Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sometimes you really just have to satisfy a craving.

I'm really trying to do my best with this blog to avoid repeating restaurants.  But sometimes, the food is just so good that I have to share my experience.  Back at the beginning of April, I wrote about my dinner at Cellar on Greene.  I was pretty anxious to go back, but circumstances prevented it until a couple of weeks ago.  When we had gone before, L fell in love with the tuna nachos.  So much so, that for about a month before we went to CoG for the second time, she was craving those nachos. Moral of the story?  We went for the tuna nachos, and ended up with another perfect dining experience.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Hungry Lady: Hilton Head Island Edition

About a week ago, some family friends were in Hilton Head for a few days, so I made the drive down from Columbia to hang out for the day. It was nice to see everyone, and we had a great day just wandering around and lounging by the pool.  And eating, of course.  So huge thanks to P, M, & C for their insights about our meals.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I may have mentioned a few times (or 6) how much I love coffee.  I'm a self-professed caffeine addict, and trust me, you're safer as a result.  I'm the exact opposite of a morning person, and coffee is what makes me at least semi-pleasant to be around.

Unfortunately, I'm not really in a city known for it's eclectic coffee selection.  I've talked some about Cool Beans, which is my favorite coffee shop in town.  It's tiny, unique, and comfortable.  I did quite a bit of homework and studying over double espressos at Cool Beans while in college.  Now, I pop over and grab coffee on mornings when I need a pick me up, or I grab some lunch.  As much as I love Cool Beans, it would be nice to have a second option when I want coffee.  And don't you dare suggest that I go to Starbucks.  Starbucks will do in a pinch, but I find them to be overpriced, and their coffee has a funky, burnt aftertaste.  Someone once told me that this is because Starbucks over-roasts their coffee beans.  I don't have any confirmation on that, all I know is that I try to avoid Starbucks coffee if I can.

Imagine how excited I was when I discovered that there was a new coffee shop opening up in 5 Points.  Since the demise of Adriana's a couple of years ago, 5 Points has been devoid of good coffee shops.  But no longer.  Drip has opened just down the street from the old Adriana's location.  I was on a mission to try it out as soon as humanly possible, which for me, meant Saturday.

I walked in around 1ish on Saturday afternoon.  It was surprisingly uncrowded, a fact that I'm sure will change once classes start back in the fall.  The very first thing I noticed was the decor.  It's simple and homey, and yet funky and modern.  Prints of assorted jazz artists line the walls, the tables are dark wood with bench seating and chairs, there is a little counter with couple of stools that looks out over Saluda Ave, and it's small. I dig it.  And then, I ordered coffee.  Nothing fancy, just a plain cup of coffee.  And it was made right in front of me.  I wasn't handed a to-go cup and shown where the assorted types of coffee in pots were,  nor was I given coffee poured from a pot that had been sitting for who knows how long.  I watched as the coffee was measured and stirred slowly as water was added.  The smell was divine, but the taste was even better.  It was so fresh, smooth, and fragrant.  Just an absolutely fabulous cup of coffee.

While I was waiting for my coffee (don't go in and expect to have a cup within seconds of your order), I entertained myself by reading the menu.  Right now Drip only serves breakfast, but lunch is in the works.  If the food is even half as good as the coffee, it's going to be fabulous.  I have fallen head over heels for Drip.  I'll be back as soon as I can, and let's be honest, they'll probably get tired of seeing me soon.

You can find Drip on Facebook .

Drip on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There are so many perks to dining in.

I love having other people cook for me.  Especially when they do the cooking at my house, so that I don't have to drive anywhere (why yes, I will have that 4th glass of wine, thankyouverymuch).  The other weekend, R and I finally got back to our weekly dinner in.  We've skipped a few, as we've been making an effort to use up some of my gift cards and go to Columbia's various eateries instead.  But on this particular weekend, we decided to cook. And by we, I totally mean R, because while I can chop vegetables quite well, creating an actual meal is a little out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pearlz, Redux

Y'all remember when I wrote about Pearlz Oyster Bar a couple of months ago?  No?  Well, you can read about it here.  Or maybe you shouldn't.  It wasn't the most complimentary post in the world.  At that time, the food was good, but our service was beyond awful.  I hate when something so basic ruins what would have been an otherwise good experience.  It turns out that Paul, one of the owners of Pearlz in Columbia, saw the post and wasn't too happy that his restaurant had left such a bad taste in my mouth (pun absolutely, 100% intended).  Paul emailed me to apologize for the bad experience and to invite me back so that they could make it up to me.  Of course I accepted - remember, it wasn't the food that was bad.  I totally understand that people have an "off" day, so I was happy to try Pearlz again.  I'm not exactly one to turn down a meal when it's offered.

Monday, June 6, 2011

In which The Hungry Lady tries her hand at cooking.

Y'all.  I did it.  I cooked.  And the house is still standing.  I promise.

So here's the thing.  I don't cook if I can avoid it.  I'm pretty good with a microwave and with pasta, but other than that, I really have to try to get it right.  It's not that I can't cook.  I'm sure that I possess the skill set to complete a culinary masterpiece. I just really don't like to cook.  Because I don't like it, I get bored and get distracted, and then everything burns.  And I do mean everything.  I once burnt Minute Rice.  I got tired of waiting the 5 minutes for the rice to absorb the water, so I accidentally left it on the hot stove, walked away and forgot about it, and then it burned.  True story.

At any rate, I do my best to stay out of the kitchen unless absolutely necessary.  This past weekend, I couldn't avoid it.  I was going to a baby shower for some friends (congrats R & A!), and had volunteered to make a pasta salad.  Mostly because I haven't yet managed to screw up pasta (and yes, I'm knocking on wood), and veggies are pretty easy to cut up.  I decided to be ambitious and make a slightly more complicated salad. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What do you call a fish with no eyes? FSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

For the approximately 10 years I've been in Columbia, I've been told to go to the Blue Marlin more times than I can count.  More often than not, I was told to go to try the shrimp & grits (not really an option for me, sorry), but was assured that everything else was pretty tasty too.  I finally got around to taking all of the unsolicited advice last weekend.  A restaurant that specializes in Low Country (that's the lower part of SC, primarily coastal, that is located below sea level) cuisine and features chefs who were invited to cook at the James Beard House?  How could I possibly have a bad experience?