

1601 Richland St., 252-7742

Town Theatre

1012 Sumter St., 799-2510 (box office) The oldest continuously operating community theater building in the country.

Township Auditorium 1703 Taylor St. Ticket Info: 576-2350 Charge by phone: 783-2222

Built in the late 18th century, the Seibels House now serves as the Historic Columbia Foundation office and is a popular spot for weddings. Historic Columbia was chartered in 1961 to prevent the loss of the Robert Mills House and now is involved in many aspects of historic preservation in Columbia.

Recently reopened after a $12 million facelift, The Township 2.0 boasts a bunch of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. But at heart, the 80-year-old Township’s the same ol’ girl, offering everything from popular (if slightly older) entertainers, touring kids’ shows, gospel plays and the occasional boxing or mixed martial arts bout.

Main St. at Gervais St.

Taylor and Marion streets

S.C. State House

More than 50 years after its original inception in 1851, architect Charles C. Wilson finally completed the building, calling it “one of the most notable buildings of the world.” Others disagreed, with one legislative observer calling the dome “nothing short of a miserable fraud.” Visit “citizens’ interest” section of scstatehouse. net and scroll down for tour information.

You gotta love that old clock at the corner of Main and Hampton streets. Built between 1868 and 1870, The Sylvan Building was the first large building constructed in Columbia after Union soldiers burned the city on Feb. 17, 1865. Now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown/USC/South Main | play&stay


Along with that huge fire hydrant, this 1975 realistic wall mural of a road running through a tunnel (also by Blue Sky) is an iconic piece of local public art.

USC Horseshoe 900 Block of Sumter St., 777-8161 Little do most of the frolicking young college students on the gorgeous USC Horseshoe know — or care, probably — that Robert Mills, the nation’s first federal architect, designed several buildings there, as well as the Maxcy Monument, named

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bites&sights | freetimes


12 freetimes | bites&sights

The State House dome. File photo. for the first president of the college, Jonathan Maxcy.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home

1705 Hampton St., 252-7742 Woodrow Wilson’s family didn’t spend much time in Columbia, but we have to take what we can get. The family moved to town in 1870, moved into the home in 1872 and left two years later following a dispute over mandatory chapel service between Wilson’s father and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary where he taught.

Workshop Theatre of S.C.

1136 Bull St., 799-6551 (box office) A popular community theater that has been branching out in recent years with increasingly ambitious works.

Nightlife Club Dreams 1734 Main St., 771-6100 Looking to party the night away on Main Street? Club Dreams is the place to do it, offering a touch of big-city urban club life — which means you ain’t getting in if you ain’t fly — in the Capital City. Thursday nights are packed wall to wall, as it’s college night.  


900 Main St., 748-0540 More than the token local microbrew joint, H-G offers awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent beer and liquor selection. Looking to impress your local-hipster date? You can’t go wrong here. Live jazz on Thursdays, and the occasional rock shows on Fridays.

Downtown/USC/South Main | play&stay

Mac’s on Main 1710 Main St., 929-0037 Yes, this Main Street institution is known for its scrumptious buffet during the day, but at night it’s a downtown nightlife hot spot, and the only thing hotter than the waitresses is the live music, catering to blues and jazz aficionados.

Sheraton: Rooftop Lounge, Main Street & Vault Martini Bar 1400 Main St., 988-1400 Not for the acrophobic, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge offers a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts, and regular rooftop broadcasts from WXYR DJs. Also at the Sheraton: Main Street, located under the hotel, and the Vault Martini Bar. Nestled within the bank’s original safe, the Vault Martini Bar is a popular hotspot for those who insist upon their martinis shaken, not stirred, and with a twist of sophistication.

The Whig

1200 Main St., 931-8852 Inhabited by hipsters young and old, this dark, underground bohemia offers good, cheap beer and good, cheap liquor to go along with cheap eats, including cheap burgers on Sundays, $1 pizza slices on Mondays and 50-cent tacos on Tuesdays. Has an awesome jukebox filled with classic punk, Motown, jazz and much more. Also offers occasional DJs and live bands.

The White Mule

1530 Main St., 661-8199 First and foremost a music venue — and the finest dedicated listening room in town — The White Mule has the same feel as Jammin Java, which previously occupied the space: Cozy quarters, a dark ambience and a bitchin’ patio. The difference: The White Mule serves booze, from domestic beers to ultra-fine martinis.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Lesley Dill (b. 1950) Dress of Inwardness 2006 white painted bronze, unique Collection of Karen and Robert Duncan, Lincoln, NE

October 1, 2010 - January 23, 2011 WORDS as wings The spoken WORD The WORD as art WORDS on paper The WORD as skin WORDS as poetry The fragile WORD The work of contemporary American artist Lesley Dill will leave you speechless.

Presenting Sponsor: Anonymous Donors Media Sponsor: Free Times

1515 Main Street | 803.799.2810 | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden. File photo.

The Inn at USC. File photo.

Where to stay

Marriott Columbia

Accommodations Clarion Hotel Downtown 1615 Gervais St., 771-8711 On the Five Points end of Gervais Street, the 160-room Clarion is still only three blocks from the State House, a half-mile walk from Finlay Park and a quick taxi ride to the Vista. Built on the grounds that housed Sherman’s Columbia headquarters, the Clarion is also home to Carolina’s Restaurant, which offers a delicious Southern-food lunch buffet and a bomb-ass Sunday brunch. Amenities: Family rooms; room service; free Wi-Fi; outdoor pool; free ground-level parking; free airport shuttle; exercise room.

all sorts of action, equidistant from both the high-class Vista and the fun-loving Five Points. It’s also close to WilliamsBrice Stadium and several arts venues (the Colonial Life Arena, Koger Center, Columbia Museum of Art), fine restaurants (California Dreaming, Moe’s) and more. Should you feel like throwing your own party, the hotel’s only a block away from Green’s. Amenities: Smoke-free rooms; room service; free Wi-Fi; mini-fridge; fitness center; outdoor swimming pool; restaurant; on-site parking; free airport shuttle.

The Inn at USC

1619 Pendleton St., 779-7779

Located at the tail end of Assembly Street, the 189-room Courtyard Columbia Downtown is a stone’s throw away from

An elegant boutique hotel located on the campus of the University of South Carolina in the heart of downtown, The Inn at USC boasts 117 first-class guestrooms and suites, each outfitted with deluxe amenities (including wireless Internet and premium cable — score!). The Inn is conveniently surrounded by Columbia’s academic, government, business, cultural and historic districts. Amenities: Free deluxe breakfast; exercise room; free Wi-Fi; banquet facilities; parking garage; smoke-free rooms; on-site dry cleaning services; library.

Dining continued from page 7

The Backyard Café

Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs

Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC 630 Assembly St., 799-7800

Downtown: 825 S. Main St., 254-6914 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Lexington: 5175 Sunset Blvd., 356-9956 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1935 Broad River Rd., 772-1020 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 612 St. Andrews Rd., 772-8617 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 1344 Knox Abbott Dr., 794-7612 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.

These folks probably didn’t invent the slaw dog, but they might as well have, at least in these parts. Proving that chili and coleslaw and onions and mustard can elevate the simple grilled wiener to something approaching haute cuisine, this local chain has been many a Columbian’s introduction to the sublime world of a well-prepared dog. They also sell ice cream, though if you still have room after the main event, you’re doing something wrong. ¢.

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West Columbia-Cayce: 940 Old Barnwell Rd., 951-0405

From the ribeye steak sandwich topped with sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and gooey provolone cheese, to the salmon caesar salad, the Backyard Cafe has food to suit a range of tastes and appetite sizes. Chicken wings, fried flounder and nachos, too.

The Sly Fox

The Vista: 902-F Gervais St., 779-6400 Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 12 p.m.-12 a.m.

1200 Hampton St., 771-7000 The 300-room Marriott is not only one of the largest but also one of the best rated in the Capital City (it’s in the top five Columbia hotels on Yahoo! Travel). And with good reason — the 14-floor behemoth is located at the corner of Main and Hampton in the heart of downtown, providing easy access to just about everything, from local government offices to local art havens to fine dining. Dig those delicious buffets, too! Also offers a cultural concierge service assisting visitors with tickets to arts and cultural events. Amenities: Exercise room; room service; indoor restaurant, lounge and sports bar; indoor pool; free airport shuttle; valet covered parking; free Wi-Fi.

Rodeway Inn Governors House Hotel 1301 Main St., 779-7790

As it’s currently under renovation, we doubt any governor will be staying in the 80-room Governors House, but it still offers plenty of creature comforts (cable TV, refrigerator, a pool) for a reasonable

buffet and Southern favorite specials like pot roast, fried chicken, chicken & dumplings, fries pork chops and a slew of sides.


1400 Main St., 988-1400 The locals are stoked about the Starbucks on the ground floor of this new Main Street hotel, not to mention a martini lounge in the old bank vault. And everyone is happy to see new life in the old Palmetto Building, originally built in 1913 and chock full of Gothic revival-style details. Those visiting town, however, will be most keenly interested in the Sheraton’s 135 high-class rooms offering easy access to downtown, the Vista, Five Points, USC and just about everything else. Amenities: Free airport shuttle; lounge; exercise room; business center; valet parking; public Wi-Fi (not free).

the classic tradition — simple, great food and a cheerful staff that treats customers as, well, family. Menu focuses on steaks and ribs, wings, sandwiches and house specials. ¢-$.

Vista Bar and Grill

Fried pork chops, fried chicken, gizzards, okra, pot roast, apple cobbler. Hearty breakfasts, too. ¢.

Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Wed-Fri 5-12 a.m.

Utopia Food & Spirits Rosewood: 406 Howard St., 733-2222 Lunch: Mon-Fri 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m.Dinner: Sun-Thu 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; fri-Sat 6 p.m.-10 p.m. (bar open later)

Eclectic neighborhood bar and eatery off Rosewood Drive. Cozy indoor and outdoor seating area, menu heavy on salads and sandwiches plus appetizing daily specials. Live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. ¢.

The Southern Skillet

Vella’s Restaurant & Tavern

When the Sunset Grill changed ownership and later closed, Cayce favorite Southern Skillet moved from its State Street location to take over the Highway 378 space. Offers a lunch

Sheraton Columbia

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 3055 Bluff Rd., 776-3261 Mon-Fri 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Features classic pub fare from around the world, from Canadian poutine to Scotch eggs to sweet potato fries to local shrimp, plus a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and grilled fish and meat. Lunch and dinner with daily specials. ¢-$. West Columbia-Cayce: 1213 Sunset Blvd., 606-1083 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Thurs-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

rate; it’s also just down the block from the Columbia Museum of Art and uber-hip speakeasy The Whig, and it’s within striking distance of the Vista. If the free breakfast isn’t to your liking, there’s an adjoining Chick-fil-A on the ground floor. Mmm … Chick-fil-A. Amenities: Free deluxe breakfast; free wi-fi; swimming pool; nonsmoking rooms; smoke-free rooms.

West Columbia/Cayce: 829 Knox Abbott Dr., 796-4629

Vista: 1301 Assembly St., 251-0255

Downtown lunch and dinner spot focusing on burgers, barbecue and chicken sandwiches, all-beef hot dogs, salads and wings. Also offers a bar and features live music, DJs and Latino dancing on occasion. ¢.

What-A-Burger West Columbia/Cayce: 804 Meeting St., 794-1929 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Serving Columbia “good ol’ fashioned” burgers since 1953. Continuing a 50-year tradition, all food is cooked to order. Other selections include fried chicken, barbecue, chicken tenders, corn dogs and a variety of salads and milkshakes. ¢.

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 912 Chapin Rd., 941-7113 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Family friendly neighborhood restaurant in

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

50th Anniversar William Starrett

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A Holiday Family Tradition

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Get the best seats now & save 40% Call 803.799.7605 today! Visit our website at | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


The Whig

Panaderia Odalys

Downtown: 1200 Main St., 931-8852

File photo

Mon-Fri 5-11 p.m.; Sat-Sun 6-11 p.m. (Bar open later)

This small, bohemian night spot is also a surprisingly good place for some excellent food in the form of pizza slices for $1 on Mondays and tacos on Tuesday nights for 50 cents. Don’t miss $2 pints on Wednesdays, either. Open late every night. Best jukebox in town. ¢-$.

Heather’s Artisan Bakery West Columbia/Cayce: 1524 L Ave., 807-1428 Tue-Thu 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Artisanal bakery offers homemade breads for serious bread fans. From wheat to sourdough to ciabatta, you can’t go wrong ordering breads baked with care. ¢.

Wild Hare Sports Café Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 5122 Old Bush River Rd., 213-1000 Lexington: 5474 Augusta Rd., 951-1916 The Vista: 902 Gervais St., 929-0374 Mouth-watering lunch specials accent a menu that is complemented by gut-busting appetizers such as the potato cakes and chili cheese fries. Come hungry, because the portions are aplenty. If you’re looking for something lighter, the Firecracker Shrimp Salad is a signature dish. ¢.

Lillian’s Eatery & Bakery Forest Acres: 4711 Forest Dr., 790-0733 Mon 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (kitchen closes at 2:30); Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Begun as a bakery, Lillian’s also offers a lunch menu. The bakery is rather inventive, creating cakes that look like gift packages, traditional croquembouches (French wedding cakes), trees with custard-filled cream puffs and meringues. Lillian’s dobosh torte is seven layers of white cake with a chocolate butterberry cream in between and a fan of caramelized sugar on top. ¢-$$.

Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern Five Points: 2030 Devine St., 799-0196 Sun-Thu 11:15 a.m.-midnight; Fri-Sat 11:15 a.m.-1 a.m. (Bar open until 2 a.m.)

A Columbia landmark since 1978, people flock here not just for a glimpse of a guy in a bathtub but also to throw back some suds while filling up on the heartiest fare in town, including Meatloaf, Broiled Salmon or Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits and, of course, Confederate Fried Steak. Just about everything comes with veggies, too, unless you’re ordering late-night, when the sides scale back to slaw and fries and cold draught beer. ¢.

Panaderia Odalys West Columbia-Cayce: 103 N. 12th St., 794-3323 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Mexican bakery offering a delightful array of pastries (pasteleria) and lightly sweetened breads (pan dulce) baked in-house daily.

Panera Bread

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 6080 Garners Ferry Rd., 647-9722 Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


Harbison/Irmo: 1007 Bower Pkwy., 407-5773

Antai Asian Dining

Mon-Sat 6 am.-8 p.m., Sun 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lexington: 5084 Sunset Blvd. (McCauley Square), 356-0062 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Boasting a “comfortable atmosphere, gourmet dishes and the highest standards of service,” Antai specializes in both Chinese and Japanese fare. Sushi is on the menu as well as traditional Asian soups and appetizers, chicken, meat and seafood dishes. Strong vegetarian menu and house favorites that include Black Bean Scallops, Beijing Duck and Honey Walnut Shrimp. $.

a Chinese flair. The seafood is its strength, but they also offer an ambitious menu including steak, pork chops and chicken. The most popular item is the Queenstown Chicken, deep-fried with a sweet-and-sour sauce. Now serving sushi as well. $.

M Café

Downtown: 922 S. Main St., 779-6496

Downtown: 1417 Sumter St., 779-5788 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m.

This Asian grill is one of downtown’s hotspots, and for good reason. Choose from standard Chinese stir fry dishes, including vegetarian options, or reasonably priced grilled items like salmon or flank steak, which come with a healthful salad plus a choice of white rice, brown rice or steamed noodles. From the owners of Miyo’s. Also features a sushi bar. ¢-$$.

M Vista Vista: 701-C Lady St., 255-8884 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 4:30- 11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Just like the other Miyo’s and M Cafe locations, M Vista features upscale Chinese cuisine and sushi with a twist: M Vista focuses on healthy ingredients and portions and cooks with organic ingredients. Besides stir-fries, noodle soups and special sushi rolls, there’s a wellstocked bar. Yum! ¢-$.

Mayflower St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1420-10 Colonial Life Blvd., 798-4888 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 4-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

A self-described “Oriental grill,” Mayflower specializes in a variety of foods prepared with

16 freetimes | bites&sights

petit fours, cheesecakes, specialty chocolate cakes and more. Its signature item is the Chocolate Nirvana cake, a unique flourless cake with Calbaut (Belgian) chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar. Orders only. ¢-$$.

Miyo’s Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 1220 E-2 Bower Pkwy., 7817788 Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.

Thai Wasabi Lexington: 5454 Sunset Blvd. Ste. E , 957-9849 Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-3 op.m. and 4-9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-10:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Asian fusion cuisine features sushi, hibachi, Chinese stir frys, Thai curries and noodles (including pad thai and basil duck) aand even Asian desserts like sweet sticky rice with mango, and red bean ice cream.


Northeast: 3250 Forest Dr. Ste. B, 743-9996

Atlanta Bread Company

Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Downtown: 1307 Main St., 779-0101 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Northeast: 715 Fashion Dr., Ste. 1, Village at Sandhills, 788-8878

West Columbia/Cayce: 108 Sunset Ct., 7911150

Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Winner of many Best of Columbia awards for its Shanghai and Szechwan cuisine. Features both traditional and innovative dishes served in a comfortable, elegant atmosphere. Also features a sushi bar. ¢-$$.

Atlanta Bread Company is a bakery café offering fresh, high quality ingredients and a menu ranging from cinnamon rolls and hot breakfast sandwiches to grilled paninis. ¢.

Red Bowl Asian Bistro

Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery

Northeast: 481-11 Town Center Place , 462-9991 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30-10 p.m.

Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. House specialities include Spicy Orange Peel Chicken, Seafood Double Pan and Spicy Thai Green Curry Chicken. Full sushi bar and gluten-free menu available on request. $.

Forest Acres: 4699 Forest Dr., 738-8112

Panera’s cornerstone is freshly made, all-natural artisan breads. Serves a variety of sandwiches and soups offerings in a comfortable, high-tech atmosphere. Panera is also committed to community service, donating bread to hunger relief agencies and offering products or gift certificates to charitable causes. ¢.

Tiffany’s Bakery & Eatery

Northeast: 8502 Two Notch Rd., 736-2253 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kitchen closes at 2:30 p.m.)

Bread, cakes, pastries, quiches, soups, salads and chicken, all made fresh daily. One house specialty is Spring Valley chicken salad with white raisins, pecans and honey mustard dressing. ¢.

Bar/Pub Food Bailey’s Sports Grill Harbison/Irmo: 115 Afton Ct., 407-3004 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Open every day of the year. Really. Bailey’s is an enormous sports bar and grill serving a wide variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts in generous portions. Features a fullservice bar and large selection of domestic, imported and premium draft beers. State-ofthe-art audio and video systems for viewing sporting events as well as tournament-quality billiards tables, shuffleboard, ping pong and ¢.

Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bar None

Fresh-baked bagels, wraps, signature sandwiches, boxed lunches and salads to go. What’s not to like? Now serving grilled paninis as well. ¢.

Mon-Wed 4 p.m.-6 a.m.; Thu-Fri 3 p.m.-6 a.m.; Sat-Sun 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

Chocolate Nirvana

Five Points: 620 Harden St., 254-3354

Late-night bar serving food into the wee hours of the morning. Large selection of beers on tap. ¢.

Downtown: 1531 Richland St., 799-9982 Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

This bakery offers a sinful array of layer cakes,

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


Beef O’Brady’s

Corner Pocket

Harbison/Irmo: 2742 N. Lake Dr., 781-5656

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 489 Piney Grove Rd., 731-0403

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m-11 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 4561 Hardscrabble Rd., 699-9687 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

From the Philly Cheesesteak to the Roast Beef Garlic Melt to the corned beef Reuben and a full line of deluxe burgers, you won’t be hurting for red meat options here. There are wings too, and wraps featuring shrimp and chicken, but “beef” is in the name for a reason. Served in a family friendly setting peppered with sports memorabilia and TVs. ¢.

Bey’s Sports Bar Five Points: 711 Harden St., 255-2996 Mon-Fri 4 p.m.-until; Sat-Sun noon-until

Nachos, pizza, wings, burgers and more. Pizza served late-night. ¢.

Bogarts Restaurant and Bar West Columbia/Cayce: 530 12th St., 791-4617 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 4-10 p.m.

Features wide variety of specialty sandwiches, big burgers, wings and entrées, including chicken and steak dishes, many named for Humphrey Bogart movies. Try the fried grouper finger basket. Also offers daily lunch and dinner specials. ¢.

Cock N’ Bull Shandon: 326 S. Edisto Ave., 251-4474 Now open in a new location at the corner of Rosewood and S. Edisto, the Cock N’ Bull is an English-style pub with soccer (football) matches a-plenty on the tube. Pub food and daily specials include shepherd’s pie, fish-nchips, pot roast and more, plus the alwaysamazing shrimp burger.

SakiTumi File photo

Mon-Sat 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 7 p.m.-2 a.m.

Burgers, wings, steaks, sandwiches and more. Wednesdays are Service Industry Night with Kickin’ Karaoke, who also appears on Sundays. Local bands Thursday, Friday and Saturday with acoustic tunes on Monday. myspace. com/cornerpocketsc. ¢-$.

Davis’ Shandon: 2910 Rosewood Dr., 251-4343 Mon-Thurs 4-11 p.m.; Sat 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

You can get a burger at Davis’; it comes with applewood bacon and steak fries. But don’t expect average, middle-of-the-road bar food from a place that serves cactus quesadillas, steamed mussels and handmade gnocchi, plus assorted salads and sandwiches. Plenty of beers on tap, plus wine and a regular bar. Davis’ holds down the Rosewood location that used to house the Cock N’ Bull Pub.

Delaney’s Five Points: 741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Irish pub with 27 beers on tap and variety of food. Live acoustic and Celtic music Tuesday through Saturday and trivia on Sundays. ¢.

Fast Tracks St. Andrews-Dutch Square: 806 St. Andrews Rd., 834-4264 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.-midnight

Lunch, dinner, happy hour and drink specials, with everything from ribs to fried chicken to salmon burgers to meatball grinders. Salads, quesadillas and veggie sides hold up the lighter side.

Flying Saucer The Vista: 931 Senate St., 933-9997 Mon 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Tue-Wed 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun noon-midnight

The Saucer, as this Vista oasis has come to be known by local beer geeks, operates according to the more-is-better principle — unless, of course, you’re talking about the waitresses, who deliver the high-end pints and mammoth soft pretzels in knee socks and fig leaves. Seriously: the palate may focus on the endless beer list, the enormous sandwiches,

even the pizza by-the-slice, but the eyes —a lot of them, anyway — leer elsewhere. ¢.

Group Therapy Five Points: 2107 Greene St., 256-1203 Bar: Mon-Fri 4:30 p.m.-until; Sat-Sun 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Kitchen: Sat-Wed 7 p.m.-3 a.m.; Thu-Fri 7 p.m.-4 a.m.

This bar, a longtime Columbia favorite, has upgraded its menu with deluxe salads, TexMex, wings, burgers, sandwiches (including a

LUNCH: Tues-Fri 11:45am-2pm • DINNER: Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm • Fri & Sat 5pm-11pm

18 freetimes | bites&sights

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

tasty Philly cheesesteak) and platters. Offers free delivery downtown and is open very, very late. ¢.

Hemingway’s Harbison/Irmo: 7467 St. Andrews Rd., 749-6020 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-until; Sun noon-until.

Serves 25 different sandwiches, as well as buffalo wings. Casual atmosphere befriends the T-shirt & suits alike. Daily lunch specials. ¢.

Icy’s Sports Bistro Northeast: 10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775 Mon-Wed 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; Thu-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (Kitchen closes at midnight)

You’ll find familiar choices at this state-of-theart sports bar, including burgers and sandwiches, chicken fingers, wraps, appetizers, salads and wings. ¢.

Jake’s Kickstand Cafe Harbison-Irmo: 7811 Broad River Rd., 781-2590 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Thurs-Fri 11 a.m.-until, Sat 3 p.m.-until

A self-described ‘burger and chicken joint’ Jake’s serves up custom-built burgers with toppings like applewood bacon, fried green tomatoes, jalapenos and more, plus salads, starters and beers on tap and in bottles. Kids’ menu, too.

Karl’s Korner Pool Room & Tavern West Columbia/Cayce: 1800 Memorial Dr , 791-1772 Mon-Fri noon-2 a.m.; Sat noon-midnight

As you can guess from the name, Karl’s Korner is all about the pool, with leagues and tournaments happening all the time. Of course, when you’re hungry after scratching the 8-ball, they can settle your stomach right down with your basic bar food specials. Burger, anyone? ¢. | Fall 2010


Rookies Sports Bar & Grill

The Vista: 1001 Washington St., 254-4464

Northeast: 7167 Two Notch Rd., 419-1500

Mon-Fri 3 p.m.-until; Sat-Sun 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (Kitchen: 11 a.m.-midnight)

Offers pizza, jerk wings and a variety of baskets. Full bar features beer buckets, drink specials and Long Island Iced Tea specials. Lively regular crowd and outgoing staff makes Kelly’s a cut above. Catering available and private parties welcome. ¢

Formerly Icy’s Sports Bar & Grill, Rookies offers sandwich selections like the patty melt and BLT, or half-pound burgers with an assortment of toppings. Other items include salads, wraps and other low-carb/vegetarian choices, as well as buffalo wings, chicken fingers and plenty of appetizers. ¢.


Rooster’s Den

Five Points: 2100 Devine St., 929-1118

West Columbia/Cayce: 1215 Augusta Hwy., 794-8200

Mon-Sun 6 p.m.-Until; Tues-Sat 4 p.m.-until

Lucky’s offers the style and sensibility of The Vista in the heart of Five Points. Offers daily drink specials, wine by the glass plus burgers, fries, appetizers and more. ¢.

Mary’s Legends West Columbia/Cayce: 650 Cherokee Lane, 796-9655 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-until; Sun 1 p.m.-until

Apps, wings, sandwiches, steaks, pastas, salads and other bar foods. Also has a catering menu.

One More Grill & Pub St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 3636 Bush River Rd., 772-7711 Mon-Sat 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

With a name like this, what more do you need? They serve everything you’d expect and a little more. ¢.

Pour House Five Points: 800 Harden St., 931-3033 Tue-Sat 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

A fun and relaxing place to hang out with friends and catch the game on any number of wide-screen TVs. Drink specials, pub food and more.

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-until

rivate sports bar with 10-foot projectionscreen TV, free pool, daily specials, monthly birthday parties and private parties. Friendly neighborhood bar. ¢.

Rooster’s Wings ‘n Things Harbison/Irmo: 10708 Broad River Rd., 781-4606 Mon-Wed 4 p.m.- midnight; Thu 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Fri 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Wings come in orders of 10, 20, 30 or 50 in varieties like lemon pepper, Cajun hot and garlic pepper. Appetizers include fried corn and fried pickles, while the rest of the menu features sandwiches, burgers, salads and entrees like ribs or hamburger steak. ¢-$.

Rusty Anchor Harbison/Irmo: 1925 Johnson Marina Rd., 749-1555 Wed-Sun 5 p.m.-until. Quarterdeck: Summer only.

Lakeside destination features all-you-caneat seafood specials to go with generous chicken, steak, scallop, salmon and lobster offerings. Live music through the summer on one of the town’s best outdoor venues. $.

Southwings Sports Bar

Lexington: 1573 S. Lake Dr , 808-1999 Mon-Sat 4 p.m.-2 a.m. (Karaoke Wed and Sat)

Get your karaoke, live music or beer specials on at this Lexington neighborhood bar. Check out its myspace page for the latest goings-on. ¢.

State Street Pub West Columbia/Cayce: 136 State St., 796-2006 Kitchen: Mon-Sun 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

Plenty of munchies, including fried mushrooms, a variety of chicken strips, wings and sandwiches, as well as veggie burgers. ¢.

Tap’s Pub Northeast: 104-B Columbia NE Dr., 699-4657 Mon-Sat 4 p.m.-until

This patriotically themed pub offers entrees like Italian chicken giambotta or Appian Way pork chops in addition to pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, soups, wings and appetizers. ¢.

The Caddy Shak Lexington: 381 Pilgrim Church Rd., 356-2239 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

It’s a golf course! It’s a restaurant! With pasta entrees, burgers, hot dogs and salads, plus seafood specials Thurs-Sat.

The Puddlin’ Duck Northeast: 108 Columbia Northeast Dr., 865-2859 Tue-Sat 4 p.m.-until.

Variety of great beers on tap, including classics such as Guinness Smithwick’s, Newcastle Brown and Harp, and traditional Irish pub food like Irish O’ Rings, Irish Pumpernick, McDag’s Irish Meatloaf and Corned Beef & Cabbage. Live music Wed-Fri. ¢. Puddlin-Duck/1679155479

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bites&sights | freetimes


Vista Riverfront State Street Vista West


f Five Points is Columbia’s primary haven for college students, then the Vista offers the same for post-college professionals. This converted warehouse district is largely known for its many dining options and art galleries, but it also sports some key local rock clubs, a theatre and a grocery store (converted from a former Confederate printing plant). The Vista also has an increasing number of residential options, making the area a prime component of downtown development. Just across the Gervais Street bridge sits an eclectic mix of nightspots, galleries, gift shops and restaurants — including quite a few authentic Mexican spots. With cheap rent, businesses and patrons are realizing that West Columbia has many of the amenities of its sister city across the river, with fewer hassles.

What to Do Attractions Art + Cayce 1329 State St., 765-0838 Located in the offices of Compass 5 Partners in Cayce, Art + Cayce hosts occasional shows often of works by USC faculty and students.

The Big Apple 1000 Hampton St., 252-7742 A debate still rages as to whether the phrase “The Big Apple” came to New York City from jazz or from horse racing (a 1930s N.Y.C. sports column was called “Around the Big Apple”). For Columbia’s sake, let’s go with the jazz theory: Once a local synagogue, The Big Apple later was turned into a juke joint where, in 1936, African-Americans invented a new dance, the “Big Apple.” Now popular for events and receptions.

Colonial Life Arena 801 Lincoln St. at Greene St. Charge by phone: 1-866-472-8499 General Info: 576-9200 The 18,000-seat Colonial Center is the largest arena in South Carolina, hosting major concert and entertainment acts and serving as the home for USC men’s and women’s basketball.

20 freetimes | bites&sights



Columbia Marionette Theater 401 Laurel St., 252-7366, Located near Riverfront Park, the Columbia Marionette Theater was founded in 1988 and presents children’s productions ranging from traditional fairy tales to educational shows. In 2009, founder Allie Scollon received a top national puppetry award.

EdVenture Children’s Museum 211 Gervais St., 779-3100, The South’s largest children’s museum, with more than 70,000 square feet of cool stuff to keep the kids occupied.

Riverfront Park, 545-3100 Separating the Historic Columbia Canal and the Congaree River, Riverfront Park is a popular jogging/walking trail encompassing 167 acres just west of Huger Street.

S.C. State Confederate Relic Room & Museum 301 Gervais St., 737-8095 Believe it or not, the Confederate Relic Room actually has much more than Civil War memorabilia, with artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to World War II. Located in the former mill that also houses the S.C. State Museum.

One Eared Cow Glass. File photo.

S.C. State Museum 301 Gervais St., 898-4921 Housed in the historic Columbia Mill building (built in 1893), the S.C. State Museum has permanent and rotating exhibitions covering South Carolina’s cultural history, natural history, science, technology and art. The museum also brings in non-S.C.-related blockbuster exhibitions.

Three Rivers Greenway, 765-2200 Columbia has come a long way on its riverfront development in the past few years, and the recent designation of the

Vista/Riverfront/State Street/Vista West | play&stay

Congaree River Blue Trail as a National Recreation Trail underlines the point. The Three Rivers Greenway will eventually provide 12 miles of linked river access to citizens of Columbia, Cayce and West Columbia. The completed portions of the Greenway are already popular for walking and running, and the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre hosts outdoor concerts and more.

Trustus Theatre 520 Lady St., 254-9732, Columbia’s leading progressively oriented theatre company.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


22 freetimes | bites&sights

Vista Riverfront State Street Vista West



Thirsty Fellow. File photo.

Nightlife: The Vista

Flying Saucer

Art Bar

Beer nerds (or knurds) rejoiced when this renowned purveyor of draughts landed in Columbia; dudes rejoiced when they saw the waitresses in schoolgirl uniforms. Offering more selections than most commoners could imagine, this is a beer drinker’s paradise with a nice front porch, some live music and the occasional commemorative pint glass.

1211 Park St., 929-0198 If you’re looking for a non-corporate nightspot where you can ditch the lawyers and get to know the artists and musicians, you need look no further than this eclectic Vista bar. Cool but never pretentious, the Art Bar is good for people watching, conversation and music (both bands and DJs), not to mention open-mic poetry nights and improv comedy. Don’t miss Mr. B’s karaoke on Wednesdays.

blue. 721a Lady St., 251-4447 Blue, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, features Columbia’s only ice bar and draws in big crowds for its popular 80s night on Wednesdays, featuring 80 cent liquor drinks. Cozy late-night spot as well.

Blue Martini 808 Lady St., 256-2442 Want upscale? You got it, mister! Swank clientele, chic décor and a martini list fit for Columbia’s own Rat Pack. Also presents live jazz amid an increasingly adventurous music lineup that sometimes includes local composers and music faculty.

Carolina Ale House 708 Lady St., 227-7151 Southeastern chain grille-and-groggery offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports. Features the Vista’s hottest rooftop bar and plenty of fun drink specials.

Vista/Riverfront/State Street/Vista West | play&stay

931 Senate St., 933-9997

Gervais & Vine 620 Gervais St., 799-8463 Gervais & Vine offers a sophisticated yet approachable atmosphere for its exquisite Southern fusion tapas. Its extensive wine selection separates it from most of Columbia’s metropolitan haunts, and the diversity and daring of the menu make it hard to dislike. Columbia needs more places like this.

Jillian’s 800 Gervais St., 779-7789 The closest you’ll get to a Chuck E. Cheese for grown-ups, Jillian’s offers billiard tables, an arcade, a beach volleyball court, ping-pong tables, walls of huge flat-screen televisions and more in addition to its extensive list of imports, domestics and other assorted cocktails and libations.

Kelly’s Deli & Pub 1001 Washington St., 254-4464 If this converted fire station reminds you of Five Points, it’s probably because its owners cut their teeth working for places like Group Therapy and Jungle Jim’s. These Gamecock fans host regular acoustic

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf


Uncle Fester’s

807 Gervais St., 931-0700

522 Devine St., 748-9897

Sushi, sake and salacious servers ... what else could you want out of an über-hip Vista sushi bar?

When the clock strikes two on Sunday morn, the only public option here in the Soda City is this watering hole between Palmetto Pig and Todd & Moore. Always fun and always packed with a diverse clientele.

Sly Fox 902-F Gervais St., 779-6400 A welcome new pub offering crab cakes, fried pickles, Belgian steamed mussels, burgers, pasta, sandwiches and more — plus an impressive selection of draft and bottled beers.

Thirsty Fellow

performances in addition to karaoke and open mic contests.

Launched by Willie Durkin — formerly of Shannon’s, Sneakers and Durkin’s — Thirsty Fellow serves up eclectic, delicious pizzas and offers a full bar.

Liberty Tap Room 828 Gervais St., 461-4677 Attention hipsters: If you’re looking for that hot roller-derby girl, you might have taken a wrong turn. Young professionals, however, should find much to enjoy here between the clientele, much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list, which offers 75 tap and bottle varieties to choose from.

Nonnah’s 930 Gervais St., 779-9599 Best known for its desserts, Nonnah’s is a good place to stop for coffee and drinks after dinner or a show.

• Previews •

Nu Tabu 700-A Gervais St., 253-6382 If you want a spacious dance-party atmosphere, this might be the place. Features 10,000 square-foot lounge with three full-service bars and DJs spinning on state-of-the-art equipment.

PT’s 1109 1109 Assembly St., 253-8900 You could live your whole life in Columbia and not know this gay bar exists, and, frankly, its clientele of gorgeous men probably wouldn’t mind all that much. Conversely, this low-key haunt is a treasure to the folks who frequent it.

• Supporting Roles •

Tin Roof Started in Atlanta in 1996, Tin Roof now has five locations in the Southeast. Its calling card(s): live music, good food and a laid-back atmosphere. Open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and into the night.

Tsunami 700-C Gervais St., 312-9911 Two chic sushi bars within two blocks of each other in the Vista? Be still our beating hearts! Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complements its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

• starring •

served with one side item Bogarts’ Philly cheesteak $7.00 dark victory $7.50 french dip $6.50 little bogie $4.50 light victory $7.50 chicken melt $7.00 roarin’ 20’s $7.25 Prime rib sandwich $8.00 Cuban $8.00

Choice of: wheat bread, texas toast, hoagie, hamburger bun or wrap. served with mayo, mustard, Lettuce, tomato and any side item.

• Fresh Salads •

• Build a burger •

• Feature Presentations •

half-pound, hand pattied, certified bed of crisp lettuce with fresh angus burger, served with mayo, tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, banana mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles peppers and cheese and onions. side salad $3.00 STARTING AT $7.00 Steak tips salad $8.00 get a second patty for $2.00 more chef salad $7.00 ADD CHEESE, BACON, GRILLED grilled or fried chicken $7.50 MUSHROOMS, GRILLED ONIONS AND MORE taco salad $7.25 Additional toppings .50 each

Ribeye sandwich Chicken Cheesesteak chicken club fried chicken sandwich The big sleep high sierra Caine mutiny It’s a wrap Chicken finger basket grouper finger basket

Its no-frills, no-nonsense attitude has endeared this unassuming watering hole to a loyal legion of regulars, but there’s always room for more.

1301 Assembly St., 251-0255 By day, Vista Grill is a favorite downtown lunch café; after dark, it turns in a nightlife hotspot, replete with DJs, great drink prices and — no lie — beer pong.

Wet Willie’s

1022 Senate St., 771-1558

$5.25 $6.50 SUPER SAMPLER PLATTER $13.50 sampler platter $8.00 bacon cheese fries $5.50 spinach artichoke dip $6.50 fried mushrooms $5.25 jalapeno poppers $5.25 Wing chips w/ blue cheese $5.00 Fried Pickles $5.00

cheese sticks shrimp jammers

1125 Park St., 933-9833

Vista Grill

621 Gadsden St., 799-1311

Kayaking on the Congaree. File photo.

Uncle Louie’s

$8.00 $6.75 $7.50 $7.00 $5.50 $7.50 $7.00 $6.50 $7.00 $7.00

Served with salad, choice of side item and toast captain queeq’s tips $9.50 open face roast beef $9.25 8oz. casablanca ribeye $11.50 12oz. casablanca ribeye $14.50 smothered chicken $9.00 ranch chicken $10.25 grilled pork chops $8.50 key largo $9.50

800 Gervais St., 779-5650 How can you not love a bar that specializes in grain alcohol slushies — er, daiquiris. With a lot of bang for your buck and a kickass music room upstairs, Wet Willie’s is a late-night Vista favorite. Order a giant White Russian and commence flirting.

The Wild Hare 902-B Gervais St., 929-0374 Three-time winner of the Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll. Serves up hefty portions of some hefty selections (try the potato cakes!), and earns points for televisions and attractive wait staff. Downto-earth crowd.

the queen big country steak

$9.00 $10.50

• Chicken Wings •

mild, medium, hot, blistering, bbq, teriyaki, hot teriyaki, hot ranch, honey mustard, chinese, cajun, lemon pepper and hot lemon pepper 6 wings 12 wings 18 wings 24 wings 50 wings 100 wings

$5.00 $8.00 $12.00 $14.50 $28.00 $53.00

• Quesadillas •

served with lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, salsa and sour cream cheese cheesesteak or steak tips buffalo chicken chicken

$5.00 $7.00 $7.50 $7.00

$3 bourbon and vodka everyday! 530 12th St. • West Columbia • 803.791.4617 | Fall 2010

play&stay | Vista/Riverfront/State Street/Vista West

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24 freetimes | bites&sights



Carolina Ale House. File photo.

Wild Wing Café

Holiday Inn Express

729 Lady St., 252-9464

501 Taylor St., 744-4000

Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is their 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Where to stay Accommodations Hampton Inn Historic District 822 Gervais St., 231-2000 The 122-room Hampton is located right in the heart of the Vista, giving walking access to rock clubs (Art Bar, Wet Willie’s), dance clubs (Tabu), swanky bars (Rust) and chic shops, not to mention walking distance to the Congaree River. Double points for its catty-corner location to Liberty Taproom. Rated as one the top three hotels in Columbia by Yahoo! Travel. Amenities: Free deluxe breakfast; exercise room; business center; free Wi-Fi; outdoor pool; non-smoking floors. 2010



Hilton Columbia Center 924 Senate St., 744-7800

2010 2010


Columbia’s newest high-rise hotel, the 222room Hilton Columbia Center, is literally in the center of the Capital City — right in the Vista and just a brisk walk to campus and a quick taxi/bus ride to Five Points and Main Street. Also close by: Riverfront Park and the South Carolina State Museum. The Hilton building is also home to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Amenities: Non-smoking rooms; business center; on-site notary public; lounge; exercise room; outdoor pool; parking garage with valet parking; full-service bar.

Vista/Riverfront/State Street/Vista West | play&stay

Just outside the Vista and down the street from Finlay Park, the Holiday Inn Express offers 86 all-suite rooms. It’s right on top of a bevy of entertainment options — from dance clubs to rock clubs to high-flown social clubs — and eateries, from low-brow (McDonald’s) to highfalutin (Blue Marlin) and everywhere in between. Also close to West Columbia and the trendy Vista West area. Amenities: Free deluxe breakfast; business center; exercise room; free Wi-Fi; outdoor pool; smoke-free rooms.

SpringHill Suites Columbia 511 Lady St., 978-2333 Located near the corner of Pulaski and Lady, the brand-spanking-new, 132-room SpringHill Suites is within walking distance of everything the Vista has to offer, from fine dining (Gervais and Vine, Motor Supply) to chic nightlife (Art Bar, Blue, Rust) to fine arts (Trustus Theatre, Koger Center) and ways to appease the crap out of your kids (EdVenture Children’s Museum). Amenities: Free continental breakfast; free Wi-Fi; indoor pool; fitness center; nonsmoking rooms.

Staybridge Suites Columbia 1913 Huger St., 451-5900 The newly built, 93-room Staybridge Suites is close to everything — but a quick ride away from Riverbanks Zoo, The Vista, Five Points and the University area — while removed enough from the associated clamor. Located on Huger Street, it’s also close to Interstates 26 and 277, offering quick access to Columbia’s suburban shopping centers. Bonus: It’s a quick walk to scenic Riverfront Park. Amenities: Free deluxe breakfast; free wi-fi; business center; indoor convenience store; fitness center; swimming pool.

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2009 | Fall 2010

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Dining continued from page 19

BREAKFAST • LUNCH • SUPPER ———————————————

The Whig Downtown: 1200 Main St., 931-8852 4 p.m.-until (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.)

Hip underground bar across from the State House serves pizzas, catfish nuggets, pulled pork, cheese fries, salads and sandwiches, in addition to a decent burger. Also home of the infamous Taco Tuesdays, when beef or bean tacos are $.50 apiece and the crowds are massive.

The White Mule Music Pub & Eatery Downtown: 1530 D Main St., 661-8199 Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-until

What do you get when you combine a great location on Main Street with good food, beer and wine and regular live music? Awesomeness, that’s what. Try the Quesadilla Florentine as an appetizer or the Mexicali sandwich. Also offer pizzas, soup and salads and, if our opinion counts for anything, they have the best pasta salad in town. ¢.

Good home cooking for breakfast, lunch and supper that’s a great value!

Thirsty Fellow Vista: 621 Gadsden St , 799-1311 Mon-Sat 11a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday Brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Pub food and fresh specials include wings, fish ‘n chips, sandwiches, soups, appetizers and an array of stone-fired pizzas. Try the banana pepper stuffed with sausage and served with a hearty marinara and cheese sauce. Sunday brunch includes breakfast pizzas.

10170 Two Notch Rd. (803) 419-5662

7942 Garners Ferry Rd. (803) 647-0095

2234 Sunset Blvd. (803) 794-0923

Mon-Thu 4 p.m.--12 a.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 12:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

Of course you know that Wet Willie’s is all about the daiquiris. But Wet Willie’s also is serious about the food. From oven-baked seafood to tasty appetizers, sandwiches and pizza, you can’t go wrong here. Also check out their rotating specials such as sausagestuffed mushrooms and a half-pound pulledpork sandwich. ¢.

BBQ/Wings/Ribs Bert’s Smokehouse Forest Acres: 3400 Forest Dr., 787-3235 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Smokehouse barbecue inside the Midtown at Forest Acres (formerly Richland Fashion Mall) food court? You’d better believe it. Everything here is homemade, from the barbecue to the sauces. ¢.

Big-T Bar-B-Que

Gadsden: 2520 Congaree Rd., 353-0488 Wed 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Big T’s turns out some of the best barbecue in town. Pit-cooked pulled pork is the standout, served with hot or mild, slightly sweet mustard-based sauce. The sides are first-rate. Top it all off with some homemade chocolate cake. ¢.

Tipsy Toad Tavern

Carolina Wings & Rib House

Harbison/Irmo: 103 Beaufort St. (Chapin), 932-4470

Lexington: 105 Northpoint Dr., 356-6244

Mon-Fri 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

Northeast: 2000 Clemson Rd., 419-0022

The Tipsy Toad Tavern delivers on its effort to be a local pub in the most traditional sense while also acknowledging its proximity to Lake Murray with a seafood-heavy menu that far eclipses the entrees typical of what one normally associates with pub food. You won’t do better anywhere near this close to the lake for good food and beer. ad-tipsy-toad-tavern.htm. ¢-$.

TLC Sports Bar and Grill Downtown: 936 S. Stadium Rd., 251-3087 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-until, Sat 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

2240 Airport Blvd. (803) 796-7820

7569 St. Andrews Rd. (803) 732-1225

818 Elmwood Ave. (803) 779-6407

711-1 University Village Dr. (803) 451-8400

621 West Main St. (803) 951-3555

Triple Crown Bar & Grill

4616 Augusta Rd. (803) 785-5560

Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-2 a.m. (Kitchen 11 a.m.-10 p.m.)

26 freetimes | bites&sights

Vista: 800 Gervais St., 779-5650

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

3147 Forest Dr. (803) 787-8781


Wet Willie’s

In its quest to be a “bar that doesn’t serve bar food” the Tin Roof lays out an impressive spread: spicy corn quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches, Greek salads and more — plus enough wings, cheese fries and jalapeno poppers to satisfy the bar-food-craving masses. $

1824 Broad River Rd. (803) 798-6427

Bar and grill with daily specials and full bar. Check out the ribeye and homemade french fries. ¢.

Daily 11 a.m.-until

402 Beltline Blvd. (803) 738-0006

—————————————— OPEN 6AM • 7 DAYS A WEEK

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-until; Fri 11 a.m.-until; Sat 4 p.m.-until

Vista: 1022 Senate St., 771-1558

7620 Two Notch Rd. (803) 788-3088

501 Knox Abbott Dr. (803) 791-0314

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 4645 Broad River Rd., 798-5338

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7535 Garners Ferry Rd., 776-7132 Northeast: 1061 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-4295

Tin Roof

14 convenient locations to serve you!

Wally’s Grill & Ale House

Formerly called the Loose Cockaboose, this Gamecock bar is within a stone’s throw of Williams-Brice Stadium. Offers burgers, wings and other good grub for hungry fans. Great tailgating location before and after the game. ¢.

West Columbia/Cayce: 103 N. 12th St., 926-0055

Hamburgers, steaks, wings, full bar. Karaoke on weekends. Daily specials and a friendly atmosphere. ¢.

Tsubaki Northeast: 224 O’Neill Court , 736-7474 Tue-Sun 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

Lively location features Columbia’s most authentic Japanese karaoke bar as well as several yummy entrées to put you in the singing spirit, drawing on French and Japanese favorites along with traditional bar food. Also serves sushi from Inakaya Restaurant, housed next door. ¢.

Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 7587 St. Andrews Rd., 781-0084 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (bar open later); Sun 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

The Vista: 600 Gervais St., 256-8844 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Bar open until midnight Thu-Sat.

West Columbia/Cayce: 2347-C Augusta Rd., 791-0260 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

The restaurant delivers what its name promises — succulent baby back ribs and great wings, served with a wide variety of sauce options. Portions are generous and can be washed down with one of the many different beers offered. The Northeast location has a nice deck out back. ¢-$.

D’s on Beltline Forest Acres: 2005 Beltline Blvd., 787-2595 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (Breakfast served weekends until 11 a.m.)

Classic American steaks, ribs, wings and seafood are sure to please those seeking comfort foods. Large open bar, daily specials, occasional live acoustic music and an extensive kids’ menu create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Serves 16 different wing sauces, as well as Cajun Creole pasta, Rocky Top Chicken, steamed seafood treats and certified Angus Sirloin. ¢.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

D’s Wings

Maurice’s Barbecue

West Columbia/Cayce: 920 Axtell Dr. (Parkland Plaza) , 791-4486

Downtown: 800 Elmwood Ave., 256-4377

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Serves ribs, burgers, sandwiches and chicken fingers. Dinner options include marinated ribeye, fried shrimp and more. Also offers tailgating specials featuring wings, ribs, sandwiches, fruit and cheese. ¢.

Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet

Harbison/Irmo: 1141 Lake Murray Blvd., 732-5555 Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lexington: 766 W. Main St., 359-8789

Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lexington: 1010 S. Lake Drive, 356-1909 Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 252 O’Neil Ct., 865-0608

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 1601 Shop Rd., 799-1532

Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thu-Sat 4:30-10 p.m. Also open Gamecock Saturdays.

Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

First-rate barbecue buffet with stellar fried chicken. Also features delicious catfish bites. Order off the menu for tailgating or simply to take home some quality BBQ. ¢.

Green’s BBQ

North Columbia: 5310 Farrow Rd., 338-1746 pThuSat noon-9 p.m.

Rich barbecue, strong hash and salty-sweet chopped pork are among the items at Green’s, which features a four-tier deck and a soulful back-room lounge. Available for catering. ¢.

Hard Knox Grill

West Columbia/Cayce: 1000 Knox Abbott Dr., 8343910 pTues-Fri 5 p.m.-until; Sat-Sun noon-until

Hard Knox specializes in wet and dry wings in addition to an array of appetizers, gyros, sandwiches, burgers and salads. If you’re hungry, tuck in to an Eye of the Rib steak, Lobster Ravioli or a House Fried Pork Chop. ¢-$.

Hooters Harbison/Irmo: 5195 Fernandina Rd.; , 4079464 Northeast: 7711 Two Notch Rd., 419-3456 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Home of the Hooters Girls ... you didn’t really think “Hooters” was referring to owls, did you? Beyond the buxom servers, Hooters is mostly known for its wings; the menu also includes sandwiches, hamburgers and seafood. ¢-$.

Hudson’s Smokehouse Lexington: 4952 Sunset Blvd., 356-1070 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

In a town full of barbecue joints, Hudson’s distinguishes itself with Cheerwine and a mean and lean tender brisket. Was spotlighted by Turner South as a “Blue Ribbon Barbecue Joint.” Offers mustard-based, ketchup-based and vinegar-and-pepper options as well as featuring music from three to four nights a week. ¢.

John D. Hite’s West Columbia/Cayce: 240 Dreher Rd., 7944120 Fri 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Don’t let the plain cinder block building deter you. No-frills tasty pulled pork barbecue, roasted chicken, ribs and ham. Meats and the usual fixins available to go by the pound or the pint. Takeout only. ¢.

Northeast: 9563 Two Notch Rd., 462-0882 St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 622 St. Andrews Rd., 772-6999 Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri - Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 1600 Charleston Hwy., 796-0220 Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 2450 Augusta Rd., 796-4777 Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Maurice Bessinger has managed to stay out of the spotlight lately, and that’s good news for those who care more about Maurice’s highly acclaimed barbecue than political controversies over the Confederate flag. Serves fresh pork, ribs, beef and chicken pit-cooked over hickory coals and doused with Carolina Gold mustard-based sauce. ¢.

Palmetto Pig

Downtown: 530 Devine St., 733-2556 pTue-Wed 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Thu-Fri 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Fabulous all-you-can-eat buffet featuring pulled pork barbecue, hash, green beans, slaw and crispy fried chicken. A great downtown option if you’re craving Shealy’s but don’t want to drive so far. Discount available for USC students. ¢.

Porky D’s Lexington: 931 Two Notch Rd., 359-5556 Wed-Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Barbecue smoked over hickory and slathered with mustard sauce. ¢.

Publick House Shandon: 2307 Devine St., 256-2207 Mon-Sun 4 p.m.-until (kitchen until midnight SunThu, 1 a.m. Fri-Sat)

This Devine Street icon offers billiards and wide range of beers on tap, as well as several wing flavors, including three types of buffalo style and honey mustard, teriyaki, barbecue, pterodactyl, garlic butter and buttery barbecue. Salads, burgers and pasta round out the menu. Irish music on Sundays a plus. ¢.

Shealy’s Bar-B-Que House Leesville: 340 E. Columbia Ave., 532-8135 Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Carry Out 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat breakfast buffet 6:30-9:30 a.m.

Little Pigs

The pork is lovingly pulled from slow-cooked whole hogs and served with a thick and tangy mustard sauce. Widely considered the best barbecue place in the entire state, maybe the country. Every bit worth the drive from town, or have them cater if you want your event to be remembered. ¢.

Harbison/Irmo: 11210 Broad River Rd., 781-6160 Northeast: 4927 Alpine Rd., 788-8238

Smoke Southern Barbecue Revival

Wed 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thu 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Amazing spread of lunch buffet offerings including yams, corn, baked beans, fried okra, onion rings, hush puppies, green beans and more. The three varieties of barbecue are nothing to sneeze at, either. Just stellar local barbecue beloved by regulars. ¢. | Fall 2010


Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri -Sat 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Blythewood: 10324 Wilson Blvd., 754-0063 Lunch: Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner: Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Located just to the right on Exit 124 off I-77, Smoke specializes in just that: smoked everything,from chicken to Louisiana boudin to oysters to mouth-watering barbecue to anything else proprietors Tom Hall and barbecue author Dan Huntley can put on their enormous smoke pits and industrial cooker. Atmosphere is lively and fun, with music most every weekend on the outdoor deck. ¢-$.

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Southern Pig BBQ Blythewood: 135-A Blythewood Rd., 786-4301 Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat breakfast from 6-10 a.m.

Southern Pig, in the IGA shopping center, offers decent pulled pork BBQ and sides served buffet style. Low prices and lots of food make it a good family dining option. blythewoodnet. net/ad_southern_pig_bbq.htm. ¢.

State Street Wing Shack West Columbia: 114 State St., 794-9577 Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat noon-2 a.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

The Shack has been through more than a few incernations lately (Good Times, Ambrosia) but has settled on a menu of bar classics like wings, chicken tenders, sandwiches and salads, along with appetizers like jalapeño poppers, fried pickles and potato skins. A bunch of TVs, beer and wine round out the experience. Check out the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, too.

WG’s Chicken Wings St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 736 St. Andrews Rd., 772-1489 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Several flavors of wings, including dryseasoned flavors, along with salads, sandwiches and appetizers in a family atmosphere. Lounge area for 21 and older. ¢.

Wild Wing Café Harbison/Irmo: 100150 Bower Pkwy., 749-9464 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-midnight, Thu-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Northeast: 480 Town Center Place, 865-3365 The Vista: 729 Lady St., 252-9464 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

First opened in Hilton Head, Wild Wing has become a national chain on the strength of its 30-plus wing flavors like Jalapeño Ched-

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dar and Old Yeller. The overwhelming menu also offers appetizers like its Hot Shots in addition to soups, salads, wraps, ribs, skewers, sandwiches and a variety of platters. ¢.

Wing Zone Downtown: 132 Assembly St., 933-9464 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun noon-1 a.m.

Wings are the reason they’re in business, and they specialize in delivering to hungry USC students late. More flavors than you can shake a stick at as well as chicken fingers, buffalo shrimp and sides. ¢.

Wings & Ale St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 125-C Outlet Pointe Blvd., 750-1600 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (Kitchen until 10:30 p.m.); Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m. (Kitchen until 11:30 p.m.)

Family atmosphere, live entertainment and wings. Features jukebox, pool tables, sporting events on large-projection TV and many other big-screen TVs. Live entertainment steers toward the classic rock crowd. ¢.

Bistro/New American @116 Espresso & Wine Bar West Columbia/Cayce: 116 State St., 791-5663 Tue-Thurs 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-midnight; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Combine a coffee shop atmosphere with great wine and food, and you have @116 on State Street. Fresh-baked pastries and homemade soups accompany coffee-spiced steak, pizzas and empanadas. A Sunday brunch features omelets, sweet potato pancakes and more. Also has Spanish wines, great sangria, martinis and a White Russian drinks menu. ¢-$.

Cecilia’s File photo

Back Porch on Gervais

The Bistro

Downtown: 1616 Gervais St., 834-6394

Lexington: 109 J Old Chapin Rd., 356-9915

Mon-Sun 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m.

Sun-Sat 11 a.m.-until

A bistro with a covered outdoor eating area, Back Porch offers elegant lunch dishes like the Croque Monsieur, which tops ham and smoked turkey breast with melted cheddar and mozzarella on a toasted baguette with roasted garlic aioli. In the evening, the menu ups the ante with selections like cornish game hen, breast of duckling and seafood risotto, which combines shrimp and scallops in a lobster broth with tomato, toasted pine nuts and gorgonzola. $.

Lexington’s stab at the gourmet pizza market offers a range of pasta dishes and nightly chalkboard specials, though the thin crust pies that emerge from the brick oven — topped every which way — are what keep this place hopping, especially on weekends. The pan-seared filet mignon is finished with a port wine reduction and oven baked for a unique taste. $.

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Blue Martini The Vista: 808 Lady St., 256-2442 Thu 7 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri 7 p.m.-until; Sat 7 p.m.-2 a.m.

Features an eclectic menu and more than 50 specialty martinis. Enjoy panini, shrimp cocktail and desserts. Live jazz and blues Thu-Sat. $.

town mean Copper River always has a lively evening crowd almost any day of the week. $.

Courtyard Cafe by Marriott at USC Downtown: 630 Assembly St., 799-7800

and professional service all taking place in an urban cool space below the sidewalk in the historic Sylvan Building. ¢-$$.


Breakfast only: Mon-Sun 6:30 a.m.-10 a.m.

Downtown: 1649 Main St., 799-8280

Eggs, sausage, bacon, pastries, cereal. $.

Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Mon-Thu 5:30 p.m.9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

The Vista: 902-C Gervais St., 343-2855

Foxfire Grill

Mon-Sat 4 p.m.-until (kitchen opens at 5 p.m. every day)

Harbison/Irmo: 1220 Bower Pkwy., 749-1250

Offering a comfortable and quiet atmosphere, Hennessy’s has served the Columbia area for more than 20 years. The chefs accent their dishes with Lowcountry pizzazz. Specialties include steak and lobster, rack of lamb and fresh seafood dishes. $$.

Bull Market Restaurant & Taverna

Bull Market’s menu is a fusion of the owners’ Mediterranean-Greek backgrounds and their Southern upbringing. Offering excellent steaks and seafood, plus inventive appetizers and salads. The Roasted Red Pepper Crab Cakes combine lump and claw crab meat with roasted red peppers and fresh herbs before grilling and serving with creamy Adluh grits, a lightly spiced tasso gravy and collards. ¢-$.

Cellar on Greene Five Points: 2001D Greene Street , 343-3303 Mon 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tues-Thurs 5 p.m.-10 p.m., FriSat 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Part wine shop, part tapas bar, the Cellar on Greene is the place to go for wines by the halfand full-glass or bottle and an ever-changing menu of Continental, Mediterranean, and bistro-style dishes: seafood and steaks, salads, hummus, pizzas, pastas and more. The truffleparmesan raw fries are exceptional.

Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

From Fried Green Tomatoes to Bourbon Street Grouper to a Pulled Pork Barbecue Platter, there are innovative dishes in nearly every category, including steaks, chicken, pastas and seafood with a Lowcountry emphasis. Upscale atmosphere, preparation and quality for less than you’d expect to pay. Catering and a private dining room available. $.

Goatfeathers Five Points: 2017 Devine St., 256-3325 Kitchen: Mon-Sun 5:30-10 p.m. Bar: Mon-Sun 4 p.m.- until

Harbison/Irmo: 1230 Bower Parkway, 749-4647

With a focus on select wine and spirits, a sophisticated menu and a casual elegance at odds with nearby Five Points meet-markets, Goats is a local institution that strays far from the collegiate herd. Whether you fall in with the philosophers at the big round table, opt for a candle-lit booth or hit the bar for an expertly mixed cocktail, the grown-up vibe is never fratty, if frequently fraternal. myspace. com/goatfeathers. $.

Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (bar open until 2 a.m.)

Hampton Street Vineyard

Copper River Grill

Specializes in a little bit of everything — grilled seafood, chicken and steak dishes, sandwiches and burgers and oven-baked pizzas. Try the sashimi tuna appetizer and, if you’re man enough, the 32-oz. Big Sky Porterhouse. More $1 beer specials than anyone in | Fall 2010

Downtown: 1201 Hampton St., 252-0850 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.; Sat 6-10 p.m. (Bar opens at 5 p.m.)

Innovative American cuisine with seasonal menu changes, featuring fresh seafood, handcut steaks, lamb, duck, veal, accommodating

Melting Pot St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1410 Colonial Life Blvd., 731-8500 Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri 5-11 p.m.; Sat 4-11 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.-10 p.m.

High-quality fondue with a variety of sauces and dipping items. Signature dipping entrees include teriyaki sirloin, filet mignon, lobster tail and chicken breast. Dessert fondues like Bailey’s Irish Cream Dream, Chocolate S’mores or Cookies ‘n Cream Marshmallow Dream are particularly decadent.$$.

Mint Julep Bistro & Lounge Northeast: 120 Sparkleberry Crossing , 419-7200 Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

Advertising itself as “comfort food for the soul,” Mint Julep’s menu takes the Mediterranean tapas concept and applies it to Southern specialties. The result is items such as Lobster Mac & Cheese, Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, Crab Cake Napoleon and Pepper Jack Collards, to name a few. Nightly and weekly specials also show up as well as, of course, mint juleps if you’re thirsty. ¢-$.

Mo Mo’s Bistro Shandon/Rosewood: 2930 Devine St., 252-2700 Mon-Thurs and Sat 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri 5:30-11 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Mo Mo’s redefines casual fine dinging with an articulate and creative upscale menu and an imaginative wine list, with dishes ranging from rabbit mac-and-cheese to braised pork belly with a spiced honey glaze.

Motor Supply Co. The Vista: 920 Gervais St., 256-6687 Tue-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.

An early pioneer of dining in the Vista 20 years ago, Motor Supply’s eclectic menu reflects a classic bistro mentality and changes every day and every night. Upbeat, cosmopolitan atmosphere and excellent food with a focus on fresh, local produce and artisanal techniques. Especially popular for Sunday brunch. $-$$.

Mr. Friendly’s

Five Points: 2001-A Greene St., 254-7828 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m.

The award-winning bistro Mr. Friendly’s is tucked into the side of Claussen’s Inn. This popular little bistro serves “good, old fashioned, New Southern Cuisine” at very reasonable prices. In addition to its daily menu, Mr. Friendly’s offers innovative nightly specials. $-$$.

P.O.S.H. Downtown: 1400 Main St., 988-1400 Tue-Sat 5-10 p.m.

Located inside the downtown Sheraton lobby, P.O.S.H. serves up an eclectic, upscale menu featuring a Grilled Quail Salad, Shrimp and Goat Cheese Croustades and entrées such

bites&sights | freetimes


as Boursin-Encrusted Halibut, Dry Aged Strip Steak and Lobster Risotto. $$.

Three Bean Net Café


Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lexington: 5454 Sunset Blvd., 996-3336

This casual fine-dining establishment offers cutting-edge culinary styles that blend Italian, French and Lowcountry influences. Serves seafood, beef, chicken and vegetarian entrees. Also hosts wine dinners. $$.

Surf the ‘Net on a caffeine wave. Four computer terminals, two couches and seven tables make this smoke-free café a perfect spot for work or play. Choose from their assortment of pastries, paninis and coffees, and enjoy the free Wi-Fi connection with your purchase. ¢.

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Five Points: 751 Saluda Ave., 799-9500 Mon-Sun 5:30-10 p.m.; Sun brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 1150 Bower Parkway, Suite F2, 781-6535

Northeast: 841 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-6966 Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30-9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Bar: MonSat 5 p.m.-until

From the people who bring you Mr. Friendly’s and Gervais & Vine, Solstice presents an upscale dining experience with such dishes as Seared Diver Scallops, Sesame-Ginger Tuna Tartare, Brown Sugar In-House Brined White Farms Pork Chops and the Zinfandel-Molasses Braised Beef Short Ribs. Extensive wine list and elegant, yet cozy, atmosphere. $-$$.

Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

In addition to real-fruit smoothies, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves a variety of wraps, sandwiches and salads. ¢

Village Gourmet

Tue-Thu 5-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m.

Winner of a 2007 Wine Spectator Award for Excellence, this upscale Vista West spot offers quality pours to match its tasty victuals. Featuring dishes like Pan Seared Triggerfish, Trout Meuniere Amandine and Braised Lamb Shoulder, the menu is artful and impressive. And if you can’t afford to put high culinary art on your plate, the brick oven pizzas, at $10 apiece, are a true and delicious bargain. $$.

Tombo Grille Forest Acres: 4517 Forest Dr., 782-9665 Mon-Thu 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m. (Bar opens at 4:30 p.m.)

Features fine wine, great appetizers, pasta, unique entrees (such as the Tombo Rito) and nightly specials. Run by the same owner as Motor Supply Co and with a menu crafted by Motor’s executive chef Tim Peters, Tombo offers amazingly well crafted dinners, from Crispy Roasted Duckling, Flatiron Steak to Carpaccio of Beef Tenderloin and Steamed Prince Edward island Mussels. Menu changes to reflect seasonal offerings. $.

Village Bistro Northeast: 498-1 Town Centre Place, 227-2710 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Ambitious menu includes items such as bacon-wrapped oysters with creamed spinach and creole mustard hollandaise, goat cheese raviolis with an artichoke, herb-dried tomato and three-cheese alfredo sauce and a whole crispy fried flounder. Showcases “the flavors of the world.” $-$$.

Brew Pub Hunter-Gatherer Downtown: 900 Main St., 748-0540 Mon 4-10 p.m.; Tue-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 4-11 p.m.

Serving excellent hand-crafted ales since 1995, Hunter-Gatherer’s food is as good as its beer, with nightly gourmet specials to complement such local favorites as the Black Bean Dip. Specialty pizzas are popular, as are the burgers and sandwiches. A favorite spot for university types, hipsters and jazz lovers, who come out in force on Thursdays for Skipp Pearson. ¢-$.

price key ¢ = average entrée less than $10 $ = average entrée $10-15 $$ = average entrée more than $15

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Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

File photo

Terra West Columbia/Cayce: 100 State St., 791-3443

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1410 Colonial Life Blvd., 798-6300


Café/ Coffee House Artsy Fartsy West Columbia-Cayce: 906 Knox Abott Dr., 665-0902 Art and coffee: two great tastes that taste (and look) great together.

Café Strudel West Columbia/Cayce: 118 State St., 794-6634 Mon-Wed 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Thu-Sat 8:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

This Vista West café has as much fun naming its dishes (“Hangover Hashbrowns,” “Heart Attack Wrap”) as it does hand crafting its desserts and breads. The casual, Bohemian style restaurant offers soups, salads, sandwiches, grill items and coffees. Also hosts a legendary Sunday brunch. ¢.

Caffé Corner Coffee Northeast: 120 Sparkleberry Crossing , 462-0077 Mon-Thu 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Premium hot and cold coffee drinks served alongside smoothies, gelatos, muffins, bagels and croissants. Also serves breakfast sandwiches and lunchtime subs and grilled panini sandwiches. ¢.

Carolina Café & Catering Downtown: 945 Sumter St. (corner of Sumter & Pendleton), 799-6676 Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Primarily a sandwich and bagel shop that serves breakfast and lunch all day. Menu includes homemade chicken, tuna and egg salad sandwiches as well as such classics as reubens, clubs and melts alonside salads and hot and cold specialty drinks. Free delivery to downtown and campus. ¢.

Cloud Nine Market The Vista: 916 Gervais St., 256-0043 Cafe: Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m.Shop: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Upscale gourmet market features excellent coffee bar that serves pastries as well as wines by the glass and smoothies. Often holds wine tastings, and serves lunchtime salads, sandwiches and soups. ¢.

Coffee Cabana Harbison/Irmo: 6903 St. Andrews Rd. Ste. 4, 794-6004 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Serving freshly brewed Turtle Creek coffee

along with traditional coffee shop food fare. ¢.

Cool Beans Coffee Company Downtown: 1217 College St., 779-4277 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-midnight; Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-midnight

Serves fresh sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. Large selection of coffee drinks, including the Perfect Woman and Holy Mocha. Near campus. ¢.

The Gourmet Shop Five Points: 724 Saluda Ave., 799-3705 Kitchen: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m.Shop: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

A Five Points icon because of its coveted sidewalk seating and signature dishes that include the chicken salad and the turkey pesto. The store offers coffees, wines, breads, kitchen gadgets and more. ¢-$.

Immaculate Consumption Downtown: 933 Main St., 799-9053 Breakfast: Mon-Fri 7:30-10:30 a.m.Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (coffee until 6 p.m.)

In addition to several different coffees and beer, this coffee shop next to the Nickelodeon serves a wide range of sandwiches and fresh salads that folks rave about. ¢.

Starbucks Five Points: 747 Saluda Ave., 779-1082 Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr., 743-4350 Mon-Thu 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 5:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 6080 Garners Ferry Rd., 695-0115 Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

This humble lunch spot emphasizes the little things with great results: fresh herbs in the windows, a peppermill on every table, pasta salad loaded with fresh veggies like zucchini and squash. Oh yeah, the Village Gourmet also has sandwiches like a roasted red pepper pimento cheese or a smoked applewood BLT, as well as a selection made with Armenian cracker bread. ¢.

Cajun Doc’s Gumbo Grille Garner’s Ferry/Rosewood: 3830A Rosewood Dr., 256-4440 Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

Offers classic Cajun specialties — gumbo, crawfish etouffee and oyster po’ boys, plus fresh salads and pastas and bourbon-soaked bread pudding. Full-service bar.

Caribbean/Latin Mojitos Tropical Café The Vista: 1004 Gervais St., 779-1717 Tues-Thurs 11:300 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 5-11 p.m.

Swanky Cuban/Caribbean restaurant featuring everything from beans and rice to pulled pork and fried plantains. The classic Cubano — a sandwich filled with pulled pork, ham and mustard — is delightful; and if you’re not into pork, there are other versions of the Cubano as well: a portobello mushroom version for the vegetarians, a chicken version and more. Dessert and drink menus, plus a bar.

Negril Caribbean Restaurant, Grill & Bar Northeast: 7314 Parklane Rd., 736-3116 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thurs-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun noon-11 p.m.

Northeast: 480-6 Forum Dr., 462-3352 (Village at Sandhills)

If you love Caribbean cuisine, Negril’s is the place for you. Dinner entrees include jerk chicken and curry dishes, plus plantains, cabbage and other delectable vegetable dishes. We dare you to try the brown stew chicken — the hottest item on the table. ¢-$.

Mon-Thu 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7 a.m.- 11 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Old San Juan Restaurant

Harbison/Irmo: 100 Columbiana Circle (Columbiana Centre), 749-4557 Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun noon-7 p.m.

Northeast: 163-8 Forum Dr., 736-3412 (Village at Sandhills) Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

The Vista: 831 Gervais St., 779-3484 Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6 a.m.-midnight; Sun 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Honestly, is there anybody out there who doesn’t already know about this place? Either you’re a devoted zealot in the crusade for super-strong Seattle lattes and bizarro cup-sizing, or you think Starbucks is the Evil Empire. Moving on … ¢.

Northeast: 108 Columbia NE Dr., 419-4365 Tue 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (buffet only); Wed-Sat 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

A true Puerto Rican restaurant featuring such mouth-watering dishes as the Empanadilla Rellena and the signature Mofongo Relleno. For a beverage, try the Guanaba, a tropical fruit that tastes like pineapples and strawberries. Affordable daily specials and side dishes are sure to please those looking for a truly authentic experience. ¢. continues on page 36

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


Five Points Devine Street Rosewood Olympia


ive Points is a college student’s playground, but it’s also much more. Home to the annual St. Pat’s Festival — which draws thousands of music fans and partiers every year — Five Points also offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars where you’ll find everything from books, coffee, hip clothing and CDs to deli sandwiches, burritos and more. And with the coveted tree-lined bungalows of Shandon just up the street, Five Points and Devine Street also have options for the post-college crowd, including an impressive area of locally owned retail spots and some higher-end dining options. Not far away in Rosewood, you’ll find a burgeoning residential and retail area anchored by Publix and sprinkled with eclectic spots to grab a drink or hear some music, such as Doc’s Gumbo Grille, Utopia and Rockaways. Near but not too near Williams-Brice Stadium, Rosewood also has real energy during USC’s football season. Then over in the historic mill village of Olympia, you’ll find a dynamic new art space at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art and a squeaky clean new baseball stadium, too.


STAY USC Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw avoids a sack at Williams-Brice Stadium. Photo by Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina.

Williams-Brice Stadium

Cantina 76

2901 Devine St., 708-6004 This Devine Street joint is abuzz with young women in cocktail dresses and couples on dates who come for the Tex-Mex cuisine and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with topshelf tequilas.

What to Do

Five Points Fountain


OK, so maybe a fountain doesn’t quite rise to the level of being a tourist attraction, but the Five Points Fountain is certainly a nice place to hang out with your coffee or lunch when you’re spending some time in Five Points. It’s also ground zero for the Five Points After Five concert series, which presents local and regional bands on an outdoor stage.

Situated close to both Rosewood and Olympia, Williams-Brice Stadium is party central during football season, with fans spilling into both Five Points and the Vista after games. Since being built in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration — you know, that leftist agency started by FDR — Williams-Brice has served as the site of lots of drunken football revelry, a U2 concert and an appearance by Obama and Oprah.

Five Points Retail


701 Center for Contemporary Art 701 Whaley St., 779-4571, Opened in the fall of 2008, the 701 Center for Contemporary Art has quickly become an integral part of the local arts scene, hosting visual arts exhibitions as well as cutting-edge music and dance performances and other events.

Carolina Stadium 431 Williams St. University spokespeople will tell you that USC’s shining new baseball stadium (which opened in 2008) is located in the Innovista district, but locals know the area as Olympia. Regardless of what you call it, the 9,000-seat baseball stadium is indeed a bang-up place to watch USC’s national champions. And while your inner accountant might moan and grown as you’re shelling out all that cash on concessions, your inner environmentalist can take pride in the stadium’s hydrogenpowered scoreboard — yes, really.

Harden Street and Saluda Avenue

Five Points is for strolling, dining and shopping. Retail options are wide, encompassing everything from hip vinyl at Papa Jazz and hip clothing at Loose Lucy’s to handcrafted local gifts at one of several galleries or thoughtful toys at Creative Kids. When night falls, there are plenty of places to get your groove on, too (see “Nightlife”).

Shops on Devine

Just up the hill from Five Points on Devine Street are a string of high-quality, locally owned boutiques. From eco-friendly children’s clothes at K.D.’s Treehouse to ultra-cool furniture at the Bohemian, Devine Street merchants specialize in some of the most unique and eclectic offerings in the city.

Bar None

Chubby’s 2 by 4

715 Harden St., 256-7733 Winner of the Best Bar to Go to with $10 to Your Name award in the 2007 Best of Columbia poll, Chubby’s is still a prime spot for eating and drinking on the cheap.

620 Harden St., 254-3354


Open well after most establishments have announced last call, this is the last refuge of the late-night lush. Filled with shuffleboard tables, rock music and sloshed 20-somethings, what more could you ask for?

Its retractable exterior wall opens to reveal the Five Points fountain plaza, thus making CJ’s a great spot for taking in this colorful corner of Columbia.  

Bey’s Sports Bar

711 Harden St., 255-2996 Offers most of the trappings of other Five Points bars, but also offers an eclectic selection of live music, from cutting-edge indie rock bands to singer-songwriters to dance-crazy DJs.

32 freetimes | bites&sights Five Points/Devine St./Rosewood/Olympia | play&stay

749 Saluda Ave., 748-8694


741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345 Delaney’s is as Irish as it comes here in the Bible Belt. Of course they have Guinness, but they’ve also got quite an assortment of classy imports and plenty of good ol’ Irish grub. Personable staff, live music and a vibrant atmosphere round out the package — but get there early, as it fills up fast, especially on pint nights.

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RUNNER-UP | Fall 2010


bites&sights | freetimes


Five Points Devine Street Rosewood Olympia Dr. Rocco’s


STAY Pawley’s Front Porch

801 Harden St., 771-7363

827 Harden St., 771-8001

With an outdoor patio that rests at the corner of Harden and Greene streets, Dr. Rocco’s affords an ideal spot for peoplewatching in Five Points.

Recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Pawley’s is primarily known for its behemoth specialty burgers, but it also caters to a late-night crowd on weekends. Especially good for game days, as it shows football games on its huge screen on its even huger deck.


2017 Devine St., 256-3325 Goatfeathers is the ideal habitat if you’re looking for that dark and mysterious, film-noir kind of ambience. The delicious food and gourmet desserts, perennially attractive staff, romance-conducive lighting and convenient Five Points locale make Goatfeathers one of Columbia’s all-time favorite hangouts.  

Group Therapy

2107 Greene St., 256-1203

Publick House

2307 Devine St., 256-2207 Exceptional beer selection, challenging trivia, hip music selection, über-friendly staff, good burgers and the best raw fries around.

Papa Jazz. File photo.

634 Harden St., 799-1015

The Tavern on Greene

Red Hot Tomatoes

Columbia’s quintessential college bar, with cheap drinks, loud music and an outdoor oasis to escape the crowd. Group wrote the book on college partying in Columbia.

From barroom bingo to karaoke, dance music to red-hot bartenders and customers, Red Hot Tomatoes has everything it needs to keep the parade of partygoers coming. A Five Points institution since 1988.

640 Harden St., 255-0818

Rockaway Athletic Club


A favorite for its laid back, fun-loving atmosphere. They sell huge slices of pizza and will let you keep your lemon-drop glass if you’re so bold. Staffers have shots named after them, and there’s always a chance your picture will pop up on their web site. Locals is also the bar behind those clever game-day stickers you’ll see people wearing at football tailgates. Has become a Five Points tradition in just a few years.

Lucky’s 2100 Devine St., 929-1118 For the Vista experience in Five Points, Lucky’s is your place — good wine and beer selection and an outdoor patio.

Mucho Margaritas 819 Harden St., 251-3185 Yes, the margaritas, voted best in the Free Times Best of Columbia poll, are, in fact, spectacular, but the family-owned restaurant and bar also offers fine Tex-Mex food and cheap beer.

Nightcaps 2722 Devine St., 771-6575 An out-of-the-way place with respect to Five Points, Nightcaps has a pool table, a big-screen television, comfy lounge chairs and a good late-night atmosphere. With only a handful of places staying open ‘til sunrise anymore, it’s a popular haven for those not ready to let the night end.


2000-B Greene St. Tucked behind the Salty Nut, Pavlov’s is a long-time stomping ground of college revelers and serves as hallowed ground for many in the fraternity/sorority circle.

2719 Rosewood Dr., 256-1075 Exquisite burgers, low-key atmosphere and a nice, amply stocked bar. Plus, lots of sports on TV.

The Saloon

812 Harden St., 779-4445 From the people that brought you Delaney’s and Speakeasy comes The Saloon — where beer comes in Mason jars and a city slicker can buy a cowboy hat to look the part.

Salty Nut Café

2000-A Greene St., 256-4611

2002-C Greene St., 252-7265 Perhaps unfairly labeled as a hippie bar — though it is especially welcome to Dead, Spread and Phish heads — the Tavern on Greene is a late night hangout for local musicians and party people alike. An underrated and often overlooked Five Points institution.

The Thirsty Parrot

734 Harden St., 708-4768 Like Jimmy Buffett? You’ll most likely dig this place, which offers fine burgers and spirits in an easygoing atmosphere.

TLC Sports Bar and Grill 936 S. Stadium Rd., 251-3485 Built to withstand even the toughest of game days, this ultimate Gamecock bar, located within a stone’s throw of WilliamsBrice, offers enough food, drink and fun to satisfy even the most orange-blooded Clemson fan.

A quick hop from USC, the Salty Nut sees its fair share of co-eds at night, though its relaxed atmosphere and huge half-pound burgers attract a more diverse crowd for lunch. As far as the nighttime appeal goes, what more could a modern college student ask for than peanuts, beer, burgers and sports?


636 Harden St., 799-8337

2009 Devine St., 252-8646

What you might already know about Sharky’s: It’s been a favorite Five Points hangout since 1985, been repeatedly voted Best College Bar in Free Times, been listed in Playboy’s Top 100 College Bars issue and it was once the No. 1 Jim Beam sales account in the world. What you might not know: Sharky’s also works hard to keep the partying safe by offering free cab rides and contributing to MADD.

Columbia’s quintessential college-town pizza joint in a pub atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious fare, cold beer, wallet-friendly weekly specials and a heaping helping of revelry. Serving New York-style pizza since 1990. Dine in, pick up or delivery, and menu also features salads, sandwiches and wings.



711 Saluda Ave., 255-0869 Delaney’s classy, hip younger sibling boasts a fine liquor selection, great beers and a top-notch staff, as well as fine cigars, comfy couches and weekly jazz.

406 Howard St., 733-2222 Cozy is the name of the game here — this Rosewood neighborhood bar offers plush indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are perfect for catching its frequent singersongwriter guests.

Village Idiot

Yesterday’s Restaurant and Tavern

Where to Stay Accommodations Claussen’s Inn 2003 Greene St., 765-0440 You won’t find a swimming pool here, but you will find a charming brick hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places with 27 rooms decked out in pine furniture and each possessing a small patio. Located in the heart of Five Points, Claussen’s is a brief walk to a fantastic record store (Papa Jazz), an amazing burrito establishment (El Burrito) and a host of fine restaurants (Garibaldi’s, Saluda’s), cool clothiers (American Apparel, Sid and Nancy, Luna, Salty’s) and other hipster hangouts (Goatfeathers, The Gourmet Shop). Don’t bet on booking a post-St. Pat’s Festival room, though. Double-plus points for the complimentary wine and scotch served in the lobby every afternoon. Amenities: Free continental breakfast; free guest parking; non-smoking rooms; free Wi-Fi; lounge.

The Whitney Hotel

700 Woodrow St., 252-0845 Now famous for its assocation with USC football players and an NCAA investigation involving their living arrangements, this tastefully furnished, 74-room hotel is perfect for those who love the nightlife but still want some peace and quiet at night. Less than a mile from Five Points and roughly a 20-minute walk from campus, it also provides primo access to some of Devine Street’s fineries. Rated among the top 10 hotels in Columbia by Yahoo! Travel. Amenities: Full buffet breakfast; free Wi-Fi; full kitchen, washer/dryer and balconies in rooms; laundry valet service; outdoor pool; non-smoking rooms; free airport shuttle.

2000 Devine St., 799-0196 A great place for an undergrad to take his or her squeeze out for dinner without maxing out the credit card. Good food, above-average beer and liquor selection. Bar in the back has its own entrance on Devine Street. A veritable Columbia landmark since 1978.

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36 freetimes | bites&sights

Dining continued from page 30 Taste of Jamaica Cafe & Lounge Forest Acres: 3123 N Beltline Blvd., 256-9050 Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Oxtail, curry goat, fried plantains — in short, Jamaican favorites, appropriately located in Columbia’s international district.

egg rolls, spring rolls and fried or steamed dumplings to Sesame Shrimp, General Tso’s Chicken and Pepper Steak. And you can top it all off with those addictive little Chinese donuts. ¢.

Yummy Yummy Chinese Restaurant Forest Acres: 4600 Forest Dr., 790-9979 Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri & Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.


Northeast: 3902 Two Notch Rd., 714-9922

China Buffet Sushi and Bar

Szechwan and Cantonese offerings with a special section for dieters. ¢.

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4464 Devine St., Suite E (Bi Lo Shopping Center)

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

787-8898 pSun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.


Upscale Chinese buffet with more than 100 items daily, including sushi and sashimi. Features crab legs on Fridays and Saturdays. ¢.

Andy’s Deli

Columbiana Super Buffet Harbison/Irmo: 285 Columbiana Dr., 781-8841 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.

What can you say other than it’s a loaded Chinese buffet with all the fixins in the Columbiana Mall area, convenient to both the mall and theater if you find yourself there and craving some good lo mein, teriyaki chicken or moo goo gai pan. ¢.

Egg Roll Chen Shandon: Shandon: 715 Crowson Rd., 787-6820 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Inexpensive, fresh Chinese-American standards prepared to order. ¢.

Egg Roll Station West Columbia/Cayce: 135 Sunset Blvd., 791-4060 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Inexpensive, fresh Chinese-American standards prepared to order. ¢.

Golden China West Columbia/Cayce: 3313 Platt Springs Rd., 739-5999 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Specializing in Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine, Golden China offers a wide selection plus lunch specials from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ¢.

Hong Kong Downtown: 1211 Taylor St., 779-6689 Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Affordable lunch buffet ($5.25) Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. plus a large a la carte and combination menu. Delivery available for a $10 minimum. ¢.

Jin’s Hibachi & Chinese Northeast: 4435 Hardscrabble Rd., 788-3339 Tues-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Serving Hibachi lunch and dinners, Jin’s also features a full Chinese menu with everything you’d expect, including specialties and combinations. ¢-$.

Tea Pot Chinese Restaurant West Columbia/Cayce: 829 Knox Abbott Dr., 796-7136 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat noon-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10:30 p.m.

Everything you could want in a Chinese restaurant excluding a buffet. Try the Hunan-style Crispy Scallops, the Fisherman’s Catch or any one of a bevy of combination and special dinners. Dine in, takeout and delivery available. ¢.

Top China Buffet

Five Points: 2005 Greene St., 799-2639 Mon-Sat 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Serving a range of hot and cold deli sandwiches plus salads, this Five Points mainstay enjoys a well-deserved reputation for prompt service and consistent quality. Andy’s Special, which features roast beef, turkey and bacon bits on a hoagie roll, and which comes with that tantalizingly tangy dip, ought to qualify as the official sandwich of the Midlands. Thank you my friend, indeed. ¢.

Anthony’s Dairy Bar Downtown: 2001 Hampton St., 255-0900 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Anthony’s offers daily lunch specials for the downtown lunch crowd, including their award-winning wings, sandwich baskets, subs, pitas and more. If you’re into some Southern delicacies, try their gizzards alone or as a meal deal. Side items include fried okra alongside corn dogs and sausage dogs, and Anthony’s even offers seafood. ¢.

Beezer’s Downtown: 919-B Sumter St., 771-7771 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-4 a.m.; Sun noon-midnight

Sandwiches like the T-Bird, the Godfather and the Rebel Rouser have become mainstays for any self-respecting college student or budgetconscious diner. New on the menu are Wheat Wraps and a Big Bear Cheesesteak. ¢.

Blimpie Subs & Salads

Lexington: 815 N. Lake Dr., 808-9710 Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-10 p.m

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 422-B Bush River Rd., 772-3735 Mon-Tue 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wed-Thu 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Offering hot and cold selections like the Steak & Onion Melt, the Tuna Melt, the Ultimate Club, and the VegiMax. Its signature sandwich is the Blimpie Best with ham, salami, cappacola, prosciuttini and provolone. Also offers wraps and carb-friendly items. ¢.

Café Gervais

Downtown: 1202 Sumter St., 251-3456 Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Located downtown in the Bank of America courtyard, Café Gervais serves salads, burgers and sandwiches, ranging from turkey and roast beef to grilled cheese and Philly cheesesteak. Also serving bagels, muffins and biscuits for breakfast and daily specials. ¢.

Cribb’s Sandwich & Sweet Shop Lexington: 108-D S. Church St., 808-6004 Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Touting sandwiches and food like grandma used to make, here you’ll find an assortment of reasonably priced sandwich baskets and salads, homemade soups and breakfast entrées. ¢.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: Corner of Broad River and St. Andrews Roads , 750-2299 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Offers all your favorite Chinese staples, from

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


The Deli


Lexington: 821-F East Main St., 957-3120

Five Points: 611 Harden St. , 799-5708

Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Established in 1985, The Deli offers subs like the Hungry Man (pepper steak) and the Big Cheese alongside deli sandwiches like pastrami or corned beef on rye. ¢.

Blythewood: 730 University Village Dr., 754-4509

DiPrato’s Delicatessen

Harbison/Irmo: 800 Lake Murray Blvd., 7494515

Five Points: 342 Pickens St., 779-0606 Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun Brunch 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

A stone’s throw from Maxcy Gregg park, DiPrato’s brings a New York attitude to its gourmet deli selections. Choose from its 17 signature sandwiches, build your own or explore the paninis and salads. The menu also offers 10-12 dinner entrées, including crab cakes and salmon. ¢-$.

DL McLaughlin’s Harbison/Irmo: 10400 Broad River Rd., 732-4109 Mon-Thu 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fri 10:30 a.m-9 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

The sign by the highway at this stop-off en route to or from the lake boasts about the Philly cheese steaks — and rightfully so. Brought to you by the former owners of the popular Sub Cabin, its Philly sandwiches are second to none. Remodeled to include an outdoor seating area. Also serves subs, wings, pizza and French fries cooked in peanut oil. ¢-$.

Doza Rizen Cafe Chapin: 107 Virginia St.; 345-2980 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

West Columbia-Cayce: 1202 Sunset Blvd., 708-6020 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pitas, wraps and deli sandwiches meet soups, salads and other lunchtime fare — and tasty cakes, cookies and brownies, too.

European Mini Market West Columbia-Cayce: 515 Meeting St., 939-7088

Forest Acres: 4717 Forest Dr., 790-0801 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Lexington: 117 1/2 East Main St., 356-8800 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Northeast: 111 Sparkleberry Crossing, 4196767 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2009 Broad River Rd., 750-3118 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 2265 Sunset Blvd., 796-7826 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Open since 1941, Groucho’s uses only the highest quality ingredients and is the premiere lunchtime meeting place of students and business people of Columbia. The Apollo and the STP Dippers are locally famous for good reason. ¢.

Hampton Place Café Downtown: 1230 Hampton St., 254-5847 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Local favorite lunch spot with upscale sandwiches and salads and outdoor seating. Try the spinach and mushroom or crab quiche, go for a hearty soup or brave the crabwich, a crab salad sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese. You won’t go wrong with anything off the menu, and the sandwiches all are among the biggest around, meaning you’ll never leave hungry. ¢.

Honey Baked Ham Forest Acres: 7451 Two Notch Rd., 782-4267 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

Carries specialty prepared foods from Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia and more.

Fifth Avenue Deli

Jersey Mike’s

Shandon: 2910 Rosewood Dr., 988-0063 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cayce/West Columbia: 1720 Sunset Blvd., 796-1126.

Gourmet deli offers soups, sandwiches, salads and ice cream. Highlights include the The Big Rosewood, the Shandon Club, a Tomato Melt with Boursin and Swiss cheeses and a Pesto Turkey sandwich. ¢.

Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Firehouse Subs

Downtown: 633 Main St., 733-9836 Harbison/Irmo: 7467 St. Andrews Rd., 407-8521 Lexington: 109 Old Chapin Rd., 957-1100 Northeast: 10136 Two Notch Rd., 419-8161 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Fire station-themed deli featuring enticing hot and cold selections and combos. Soups, salads and a children’s menu are also available. ¢.

Garden Bistro The Vista: 923 Gervais St., 933-9085 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Garden Bistro is a healthy and delicious downtown lunch option, offering an eclectic menu of soups, salads, wraps and specialty sandwiches. ¢.

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4717 Devine St., 787-0945 Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 7241 Broad River Rd., 749-3022 Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

This sub shop sailed in from the Jersey Shore, where the chain started in 1956. It offers the usual cold sub choices plus hot options like the Meatball & Cheese, the Philly cheesesteak and the Bar-B-Que Beef Sub. ¢.

Jimmy Johns Five Points: 2015 Devine St., 806-8282 Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-3 a.m.

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wiches and soups. The Club is quite a mouthful, and the BLT has a perfect balance of bacon and crispy lettuce. Come for Wednesday’s Cajun and Creole specials or order the special on Saturday for a taste of what Linda’s can do. ¢.

McAlister’s Deli Forest Acres: 4710-A Forest Dr., 790-5995 Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 300 Columbiana Dr., 781-4550 Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lexington: 5175 Sunset Blvd., 951-3332 Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 119 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-7600 Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Specializing in gigantic spuds, signature gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and sweet tea. ¢.

Nathan’s Restaurant Downtown: 1840 Hampton St., 254-0484 Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Delivering breakfast and lunch to downtown businesses since 1991. Features breakfast menu that includes the traditional items but also adds such items as Corned Beef Hash, Liver Pudding and Fried Flounder. Lunch menu heavy on sandwiches and salads, though a meat-and-three option is available. ¢.

The Vista: 715 Gervais St., 933-9595

Nature’s Deli

Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Downtown: 1616 Taylor St., 748-9344

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 5910 Garner’s Ferry Rd., Ste. B, 695-3278

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Serves subs, clubs and their meat-heavy signature sandwich, The J.J. Gargantuan. Subs on French bread, clubs available on whole wheat. Atypical vegetarian toppings include avocado, cucumber and sprouts. Delivery available for a modest charge. ¢.

Linda’s Little Deli Did we list a restaurant that has closed? Did we overlook your favorite place? Let us know what you think: Email

File photo

Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Honey Baked Ham serves hardwood-smoked, honey-spiced spiral-cut ham and turkey. Takeout box lunch includes a sandwich, cookie, drink and chips. ¢.

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun noon-5 p.m.


Northeast: 4130 Bethel Church Rd., 787-4351 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

This tiny, rustic eatery has thrived on a wordof-mouth reputation built around its sand-

With fresh natural ingredients and extensive made-to-order preparation, Nature’s Deli offers an eclectic mix of Italian, Greek and American menu items. ¢.

Nice-N-Natural Downtown: 1217 College St., 799-3471 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

What a concept: friendly service and healthy food. The menu is somewhat short and seating is limited, but with mouthwatering options like the vegetarian Reubenless sandwich and that famously quenching Ginger Limeade, who needs choices? And with the lush greenery of the USC Horseshoe just up the street,

who needs a table? If the world had more joints like this discreet hideaway, we’d all live to 100 — and be happy about it. ¢.

No Name Deli Downtown: 2042 Marion St., 252-0480 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This popular downtown lunch spot is anything but anonymous. Grab a tray and line up for sandwiches (hot or cold), salads and homemade soup. Pay at the register when you get your food, though be sure to bring cash or a check, no cards. Separate counter for togo order pickup helps long lines disappear quickly. ¢.

Peaceful Villa Farm Outlet and Mediterranean Market West Columbia-Cayce: 1532 Sunset Blvd., 708-1379 Wed-Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Part organic local grocery, part bakery and deli, this Mediterranean joint has some seriously devoted fans. All the produce is grown just south of Columbia, and the breads, pesto, kebabs and many other foods are made inhouse.

Pita Pit Downtown: 2002 A Greene St., 799-4557 Mon-Wed 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 a.m.; Thu-Sat 10:30 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sun noon-1 a.m.

ita Pit serves low fat, cholesterol-free bread packed with vegetables and meat or vegetarian toppings. Offers delivery and stays open extremely late for those late night munchies. ¢.

Roly Poly Sandwiches Downtown: 1258 Lady St., 252-1081 Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

With an inventive menu of hot and cold handrolled sandwiches (wraps), including but not limited to Basil Cashew Chicken, Key West Cuban Mix, Thai Hot Tuna, Delhi Chicken and Philly Melt and Pepper Steak, Roly Poly is challenging the notion that hoagies are humdrum. ¢.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Sammi’s Deli

Zoe’s Kitchen

Downtown: 1621-A Main St., 255-0001

Downtown: 1320 Main St., 771-0122

Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-3 p.m

Five Points: 2009 Greene St., 256-7763

Forest Acres: 4855 Forest Dr., 782-1212

Mon-Sun 7 a.m.-2 a.m.

Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Shandon/Rosewood: 506 Beltline Blvd., 782-4662

Specializes in garden fresh, healthy sandwiches, salads, hot plates and soups. Also offers catering and delivery service. ¢.

Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sammi’s has been a family tradition since 1925 and has been a staple of USC undergradates for decades thanks to its original Philly cheesesteaks, gyros, salads and cold subs. Vegetarian gyros and falafels available. Eat in, carry out or delivery. ¢.

Schlotzsky’s Deli Northeast: 7132 Parklane Rd., 865-2867 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Despite its vowel-challenged name, Schlotzsky’s became a successful national chain on the strength of its fresh-baked bread and generously portioned oven-toasted sandwiches. Also on the menu are healthy wraps and salads in addition to gourmet pizzas. ¢.

Steve’s #1 Sub Contractor West Columbia/Cayce: 1471 Platt Springs Rd., 791-9222 West Columbia/Cayce: 748 Main St. (S. Congaree), 755-7470 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Great local sub place — why go corporate when you can get local that’s even better? Serving Columbians since 1980. ¢.

Sub Station II

Dessert Baskin-Robbins Forest Acres: 4711 Forest Dr., 782-0731 Northeast: 9920 Two Notch Rd., 788-7755 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

With more than 4,500 locations, BaskinRobbins is the world’s largest ice cream chain. Though everyone knows about the 31 flavors, it actually rotates some 100 flavors each year and possess an arsenal of a whopping 1,000 flavors overall. Oh yeah, and the ice cream cakes are second to none. ¢.

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Harbison/Irmo: 378 Columbiana Dr., 743-0291 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Northeast: 202 Grace’s Way, 419-8889, SunThu 12 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 12 a.m.-10 p.m. A popular Pennsylvania-based chain that makes all its ice cream locally in-store. Popular flavors include Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Peanut Cookie Dough ice cream. Offers waffle cones, sundaes, cakes and pies, shakes, smoothies and more. ¢.

West Columbia/Cayce: 503 Knox Abbott Dr., 791-8693

Cold Stone Creamery

Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun noon-8 p.m.

Sun-Thu noon-10 p.m.-9 a.m.; Fri-Sat noon-11 p.m.

Subs and salads prepared fresh before your eyes. Atkins-friendly. Twelve Midlands locations from which to choose. ¢.

Swanson’s Deli Downtown: 1332 Main St., 343-3253 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Deli catering to downtown lunch crowd. Located inside the historic Arcade building, the art-filled space offers an array of specialty sandwiches, including Swanson’s signature Main St. Club, as well as specials like chili. ¢.

Which Wich? Downtown: 928 S. Main St., 343-3317 Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 494-1 Town Center Place, 227-2782 Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

As the name implies, this place is all about the sandwich, with more than 50 from which to choose. Categories are simple: turkey, chicken, ham and pork, beef, vegetarian, Itaian, “classics” and even seafood. Also serves breakfast sandwiches, “kidswiches” and cookies, shakes and malts. ¢.

Lexington: 914-C N. Lake Dr., 951-2353

Downtown: 1700 Huger Street , 779-2290 Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

With the slogan “Guaranteed Worst in Town,” Cromer’s has a long history in Columbia — 75 years and counting — and a good sense of humor about it. While fulfilling all your boiled peanut, cotton candy, caramel corn and various candy needs, Cromer’s also sells concession equipment and other party supplies.

Cupcake Vista: 1213 Lincoln St., 212-4949 Mon-Wed 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 12-5 p.m.

Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Café Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7490 Garners Ferry Rd. , 783-8221

Desserts & More

A Charleston tradition since 1972, Ye Ole’s burgers are enormous and have been voted the best burgers in Charleston. Its hot dogs have won similar acclaim, and while there’s plenty of sandwiches and entrées to choose from, it also has all your ice cream and milkshake needs covered, being particularly proud of its signature banana split. ¢. | Fall 2010

3/17/10 11:27:2

Cromer’s P-Nuts

This Charleston import does one thing and one thing only: cupcakes. Of course, they also do them supremely well. From Red Velvet to Mandarin Orange Chocolate to Chocolate Almond to about anything sweet you can think of, Cupcake has your sweet tooth covered and then some. ¢.

Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.


“The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience.” When you boast that, you better have the product to back it up, and Cold Stone does. Premium ice cream, yogurt and Italian sorbet is made fresh every day on site with an extensive choice of mix-in combinations. Artbar 2010 Bites+Sites 02.indd 1 ¢.

Northeast: 4611 Hardscrabble Rd., Ste. 101 , 699-8800 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Specializes in desserts, including cookies, cakes (try the Red Velvet Cake) and pies, but also features large breakfast and lunch menu, including sandwiches, soups and salads. Gourmet coffee selection to boot. ¢.

price key ¢ = average entrée less than $10 $ = average entrée $10-15 $$ = average entrée more than $15



bites&sights | freetimes


FruitiCup Five Points: 631-B Harden St., 771-0061 Mon-Wed: 11 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.; Thurs-Sat: 11:00 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

spanakopita. Their souvlaki uses pork tenderloin and a twist on a classic Greek marinade. Serves pork chops and ribeye steaks, too. ¢-$.

Solstice File photo

Northeast: 10136 Two Notch Rd. #100-A; 736-3385

Mediterranean Café Lexington: 327 W. Main St., 356-6294

Open daily 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Mon-Thu 5:30-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30-9:30 p.m.

First, choose your frozen yogurt flavor from the ever-changing assortment; then, top it with everything from brownie chunks to fresh fruit to every kind of candy imaginable. Pay by weight. Feel like a kid again. Also serves boba milk tea.

Menu includes Greek salads, tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel and the usual gyros, pita wraps and kabobs. On some Saturday nights, restaurant offers live music. Private dining room available. ¢-$.

Happy Frog Café

Mediterranean Tea Room

Harbison/Irmo: 11107-F Broad River Rd., 7329599

Shandon: 2601 Devine St., 799-3118 Mon-Tue 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-8:45 p.m.; Wed-Fri-11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wed-Sat 5:30-9:45 p.m.

Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Located just off the Peak exit off I-26 in the Food Lion Shopping Center, the Happy Frog Café specializes in Italian gelato ice creams, espressos and panini sandwiches. ¢.

Menu includes a wide selection of traditional Middle Eastern food such as hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel and tabbouleh. Specialty dish is a kofta kebob, which is a combination of lamb and beef mixed with parsley, celery and spices. Entrees include chicken, lamb, beef, vegetarian dishes and a variety of nightly specials. ¢-$.

Insomnia Cookies Five Points: 2013 Devine St., 877-632-6654 Mon-Sun 7 p.m.-3 a.m.

Now in a permanent Five Points location, Insomnia bakes fresh cookies and other goodies for the late-night partying crowd. What’s better after a night of drinking than a freshly made chocolate chip cookie? Try the Menage a Trois, a blend of three cookies all baked together. ¢.

Tabouli Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar Shandon/Rosewood: 2930 Devine St., 256-1007 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Bar open late.

Authentic Mediterranean cuisine, including kabobs, brick oven pizzas, soups and more. ¢.

Marble Slab Creamery Garners Ferry/Southeast: 6000 Garners Ferry Rd., 783-6243

Zorba’s Family Greek Restaurant Harbison/Irmo: 6169 St. Andrews Rd., 772-4617

Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Mon-Thu 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10:30 a.m.11 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 1230 Bower Pkwy., 749-4233 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 7320 Broad River Rd., 7497000 (Express location) Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Longtime Columbia institution serving some of the city’s best Greek salads and pizzas (try the ‘Zorba’s Special’ version of each and you’ll be hooked for life). Generous portions, family friendly atmosphere. Live Greek music on Thursdays. ¢.

Lexington: 100 Old Cherokee Rd., 808-7522 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Northeast: 471-C Town Center Place, 419-8300 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

The Vista: 1001 Gervais St., 765-9100 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.; 11 p.m.; Sun noon-10:30 p.m.

Founded in Houston, more than 250 Marble Slab Creamery locations dot North America. Ice cream is made on site daily, with flavors ranging from Vanilla Cinnamon to Dark Chocolate with Butterfinger. Servers mix ice cream with candy, nuts or other assorted toppings on a frozen marble slab. ¢.

Nonnah’s The Vista: 930 Gervais St., 779-9599 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon-Thu 5-11 p.m.; Fri 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Sat 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

tooth. ¢.

Yoghut Downtown: 601 Main St., 386-9786 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Frozen yogurt with fresh toppings; coffee drinks, smoothies and parfaits.

Yumilicious Forest Acres: 4710 Forest Dr., 782-0077

Perhaps most popular for its offering of fine desserts, Nonnah’s also serves lunch and dinner. Lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads and soups. Dinner menu includes such delicacies as stuffed portobello mushrooms and six-ounce filets. Try a cappuccino or cognac to round out the meal. ¢-$.

Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Sweet Cake House

Julia’s German Restaurant

St. Andrews-Dutch Square: 7001 St. Andrews Rd., 749-9668

Wed-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5-9 p.m.; Sat 5-9 p.m.

Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. -6:30 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

If it’s dessert you seek, check out the cakes, pastries and other delectable goods. But Sweet Cake House also serves sandwiches, deli salads and breakfast treats like turnovers and strudels.

Yogen Fruz Northeast: 480-4 Town Center Place, 223-9543 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 1-10 p.m.

Located at the Village at Fruz offers signature frozen blends, soft-serve yogurt, candy snacks for those with

Sandhill, Yogen yogurt and fruit smoothies and a healthy sweet

40 freetimes | bites&sights

Self-serve Texas yogurt chain comes to Forest Acres with lots of flavors and toppings.

German Northeast: 4341 Fort Jackson Blvd., 738-0630

Old-fashioned, home style German comfort cooking. From bratwurst to schnitzel, Julia’s has you covered. Bring a healthy appetite and love for all things Deutsch. ¢.

Greek/ Mediterranean Devine Foods Shandon: 2702 Devine St., 252-0356 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Casual authentic Greek restaurant that’s been around since 1987. Offers takeout and deliv-

ery, Devine Foods is as good a genuine GreekMediterranean restaurant as you’ll find anywhere, and the prices are reasonable. Great Spanakopita. ¢-$.

Grecian Gardens West Columbia/Cayce: 2312 Sunset Blvd., 794-7552 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Greek restaurant boasting particularly fresh, well-made bread. Signature dish is the pasticchio, which the chef accentuates with such extra seasonings as cinnamon and bay leaf. Good place for large groups. ¢-$.

Greek Boys Downtown: 1469 Sumter St., 771-7618 Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

This downtown lunch spot describes its fare as “Greek with a Southern twist,” though it’s hard to say what’s so Southern about the place besides the sweet tea and the availability of chicken salad. Really, though, it’s sort of irrelevant: people crowd in for the burgers and the gyros, mostly — and crowd in they do, every weekday around noon. Try the Beef Souvlaki Platter or Blackened Pork Chops, which arrive super fast and are easy on the wallet. ¢.

Main Street Café, Bar & Grill Lexington: 131 E. Main St., 808-5886 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m. (bar open later all week)

Indian Bombay Grill St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 245 Bush River Rd., 772-5121 Mon and Wed-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

Featuring a range of South and North Indian dishes, as well as a handful of Indian Chinese entrees, this Boozer Shopping Center onestop satisfies vegetarians and omnivores alike. Diners can choose between classic standards like Chicken Tikka, Lamb Vindaloo and Channa Masala, or sample less common fare such as the fenugreek-seasoned Methi Chicken or Baingan Bartha, which pairs baked eggplant with tomato, onion and spices. The South Indian dosai (stuffed savory crepes) are not to be missed. $.

Delhi Palace St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 542 St. Andrews Rd., 750-0866 Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m.

Recently relocated to a revamped St. Andrews Rd. location, this much-loved Indian restaurant offers a buffet as well as traditional menu items including rich curries, biryani and a range of Indian breads. Savvy enough to please afficionados and newcomers. ¢-$.

Intimate casual dining specializing in Mediterranean European cuisine, including gyros and

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Panjabi Dhaba

Garibaldi Café

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1201 Bush River Rd., 798-8011

Five Points: 2013 Greene St., 771-8888

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.

Best way to get a sampling of its traditional Indian menu is to try the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, one of the best in town. Offers plenty of vegetarian dishes, too, and specializes in Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. Available for private parties. $.

Tandoori Grill Northeast: 110-A Columbia Northeast Dr., 462-0788 Daily 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Fri-Sun 5-10 p.m.

Calling Indian buffet fans: Get your fix 7 days a week at Tandoori Grill, where you can find all the classics: samosa, pakora, tandoori chicken and an array of curries and other Indian favorites.

Mon-Thu 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30-11 p.m.; Sun 5:30-10 p.m.

Fine dining in an elegant atmosphere. Large Italian menu specializes in fresh seafood and typically boasts eight to nine specials a night. Mediterranean influence means plenty of herbs and olive oils. Terrific fried flounder. $$.

Moe’s Grapevine Italian Restaurant Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4478 Rosewood Dr., 776-8463 Lunch: Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner: Tue 5-9 p.m.; Wed-Sat 5-10 p.m.


Accomplished local Italian chef, popular at noted previous stops around town, has his own restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cooking as well as daily specials and special pizza selections alongside an impressive array of soups, salads and desserts. $.

Al’s Upstairs

Pasta Fresca

West Columbia/Cayce: 304 Meeting St., 794-7404 Mon-Sat 5-10 p.m.

Italian fine dining since 1979. Lobster bisque is served with a popular puff pastry dome that locks in flavors and aromas. Offers fresh fish, veal, pasta and steaks with impeccable service and a beautiful view of Columbia’s skyline. $$.

Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders Harbison/Irmo: 1085 Lake Murray Blvd., 407-4884 Lexington: 5339 Sunset Blvd., Hwy. 378, 957-6767 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Generous portions of hearty Italian pizza and grinders. Affordable prices, friendly staff and consistent quality keep this popular restaurant full. ¢.

Carrabba’s Harbison/Irmo: 370 Columbiana Dr., 407-1811 Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri 4-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 200 Grace’s Way, 865-5688 Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri 4-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Offers quality Italian dishes including chicken, veal, pasta, seafood and pizza that’s woodfired in a brick oven. Plenty of salads, desserts and more to tempt the appetite. $.

Columbo’s Italian Eatery & Prime Steaks St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2100 Bush Rvier Rd. (inside the Radisson Hotel) , 744-2200 Mon-Sun 6:30 a.m.-midnight

Italian cuisine with a Tuscan flair and boasting “The Best Steak in Town.” Premium steaks are barrel-cut in house, and restaurant also offers a do-it-yourself pasta bar as well as breakfast. $-$$.

Delucca’s West Columbia/Cayce: 2275 Sunset Blvd., 926-5255 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-9 p.m.; Sat 4-9 p.m.

Italian eatery featuring traditional favorites such as chicken and veal parmesan and primavera in addition to veal piccata and stuffed eggplant. Also includes pasta, ravioli, pizza, calzone and strombolis. $.

Dianne’s on Devine Shandon: 2400 Devine St., 254-3535 Mon 5-9 p.m.; Tue-Sat 5-10 p.m.

Dim lighting, sultry jazz and exquisite service make Dianne’s an excellent choice for special occasions. Delicious fare features heavy Italian influence on chicken, steak and pasta dishes. You won’t go wrong anywhere on the upscale menu. $-$$. | Fall 2010


Forest Acres: 3405 Forest Dr., 787-1838 Sun-Thu 4:30-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4:30-10 p.m.

Family owned restaurant that features pasta dishes with fresh, made-from-scratch sauces and pastas. Innovative nightly seafood specials, a good selection of vegetarian dishes and welcoming atmosphere make this a local favorite. ¢-$.


Ristorante Divino The Vista: 803 Gervais St., 799-4550 Mon-Sat 6 p.m.-until

Some of the best fine dining in Columbia or anywhere else, you’ll find Northern Italian dishes here, including the signature Rack of Lamb dish. Wine list consistently wins Wine Spectator awards. $$.

Rosso Trattoria Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr., 787-3949 Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m. (Bar opens at 4:30 every day)

From the owner of Gervais & Vine comes this welcome addition to the Forest Acres dining landscape. Out-of-this-world seafood highlights the Italian-Mediterranean menu, but don’t miss out on their wood-fired traditional pizzas. Entrées include a Rosso Bucco, a Wood-Grilled Swordfish in addition to Lobster Spaghetti and a Lemon-Saffron Risotto. $-$$.

Stephano’s Lexington: 420 Columbia Ave., 359-5436 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Reliable Italian-American fare: chicken parmesan, spaghetti, raviolis, manicottis and pizzas, to name a few. Lunch menu includes personal midget pizzas and a variety of hot and cold subs. Salads and homemade pimento cheese also are available. ¢-$.

Tony’s Pizza and Italian Eatery Downtown: 1120 Washington St., 779-3000 Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Below-ground downtown favorite offers pastas, subs, salads, lasagna, spaghetti and chicken.

Travinia Italian Kitchen Northeast: 101-A Sparkleberry Crossing , 419-9313 Lexington: 5074 Sunset Dr., 957-2422A Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

fine dining Italian eatery with a bit of Southern spices to give the menu a unique flair. Crab cakes are big and fluffy, entrees are excellent across the board and soups are particularly good. $-$$.

continues on page 45

bites&sights | freetimes


Northeast Forest Acres Fort Jackson Blythewood Camden


t used to be that heading northeast from downtown Columbia was just a long, lonely drive down Two Notch Road with a handful of restaurants and strip malls along the way to the area’s wonderful Sesquicentennial State Park. Now the Northeast is Richland County’s fastest-growing area, sporting several farmers markets, the enormous Village at Sandhill retail complex, the expansive Lake Carolina residential development and top-notch schools that keep residents coming. Home to plenty of national retailers and restaurants, the Northeast is also starting to boast more unique local spots such as Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar.


STAY What to Do Attractions Golf Club at Crickentree 1084 Langford Rd. (Blythewood), 754-8600 Operated by the Golf Club of South Carolina, Crickentree is a meticulously maintained course along Lake Carolina. Has hosted the U.S. Open qualifying round, the USGA Junior Tournament, Columbia’s City Amateur tournament and numerous tour events.

Ft. Jackson Museum 4442 Jackson Blvd., 751-7419

at Sandhill also boasts residential living, a popular movie theater and community events, including concerts at Rice Music House.

Nightlife Caprioska 7001 Parklane Road, 699-8300 Karaoke on Tuesdays sponsored by the Big DM, Columbia’s leading R&B radio station. Upscale atmosphere with plush couches in its lounge area; plenty of TVs in its sports bar.

Comedy House 2768 Decker Blvd., 798-9898 Acquires and exhibits Fort Jackson-related artifacts dating to the fort’s founding in 1917.

Regional and national comedy acts stopping by regularly. Offers a full menu with steak, shrimp, chicken, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.

Kershaw Fine Arts Center


810 Lyttleton St., Camden 803-425-7676 Presents community-oriented theater, music, dance and exhibits, as well as the annual Carolina Downhome Blues Festival.

S.C. Archives and History Center 8301 Parklane Rd., 896-6100 Dedicated to preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of South Carolina, the S.C. Archives and History Center is also a primary resource for South Carolinians researching family history.

Sesquicentennial State Park, 788-2706 This 1,419-acre park features a 30-acre lake surrounded by trails, picnic areas and campsites. Also offers boating, fishing, swimming, meeting facilities and trails. Trails include a 6.1-mile mountain bike trail, a 1.9-mile nature trail and a 3.5-mile walking/jogging trail. Located 13 miles northeast of Columbia on Two Notch Road.

Village at Sandhill 481 Town Center Place, 419-0235 Located off I-20 (Exit 80, Clemson Road), the Village at Sandhill is a testament to the growth of Columbia’s Northeast region. Primarily a massive retail development — with major stores including American Eagle, Belk, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and many more — the Village

7711 Two Notch Rd., 419-3456 The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever was one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Icy’s Sports Bistro 10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775 This state-of-the-art sports bar offers an attractive selection of viewing and dining possibilities. And if you hate sports, there’s always karaoke.

The Mouse Trap 2711 Middleburg Drive, 799-2120 One of this town’s hidden gems, the bar is located beneath an office building in Middleburg Park. Perhaps its location is why it’s frequented by local celebrities such as former Gamecock football players, but the real draw is its incredible food.

The Puddlin’ Duck 108 Columbia Northeast Dr., 865-2859 A welcome addition to nightlife and dining offerings in the Northeast, The Puddlin’ Duck offers Irish delicious grub (mmm … bangers), Irish beer and occasional live music in a friendly environment.

Salsa Cabana 2005 Beltline Blvd., 787-1052 This weekend spot is one of the few places in town where you can go to find authentic salsa music, dancing and flair.

Sugar Blue plays the Carolina Down Home Blues Festival. Courtesy photo.

42 freetimes | bites&sights Northeast/Ft. Jackson/Blythewood/Camden | play&stay

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Smoke 10324 Wilson Blvd. (Blythewood), 754-0270 Barbecue joints don’t get much hipper than this. Smoked meats, local produce, barbecue, craft beer, oysters and bluegrass. It might be in Blythewood, but all the hipsters from Columbia are making the trek.

Taps Pub & Restaurant 104-B Columbia NE Dr., 699-4657 Patriotically themed pub.

Tsubaki 224 O’Neill Ct., 736-7474 Love karaoke? You’ll love Tsubaki, where the karaoke is as authentically Japanese as Inakaya’s sushi.

The Venue 1029 Broad St., 773-9015 This laid-back venue is the place to catch live music in Kershaw County, offering everything from singer-songwriters to popular local and regional rock acts.

Wild Wing Café 480 Town Center Place, Suite 2; 865-3365 Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is their 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands. | Fall 2010

Where to Stay Accommodations Bloomsbury Inn 1707 Lyttleton St. (Camden), 803-432-5858 You want to be pampered? This is the place. The focus is on elegance, history and uncompromising detail in this 1849 home where South Carolina author Mary Boykin Chesnut penned her famed Diary From Dixie. Gourmet breakfast, luxury accommodations. Three miles from I-20.

Camden House Bed & Breakfast 1502 Broad St. (Camden), 713-1013 Completed in 1832, this four-room bedand-breakfast is in the heart of downtown Camden. You’ll get classic comforts such as a Southern breakfast, afternoon tea, and a wine and cheese happy hour along with such modern amenities as wireless Internet and a swimming pool.

Holiday Inn Express Suite Blythewood 120 Creech Road, I-77 Exit 27, 1-8033330315

Bloomsbury Inn, Camden. Courtesy photo.

Located off I-77, Blythewood Road Exit 27, the Holiday Inn Express is roughly equidistant from Lake Murray to the northwest and Fort Jackson to the southeast.

Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia-Northeast 2320 Legrand Rd., 788-8850 Located off I-77 near the intersection of Farrow and Rabon roads, the Residence Inn is just around the corner from Providence

Hospital Northeast and minutes away from Fort Jackson. Spacious suites come fully equipped with refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, as well as wireless Internet access.

bites&sights | freetimes


Dining continued from page 41 The Villa St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1704 Bush River Rd., 798-6360 Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner: Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m.

Five Points’ loss was St. Andrews’ gain when this low-priced Italian favorite packed up several years ago. The food is still terrific, the atmosphere still casual and the pizzas still are great. ¢-$.

Villa Tronco Downtown: 1213 Blanding St., 256-7677 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m.

A Columbia institution for more than 60 years, Villa Tronco serves consistently generous portions of traditional Italian fare such as Veal Parmagiana, Chicken Piccata and Linguine with Clams. Make sure to leave room for Carmella’s Famous Cheesecake. villatronco. com. $.

The Vineyard Italian Restaurant Harbison/Irmo: 502 Lexington Ave., 345-3312 Breakfast: Fri-Sat 7 a.m.-10 a.m. Lunch: Tues-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (buffet) Dinner: Tue-Thu 5-8 p.m.; Fri 5-until; Sat 5-8 p.m.

Located in Chapin, The Vineyard is dedicated to classic Italian cooking, with a little Greek influence along for the ride. A full lunch menu features sandiwches, pizzas, salads, pasta and calzones, while at night the Italian specials — Shrimp Scampi, Seafood Italiano, Baked Ziti, Pasta Primavera and more shine. Offers a lunch buffet on Sundays. ¢-$.

Japanese/ Korean Blue Cactus Café Five Points: 2002 Greene St., 929-0782 Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sat noon-9 p.m.

This unassuming little eatery boasts a serious culinary reputation, specializing in home style Korean food mixed with Mexican and other influences to create a sizzling menu that is especially vegetarian-friendly. Quality takes time, however, so don’t go if you’re in a hurry. ¢.

Fujiya Japanese Restaurant Shandon: 4430 Rosewood Dr., 776-1600 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9 p.m.

Located on Rosewood just down from Midlands Technical College, Fujiya offers a sushi, hibachi and traditional Japanese menu. Hibachi lunch specials are popular, though at Fujiya you don’t have to share a common table with strangers, which is nice. Friendly, attentive service. $.

Fusion Bowl Asian Cuisine & Sushi Lexington: 5166 Sunset Blvd., 996-1333 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Fusion Bowl serves sushi, hibachi-style cooking and, if that weren’t enough, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Offers daily lunch specials for $5 as well as half-price sushi after 8 p.m. with the purchase of two alcoholic beverages. ¢-$.

Grilled Teriyaki Five Points: 748 Harden St., 933-9950 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-3 a.m.; Sat 5 p.m.-3 a.m.

Grilled Teriyaki offers high quality teppanyaki dining while omitting the shenanigans. The owners have done a good job converting the small space into a cozy 12-table restaurant that also serves sushi and hibachi food. Open very late on weekends for hungry Five Points patrons. ¢.

Hero Japanese House Northeast: 6634 Two Notch Rd., 699-9922 Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Sun 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Closed Wednesdays.

Specializing in authentic Korean dishes such as Gal Bi (short ribs in a house sauce) and Hwe Dup Bob (mixed raw fish and spicy sauce atop rice), Hero also serves traditional Japanese fare such as teriyaki entrees, sushi and tempura. ¢-$$.

Hibachi Restaurant Tama Northeast: 2318 Decker Blvd., 699-5041 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Restaurant Tama offers inexpensive and fast Hibachi-style entrees. The menu includes sushi, tempura and American appetizers with a children’s menu, too. Also features ribeye steak, chicken teriyaki, shrimp, lobster and filet mignon cooked while you watch. ¢.

Koto’s Japanese Express Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7840 Garner’s Ferry Rd., 776-8995 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Traditional Japanese restaurant featuring quickly prepared entrées and combination dinners focusing on steak, chicken and shrimp. Located in the Bi-Lo Shopping Center. ¢.

Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar Harbison/Irmo: 442 Columbiana Drive , 407-1264 Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri 5-10 p.m.; Sat 4-10 p.m.; Sun 3-9 p.m.

Two restaurants in one — sit under the blue, vaulted ceiling in the top-notch sushi bar or make friends around a communal teppanyaki table on the steakhouse side. Either way, you won’t feel like you’re eating sushi at the mall. Sushi can be ordered from the steakhouse side but not vice versa. ¢-$$.

Mushi Mushi Japanese Restaurant Garner’s Ferry/Rosewood: 7546 Garners Ferry Rd., 783-4280 Mon-Fri and Sun 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Sat 5-9 p.m.

Sushi bar meets classic hibachi restaurant featuring steak, seafood and chicken.

O Bok Korean Restaurant Northeast: 1616 Decker Blvd., 787-1100 Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun 1-9 p.m.

O Bok is popular with Korean folks for good reason — the authenticity of the food. For non-natives, the friendly staff is eager to explain the menu, and dishes include the traditional barbecued beef and stir-fries as well as more exotic offerings. Meals are served with an assortment of unusual relishes, including kimchee. ¢.

Sato Japanese Forest Acres: 1999 Beltline Blvd., 782-1064 Tue-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-10:30 p.m.; Sat 5-10:30 p.m.; Sun 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Following the popular Hibachi grill model, entrees are prepared at your table and include all manner of fun and tasty sides. Try the Shogun Dinner, featuring filet mignon, jumbo shrimp and teriyaki chicken, or the

From sizzling steaks

to fresh fish paired with the best local ingredients. 803.791.3443 100 State St.| West Columbia, SC |

44 freetimes | bites&sights Northeast/Ft. Jackson/Blythewood/Camden | play&stay

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Sato dinner that includes filet mignon, lobster and a choice of scallops or shrimp. Early bird specials and a sushi bar also are available. $-$$. ¢-$.

Cabo Fresh Taco Downtown: 1425 Sumter St., 799-1712 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sumo Lexington: 205-B Columbia Ave., 356-5597 Northeast: 151 Clemson Rd., 788-2300 Sun-Thurs 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m., FriSat 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m

All the classic Japanese steakhouse trappings: big grills, chefs with big knives and a sense of showmanship, and a range oflunch and dinner stir-fry combinations that include steak, seafood and more. Kids’ menu, too. $$

Tokyo Grill

Harbison/Irmo: 378-2 Columbiana Dr., 749-9818 Lexington: 109 Old Chapin Rd., 356-2448 Northeast: 111 Sparkleberry Crossing Dr., 788-7288 St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1316 Bush River Rd., 772-0988 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hibachi grill serving up quick entrees in varieties of shrimp, steak and chicken combinations. Also serves sushi, wraps, salads and soups. ¢-$.

Mexican Baja Broiler Lexington: 1345 Old Chapin Rd., 356-0040 Tue-Fri 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat-Sun 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 806 St. Andrews Road; 731-5190 Baja Broiler is going more toward the TexMex style of cuisine, with all meat cooked over an open wood fire. Heart-healthy and low-carb options are available, and the kitchen can accomodate special needs. Features live entertainment several nights a week.

A much-needed addition to downtown lunch offerings, Cabo Fresh Taco serves slightly gringo-ized variations on the classic Baja taco: fried grouper tacos with cabbage slaw; pulled pork tacos with pineapple salsa; and more. Queso dip, beans and good homemade salsas round out the tasty, affordable menu.

Cantina 76 Shandon: 2901 Devine St., 708-6004 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

A Tex-Mex, Southern-inspired taco and margarita bar with lots of atmosphere. Upscale margarita menu draws well-dressed young Shandonites and young professionals, food features fish and barbecue brisket tacos, among other entrées. $.

Casa Linda Forest Acres: 2009 Beltline Blvd., 738-0420 Garner’s Ferry/Southeast: 7546 Garner’s Ferry Rd., 783-3990 Sat-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Full menu of Mexican combinations and specials ranging from salads and fajitas to burritos and chimichangas served in a family friendly environment. Offers a lunch menu and specials for the kids. ¢.

Cecilia’s Harbison/Irmo: 6169 St. Andrews Rd., 772-7154 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 5-9 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Discreetly located in Seven Oaks Shopping Center, Cecilia’s dishes up traditional Mexican favorites including burritos, enchiladas,

tacos, etc. What sets the place apart is the atmosphere, which belies the strip mall setting with intimate seating and flowers galore. $.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr., 738-8272 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

From Moe’s, Casa Linda and Monterrey to El Burrito, Yo Burrito and Qdoba, you can’t say Columbia is lacking in Mexican options these days -- and that’s not even counting all the authentic joints dotting the landscape in West Columbia. Nonetheless, Chipotle should do just fine, as its monster burritos, fresh tacos and delectable, chipotle-honey vinaigrette salads will be hard to pass up. Coming soon to Devine Street, also.

El Burrito Five Points: 934 Harden St., 765-2188 Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

El Burrito serves healthy, super-fresh, authentic taqueria-style food. Beans and rice, chicken, beef, soup, salads and more. Attention to healthy food and local produce. Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. Live bluegrass on Thursdays (seasonal). ¢.

Eric’s San Jose Garners Ferry/Southeast: 6118 Garners Ferry Rd., 783-6650 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

One of many Combo-Mexicano eateries in town, San Jose offers an extensive menu of specialties and combination platters along with Mexican beers and margaritas. Everybody’s got their favorite Mexican place, and for many folks, this is it. ¢.

Hola Mexico Northeast: 10014-C Two Notch Rd., 865-7758 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat noon-10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Family operated Mexican restaurant owned by Manual Salazar. $.

La Estrella

West Columbia-Cayce: 1921 Airport Blvd., 739-6520 p Assorted tacos with all the classic fixins: cilantro, lime, corn tortillas and more. Other items include short ribs served with queso fresco, beans and rice. Also includes a butcher and a deli counter.

La Fiesta

El Chico St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1728 Bush River Rd., 772-0770 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

This Dallas-based Tex-Mex chain has been at it since 1940, and the capacity crowds at its sole South Carolina outlet are an indication why. Pitting the standard taco and fajita against signature “top shelf tastes” like the Cascabel Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas and the Brisket Enchiladas, which arrive topped with either a chipotle wine sauce or chili con carne, the game plan is simple: mix up the expectations and pile everything high. ¢-$.

West Columbia/Cayce: 1220 Charleston Hwy., 796-7004 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat 11:30-10 p.m.; Sun 11:30-9:30 p.m.

A full menu of Mexican dishes. Daily specials, happy hour Mon-Thu from 4 to 7 p.m. Senior citizen discounts. ¢.

La Fogata St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 4545 Broad River Rd., 772-4577 Sun-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Serving authentic Mexican cuisine, La Fogata offers a fun, friendly and relaxing atmosphere as well. ¢.




2010 | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


Moe’s Southwest Grill

San Jose Mexican Restaurant

Downtown: 625 South Main St., 256-9663

Forest Acres: 4722 Forest Dr. , 790-0678

Mon-Sun: 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Forest Acres: 2130 N Beltline Blvd., 743-9663

Harbison/Irmo: 1000 Marina Rd., 749-9484

Mon-Sun 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat noon-10 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 945 Lake Murray Blvd., 749-6638

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat noon-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lexington: 914 N Lake Dr., 996-9200

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 498 Piney Grove Rd., 750-3611

Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 470-1 Town Center Place, 788-6639 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 2217 Augusta Rd. (opening 10/11) With customizable menu options, eccentric style and unbeatable food, Moe’s adds some zest to the Tex-Mex cuisine. Cool menu names, fun atmosphere, kid friendly. moes. com. ¢.

Monterrey Mexican Restaurant Harbison/Irmo: 114 Afton Court, 749-5928 Lexington: 5570 Sunset Blvd., 356-8314 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30-10 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Northeast: 7260 Parklane Rd., 699-6248 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat-Dun noon-10 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2219 Broad River Rd., 798-9055 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat noon-10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

The Vista: 931 Senate St., 765-1465 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

West Columbia/Cayce: 199 Knox Abbott Dr. , 794-3974 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat noon-11 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Voted Best Mexican Restaurant in Free Times readers’ poll. Serves lunch specials, combination platters and more, with vegetarian options available. Fresh produce and meat delivered daily. ¢.

Mucho Margaritas Five Points: 819 Harden Street , 251-3185 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Thu-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat noon-2 a.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Family owned and operated, Mucho Margaritas offers a wide variety of especialidades, a la carte items, vegetarian combos and more. ¢.


SNAKE BITE Harp & Apple Cider

Forest Acres: 5400 Forest Dr., 738-9511 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Come for the $1.99 margaritas, stay for the classic Mexican cuisine. $

DARK SIDE of the MOON Blue Moon & Guinness

Qdoba Mexican Grill

RASPBERRY CREAM Hoegaarden & Framboise

Five Points: 2006 Devine St.; 799-1950 Mon-Wed 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thurs 7 a.m.-Sun 10 p.m.

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 6070 Garner’s Ferry Rd., 783-8766

HUMMINGBIRD WATER Ace Pear & Framboise SAUCER BLACK & TAN Bass Ale & Guinness CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE Young’s Dbl. Chocolate Stout & Framboise BLACK VELVET Pear Cider & Guinness

Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

plus MOST


81 TAPS 220 BOTTLES 931 SENATE ST. in the VISTA . 933-9712 HALF & HALF Harp & Guinness

46 freetimes | bites&sights

Northeast: 801 Sparkleberry Ln., 419-8862,

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Fast, casual and fresh Mexican dining in a friendly environment. Serving tacos, nachos, quesadillas, salads, burritos, etc. Also make their own salsas, chips and guacamole. Not just big burritos but big flavors as well. qdoba. com. ¢.

Real Mexico

St. Andrews-Dutch Square: 2421 Bush River Rd., 750-8990 Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

West Columbia-Cayce: 517 W. 12th St., 739-0821 Plenty of Mexican and Southwestern restaurant foods, from tortas to carne asada to fajitas to chimichangas to fish tacos. Full bar with margarita specials. West Columbia location includes a store, too.

Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat noon-10:30 p.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m.

Offers a vast array of combination and specialty platters. Happy Hour and lunch specials also available. ¢.

Takosushi Vista: 1115 Assembly St., 771-7131 Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tacos! Sushi! Takosushi! A sushi joint and casual Mexican restaurant rolled into one, Takosushi offers burritos, enchiladas, tacos (“takos,” actually), sashimi, bento boxes and more.

Taqueria El Rincon Vaquero West Columbia/Cayce: 517 12th St., 939-9011 Mon-Sun 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

An authentic and no-nonsense taqueria across from the towering Zesto cone in West Columbia, El Rincon Vaquero offers numerous traditional Mexican dishes. ¢.

Taqueria Jalisco St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 612 St. Andrews Rd., 731-5546 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat noon-10 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Think of Taqueria Jalisco as a slightly more gourmet Monterrey’s — one without the mad rush and where the food itself is well worth the extra time taken in preparation. ¢-$.

Tequila Bar & Grill Lexington: 4350 Augusta Hwy., 808-2955 Mon-Sun, noon-2 a.m.

lenty of tequila, as you’d guess, is on the menu here to help wash down homemade soups, tortas (a Mexican sandwich) and other traditional Mexican favorites. Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. every day — try the $2.75 10 oz. margarita at your own risk. ¢.

Tio’s Mexican Cafe

Downtown: 921-A Sumter St., 252-7229 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-midnight; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sun 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

Tio’s is a family owned Tex-Mex café distinguished by its extensive and eclectic salsa offerings. Shelves along the walls display the variety of hot sauces available, with names such as King of Fire and Spontaneous Combustion. Purveyors of perhaps the town’s best milkshake, perfect to quench your burning tongue. Also check out their award-winning No. 4 Salsa. ¢.

Yo Burrito Shandon: 2631 Devine St., 799-7579 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Fresh Mexican grill specializing in burritos, quesadillas and a fresh salsa bar. Offers the giant Mo Burrito, veggie specials and homemade desserts. Thursday features an all-night happy hour, and Friday features seasonal live music. Known to be a favorite of Steve Spurrier. ¢.

Did we list a restaurant that has closed? Did we overlook your favorite place? Let us know what you think: Email

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Middle Eastern Al-Amir Downtown: 629 Main St., 771-0515 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 7001 St. Andrews Rd., 7320522 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Northeast: 471-1 Market Place (Sandhills), 865-5865 Al-Amir has a reputation for authentic and well-prepared Middle Eastern cuisine. Signature dishes include hummus, falafel, lamb kabob, mujadara and shawarma. Salads, subs and daily dessert specials round out the menu. ¢-$.

Elie’s Authentic Lebanese Cuisine St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1058 St. Andrews Rd., 798-9664 Lunch: Tue-Sat11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner: Tue-Thu 5-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-10 p.m.

Elie’s features fine dining in a friendly atmosphere. Cuisine ranges from falafel and baba ghanouj to kibbeh balls, kabobs and shawarma. Also offers Lebanese imported wine, belly dancers and Argileh pipes with flavored tobacco. ¢.

Pitas Downtown: 1800 Taylor St., 343-3454 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

From the owner of the Mediterranean Tea Room comes this lunch locale featuring Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare that also includes a Middle Eastern grocery store inside. Sure, pitas are on the menu, but so are some delicious salads, wraps and more. ¢.

Pizza Antonina’s Ristorante & NY Pizzeria

Harper’s File photo






Blythewood House of Pizza & Subs Blythewood: 135 Blythewood Rd., 754-0444 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Located next to the IGA in Blythewood, the House of Pizza & Subs offers the usual subs, stromboli and pizza, but also serves up a wide variety of Italian and Greek fare, as well as prime rib and good burgers. Beer and wine are available. ¢-$.

Bobby’s House of Pizza & Subs Northeast: 2112 Clemson Rd., 699-3311 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Bobby’s attracts a loyal following with a more extensive menu than most neighborhood pizza joints, including pizzas with gourmet toppings and several Greek offerings. The bruschetta and garlic-and-oil glazed calzones are standouts. All menu items can be ordered for takeout. ¢-$.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza Northeast: 486-11 Town Center Place (Village at Sandhill), 708-4874 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Charlotte-based franchise specializing in, as the name suggests, wood-fired pizzas. But wait, there’s more! Sandwiches, apps, pasta also accompany the pizzas, as does an extensive beer and wine list. Try the Spicy Shrimp or the Quattro Fromaggio pizza, which includes mozzarella, parmesan, gouda and goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes. ¢-$.

Cardoni’s Pizza

Lexington: 116 W. Main St., 951-3550 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2 p.m and 4:30-11 p.m.; Sun 4-9:30 p.m.

Neighborhood pizza, sub and pasta restaurant. Features 12 speciality pizzas, including a White Pizza, Steak Pizza and Spinach Pizza. Also serves calzones, strombolis and wings. ¢.

Lexington: 2361 Augusta Hwy., 951-1600 Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 4-9 p.m.

Casual dining with TVs up front and a more upscale dining area in the back. ¢-$. | Fall 2010

price key ¢ = average entrée less than $10 $ = average entrée $10-15 $$ = average entrée more than $15

bites&sights | freetimes


CiCi’s Pizza Garners Ferry/Southeast: 141 Pelham Dr., 776-8900 Sat-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 6120 St. Andrews Rd., 7505900 Family oriented restaurant with inexpensive pizza buffet. Great for students, church groups, athletic groups, etc. Fun, clean and friendly environment. ¢.

Dano’s Pizza Shandon/Rosewood: 2800-C Rosewood Dr., 254-3266 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.11 p.m.; Sun noon-10:30 p.m.

New York-style and gourmet pizzas sold by the pie or slice include the Spicy Buffalo Chicken, the Barbecue Chicken, the Meat Lovers and the Deluxe. Also offers a dinner menu with traditional Italian dishes like veal parmesan, manicotti and stuffed shells. ¢.

LaBrasca’s Pizza

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4365 Fort Jackson Blvd., 782-1098 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

With roots in a chain of Charleston pizzerias, LaBrasca’s has been serving great pies in Columbia since 1966. While its owners have changed over the years, this humble pizzeria continues in its tradition of offering extraordinary pizzas at prices that haven’t seemed to change much since the ‘60s. ¢.


Five Points: 640 Harden St., 255-0818 Mon-Fri 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

Locals has beefed up its menu with some serious pizza varieties and has earned a reputation recently for its enormous slices, called the Local’s Big Slice. Specialty slices abound,

including the Ass-Kickin’ Chicken that comes covered in hot-wing sauce, jalapeno and banana peppers, crushed red peppers and cheesé and the Screw P.E.T.A., which piles on the meats. There’s a vegetarian-friendly Wabbit, A Shrimp-Ta-Keel-Ya and more. ¢.

Mellow Mushroom

The Vista: 1009 Gervais St., 933-9201 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun 1-9 p.m.

A popular Vista lunch and dinner spot, Mellow Mushroom serves gourmet handtossed pies, along with huge calzones, hoagies and salads, all with fresh ingredients. Pizza toppings range from jerk chicken and pineapple to plain-old pepperoni. Large beer selection, with more taps upstairs. $.

Nick’s House of Pizza

West Columbia-Cayce: 1082A Sunset Blvd., 794-9240

In the classic Greek-food-and-pizza mold, Nick’s serves up baked pasta dishes, Greek sandwiches and subs, and assorted stormbolis and pizzas. Try the Greek pizza with feta, tomatoes, onions and gyro meat. $

olis and sandwiches, along with a wide selection of beer with which to wash down that yummy Italian goodness.

Pizza Man Pizzeria Shandon: 341 S. Woodrow St., 252-6931 Sun-Thu 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7 a.m.-midnight

Pizza Man is a comfortable, low-key restaurant offering good pizza at a steal. Serves a wide variety of toppings, as well as appetizers, subs, hamburgers, salads and chicken wings. ¢.

Pizza Palace Garners Ferry/Southeast: 1314 Leesburg Rd., 695-9800 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

A classic menu of pizza, calzones and stromboli is peppered with club sandwiches, burgers and Greek fare. ¢-$.

Pizza Pro & Sub City Northeast: 8604 Farrow Rd., 462-1776 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lexington: 711 E. Main St., 785-7476

Just as the name implies, these guys are all about doing subs and pizza the right way. Huge meatball sandwiches and homemade pizza sauces are just two of the many reasons to give them a try. Daily lunch specials, express pick-up and personal and corporate catering available. ¢.

Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-8:30 p.m.

Pizzeria Uno Chicago Grill

Old Mill Pizza

Located in the Old Mill shopping center, Old Mill Pizza boasts Lexington’s largest arcade and features an inexpensive all-day pizza buffet to accompany their wings and regular specialty pizzas. ¢.

Pizza Joint Forest Acres: 3246 Forest Dr., 454-1743 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.midnight; Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

This popular Forest Acres spot has pizza, obviously, but it also serves up calzones, stromb-

Lexington: 5304 Sunset Blvd., 359-3888 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Based in Boston and patterned after the famous Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, the Uno Chicago Grill chain is famous for its deep-dish pizzas. You also can get thin crust as well as seafood, chicken, steak and salad platters. $.

Pop’s NY Pizza Five Points: 707 Harden St., 540-7677 Sun-Wed 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11:30 a.m.3:30 a.m.

Authentic, gourmet New York-style pizzas in thin and Sicilian varieties sold by the slice or pie. Also serves calzones, Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, Italian sandwiches, wings, salads and more. Every Tuesday is Movie Night, where Pop’s screens new releases at 7 and 9 p.m. on its plasma-screen TVs. ¢-$.

Schiano’s Northeast: 10120 Two Notch Rd., 788-7808 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Serving specialty pizzas for meat, veggie, pepperoni and sausage lovers and more. Calzones and stromboli round out the menu alongside sandwich selections and traditional Italian dishes like mussels marinara and eggplant parmigiana. ¢-$.

Tony’s Pizza West Columbia/Cayce: 224 Knox Abbott Dr., 936-0033 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Italian food with a Greek twist, including salads, pastas, pizzas and more.

Tony’s Pizza and Spaghetti House West Columbia/Cayce: 975 Knox Abbott Dr., 794-5469 Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Of the two unaffiliated Tony’s Pizzas in Cayce, this one is older, having opened in 1967. Offers pastas, pizza and other Italian favorites.

Village Idiot Five Points: 2009 Devine St., 252-8646 Mon-Fri 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat-Sun 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Delivery: 11:30 a.m.-midnight

Forest Acres: 4517 Forest Dr., 787-5005 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.;

0 2N0N1ER-UP


48 freetimes | bites&sights





0 2N0N1ER-UP


Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Offering NY style hand-tossed pizza by the pie or slice for lunch, dinner and delivery, the Village Idiot is a favored spot for USC students. Other featured menu items include sandwiches (Jersey Cheesesteak), wings, calzones and stromboles, pasta (Baked Ziti), salads and wings. ¢.

zPizza Vista: 1004 Gervais St., 708-4703 Lexington: 5580 B Sunset Blvd., 957-7777 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

Harbor Inn Seafood Lexington: 411 W. Main St., 359-2979 Northeast: 7375 Two Notch Rd., 462-3498 Sun, Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Your favorite seafood platters come fried or broiled, with familiar sides like hush puppies and slaw. The Land and Sea special pairs a crab legs with a ribeye, and the Specialty of the House mixes fried flounder, deviled crab, shrimp, oysters and stuffed clams. Lunch and express menus available. ¢.

Formed in 1986 in California, zpizza focuses its efforts on healthy, light and organic pizzas. Also offers gourmet sandwiches and salads. ¢-$.

Ocean View Seafood Restaurant

Za’s Brick Oven Pizza

Expansive menu features expansive portions of all manner of fried and broiled seafood. Daily specials, platters, steaks and sandwiches round out the menu with an emphasis on freshness. Hearty, affordable lunch specials on weekdays. $.

Shandon: 2930 Devine St., 771-7334 Mon-Wed 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Locally owned and operated, Za’s openfaced kitchen and energetic staff delivers more than a dozen signature pizzas as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and nightly specials. Specialty pies include the Shrimp Pesto Za, Chicken Teriyaki Za, Zeus Za and Smoked Salmon Za. The Cali salad comes with mandarin oranges, bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms, pine nuts, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, blackened sushi-grade tuna and a balsamic vinaigrette. ¢-$.

Zia’s New York Pizza West Columbia/Cayce: 1720 B Sunset Blvd., 796-2241 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Family style pizza place with emphasis on New York-style pizzas. Also offers spaghetti, chicken parmesan, lasagna and other Italian specialties. Get pizza whole or by the slice, and family meal deals are available for takeout ¢-$.

Seafood Blue Marlin The Vista: 1200 Lincoln St., 799-3838 Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Specializing in creative seafood dishes with a decidedly Lowcountry flair, Blue Marlin also serves hand-cut steaks and prime rib. Shrimp and Grits is a top seller, with the grits coming from right across the street at Adluh Flour. Don’t overlook other tasty options such as the Crispy Firecracker Flounder served with a jalapeno salsa. $.

Bonefish Grill Forest Acres: 4708 Forest Dr., 787-6200 Mon-Thu 4-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4-11:30 p.m.; Sun 4-10 p.m.

Harbison/Irmo: 1260 Bower Pkwy., 407-1599 Based out of St. Petersburg, Fla., Bonefish Grill specializes in offering the freshest seafood possible and boasts an oak-burning grill and a wide range of sauces. Pasta, chicken, pork and steak dishes round out the menu to suit varied tastes. Although reservations aren’t required, they are recommended, especially on ¢-$.

Gilligan’s Steamer & Raw Bar Lexington: 938 N. Lake Drive , 808-2244

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1904 Broad River Rd., 772-7811 Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Oyster Bar The Vista: 1123 Park St., 799-4484 Mon-Wed 4-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 4-11 p.m. (bar open later)

A true old-fashioned oyster bar. Serves fresh Gulf oysters, steamed or raw, steamed shrimp and scallops. ¢-$.

Pearlz Oyster Bar Vista: 936 Gervais St., 661-7741 Daily 4 p.m.-close

A Charleston-based chain newly arrived in Columbia, Pearlz offers raw and cooked oysters and an array of other Lowcountry and American seafood favorites, from oyster po’ boys to New England lobster rolls. Burgers and salads are available for the non-seafood-loving.

Steakhouse Arizona Steakhouse Northeast: 150 Forum Drive , 865-1001 Mon 11:30-9 p.m.; Tue-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; FriSat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Offers a variety of salads, steaks, burgers, chicken and fish, ranging from aprime rib to ahi tuna encrusted in pepper and sesame seeds. Moderately priced dishes and wine list heavy on California wines. The babyback Ribs are a generous portion slathered in a rich tomato-based barbecue sauce. $.

Longhorn Steakhouse The Vista: 902-A Gervais St., 254-5100 Harbison/Irmo: 171 Harbison Blvd., 732-2482 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

“Beef,” that great embodiment of the man’s man, Robert Mitchum, once famously decreed, “It’s what’s for dinner.” That’s certainly the case at this modern-day saloon in the heart of the Vista, though lest you embarrass yourself, the rousing rodeo strings of Aaron Copland’s Hoedown are all in your head, so put down the lasso. You can also get shrimp and salmon, of course, even chicken — though really, cowboy, why would you? $-$$.

Outback Steakhouse Harbison/Irmo: 252 Harbison Blvd., 732-3771 Mon-Thu 4:30-10 p.m.; Fri 4:30-11 p.m.; Sat 3:30-11 p.m.; Sun noon-9 p.m.

Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Northeast: 7611 Two Notch Rd., 788-9800

If you want great seafood in a laid-back, casual atmosphere reminiscent of the beach, go to Gilligan’s. Just across from the dam at Lake Murray. Known for their oysters and popcorn shrimp, Gilligan’s also offers a wide selection of seafood combos, salads, starters, raw bar options and dinner specials. $

Popular Australian-themed steakhouse chain featuring Blooming Onion appetizers and all manner of salads, steak and chicken dishes. $. | Fall 2010

Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri 4-11 p.m.; Sat 3-11 p.m.; Sun noon-9:30 p.m.

continues on page 53

bites&sights | freetimes


Lake Murray Lexington Harbison Irmo


or visitors to the area, the key draw in this part of town is Lake Murray, where you’ll find more than 500 miles of shoreline along South Carolina’s largest man-made lake. Lake Murray offers a wide range of seasonal recreation options — including sailing, fishing (especially striped bass), camping and hiking — and a huge July 4 fireworks display. Public access is limited to the few parks and marinas scattered around the lake, so keep that in mind as you make your plans. For Columbians from all areas of town, this area’s bigname retailers such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Target and Barnes and Noble — and that’s not even mentioning Columbiana Centre — make it a necessary stop. Along with extensive shopping options, good schools and neighborhoods and keep drawing people to the area. There’s more to the area than the lake and retail outlets, however. Among your options: Saluda Shoals Park, which opened a wetlands preserve in March; Harbison State Forest, a great place to bike; and Chapin Community Theatre, which has been serving the area for more than 25 years.

What to Do Attractions Chapin Community Theatre 107 Columbia Ave., Chapin, 240-8544, What originated informally in the late ‘70s as a few friends staging no-frills plays has become a staple of Lexington County’s cultural life.

Crooked Creek Park 1098 Old Lexington Highway (Chapin) 345-6181 “Crooked Creek” makes this park sound like it’s a dirt path next to a trickle of water. Actually, it’s got a 53,000-square-foot community center with a full gym and racquetball courts, along with tennis courts, athletics fields, picnic areas and, oh yeah, walking trails.

Dreher Island State Recreation Area, 803-364-4152 Located 30 miles northwest of Columbia in Prosperity, the Dreher Island recreation area consists of three islands encompassing 12 miles of shoreline

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on Lake Murray. Especially popular for fishing and boating (Lake Murray is a top destination for striped and largemouth bass), Dreher Island also offers lakefront camping, cabin and villa rentals, water skiing and picnicking. (Exit 91 off I-26).

Golden Hills Golf & Country Club 100 Scotland Dr., 957-3355 Located in the Town of Lexington, Golden Hills is an 18-hole championship course designed by golf architect Ron Garl. Considered challenging yet playable for all levels, the course is among the highestrated in the Midlands.

Harbison State Forest, 896-8890 If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never expect to find 2,177 acres of forest along the sprawling mess that is Broad River Road. But there it is — one of the largest public green spaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. Features more than 16 miles of roads and trails (popular for biking) and a canoe landing.


STAY Canoeing at Saluda Shoals Park. Courtesy photo.

Lake Murray Located a few miles northwest of downtown Columbia, Lake Murray is a 50,000-acre lake offering boating, camping and other recreational activities. lists public access points, as well as marinas and landing spots.

Lexington County Museum US Highway 378 and Fox St. Lexington, 359-8369 county_museum.html Founded in 1970, the museum complex encompasses seven acres and features 36 historic structures focusing on the early history of Lexington County, from 1770 until the Civil War.

Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve, 254-9049 Peachtree rock is a geological wonder: an upside-down sandstone formation that has stood for millions of years and is a testament to the ancient marine environment that was once here. Located

Lake Murray/Lexington/Harbison/Irmo | play&stay

off S.C. 6 in southern Lexington County near Swansea.

Saluda Shoals Park, 731-5208, 2132050 (weekend) Situated on 270 acres downstream from the Lake Murray Dam, Saluda Shoals features a popular water park, an environmental education center, canoe trips, nature hikes, biking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, art exhibits, summer camps, health and wellness programs, meeting facilities and more.

Seven Oaks Park 200 Leisure Lane, 772-3336 Built in 1973 and located in the St. Andrews area, Seven Oaks Park is a full-service recreation complex offering fitness, athletics and cultural arts programs. Features a dance studio, art gallery, picnic areas, tennis courts, walking trails and more.

Village Square Theatre 105 Caughman Road, Lexington, 359-1436 Community theater from the Lexington County Arts Association.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf | Fall 2010

bites&sights | freetimes


Lake Murray Lexington Harbison Irmo Nightlife Bailey’s Sports Grille 115 Afton Court, 407-3004 If you’re a serious billiards enthusiast, you’ll be challenged to find a better place. Bailey’s has well-maintained regulation tables and pretty good bar food, too. And if your pool game is suffering, they have plenty of other sports on television throughout the bar.

Baja Broiler 1345 Old Chapin Rd., 356-0040 Freshly made Southwestern food and wings, weekly karaoke and occasional live music on the weekends make this a Lexington County hotspot.

Carolina Ale House 277 Columbiana Dr., 407-6996 Southeastern chain grille-and-grog offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports.

Carolina Wings & Rib House 7587 St. Andrews Rd., 781-0084 105 Northpoint Dr., 356-6244 What can we say about this Columbia institution? There’s one in almost every

52 freetimes | bites&sights


STAY neighborhood, they carry a good selection of bottled beers, and the assortment of buffalo wing flavors is enticing, too.

Copper River Grill 1230 Bower Parkway, 749-4647 Copper River Grill is a destination drinking spot for the entire Irmo/St. Andrews area. A super-large bar area means you’ll always have someplace to sit, but it still gets crowded the later the night progresses. Extensive menu along with beer, wine and specialty cocktails like the Copper River Caramel Apple Martini and the Killer Whale Chocolate Martini.

Corner Pocket 489 Piney Grove Rd., 731-0403 Karaoke, cover bands and lots of pool (hence the name “Corner Pocket,” get it?). Wannabe pool sharks are welcome — but be ready to meet your match.

The Dam Bar & Grill 1605 N. Lake Dr., 808-0882 A popular stop for Lexington locals located near the Lake Murray Dam — duh — this bar and grill caters heavily to the biker and country crowds, but its numerous pool tables, large-screen TVs, fine finger foods

and bucket specials are sure to please any bargoer.

Hemingway’s 7467 St. Andrews Rd., 749-6020 A neighborhood institution in Irmo for years, Hemingway’s has been the watering hole of choice there for several reasons. Not content to do just one thing well, Hemingway’s is a sports bar, a great restaurant and a nice little music club all rolled into one. Papa would approve.

Hooters 5195 Fernandina Rd., 407-9464 The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever were one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

JB’s Tex-Mex Sports Bar and Grill 7713 St. Andrews Rd., 407-4430 Offers typical sports bar fare; that is to say plenty of big-screen televisions, lots of inexpensive beverages, pool tables, darts and more.

Main Street Café 131 E. Main St., 808-5886 This little Greek restaurant is tucked into a storefront space in the middle of the recently streetscaped section of Main Street in downtown Lexington. The addition of live local music several nights a week makes it a great way for Lexington residents to enjoy dinner and some entertainment without having to travel into Columbia.

Lake Murray/Lexington/Harbison/Irmo | play&stay

Rusty Anchor 1925 Johnson Marina Rd., 749-1555 Sliding glass doors opened most of the year offer a great view of Lake Murray. And live entertainment on “The Quarterdeck” outside jazzes up the summer months.

Tequila Bar & Grill 4350 Augusta Hwy., 808-2955 Plenty of tequila, as you’d guess, is on the menu here to help wash down homemade soups, tortas and other traditional Mexican favorites. Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m. every day. Try the $2.75 10 oz. margarita at your own risk.

Tipsy Toad Tavern 103 Beaufort St., 932-4470 A godsend to the culturally deprived lake area, the Tipsy Toad features a good beer selection (Anchor Steam on tap!) and Vistastyle atmosphere.

The Watershed 711 E. Main St., 808-5886 Christian bookstore offering live music and fellowship. Coffee, desserts and wireless Internet access next door at the Wired Bean.

The Wild Hare 5122 Bush River Rd., 213-1300 A sports bar with plenty of TVs, pool tables and dartboards, this location also offers an outdoor bar area with a sand volleyball court. Named Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll for three years running.

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Wild Wing Café

Comfort Suites Lexington

1150 Bower Pkwy., 749-9464

325 W. Main St. (Lexington), 996-2000

Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

A 100 percent non-smoking hotel, Comfort Suites Lexington also offers 32-inch flat-screen TVs with premium channels and a DVD player; free wired and wireless high-speed Internet access; cordless speakerphone with voice mail; a hair dryer; microwave and more.

Wings ‘n’ Ale 154 Ellis Ave., 359-4475

Hilton Garden Inn

Specializing in wings, beer and pool, Wings ‘n’ Ale has an ample supply of all three. If you’re looking for a place where the odds of getting a table are better than making a masse shot, this is it. Classic and modern rock flows as freely as the brew. Not your khaki and button-down crowd.

434 Columbiana Dr. (Harbison), 407-6639 Business-friendly rooms equipped wireless, high-speed Internet. Guestrooms have refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers and cable TV. Also offers fitness room, pool and laundry facilities.

Where to Stay

Wingate By Wyndham Columbia

Accommodations Clarion Inn West Columbia 500 Chris Dr. (West Columbia), 794-9440 Just four miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the Clarion in West Columbia is convenient for business travelers, with high-speed, wireless Internet; free continental breakfast; a free weekday newspaper; an exercise room; and an on-site business center. | Fall 2010

108 Saluda Pointe Court (Lexington), 957-5000 Situated at the intersection of I-20 and Hwy 378. Offers free Continental breakfast; high-speed, wireless Internet access; highquality mattresses and pillows; in-room safe; 24-hour business center; fitness room; and whirlpool.

play&stay | Lake Murray/Lexington/Harbison/Irmo

bites&sights | freetimes


Ruth’s Chris Steak House


Downtown: 924-A Senate St. (Hilton Hotel) , 212-6666

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4963 Jackson Blvd., 787-5307

Mon-Sun Breakfast: 7-10 a.m. Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner Mon-Thu, Sun 3-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 3-11 p.m.

Mon-Wed 5-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 5-10:30 p.m.

What can you say, it’s Ruth’s freaking Chris. Among the best steaks on planet Earth, hands down, and you’ll be paying mightily for them. Their seafood rocks, too. $$.

Texas Roadhouse Harbison/Irmo: 400 Columbiana Dr., 407-6670 Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Northeast: 8304 Two Notch Rd., 788-5384 High-energy, casual Southwest-themed restaurant featuring hand-cut steaks, awardwinning ribs and several made-from-scratch items such as salad dressings, bread, croutons, mashed potatoes and gravy. $.

Sushi Camon Japanese Restaurant Downtown: 1332 Assembly St., 254-5400 Mon-Sat 5-10 p.m.

The only sushi spot in Columbia’s downtown business district defiantly refuses to serve lunch and earns its keep by offering an exotic alternative to the more mainstream restaurant options available in the nearby Vista. Beloved by devoted regulars for the outstanding food, service and atmosphere. $.

Inakaya Japanese Restaurant Northeast: 224 O’Neil Ct., 699-2626 Mon 5-10 p.m.; Tue-Fri 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 655-C St. Andrews Rd., 731-2538 Elegant seating where outstanding sushi, sashimi and other Japanese cuisine take center stage. Popular with families and large groups for their spectacular Inakaya Boat Specials. Good variety and value. $.

SakiTumi Grill & Sushi Bar The Vista: 807 Gervais St., 931-0700 Mon-Wed 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 4:30-until

Upscale Vista hotspot includes a popular bar area and a separate sushi bar. Extensive sake list complements beer and wine offerings, and SakiTumi also has weekly sushi and drink specials that are east on the wallet. Plenty of non-sushi items on menu, including grilled items and tasty appetizers such as the Lotus Root Chips. $.

Sakurabana Japanese Restaurant Forest Acres: 4827 Forest Dr., 738-9330 Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Open since 1984, Sakura’s quality food and cozy atmosphere have given it a loyal following despite its elusive location for its sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and tempura. $.

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Sammi’s Deli File photo

Since 1974, the restaurant at this location went by the name of “Saki.” A change in management led to a name change, but Saky under any name serves fantastic sushi as well as soups, Asian noodles and more. $.

Sushi Yoshi

Five Points: 2019 Devine St., 931-0555 Mon-Sat 5-10 p.m.

Offering Japanese specialty dishes, lunch specials, vegetarian dishes, teriyaki combos and, of course, sushi. ¢.

Tsunami Harbison/Irmo: 1290 Bower Pkwy., 407-3873 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m-late night; Sat-Sun 4 p.m.-late night

The Vista: 700-C Gervais St., 312-9911 Mon-Sun 4:30 p.m.-midnight (bar open later)

Trendy, chic sushi bar and restaurant with elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating areas to complement extensive sake, wine and beer selection. $.

Tapas Gervais & Vine The Vista: 620-A Gervais St., 799-8463 Mon-Thu 4:30-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4:30-11 p.m.

True Mediterranean wine and tapas bar with more than 40 wines by the glass and a wide selection of appetizers. Dishes prepared in view and are a fusion of Greek, Italian and Spanish cuisine. The seared sea scallops are served over grilled ciabatta with fresh olive tappenade and topped with fresh oven-dried tomatoes. A Vista gem. ¢-$.

Virtu Restaurant & Bar Shandon: 2406 Devine St., 376-8888 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-midnight; Thurs-Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

Diverse tapas menu features small dishes from cuisines worldwide. Bar carries craft beers, wines and fancy drinks.

Thai Baan Sawan Five Points: 2135 Devine St., 252-8992 Tue-Thu 5:30-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30-10 p.m.

Not your typical Thai restaurant, Baan Sawan serves expertly prepared Thai standards like Pad Thai and curries, but also offers dishes you won’t find elsewhere and inventive seafood creations. It’s pricey Thai food, but well worth it. Now offering limited take-out menu. $-$$.

Bangkok Restaurant Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7509-H Garners Ferry Rd., 776-2993 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

You might easily overlook a strip mall when looking for Thai food, but Bangkok was one of the first Thai restaurants in Columbia and remains worth the search. The phad thai and kaou phad bai kapow remain favorites. Also serves Chinese. ¢-$.

Mai Thai West Columbia-Cayce: 2249 Sunset Blvd., 939-4795 Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.; Sat 5-9:30 p.m.

Everythign you’d expect from a good Thai place and more — spring rolls, fried calamari, stuffed chicken wing appetizers, and a host of noodle and rice dishes and entrees such as rainbow duck, whole red snapper and a host of curries, Also offers reasonably priced lunch special entrees. $

Thai Lotus St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 612 St. Andrews Rd., 561-0006 Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

The buffet at this elegant but casual Asian restaurant is enormously popular, especially on weekends, but menu items like Mussaman Curry and Thai Style Shrimp Scampi make choosing difficult. Factor in some of the best sushi in town — try the multifaceted Celebration Roll, for example — and you’ll never decide. ¢-$.

Thailand Restaurant St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 6024 St. Andrews Rd., 731-7715 Mon-Sun Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Authentic and delicious Thai food. Serves numerous entrées, soups and salads, with choices of mild, medium or hot. $.

Vegetarian Earth Fare Shandon: 3312-B Devine St., 799-0048 Store hours: Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Earth Fare is a health-food supermarket with a full-service deli, café and scratch bakery. Options include a salad and hot bar, fresh deli sandwiches or wraps, sushi and other wholesome snacks. Deli serves no products with hydrogenated oil, cotton seed oil, bleached flour or artificial preservatives and sweeteners. ¢.

Lamb’s Bread Vegan Café Downtown: 2338 Main St., 253-7889 Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.-7 p.m.

One of Columbia’s only restaurants catering

to vegans and vegetarians alike. Entire menu is vegan and uses locally grown and organic produce. Mock meats, sandwiches, vegetable dishes and fresh fruit juices available. Menu avoids genetically modified ingredients and tap water. ¢.

Rosewood Market & Deli Shandon: 2803 Rosewood Dr., 765-1083 Store hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Hot meals served Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday breakfast: 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; Sunday brunch: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

A natural-foods grocery featuring fresh organic produce, herbs and spices, as well as natural beauty aids and popular supplements. The deli serves a diverse selection of hot gourmet meals, salads, breads, pastries and desserts. Eat in or take out. ¢.

Vietnamese Golden Chopstix West Columbia/Cayce: 1505 Charleston Hwy., 791-0206 Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; Sat noon-3 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.

Serves Thai and Vietnamese dishes, with a greater emphasis on Thai. Dishes are prepared fresh when they are ordered — even the curry. Also serves sushi. ¢.

Pho Viet Northeast: 2300 Decker Blvd., 699-5959 Decker: Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Five Points: 2011 Devine St., 779-4077 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Though it specializes in pho — the fragrant Vietnamese beef soup served with assorted beef cuts, fresh herbs, bean sprouts and other accompaniments — Pho Viet also serves spring rolls, chicken and seafood soups, rice bowls and noodle bowls topped with such Vietnamese favorites as grilled pork and shrimp. Jelly pearl drinks, soft drinks, tea and Vietnamese coffee comprise the beverage menu. ¢.

Tea West Columbia-Cayce: 140 State St., 796-6061 Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Serves banh mi — Vietnamese cold cut sandwiches on baguettes with herbs, pickled vegetables and other goodies — and spring rolls, as well as bubble tea, Thai iced tea, Vietnamese coffee and over 40 varieties of loose-leaf teas. A true treasure.

Did we list a restaurant that has closed? Did we overlook your favorite place? Let us know what you think: Email

Fall 2010 | free-times.comf

Columbia's Premiere Tapas Bar since 1999 with over 50 tapas and 50 wines by the glass LIVE JAZZ every Thursday and Saturday

Serving: M-Th 5:00-10:00PM and F-Sat 5:00-11:00PM Bar Opens Daily at 4:30 and Happy Hour is from 4:30 to 6:30PM

The Best Happy Hour in Forest Acres with $7 Wood-Fired Pizzas and $4 Martinis LIVE Music every Saturday

* Best Wine List Free Times and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine * Best Place for a First Date - Free Times

Enjoy a free Glass of wine at

* Best New Restaurant Columbia Metropolitan Magazine

or 620-A Gervais St. Columbia, SC 29201 803.799.VINE (8463)

Follow us on Facebook: Gervais n'Vine


Gervais & Vine - Mon-Sat 4:30pm-Until 620-A Gervais St. Columbia, SC 29201 803.799.VINE (8463) | Fall 2010

Trenholm Plaza in Forest Acres Columbia, SC 29206 803.787.3949

Follow us on Facebook: Rosso Columbia

Rosso Trattoria Italia is located in beautiful Forest Acres.


bites&sights | freetimes


56 freetimes | bites&sights


4751 Forest Drive 787-3178

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 11 am-10 pm CALL AHEAD FOR TAKE-OUT Zagat Rated 2000-2008


Fall 2010 |

Bites & Sights  

Columbia, SC's Guide to Restaurants and Attractions

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