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Jun 12, 2007 07:09 AM

Columbia, SC - Near Township Auditorium

Did a quick search and nothing came up. Coming to Columbia this Saturday from Charlotte for a concert at the Township Auditorium. I've never to Columbia before so I have no idea what's around there. Is there good food close by? I'm pretty flexible on price and style; it would just need to be something we can get in and out of pretty efficiently on a Saturday night.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. The Township is almost equidistant from the Five Points neighborhood and the Vista (near the river). Both areas offer quite a few dining choices. In Five Points, there's Mr. Friendly's Southern Cafe on Greene the Vista, SakiTumi (sushi, etc just off Gervais Street), Motor Supply Co. (menu changes daily) and Gervais and Vine (tapas)

    1. Good suggestions from sardis. Aslo to consider is Hampton Street Vineyard (Hampton & Main). You might want to make a reservation, which I think will leave out Gervais and Vine.

      BTW sardis, how is SakiTumi? I haven't been.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SweetPea

        I thought SakiTumi was great. There's a varied selection on the sushi menu and on the grill menu, it's more international with flavors from Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean. My friends and I love the lotus root chips, I've enjoyed the fish and the piri piri chicken.

        1. re: sardis

          I was visiting family over the weekend and dined at Sakitumi. First off, when I get sushi or teppanyaki, the experience is not authentic unless the chef is VERY familiar with Asain culture and most importantly Asian cuisine. The sushi chefs looked like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. As a result, the sushi wasn't bad but it wasn't very good. The most distressing thing was the price...WAY TOO HIGH. One roll which had eight to ten pieces was $14...ridiculous. The beverages were even higher. We bought a bottle of sake that I think was 20 oz. and it was $28. This place thrives because it's main demographic are college students and mid-twentysomethings who just care about being seen and not the quality of the food.

      2. Thanks for all those ideas. I'll report back to let you know what we decide to do.

        1. I would definitely choose Hampton Street Vineyard. The best wine list in town, inside / outside dinning great atmosphere.

          1 Reply
          1. re: timmytime

            2nd Hampton Street. The crabcake is really good, as are the desserts. For aps I'd skip the salads (refrigerator stricken) but they have really good fried oysters.

          2. We are attending the same concert and plan to dine at Mr. Friendly's (Five Points). Some of my companions have been there before but I never have, so am looking forward to it. Hampton Street Vinyard is wonderful, and not very far from the Township.

            As you travel Taylor Street be sure to look for the mural "Tunnel Vision" and the sculpture "Busted Plug" by artist Blue Sky.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Ellen of SC

              Let me know how your experience at Mr. Friendly's was. Everyone I know LOVES it, but the two times I went the food wasn't very good. The first time I got the Peach/Barbecue salmon and it was passable but the peach flavor was nonexistent. The 2nd time was lunch and I got the salmon club which was pretty terrible, I didn't even eat it which is saying alot because I never do that. The other thing that irked me was that every entree came with the same sides...i dunno, just a pet peeve I guess.
              On another note...have you tried Terra yet?

              1. re: izzizzi

                >have you tried Terra yet?

                Hi izzizzi! Wife and I were at Terra a few weeks ago. She had mussels to start, which were very good, followed by a pork chop that she quite enjoyed. I started with braised veal cheeks tossed with orrichette. Sublime. I followed that with flounder served with spinach and braised leeks. I'd order it again if for no other reason than the opportunity to have some more of the leeks. The waiter suggested a Spanish red that was truly delicious, particularly after it opened up some. It was a little late when we finished and the chef, Michael Davis I think, came out and chatted a minute. I asked about his experiences and among other things he said he had worked with Susan Spicer at Bayona in New Orleans. So, all in all, a very pleasurable evening.

                1. re: Cpt Wafer

                  Yeah, he used to come into the Gourmet Shop and I sold him cheese. He always seemd to buy boucheron and once I got him to get the Humbolt Fog (ash layer). He's a nice guy. I think he used to cook at Magnolia's in Charleston. Did you have dessert? My mother's gone and loved the meal but said the pistachio creme brulee was a bit too sweet.

                  1. re: izzizzi

                    Yeah, very nice guy. Wife had something that was served with cinnamon ice cream. I had a nibble of the ice cream and liked it. I had the cheese tray. Can't recall what of cheeses were on it. Kinda hard to mess up a cheese try, though. I was on Callie's Charleston Biscuits website and they said The Gourmet Shop had their biscuits. Can you confirm this for me?

                    1. re: Cpt Wafer

                      They did when I worked there (quite around december) but I'm sure they still carry them because they were very popular. They're pretty pricey though, about 10 something a pack, though that may be the regular price. Another really good product they carry that FM also carries is these cheese wafers that come in a log and you slice them (Jennie's or something).

                      1. re: izzizzi

                        The website sells them for $26 per 2 dozen, so I guess $10 per doz. may be a deal! I think I'll run down to 5 Points and grab a bag. I'll have to check out the cheese wafers too. Thanks for the tip!

                2. re: izzizzi

                  OK, here's my report on Mr. Friendly's. Super! Arrived at 5:30, seated right away at that early hour. (Filled up after 6.) Started with a Cosmopolitan and appetizer of crab cake. Very good. My entree was the ribeye with baby portabellas in a rich sauce. Served over white rice with braised kale on the side.

                  The steak was excellent; moist, tender and flavorful. And quite large. I couldn't finish it. First time I'd had braised kale so it's difficult for me to comment. Tender leaves, crunchy stems, vinegary flavor.

                  Service was excellent and the manager stopped by twice - once to chat and again to bring us a complimentary slice of caramel pecan chocolate pie. (One of my companions is a chef and they had swapped stories.) Very rich and very satisfying. And mighty fine customer service.

                  Along with one glass of wine and a generous tip my bill came to $65.00. I will definitely return for special occasions.

                  And Lyle Lovett at the Township really floated my boat!!! Dessert at Nonnah's afterward made the evening complete.

                  1. re: Ellen of SC

                    Ah, I had dessert at Nonah's Sat. night as well. Pecan pie. Wonderful.

                    1. re: SweetPea

                      I had the ginger cheesecake. Smooth and subtle. Mmmm.

                3. re: Ellen of SC

                  Mr Friendly's is OK at best. Good luck on a Saturday night if you're on a schedule. I find the dining space cramped and loud. I've been a couple times and will never go back, unless it's free.

                  Hampton Street is really good. I've been for lunch (Mango Shrimp Salad) and dinner twice and enjoyed everything. It's a little upscale but quaint. For something more casual head to the "vista" on Gervais street. SakiTumi is good, crab cakes were delicious. Sushi was fresh and had good balance. For a concert, i'd recommend Liberty tap room and grille. great beer list, decent wine list, i've liked the food each of the many times i've been. Blue marlin is my favorite restaurant down town. Also, there's a place right near campus called Hunter Gatherer. the beer is brewed onsite. good menu, and probably won't be too crowded before 9.

                  1. re: scpierce

                    I love Hunter Gatherer! So glad to hear someone else does! I like the atmosphere and surprisingly they have one of the best burgers I've ever tasted (esp. with their horseradish cheddar).

                    1. re: izzizzi

                      oh yeah.. H-G is one of those places that we only seem to think about after the fact. i've loved it every time we've gone. and you just can't beat fresh beer.