Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wastin' Away Again: An Ode to Tacos and Margaritas

You can argue that you'll never get "real" Mexican food unless you go to the American Southwest, Southern California, or you know, Mexico.  Having never been to the Southwest or Mexico, and never having eaten Mexican food in SoCal, I can't offer an opinion either way (shocking, right?  This might be the first time in my life  that I've been unopinionated).  So while I'm unable to extol the virtues of "real" Mexican food, I can certainly speak to Mexican food with a southern twist (and I'm not talking about southern Mexico).

Friday, April 22, 2011

There is nothing quite as satisfying as a good burger.

On Sunday, L and I found ourselves with a few hours to kill before we had to get to our respective evening plans.  We did a little shopping (supporting small local businesses...hooray!), and then decided to grab dinner.  It was a beautiful day, so we were looking for three things: good food, cold beer, and outdoor seating.  We were also trying to avoid falling into our normal "let's grab dinner and a beer at our usual place" routine.  We finally settled on Pawleys Front Porch. L had never been there, and I had only been there once, so it was a pretty novel experience.  Plus, Pawleys has a huge outdoor deck, good burgers, and we assumed the beer would be cold. Not to mention the fact that Pawleys has the Guy Fieri seal of approval.  No really...Pawleys was featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2010.  You can see the clip here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy hour is so much better when there is good food to accompany it.

Friday Happy Hour.  It's a very important tradition in the working world.  I particularly enjoy when happy hour is followed by baseball.  On a beautiful Friday evening, L & I upheld this time-honored tradition by snagging an outside table at Columbia's local brew pub, The Hunter Gatherer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I've become a fan of the small plate.

If you're like me, and decided to take five years of French in middle school and high school rather than taking the much more practical Spanish, you probably would have had to look up tapas as well.  Thanks to Wikipedia, I now consider myself an expert in all things tapas - from the word origins to the evolution from Spanish cuisine to occasionally behind-the-times Columbia, SC.  Now, I'm sure you're reading this and wondering why in the world anyone would care about the history of tapas.  But see, this is a food blog, and while most of the time I'm pretty good at pretending to know more than I do, this was not one of those cases.  Plus some of the origins were kind of interesting.  For example (thanks Wikipedia!):
Another popular explanation says that the king Alfonso XIII stopped by a famous tavern in Cádiz (Andalusian city) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine "with the cover."[2]
Sounds to me like King Alfonso XIII just discovered that bar food is an excellent balance to wine.  To that, I have to say, "duh."  Bar food also goes well with beer.  Or $3 martinis.  Especially at Virtu Restaurant & Bar in Columbia.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz and brunch go hand-in-hand.

I indulged in a couple of my favorite things this weekend: live music and good food.  The live music was totally fabulous.  And then there was brunch (with more live music!) the next morning.  Equally fabulous.

I made the trek up to Charlotte for the weekend.  My dear friend K was a wonderful hostess, and was very excited to take A, S, and me out for brunch on Sunday morning.  We went to one of K's favorite brunch spots in the NoDa district: Boudreaux's.  As you might have guessed from the name, Boudreux's had us traveling to Bourbon Street, without actually having to drive to New Orleans.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tacos and an Open Letter to the Columbia City Council

I suppose that the original purpose of this blog was to review food.  But as someone who eats probably more often than necessary, I feel that it's important to mention local food issues as well. 

Just in case you don't live in Columbia, or if you haven't had the chance to pick up a copy yet, I think you should really check out the cover story from this week's Free Times.  Yes folks, a debate about tacos is gracing the front page of our weekly paper.  And it's really quite remarkable.  I suggest that you read the article before reading my thoughts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The perfect night of wining and dining.

Last night we decided to shake up our weekly happy hour schedule and go to Cellar on Greene instead of our usual place.  It was an excellent decision.  None of the four of us had ever been there before, and we were very pleasantly surprised.

Cellar on Greene is a tiny place, so I would recommend going early.  We got there around 6 p.m., and ended up sitting at the bar, rather than wait for a table.  There are four high-top tables by the windows, a long communal table that seats 12-15, a coffee-type table with couches instead of chairs, a table in a semi-private room, and the bar, which seats 10-12 maybe?  It's a very intimate atmosphere, and the decorations are mostly shelves and shelves of wine.  You see, Cellar on Greene is primarily a wine store.  They just happen to also serve dinner.