Category: Local

Pelican’s Snoballs

Under the spring blue sky, the Midlands has been getting a little bluer itself, from Pelican’s Snoballs massive expansion all over town. The original Columbia location is on Rosewood Drive and while that’s not far at all from home and work, it was still a detour to go there. But they are popping up all over the place now. The most important one (to me, at least) is at 442 Meeting Street in West Columbia, a road I traverse two to four times a day, depending if I go home for lunch or not. So when I saw a sign...

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Copper Horse Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our fridge is way too full lately, with a hodgepodge of leftovers and bottled beverages and trays and trays of meat that Patrick buys on sale. So because I’m such a nice wife I offered to go through and clean out the fridge. One of the items that tragically got pushed way too far back was the Copper Horse Distilling Copper Cream, Red Velvet Peppermint edition. Here’s where I have to admit though, I had ulterior motives for wanting to clean out the fridge… I had to make sure I had ingredients to make cookies for a foodie book club the next night! When I saw the Copper Horse, I knew it had to be part of these cookies somehow. Because baking is a delicate dance of science, I based my recipe on one I’d had pinned for years, but adapted it to suit my particular liquor’s needs (aka the delicate flavors of the cream liqueur would have been overwhelmed by the brown butter and hazelnut oil prescribed in the original). If you’re in Columbia, go by the gorgeous distillery on Huger Street for a tour and tell Richard I sentcha. Otherwise, you can substitute another cream liqueur of your choice – but choose wisely. Copper Horse Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies makes 35-40 Ingredients 1 1/2 sticks (14 tablespoons) salted butter, softened 2/3 cup brown sugar 2/3 cup sugar 2...

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15,000 Square Feet of Booze, In Bottles (And Cans)

I recently had the chance to preview Columbia’s newest spirits store, Bottles and am way too excited to go spend more money than I need to there. The very first thing I was shown there was shelves and shelves and shelves of ginger beer of all kinds. Seriously, the shelf space for it was wide than I can reach. Moscow mule tasting party, anyone? The space is huge, and there are all sorts of special items- from blackberry ginger Canada Dry to a slew of unusual bitters. Options ranged from imported Belgian ales to locally crafted Copper Horse products, made here in Columbia on Huger Street with grain from Allen Brothers Milling (aka Adluh).   The first day open is today, Wednesday, December 16. Hope you don’t spend all your Christmas money in one place. Bottles is located at 4410 Fort Jackson Boulevard,...

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Quick Trip Report: Publico

I wonder if the folks at Publico planned to open on Friday the 13th. That kind of ominous opening might imply that I had a terrible experience there, which is quite the opposite. I left a bit before noon to avoid the parking crunch in Five Points and was rewarded with a spot not too far away. The first thing you notice about Publico is the decor. I had to laugh at all of the hipster restaurant cliches that they fulfilled there but you know what, it comes together nicely. Male bartenders and servers in plaid shirts? Check. Reclaimed wood walls? Check. Sputnik light? Check. Garage door windows rolled up to reveal a beautiful November day? Check. I can’t say anything about hipsterness though, I was at the bar Instagramming my meal with my iPhone. Check. Publico offers fusion tacos, tosados, burgers, and other Mexican-ish-Asian-ish fusions, along with a pretty sizeable tap list. I went for the lunch special which was two tacos and a side, the two tacos being the agedashi tofu and the avocado crunch with Mexican sticky rice. The agedashi tofu taco was easily my favorite. The tofu had to be flash fried, it was crisp on the outside and perfectly puffy on the inside. The peanut sauce brought the whole taco together. And it didn’t seem weird that the mostly Asian-ish flavors were in a tortilla....

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Columbia’s Inaugural Gervais Street Bridge Dinner

This past weekend after several weeks of worry and stress over unprecedented flooding in our capital city, a thousand citizens had the opportunity to dine on the most iconic bridge spanning two of our rivers on a crisp autumn afternoon. It began with a cocktail hour, with beer and wine being served on the Columbia side, and liquor on the West Columbia side (apparently it was illegal to serve liquor outside on the Richland County side of the river or something like that, who knew?). Of course, I hit up the River Rat Brewery tent for their offerings.   Everyone was taking their selfies by the water, because we often just zoom over the bridge in a hurry in our cars without ever taking the time to stroll across admiring it slowly.   By 5:45 we sat down to dinner where salads from Spotted Salamander were waiting. This spring mix salad featured bacon and black eyed peas for a Southern twist. But wait, they did plan ahead to have vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options available, which is a rarity at these large dinners. The options were from Good Life Cafe and arrived in boxes to those of us who waved our hands in the air for them.   As the sun sank into the horizon the setting got even more glorious. I was so taken with the location and the sights and...

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About April Blake



April Blake does media relations 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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