Get Your Motor Running

Posted On September 7, 2022

Breakfast & Brunch

By Camdyn Bruce

It’s at the start of every good morning. It has the power to cure the worst hangover and if you happen to catch a whiff of it when you first wake up it might make you crack a smile. Breakfast, of course is the most important meal of the day as it’s the first opportunity to get nutrients into the body after a long night of sleep. Not to mention it’s also delicious. So, if you’re looking for a place to get your morning started strong, here are some great options.

Rambo’s Fat Cat Biscuits | 2430 Main St | 803-881-9060
Specializing in everything biscuit related Rambo’s offers some unique items. However, owner Todd Adams says that two biscuits are staples for the restaurant. The first is the bacon egg and cheese. “We sell a ton of them,” said Adams. “I would put our bacon, egg and cheese biscuit up against anybody’s in town.”  The second is the fried chicken biscuit. “I’m very proud of our fried chicken biscuit; I think it’s a really good high-quality product,” said Adams. In the fall Rambo’s plans to open a permanent popup in downtown Columbia tying in the main restaurant with their Soda City food stand Rambo’s AvoGato (Rambo’s avocado toast-based food stand).

Crepes et Croissants | 1465 Sumter St | 803-462-4779
Serving the same menu all day at Crepes et Croissants breakfast/brunch is a distinction without a difference. If you’re looking for something savory the Paris crepe featuring Monterey jack, ham, and egg is a popular choice.  If you don’t want crepes however, there are also croissant sandwiches and omelets for savory lovers. However, if your sweet tooth is acting up, the triple treat crepe which features strawberries, bananas, Nutella (and whipped cream) may be satisfying. Lastly, their signature coffee drink is a blueberry vanilla latte.

Compton’s Kitchen | 118 B Ave West Columbia | 803-791-0750
Since 1977, Compton’s Kitchen has offered your traditional southern meat and three for breakfast, with twelve different meat options served with sides like eggs, grits, hashbrowns, sliced tomatoes and toast or a biscuit. Other staples here include omelets and pancakes. Owner Martha Cooke said the atmosphere is another draw for the restaurant. “It’s like a family atmosphere; for years I’ve heard people refer to it as Cheers because we have so many regulars,” said Cooke. After 35 years however, Cooke is stepping down, and new owner Asia Dove is taking over. Dove said that she doesn’t plan on changing the breakfast menu, so if you’re looking for a down-home southern breakfast Compton’s Kitchen still has everything you need.

Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli | 2617 Devine St | 803-465-4947
Beloved by frequenters of downtown Columbia, Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli is known for its big portions with breakfast options like the Big Pig, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich topped with grilled onions, cheddar cheese, and two eggs for just $6.95. Or if you’re interested in lunch, they also offer eight different hotdogs, served with their signature Devine chips made from fried flour dough. Finally, known for cinnamon rolls, the place offers over 10 different flavors including their seasonal pumpkin caramel roll which they plan to reintroduce soon. This fall they also plan to reopen their dining room serving customers in store, and note, every meal comes with a mini cinnamon roll on the side.

The Original Pancake House | 4840 Forest Dr | 803-782-6742
While there are many ways to dress up pancakes The Original Pancake House offers some specialties that you can’t get anywhere else, like their apple pancake which is oven baked, filled with granny smith apples, and covered in a cinnamon glaze, or their Dutch baby which is also an oven-baked pancake served with whipped butter, lemon and powdered sugar. Aside from pancakes they also offer combination plates with breakfast meats, crepes, waffles and an array of omelets. Every meal ordered that’s not pancakes comes with a side of buttermilk pancakes, but customers are free to mix and match if they prefer a different side.

The Venue/Main Course | 1626 N. Main St | 803-726-2230
With a piano bar set up The Venue is a cozy place to enjoy brunch dishes like shrimp and grits, and chicken and waffles. Additionally, they offer a brunch buffet with classic breakfast foods like bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and even an omelet station maned by a chef. Currently sister restaurant to The Venue, Main Course is under renovation but around September/October it should be transformed into a hibachi house and will serve a hibachi brunch during the same hours as The Venue. The menu is yet to be decided, but culinary director Mike Ellis said he has some ideas. “It’d be kind of neat to flip the pancakes onto someone’s plate,” said Ellis “I’ve played around with the idea of doing traditional Japanese breakfast like rice and miso with a fish or maybe some Napa.”

Sandwich Depot | 1211 Taylor St | 803-931-3997
Breakfast sandwich lovers, this place is for you. With signature dishes like the buffalo chicken wrap, and the kitchen sink wrap which includes ham, bacon, sausage, green pepper, onion, scrambled egg, and American cheese with hollandaise sauce it’s easy to see Sandwich Depot’s appeal. “It’s a big bang for your buck,” said co-owner Jocelyn McDonald. “You’re gonna get a hearty sandwich for a reasonable price.” Customers also have the options of making their meal a combo and for an additional $2.95 they can add a side and 12oz coffee/20oz drink, or they can add a side and a 20oz coffee/32oz drink for an additional 3.25.

Drip | 729 Saluda Ave | 803 661-9545
Some people just aren’t themselves until they’ve had their first cup of morning Joe and at Drip all coffee is brewed fresh to order via pour over method. For expresso fans Drip also has a wide selection of unique drinks like their honey vanilla latte, their honey habanero latte, and their rose cardamom latte. While the menu changes every six months, some items that are mainstays include pancetta with hickory smoked cheddar, roasted garlic aioli on cinnamon raisin bread, and the house made granola to name a few.

The Toasty Hot Spot | 1305 Lady St | 803-401-5501
Living up to its name this place features a laid-back atmosphere. If you’re craving breakfast the menu is wide ranging with build your own grit bowls, the country boy sausage melt and their signature biscuits and shrimp gravy. However, if you’re looking for something more on the lunch side there are still plenty of options like the beef or chicken Philly which comes served with mayo, onion, peppers, and mushrooms on a brioche bun. The Toasty Hot Spot also offers freshly squeezed lemonade and freshly brewed iced tea with their signature drink being a peach and strawberry lemonade called the mix-up.

Momma Rabbit’s Nibbles and Sips | 5082 Sunset Blvd | 803-356-1330
Momma Rabbit’s has garnered quite a reputation in the Lexington community and it’s not hard to see why. The whole wheat Belgian waffle stands out on the menu and is made from wheat berries which are ground in house, making it light and fluffy while remaining more nutritious than your standard buttermilk waffle. The other star of Momma Rabbit’s brunch is the eggs Benedict which comes served on a whole grain sprouted English muffin topped with house made hollandaise sauce. Lastly, Momma Rabbit’s is well known for their seasonal mimosas, so if you’re looking for a reason to day drink do it under the pretense of grabbing brunch at Momma Rabbit’s.