Category: lexington

Columbia’s Jolliest December Food & Drink Calendar!

Happy holidays and celebrations to all! December is a funny month because there’s so much action loaded into the first half of the month, then it goes silent until New Year’s Eve when everyone crawls back out for a big blowout to cap off the year! Many events this month also have a shopping tie in, which is great because we’ve got to do it anyways, so might as well do it locally and do it with refreshments. Dec. 2 – Farm to Table Holiday Dinner with Kristian Niemi and Travis Rayle at City Roots, $65 Dec. 2 – Sustainable Midlands Holiday Market at 701 Whaley from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Suggested $5 donation for downstairs event with proceeds benefiting Sustainable Midlands programs. Dec. 5 – Don’t fear the dark beer, learn about them with Tyler Pawelkop from Duck Rabbit Brewery and Girls Pint Out. 7-9 p.m. upstairs at World of Beer. Dec. 5 – First Thursdays on Main gets merry with their annual Mingle and Jingle event, which pairs the usual FTOM fun with a holiday twist. 6-10 p.m., free. Dec. 7 – Technically this isn’t really food related, but I’ve got city pride. The Cayce Historical Museum will be decorated with trees and holiday decor from the 18th century to the present, along with live entertainment and refreshments from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 11 – Stock up on over 25...

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My Top 5 Favorite Small Businesses in the Midlands

The Columbia metropolitan area spans around 30 miles, give or take, from the Northeast area to the good edges of Lexington county, and packed within those miles are dozens of excellent small businesses run by the people all around you. The past few years I’ve highlighted the importance of Small Business Saturday, even though it’s the invention of a major credit card company trying to get people to make more purchases. But if you do it right, those purchases can make a much higher impact in the community if you choose to buy locally, a message that I 100% support. In the spirit of SBS, here are my top five favorite small businesses that do, in fact, span from NE to the Town of Lexington and all in between. 14 Carrot Whole Foods– I’ve talked a little bit about 14 Carrot before, but I’ll keep the love going here. I love them. I drive from Cayce at least a few times a month to get goods from there, from stocking my mason jars with items from their bulk selection ro my most recent (and weirdest) purchase from them- a SCOBY for brewing kombucha. Everyone who works there knows what they are doing and where everything in the store is, no matter how random or obscure it may be. Sun Spirit Yoga Wellness– so maybe I’m 100% biased here, but...

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Zoe’s Kitchen Opens in Lexington

You can tell that Lexington is getting fancy when they are starting to get restaurant duplicates from downtown Columbia. Zoes Kitchen is the latest to migrate westward, and is now open in the former Cinnabon/Caravel/some sandwich shop location on 378, right down from Target. I was invited to come and check them out on their opening day, which was Halloween. It was a cool, rainy night and when I arrived after work, it was already filled with customers, but not packed to the gills, a perfect balance. The menu is clearly marked with lots of items that are friendly for the most popular dietary restrictions- vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. I chose a vegetarian option of a veggie pita pizza that also came with a side Cesar salad, along with a colossal sweet tea to caffeinate me through Halloween. It was on and off rainy, but I opted to sit outside under the covered part of the patio. Keith, the manager came by and let me and another couple sitting out there know that they were having a little issue with the outdoor lights, which flickered like once while I was there. However, he said that was the only problem that day, which I would call a success for any businesses’ first day! My salad was crisp and fresh, a perfect anecdote for the inexcusable amount of Kit Kat...

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Columbia’s November Food Calendar

How is it time for November already? I feel like the students just arrived back in town, and here we are in Thanksgiving month! The holiday excitement is starting to mount, and the cold is taunting us by reminding us that she is coming to keep us freezing until May. Sounds like as good a reason as any to enjoy all of these events before we’d rather be curled up on the couch under a snuggie! Nov 3 – Join the city boys and girls gettin’ down on the farm (City Roots, that is!) at the American Harvest 3rd Annual Bartender Charity Challenge! 10-11 restaurants will be bringing their best cocktails that include a local ingredient. LowCo BBQ, live music, and a cash bar will also be available. 4 p.m., $17 per ticket Nov 7 – Learn about Holiday Beer Pairing with Girls Pint Out! Led by Matt Rodgers of the Old Mill Brewpub, this is a great time to strategize your meal plans with your drink plans at 7 p.m. Nov 7 – If you’re not drinking with the ladies, Jamie Scott Fitness is teaching a Meatless and Gluten Free Thanksgiving cooking class at Charleston Cooks! in their Cross Hill Market location at 6:30 p.m. Cost, $50. Nov 9 – Five Points keeps up the tradition with its 27th Annual Chili Cook-Off in the 2100 block of Harden, beginning at 11 a.m. The event...

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Bringing Business Forward Through Social and Visual Connections

Today’s guest post comes from Carolyn Shvetz whom I became acquainted with through Social Media Club Columbia. She is the granddaughter of Maurice Bessinger, the widely-known former owner of Piggie Park and it’s famous yellow barbeque sauce. Carolyn and her family are working to bring the family business into a new century now that grandpa is retired with her web savvy and artistic skills leading the way! She’s got an everything-at-once kind of job that seems to be typical of most 20-somethings these days, except her career has a hot twist, like getting (having??) to hang out near 500+ degree BBQ pits on a regular basis! -April Since the age of 14, I’ve worked as a waitress, cashier, sandwich maker, line cook, food prepper, drive thru order-taker, assistant manager, manager, caterer, basically everything possible within my family’s small business at Maurice’s Piggie Park®. After graduating with a college degree in Graphic Design, I took over the artwork and design needs of the restaurant. The business had been floating along without much strong advertising design for a while, so tackling the advertising needs was a challenge, and the past resources of photography looked outdated, unappetizing, and were practically uneditable files, so it quickly became a huge priority for me to work on getting some new food shots. After all, our restaurant’s focus is on our unique pit-cooked barbecued meats and...

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About April Blake



April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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