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Columbia, Missouri — need list fast

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I am heading out for Columbia in a couple of days and need some specific recommendations. After reading the existing postings, it seems like these places might be worth my while (in no particular order):

Murry's, Shakespeare Pizza, Sycamore, Booche's, Thai Kitchen, Chinese Wok.

1. Any additions or corrections to the above list?
2. There was a bit of banter about barbecue, but I heard no definitive concensus. Surely Columbia has good barbecue. Where?
3. I am a serious cigar smoker. Where can I get a good meal and smoke?
4. Which bars/restaurants carry QUALITY rum and tequila?

Sorry for the short notice, but if you can help, I'd appreciate it!

Dan in Wichita

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  1. 1. I would personally not bother with Thai Kitchen. The only things I've had there have been either cold or flavorless. That's just me. Instead of Booche's, I would check out Billiards on Broadway (on broadway between 5th and 6th.) They have fresh-cut french fries and what I think are better burgers than Booche's. I realize that I may have just made a lot of people mad by saying that.

    Chinese Wok Express is very good, so you're on the right track there, but only if you want to order from their Vietnamese menu. Their Chinese menu is just typical Americanized stuff. It is wonderfully cheap though. I do love what I've had on their Vietnamese menu, but I havent' had a lot of Vietnamese cuisine overall so I don't know how it compares. Just a warning, they are cash only.

    If you're looking for Chinese food, I'd recommend House of Chow (Broadway and Stadium) or Mandarin House (on West Broadway near HyVee--not to be confused with Mandarin Express).

    2. I don't like BBQ, so I can't help you there.

    3. Columbia went smoke-free a few years ago, so your options are limited on that end. Restaurants can only offer smoking areas if they have patios, but only if their patios are large enough to accommodate both a smoking and non-smoking section.

    Grand Cru (http://www.grand-cru.biz/Welcome.htm), on Providence Road, has a cigar shop, in it and you might be able to eat and smoke on their patio, but I'm not sure. I've never heard a good review of their food, though.

    Hemingway's (http://www.hemingwaysltd.com/) is supposed to have great food (on par with Sycamore), and they sell cigars and have a patio. I'd recommend calling ahead to find out exactly where they allow cigar smoking though. Since I'm not into cigars, I don't know the exact rules and regulations.

    4. I don't really drink either rum or tequila, so I don't have personal experience. I do know that there's a Mexican restaurant named Tequila (nw corner of Providence and Nifong, behind Gerbes supermarket) that is supposed to be famous for its tequila selection. Their food is decent as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rweater

      Thanks, rweater. That's good info. I had wondered about Billiard's, so that's good to know. I will definitely eat from the Vietnamese menu at Chinese Wok Express, as I am a Pho phreak. I had not heard of Hemingway's so I will check them out. Again, thanks for your recommendations.

      1. re: blackdog

        This blog has review of Rome and also some Columbia area BBQ:
        http://showmeeats.blogspot.com/

        1. re: blackdog

          No problem.

          Also, re: cigar smoking, I have been told that Grand Cru (don't now about Hemingway's) has some kind of exemption to the smoking ban because they sell retail cigars and you can smoke there. Confused? So am I. Sorry I couldn't give you a straight answer. Best just to contact them and ask for yourself.