Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taco Tuesday

If you have never been to The Whig at 1200 Main Street in downtown Columbia, you must go. They have a drink and/or food special almost every night of the week: my favorites are $1 pizza slice and $2 liquor drink Mondays and $.50 Taco Tuesdays. This particular Tuesday, we were celebrating my sister-in-law, Liz's, birthday, so I was feeling especially festive and ravenous. (Happy birthday Liz!)

The food at The Whig is amazing--the pizza is possibly the closest to NY pizza you can get in Columbia*, and the tacos remind me of the Old El Paso kind mom used to make...a bit Americanized, but soooo good!

If the food isn't enough to make you want to try this treasure, then imagine that the bar is underground...beacuse it is. You enter on the corner of Gervais and Main Streets, but must walk down a good flight of stairs to get to the entrance below street level. It is dark, dank, and very big-city feeling, without even having to try too hard. I'm not quite sure of the history of the building, but it seems that The Whig is now located in a former bank basement, as there is a room in the bar that was the former bank vault. Patrons can actually sit in the vault where there are now vintage (old) sofas and decor that make the room feel incredibly like a cross between a room in the old hotel from The Shining and a 1940's hunting lodge. (See below).

According to someone who works there, the small skulls are from pygmy deer, once native to Germany...I think decide for yourself.

In short, The Whig is one of my favorite places in Columbia right now. Not only is it an extremely affordable place to eat 2 of my favortie foods, but the ambience, (or lack thereof), feels so un-Columbia that I think I'm in a bigger city for a while.
*If you know of a better NY style pizza in Columbia, please let me know! What is your favorite pizza in Cola-town?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I heart Fall...and Pupcakes!

Happy first day of Fall!

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year. Though we don't get as spectacular a leaf-color-change in SC as we did when I lived in Lexington, Virginia, SC still gets a little nip in the air, and the sun that coats the landscape is a little more sepia-toned.

My favorite month of the year comes in Fall--November. I love November because of Thanksgiving, the proximity to Christmas, the chill in the air, being able to finally wear gorgeous scarves like this one, and also admittedly because of that damned movie Sweet November with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron...not exactly Oscar-worthy, but it touched me nonetheless. And, lest I forget to mention, my wedding anniversary is in November-- November 22nd will be Year 1!
On this beautiful first day of Fall, I had the pleasure of visiting Pupcakes on Devine Street in Columbia.

If you have a dog, know someone who does, or just like dogs, you should visit Pupcakes Pet Boutique. They are currently located at 2732 Devine Street, but will be opening a new location at 625 Harden Street this Thursday, September 24th!

I ventured into the store for the first time recently and purchased a dog bowl that I had seen advertised on their Facebook page--it is called a "Brake-fast Bowl" and the intent is to slow down your lightning-speed eater. My dog, Abby, used to inhale her food--literally--she didn't even chew the pellets, just swallowed, and I just felt like that couldn't be good for her.

But now, since the introduction of the "Brake-fast Bowl," she actually lies down to eat her food because it takes her a good 3 minutes to get every pellet. Such an improvement!

Abby eating lying down

Plus, it's a great conversation piece because it is so funny looking.

In addition to having great gifts and treats for dogs or dog-lovers, Pupcakes has a very friendly and helpful staff, including 2 precious dogs named Blue and Prada. The human staff, Marie Lipton and Amanda Hamilton, are true dog lovers, as well as humanitarians--Pupcakes recently signed on to be a Platinum Level Sponsor of the inaugural "Race for the Place" 5K to benefit St. Lawrence Place, (the non-profit where I work), to take place on February 6, 2010.

I highly recommend stopping by one of their locations soon to treat your dog to something special! Say hi to Prada and Blue for me!

Blue and Prada of Pupcakes

Monday, September 21, 2009

au courant styles for fall

I am a Fan of Anthropologie, the women's clothing and housewares store, on Facebook. I was pleased and surprised to see this as one of their posts today:

"It’s that time of year again when the air turns crisp and we happily retreat indoors to ready our roosts. So tell us, what decorating style fits you and your home best? See more of our styles:" and then proceeded to list "au courant" as a decorating style! Luckily, I fancy myself as an au courant stylist; click here for some more examples of au courant style.

Pictures of my favorite au courant items are courtesy of

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bene's and Bloodys at Liberty

A great friend from out of town stayed with my husband and me after the Carolina game last night, and after a USC win we decided to continue celebrating today by brunching at Liberty in the Vista.

"Bene's and Bloodys?," he asked us as I threw my hair back in the proverbial Sunday-no-shower-ponytail. It took us a minute to figure out what a Bene was, (Eggs Benedict), but Bloodys, I knew...

Liberty has amazing Bloody Mary's--they use Zing Zang mix, which is the best I have ever tasted, they rim the glass in Old Bay, and garnish with a lime, lemon, celery stalk, 2 large green olives, and the coup de gras, a boiled shrimp. (I did choose to get mine sans shrimp though, as I don't particularly like shrimp, especially not in the morning).

The Liberty brunch menu is diverse and includes classics like French Toast, pancakes, and assorted omelets, as well as an amazing Breakfast Burrito, which is what I ordered. They also start you out with a basket of piping-hot mini-blueberry muffins, probably my husband's favorite part of the meal.

The boys both had Classic Eggs Benedict, which they enjoyed. My Breakfast Burrito was huge, and very tasty. Top the great food and drinks off with an amazing Fall breeze enjoyed on the back porch, and it was a blissful Sunday brunch. And you'll never have an easier time parking in the Vista than on a Sunday morning!

Friday, September 18, 2009

it's all Greek to me

So, I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend to the Greek Festival for lunch this fine, overcast-but-not-quite-raining afternoon. As we approached the festivities, I admitted to her, possibly for the first time ever, that I had never attended the Greek Festival in Columbia before...shame, shame, I know!

The Pastichio was amazing and the spanakopita divine. The big hunks of feta in the Greek salad did not go unnoticed either. I highly recommend checking this event out--it runs through Sunday of this weekend. In addition to the great food, there are rides for kids, live music in 2 different locations, (which made me feel like I was in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding for just a second), and plenty of vendors selling beautiful jewelry, art work, and feta cheese...mmm. I scored a great handmade gift for my mom's birthday coming up on October 8th!

Here's to hoping this rainy-forecast weekend brings some weather that is more Fall-like...

And, I apologize for no pictures with this post, but it is my first post on a new blog...better things to come.