Category: South Carolina

Spotted Salamander Cafe: Where The Ladies Lunch

Summertime is for taking time off to enjoy the weather, so a few weeks ago I scheduled some time off for yesterday and today for a nice luxurious four-day weekend. Because I spent the actual weekend mostly sleeping for some reason, I made the most of the other two days including lunch at a new (to me) place that I’ve been meaning to try. After seeing a post on Facebook about a mac and cheese tomato pie from Spotted Salamander Cafe, that pretty much sealed the deal and I dragged Patrick there for lunch. Beware though, if you ask Siri for directions she’ll try and take you to Assembly Street- it’s really on Richland, which I realized and course corrected before we got too turned around in lunchtime traffic. When we arrive the line was nearly out of the door, and almost every table was full, and it was kind of loud in there from all of the people enjoying their lunch break. Luckily we were able to snag a spot outside and the clouds kept our time out there mostly overcast.   Since Spotted Salamander doesn’t always have a lot of meatless options I took advantage of one of the daily specials, that tomato piiiie. It came with a side salad and I added a Boylan Shirley Temple soda in a bottle because I’ve never seen that flavor...

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Cayce Festival of the Arts

The inaugural Cayce Festival of the Arts went down this weekend at the Guignard Brickworks. What is that? It’s the site where many of the bricks used in South Carolina buildings from the early 1800s through the early part of the 20th century. I explored it a few years ago after wondering what they were and finally just going over there. It’s also a half developed area with paved streets and empty areas that is probably going to hold retail developments someday. But for now, the big open fields are great for a festival. There were over 40 various arts vendors selling everything from soap to ironworks to paintings and photographs. You can see the official artist list here. It was great to have a fun festival right down the street that was close enough to ride my bike to (I don’t go across the bridge on my bike alone, for the most part, it freaks me out!)....

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Adult Milkshakes? YES. Kaminsky’s Opens in Columbia

A few months ago I was eavesdropping at the local watering hole and heard people talking about a new restaurant opening in the former Nonnah’s space on Gervais Street, so naturally, I made my way into the conversation and reported it. Now, several months since, Kaminsky’s (an export from Charleston, and part of the same restaurant group as Pearlz) has opened and has brought with it BOOZY MILKSHAKES! There is a huge variety to choose from, and what’s listed below is only a third available. Any of their milkshakes can be made “adult” with a suggested liquor. But like with most ¬†things in which one shouldn’t overindulge, there’s a disclaimer about it. Luckily this one isn’t dangerous. Poring over my decision while I waited for my friend Eva to join me, I narrowed my choice down to “something chocolatey” though the friendly bar staff recommended the Key Lime Pie and the Dreamsicle. There will be a next time. I ended up going with Smores, which features chocolate ice cream layered with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and topped with crushed graham crackers. It was ridiculously good. It’s also too easy to scarf down, which at $9 a pop and who knows how many calories, isn’t in anyone’s best interest. But one every so often as a treat? YES. Kaminsky’s just opened on March 31, so as of the...

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New in Columbia – Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

Anyone that’s been within viewing distance of downtown Columbia has seen the familiar sight of the Adluh Flour Mill and its towering presence looming over the Vista. It’s actually one of the few buildings downtown that still operates in the true fashion of the original area, milling flour and corn. But the mill hasn’t used a huge chunk of its building that juts out towards Gervais Street and decided to rent it out to add to the bustle of the ever-growing downtown entertainment district. (Photo via) What’s settled within the once rarely-glimpsed confines of the mill is now Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a small-ish franchise out of Colorado. Being that the Blakes are people about town, we are friends with the mill (it’s true, they even follow me on Twitter!) and scored an invite to their VIP/soft opening this weekend. So off we went, and I prepared by only eating a small bowl of cereal for breakfast to save room for all the food, because in true food-obsessive fashion, I scoped out the full menu online ahead of time. For this though, they were only serving a limited menu, which was still pretty chocked full of options. I started off with a cocktail recommended by our server, the OC Tea, a tea-lemonade drink with a few different flavored vodkas, including vanilla. It tasted like a vanilla-tinged Arnold Palmer,...

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Soda City Suds Week

As I mentioned in one of my last posts, five friends and myself have formed a nonprofit to support and organize a week of publicly supported drinking craft beer education and appreciation events. But in all seriousness, as I reported in the Free Times last month, craft beer is giving South Carolina a serious economic boost, with no signs of stopping. And any respectable city has a craft beer week, and so now, shall the capital city. Soda City Suds Week will run from March 21-28 and as of now we have our bookend events in the works, with plans for all of the juicy weekday events in the hands of our crafty and brilliant local business owners who are the real highlight of and reason for this week. Cultivating appreciation for good beer makes them money, generates tax revenue, makes out state and area look more appealing to outsiders who may want to bring their talents to our sun drenched gloryland, and just plain makes everything better for everyone… and that’s not just the PR person in me for this project talking. I truly believe it, and that’s mostly because I have numbers to back it up, both from the SC Brewers Guild and my own bank account statements. We are in the middle of getting both sponsors and event hosts for Suds Week, and if you are...

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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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