Columbia’s quirkiest and most beloved restaurant celebrated its 20th birthday on Monday — Cinco de Mayo, as it happens. Blue Cactus sells fantastic traditional Korean food and a little bit of Southwestern-American food. (And somehow, it won the Best Cuban Food category in last year’s Best of Columbia awards, to its dismay. It does serve those tasty Cuban beans, though.) The kitchen can move slowly there; the service can be intentionally a bit curt; you’ll have to bring your own beer or wine; there are numerous tinned meats on humorous display; and the list goes on. Yet to its fans, it might well be the best restaurant anywhere, not just in Columbia. I would personally crawl great distances on my hands and knees for some of Mary Reese’s kimchi. So happy birthday, Blue Cactus. It’s sure hard to imagine Columbia without you.
Hey, It’s Mothers Day
Sunday is Mother’s Day. And what mothers across our great nation demand, apparently, is brunch. At least one must assume so, judging by the preponderance of brunch options on this most maternal of holidays.
And where to brunch?
There are the usual higher-end brunch suspects, all of them excellent choices: Motor Supply Co., Oak Table, Mo Mo’s Bistro. And check with your favorite restaurant — places like Rosso Trattoria are opening for brunch this Sunday, which they usually don’t.
There are the midrange classics: Café Strudel, @116 State (one of my favorite brunches in town, but I’m not your mom), California Dreamin’, DiPrato’s, Harper’s.
If nobody’s going to want a mimosa, Original Pancake House, Just Us Café and Lizard’s Thicket are good options. And don’t overlook some of the great bar brunches around if your mom’s more the beer-for-breakfast type: Cock ‘N Bull Pub, Pizza Man.
If you’re looking for something different, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden hosts a Mothers Day brunch in its Magnolia Room, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The brunch runs $39.95 for adults, and $15.95 for kids ages 3-12. Register online at riverbanks.org.
Or you could check out the South Carolina Railroad Museum, which runs a Mother’s Day brunch train this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visit scrm.org to reserve a spot.
Gervais & Vine Now Takes Reservations
Not much more to say than what’s in the headline: After years of footloose, reservation-free living, Gervais & Vine is now taking reservations, and has even signed up with Open Table so you can make reservations online. Call the restaurant at 799-8463 or visit opentable.com.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200