Category: South Carolina

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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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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God’s Acre Healing Springs in Blackville, South Carolina

A few weeks About a month and a half ago I was down in Orangeburg County, where Patrick is from, and we were taking a ride on back roads that he knew well. We had several missions at hand that day. One was to visit a friend of ours who we haven’t seen in ages, the other was so that Patrick could play Ingress, this GPS based capture-the-flag style game that he’s obsessed with, and also to visit God’s Acre Healing Springs. The springs are located in Blackville, South Carolina- a small, small town that people seem to grow up in and then leave. One of it’s few attractions to anyone who isn’t living there are the springs, which are not very easy to find. It’s a sparse place, Patrick warned me, and he was right. It’s two signs, a monument, and the springs. But really, that’s all that it needs to be. The lore of the springs is that Native Americans guided wounded soldiers to drink from the springs because of its magical healing properties. The soldiers recovered quickly and believed too. But the property came under the ownership of Lute Boylston in 1944 and he too believed in the powers of the water so much that he wanted to make sure that they went on forever. So he deeded the property to God. Yes, God, because South Carolina is...

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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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Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop

Columbia is getting sassier and classier by the month, and October’s addition to the growing gourmet food scene is a small in-and-out style bakeshop in Five Points. Located at 926 Harden Street, Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop is in a teeny building with clean, modern lines with its most noticeable feature being what isn’t there- a place to hang out. The only seat in the place is in the bathroom, giving the bakeshop a hit-it-and-quit-it vibe that likely mimics places in New York City, where co-owner Sarah Simmons is returning from. There are three major elements to the menu at Rise: pastries, breakfast and lunch, and a to-go case featuring compounded butters, spreads, dips, and shmears. (photo via Yelp) On my first day back at work following days off from the historic flooding in South Carolina, I needed coffee (again) like nobody’s business by lunchtime and dragged myself down to Five Points to check out Rise. Happily, I found a parking spot at the handful surrounding the storefront and oohed and ahhed over everything within. The folks there seem super excited to be working there and explained everything that was available. I went with a hot Counter Culture coffee with a Cafe Brulot flavored cream, which is made with burnt orange and clove; and also a sorghum sticky bun. The coffee was great, though I forgot to ask for...

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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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