Letâ€™s Have Brunch
Eggs, bacon and sausage – and so much more!
Compiled by Deena Bouknight, Clair DeLune and Kathy Pettit
Better than breakfast, one of America’s favorite dining habits combines all sorts of good things to tease your taste buds and please your palate. Of course, for some, it’s a civilized way to enjoy an adult beverage before noon. Others simply prefer breakfast food – all day, any hour. It’s a good way for friends to meet, especially on weekends. And here in our capital city, the chefs are creating spectacular offerings that rival any dinner menu – anywhere.
Go ahead and plan a brunch with your buddies (or in some cases, bring the brunch to you). Enjoy!
Nestled in a strip shopping center near Irmo, one can experience a true taste of Italian heaven anytime, but Sunday brunch from 11am-2pm is especially memorable. Frittata Carne, an Italian omelet with Italian sausage, peppers and onions provides a spicy perspective to those whose palates have been lulled and dulled by dining at chains.
Their Egg & Crab Cake Strata, featuring lump crab cakes, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce, puts an Italian twist on a Southern favorite, and you can also find more usual fare such as strawberry-banana pancakes and Eggs Benedict on the menu. If you want the wildly popular Chicken Fried Chicken, you are advised to arrive early. Staff is attentive and friendly, making patrons feel like treasured relatives being honored with the delights that emanate from this dolce cucina. A Mimosa or Bloody Mary might enhance the experience even more.
781.9814 / alodias.com
Surrounded by Bourbon’s brick walls and huge windows overlooking a recently refurbished Main Street and Capitol building, patrons can wet their whistles from a selection of whiskey that runs the length of the restaurant. However, it is the Cajun-Creole food that will whet one’s appetite.
Enjoy the Green Tomato Chowchow perched atop Fried Green Eggs and Ham; or revel in their hallmark breakfast of Congaree Milling Company Hominy Grits, Two Farm Eggs, Choice of Bourbon Smoked Bacon or Andouille Sausage, Collard Greens and Buttermilk Biscuit & Gravy. Of course, the further into brunch hours, the more tempting their Crab Cake becomes, especially when accompanied by succotash of Sweet Corn, Black Eye Peas and House Cured Bacon, Congaree Milling Company Hominy Grits, and nuanced with Tarragon Aioli. Brunch served 11am-3pm on Sundays.
403.1404 / bourboncolumbia.com
Must use photo on ftp shrimp and grits oldie – no credit needed
Anchored in the old train station in the Vista, the Blue Marlin serves brunch from 11:30am-3pm each Sunday, and you may avail yourself of the wide array of libations from their well-stocked bar. The Blue Marlin brunch menu shines as it marries Lowcountry crab cakes with Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise sauce, along with grits and a side of asparagus. For more traditional tastes, their weekly special, or a Quiche with a salad, or a creatively paired Surf and Turf, (consisting of a Filet Steak cooked to order with Crab Cakes, asparagus and hash browns) will wake up your palate.
799.3838 / bluemarlincolumbia.com
British Bulldog Pub
While British Bulldog Pub has been highlighted in CNN’s “101 Best Sports Bars in America,” and called “a triumph of authenticity,” devotees of this friendly establishment also love it for its delicious brunch. You may order from the menu such traditional British brews and dishes as Fish and Chips, Scottish Eggs, and Irish Egg Rolls, which are like a Reuben with Thousand Island dressing. The brunch buffet, which is $13 for adults and $6 for children, pays homage to American standards such as pancakes and scrambled eggs, with bacon, sausage, grits, fruit trays, and dare to mix your menu metaphors with British morning fare of meatballs in sauce and baked beans. Brunch served Saturdays and Sundays 10am-1pm.
227.8918 / thebritishbulldogpub.com
Must use a photo – in gutter: use the eggs.
Photo by Jay Browne
It’s a great gathering spot for friends and family and their Sunday Brunches are packed with happy folks. For starters, their Bloody Marys and Mimosas are perfection. (Try a Bloody Maria. You can thank us later.) The menu is packed with deliciousness, including a breakfast quesadilla, steak and eggs, and lots of breakfast sandwiches, French Toast, and Hangover Hashbrowns (which earned a mention in Southern Living and remains a classic for all of those who had a bit too much fun on Saturday night). For a bit more traditional fare, try one of their oh-my-goodness omelets. Yummy!
They serve brunch from 10am-2:30pm, but don’t be late. Café Strudel’s fame has spread and a crowd usually gathers. Can’t make brunch? It’s great for lunch and dinner, too!
794.8834 / cafestrudel.com
City Bar Martinis and Fondue
A new gem is shining in the Vista, but you must sashay down an alley to discover this upscale, hip hideaway. Could there be anything more delightful on a Sunday morning than imbibing wildly delicious hand-crafted beverages featuring creative and fresh ingredients? Perhaps an order of their Lowcountry-style Shrimp and Blackberry-infused Grits, with just the right spices, or Chicken and Red Velvet Pancakes, drizzled with Blackberry Honey and Toasted Pecans. You’ll feel as if you have snuck into a speakeasy during prohibition, but the best part is, it’s all legal. Brunch served Sundays from 11am-6pm.
764.6125 / citybarfondue.com
Use photo – advertiser In gutter: Photo by Sally Taylor
Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
They just may be changing the world, one cinnamon roll at a time. The mother/son owners have experience in making great, fresh food and it shows. Even better, they’re nice folks who want to make you happy and give you the best food ever. For obvious reasons, the bourbon caramel cinnamon rolls are best sellers, however the strawberry cheesecake cinnamon roll is deliciously decadent. Not a sweets-lover? Try their Big Max for brunch: your choice of bread (including gluten free), with eggs, cheddar, black pepper bacon and honey mustard. Bonus: Check out the artwork on the walls. It’s created by local students and military and a big percentage of the proceeds from sales of the art goes to local animal organizations. Open from 7am-2pm, Tuesday-Sunday.
465.4947 / thecinnamonrolldeli.com
Cool Beans Coffee Company
Classics are homemade bagels made fresh on the premises, as well as chocolate croissants and banana breads. There are specials such as a strawberry goat cheese tart or a spinach blueberry tart. Homemade doughnuts are a hit. The upstairs/downstairs establishment in a historic building orders most of its coffee from a South Carolina roaster: Iron Brew. Cool Beans has an espresso maker. On College Street, these establishments, intertwined in their offerings and the fact that they have the same owner, provide a Brunch experience anytime Saturday and Sunday during the school year (closed during weekends in the summer); opens at 9am on weekends.
779.4277 / coolbeanscoffeecompany.net.
Crepes et Croissants
Enjoy Brunch Parisian style in this downtown spot where a native Frenchman – and master crepe maker – is responsible for much of the delicacies, including entrée and dessert crepes with everything from goat cheese drizzled with honey and topped with baby spinach to Nutella with whipped cream. There are customized omelettes and specialties such as quiche Lorraine, bacon sandwich, and croquet-monsieur, which is toasted bread with ham and a mix of sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese. Every day there are croissants to eat there or to go, as well as fruit tarts, cream puffs, and macarons. There are coffee treats to go along with, such as Café Miel: latte with honey and cinnamon. Brunch is on Sunday from 10am-2pm.
462.4779 / crepesandcroissants.com
Use Photo from Ali you have choices I think. The big file I sent you that you had chosen from. Green tablecloth, I think.
Photo by Ali Moons
This popular spot for the Five Points area and USC professionals is plenty busy throughout the week, but the locals know that weekend brunch is must-try. The usual suspects are here in fine form, from pancakes (peaches and cream) to pecan raisin French toast, eggs, omelets, paninis, and breakfast croissants, or smoked salmon and toasted bagels. Do consider the Eggs Charleston, with crab cakes, poached eggs, and hollandaise over an English muffin. When you go, remember that a weekend brunch is only enhanced by an adult beverage. Boody Mary? Mimosa? Ah yes, the office politics can wait until Monday. To make the weekend even better, plan to pick up a few deli items before you leave. Always fresh and always delicious. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 10am-2pm.
779.0606 / dipratos.com
Eggs Up Grill
Eggs Up Grill can be found in 14 towns in and around South Carolina. Columbia’s Grill can be found on Devine Street, where all ages enjoy the excellent brunch fare. Favorites include the Western Bagel with eggs, cheese, ham, peppers and onions, and a version of eggs benedict with corned beef hash (happy man food). The regulars are present, often with a twist. Have you tried bananas foster pancakes? You should. For the egg-averse, there are burgers and sandwiches. 6am-2pm.
661.9174 / eggsupgrill.com
Photo on ftp. Advertiser
In gutter: Photo by Ali Moons
Fancy That Bistro
This downtown eatery offers breakfast and lunch seven days a week, with a killer $3 mimosa to set the mood. Omelets are very popular, with all the fixin’s (your choice, of course). The menu features bagels, hash browns, home fries, plus all types of breakfast sandwiches. Want that goodness for your office or group? Ah, perfection. Their breakfast catering is a great deal – for the tummy and the pocketbook. And don’t forget to ask about their egg muffins. You can’t order them in the restaurant, but for a catered brunch, make sure they’re on your list. An added touch? The old photos that grace the walls. Columbia, as it was in the early 1900s. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia during breakfast. Sun-Tues, 7am-4pm; Wed-Sat, 7am-8pm.
779.6110 / fancythatbistroandcatering.webs.com
Must use photo advertiser
In gutter: Photo by Jay Browne
Substantial portions of American classics and Southern favorites are what are expected at Harper’s Saturday and Sunday brunch which begins at 10am. There are hearty salads packed full of fresh ingredients, like the Spinach and Strawberry with grilled shrimp, candied walnuts, Carolina goat cheese, and a strawberry vinaigrette or the Summer Salmon Salad with kale, arugula, romaine, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Heartier still is the Crab Cake Benedict, the Chicken and Waffles, and the Grilled Sirloin and Eggs. Patrons can make a brunch meal out of sides such as Anson Mills cheddar grits and Benton’s bacon.
252.2222 / www.harpersgroup.com/harpers_columbia.asp
Brunch is available in the Vista at Le Peep any day of the week. Customers can choose from a myriad of items from the extensive breakfast or brunch menu. Egg dishes abound: skillet combinations like Drifter with potatoes, fresh vegetables, mushrooms, onions, and cheese, or an omelet with chicken, mushrooms, broccoli and cream cheese, or a benedict such as the one with a broiled salmon steak placed on top of cream cheese and a toasted English muffin, poached eggs, hollandaise, and a sprinkle of dill and tomatoes. Not interested in eggs for brunch? There are also salads, sandwiches, crepes, waffles, pancakes, and French toast. Le Peep’s vast offerings meet a variety of cravings. Open until 2pm. 254.1200 / lepeep.com
(no credit needed)
They sent a couple of photos – shrimp and grits is small. The strawberry one will work I think.
Liberty Tap Room and Grill
Sunday Brunch at this downtown institution is worth waking up for. Of course you know the drinks will be all a Sunday morning could desire. After (and during) your wake-up libation, think about a shared bowl of bleu cheese chips. Then, try a salmon benedict, liberty omelet (applewood-smoked bacon), bananas foster or strawberry French toast, or an order of Lincoln Street Hash – called the “ultimate hangover cure.” Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm.
461.4677 / libertytaproom.com
A fun new eatery in Lexington that’s attracting folks to cross the dam and plan a great time out with friends. Dinner? Yes. Brunch? Of course. Check them out on page 54.
Motor Supply Company
Farm to table has become a culinary trend like no other in these last few years; however, Motor Supply Company takes that seriously all week long, and even during Sunday brunch. The menu is always chef-driven and inspired by whatever is in season that will provide a made-from-scratch, made-to-order, fresh-food experience for patrons. Menus are changing, but items might include low country crab cakes, Adluh grits, house-smoked meat, salads using local greens, and house-made Mexican pastries. In the drink department, Motor Supply claims to have the city’s best Bloody Mary – infused with bacon; plus, there are gourmet sodas and, when in season, South Carolina peach Bellinis, which is an Italian cocktail with sparkling wine. Served Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm.
803-256-6687 / www.motorsupplycobistro.com
The Oak Table
Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, on the corner of Main and Gervais streets and overlooking the state capital, The Oak Table offers mostly locally sourced, seasonal menu items that are culinary creations by the chef. Sensory experiences for the palette include the Bread Pudding French Toast with Chantilly cream, Carolina Heritage bacon, macerated Watsonia Farm peaches, and grade A maple honey as well as a Maine Lobster Frittata with asparagus, arugula, mushrooms, tomatoes, and basil ricotta. There is a pastry board starter with many treats to try: a buttermilk biscuit and a pan au chocolat, for examples. A side is roasted grits by Congaree Milling Company, and a drink special is the Tool Box with Bacardi grapefruit rum, peach schnapps, vodka, and orange juice. Served Sundays from 10:30am-2pm.
563.5066 / theoaktablesc.com
Use the ones you have – no photo credit needed
Photo from them or one from Jay Browne (never arrived) must use something Advertiser
The Original Pancake House
This hometown favorite off Forest Drive has been pleasing patrons for years. Who could refuse a freshly squeezed glass of orange or grapefruit juice? You can’t beat decadent and healthy. Ever tasted Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberries and whipped butter? What about a traditional Bavarian Dutch Baby, oven-baked, with whipped butter, lemon and powdered sugar? The cherry Kijafa crepes are Danish favorites, filled and topped with Montmorency cherries simmered in their own sauce. All the regulars are well represented, too. The key to its long-lasting success can be found in their finest of ingredients, including home-grown sourdough yeast pancakes. (Coffee aficionados probably already know that their brew is blended, roasted and ground to their exacting specifications.) Classic or non-traditional -- it’s all good here. Mon-Friday 6:30-9pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 7am-9pm.
782-6742 / originalpancakehousencsc.com
Described as not-your-average taco restaurant as well as not-your-average neighborhood restaurant, Publico is a distinct Five Points spot featuring cuisine that fuses tastes and ingredients. Besides Brunch Libations that include the You Want S’More Cold Brew Coffee with house-cold brew, coco, s’mores vodka, a graham cracker rim, and toasted marshmallows, there are Grilled & Griddled, From the Range, and The Skinny menu items each Sunday. Favorites are the Frosted Texas Toast with a side of turkey sausage, the plantain peanut butter pancakes with bacon, and The Breakfast Burger with brisket, short rib, Texas toast, bacon, and a sunny-side-up egg. There is some spice in the Publico Shrimp & Grits, and a healthy item is the Coconut Quinoa & Kale dish with cilantro lime vinaigrette. Sunday Funday brunch served from 11am-3pm .
567.5738 / publicokitchenandtap.com
Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop
Touted as a Southern bolangerie, in the spirit of a French bake shop, there are items to appeal to – as the menu implies – Early Birds and Late Risers. Owned by Sarah Simmons, a native of Columbia who has made a name for herself on foodie radars with her New York City restaurants, Rise has everything from sorghum sticky buns to sausage scones to country ham breakfast sandwiches with lemon butter and basil. There are interesting breakfast bowls, such as the one with Congaree Milling Company cheddar grits, house-made sausage, and a poached egg, as well as eat in or carry out items: biscuits, buns, muffin, baguettes, and bagels with shmears, which are special cream-cheese based spreads. Brunch is essentially available daily. Mon-Fri: 6:30am-4pm; Sat-Sun: 7am-4pm.
851.1248 / risebakeshop.com
The Wired Goat Café Vista
Coffee is the passion here. It is sourced from all over the world and roasted on site. But there are also the made-from-scratch baked goods using local milk, yogurt, eggs, veggies, fruits, and cheeses as well as the highest quality flours. Located in Chapin and in the Vista, this establishment is fond of the word “no” as in no bleached sugar or flour, no artificial flavors or MSG, etc. For brunch there is a display case of hearty muffins and scones. Also, patrons can order waffles topped with berries and Vermont maple syrup, or one with nuts, strawberry French toast, and breakfast sandwiches with locally sourced items such as City Roots greens, Split Creek Farms Goat Cheese, and Cheshire NC Bacon. Sunday hours are 8am-8pm but any day can be a brunch day here.
851.0990 / wiredgoatcafe.com