Travel Diaries: Columbia, South Carolina

So I must confess something… I absolutely love food. My family and I were planning this awesome food filled trip to Charleston, South Carolina BUT with all the rain and thunderstorms we decided that wasn’t the best idea, unfortunately. So we decided to make our way to Columbia instead. Yelp is seriously my best friend when I’m going to a new place, so I found a few places that caught my eye but we went with this awesome little place called Cafe Strudel.

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So coming into this place it was PACKED, (which definitely tells me that we went to the right place) our wait ended up being a little more than 30 minutes.

So to kill time we went next door and visited the Old Mill Antique Mall. This place is massive. When you think you’re done another room pops up out of no where. Old Mill has over 75 dealers selling anything from jewelry, books, pins, clothes, old cameras, you name it, they probably have it.

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Once we were antiqued out we headed back to the restaurant and what a coincidence our table was ready.

Our waiter was absolutely wonderful and the service was great. BUT our food was even better.

Duck fat fry Basket: Fries tossed in duck fat and truffle oil with a green onion aioli.

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Freshly squeezed orange juice. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

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Hangover hash browns: Hash browns with banana peppers, onions, tomatoes and scrambles eggs. WITH one pineapple french toast.

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Sunrise Burrito: scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, salsa, black beans and sour cream in a cheddar cheese wrap.

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Apple Strudel 

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If you’re ever in Columbia you must visit this place! I 100% recommend it. They have great service and great food.

Love,

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Easiest Apple Tart Ever

I know, I know. It has been months since I have posted on my blog and for that I apologize. I got caught up in other stuff and had no will to do any DIY’s or cook. But thankfully I am ready to give my blog life and get this thing rolling once again.

I decided to make this really easy apple tart that came out surprisingly great.

 

Ingredients:

  • The average frozen puff pastry that you can buy at any grocery store.
  • 5 granny smith apples

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  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • Less than 1/3 a cup of sugar

And that’s it! (Well you can add some love in it, of course)

First you have to let your puff pastry thaw out, give it about 20-30 minutes and it should be done. You will definitely be able to tell when it’s done, you just lightly touch it with your finger and if there is an indentation, guess what, it’s done.

While your puff pastry is thawing out, this is the perfect time for you to cut your apples up. I took the skin off of the apples first then sliced them up in a mandoline, but you can slice them by hand, it just might take a little longer. Once they were all sliced I put them in the bowl and added my cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I mixed them all up and let them hang out.

In the meantime, why not preheat your oven? It should be preheated at 350 degrees.

Once  your puff pastry is all thawed out, roll it out a little bit so it’s stretched out. Make sure not to really “work” the pastry, we don’t want it to get messed up. Place the pastry on your pan which should be lined with parchment paper. Then working from the outside to the inside place your apples around the puff pastry so they’re overlapping.

Now once your apples are in place you can sprinkle your sugar all over them. Chop up your butter and place it throughout your pastry.

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The pastry took about 30-40 minutes to cook but this will vary so just keep an eye on it. You will definitely smell it once it’s ready.

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It was light, not too sweet and honestly one of the best desserts I’ve made. I placed a spoonful of french vanilla ice cream on mine and it was perfect. ❤

 

I hope you guys try it out! I wanted to make it a little bit different and unique but I figured I should probably try to make it the normal way first.

Let me know if you try it out, I’d love the feedback ❤

Have a great Saturday!

Love,

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The Bee’s Knees, indeed!

So the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) is on a ROLL. If you saw my last post I visited a beautiful little café called  Manuel’s Bread Café and that place was absolutely amazing. On the same day, in the afternoon, my family and I decided to pay The Bee’s Knees a visit. Whenever I go out to eat I always check Yelp, it’s a handy app/website where you can find exactly what you want. This place has 4 out of 5 stars and 225 reviews, for Augusta that is a lot of reviews. I was hesitant because it’s a Tapas bar and my family likes to eat a lot so I wasn’t sure if a small plates place was appropriate but we gave it a shot anyway.

THIS PLACE IS GREAT! ***Tony the Tiger voice***

I’m not exaggerating at all. It’s in Downtown Augusta which I believe is a beautiful area, it needs some work but nonetheless is gorgeous.

Anyway our waitress was incredible. I used to be a waitress so I kind of have high expectations from my waitresses but I always give them the benefit of the doubt, I mean they are people too. This is the waitress that I want for every restaurant I go to. She was upbeat, personable and friendly. She was informative about the specials and even had cute notes about everything that was going on. I wish I got her name but I know that she knows that she’s an incredible waitress.

They also try to only use local meats and seafoods and they have organic products. I love places like these! Even if I didn’t like the food I knew that I would appreciate this place.

Anyway, let me tell you about the food!

Since it’s a tapas place we ordered a bunch of the plates.

And to drink I ordered a white wine sangria, literally the best sangria I’ve ever had, it was made with coconut rum and these are dangerous. You can taste the alcohol but it’s so sweet and smooth that if you’re not paying attention you will be drunk in no time.

Smoked Gouda Nachos with seafood = Absolutely incredible, it was with a crab and shrimp and was gone in a second.

Hand cut fries= great! With the fries you can chose 2 sauces out of about maybe 10 or 12. We tried creamy parmesan and spicy aioli with one order and the other order we got dill feta and  jalapeno. All the sauces were so good.

Spinach and black bean quesadilla= this one was just average but I think it was because I’m not the biggest fan of spinach.

My brother got chicken and waffles, I only tried the waffles and LET ME TELL YOU. So soft and sweet, seriously I need this recipe and a waffle maker.

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To finish we ordered raspberry crème brulee and it was the perfect end to this meal.

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This is a MUST go place if you’re ever in the CSRA. I don’t really have any negative criticism for this place, I really enjoyed it and I loved our fun waitress.

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

Love,

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Manuel’s Bread Cafe

If you are ever on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, you MUST go to Manuel’s Bread Café and pay them a visit.

My friend and I did a 5k and decided we needed to eat something. So I pulled up my Yelp app and searched restaurants with breakfast. The majority of things that popped up were fast food chains, chick-fil-a, McDonalds and things of that nature, that was a BIG NO.

I came across this place and I was a little hesitant, it had 3.5 reviews and I just wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But my friend was like “Yeah, let’s go”.

THANK GOD.

This place is a gem, straight from heaven. We got there at 9:15 and they were ready for us. Our waitress was great, she was informative and friendly. She told us all about their weekend buffet and everything we can order. The place was cute, they had both outdoor seating and indoor. We chose to sit outside, we ordered our drinks and got up to get our food.

They had shrimp and grits, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, Greek yogurt with granola, fruits, pastries and rolls. AMAZING!

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I give this place 5 stars! Great food and great service!

Have a great Sunday!

Love,

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Boll Weevil

Sunday was a beautiful day in Augusta, Georgia. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and my family and I decided to make the most of this day. We decided to go for an adventure in South Carolina. So around midday we left the house and made our way across the border. On our way to Aiken, South Carolina, we stopped at this unique little place called Riverfront Antique Mall. It was extremely cute and unique. It was made up of little shops owned by individual people and filled with all types of knick knacks. A lot of the items were interesting, there were collector items, antique items that you would find in your great grandparents house, and there was some plain junk. IMG_8294

We left here and continued our way up to Aiken.

Now let me warn anyone visiting Augusta, Aiken, or the surrounding areas, there is nothing open on Sunday. That was our mistake. I’m assuming everyone is at church or just relaxing. There is hardly anything opened on Sunday. And it’s unfortunate, well for me because I couldn’t enjoy Aiken. It’s a beautiful place though, downtown Aiken. I will most definitely go back to see what it has to offer. We made our way back to Augusta on the hunt for a restaurant to stop at. I came across some that I wanted to go to but they were all closed. Finally I found a place called Boll Weevil. It’s in downtown Augusta off of James Brown Blvd and its a pretty neat place. I found this place on yelp, there were some cool pictures posted, some good reviews and some just okay reviews. We decided to check it out. Coming in it was quiet and not too many people were there, but then again it was Sunday. You can see that they have like a little separate part of the restaurant reserved exclusively for those customers that just want to buy desserts. (They have amazing sweets) We were sat down and were given menus. IMG_8295Obviously I can’t eat most items that they offer so I ordered a half order of the Portabella sandwich with tomato and apple soup.

IMG_8298In all honesty, I did not care for this sandwich and it could have been better. I love portobello mushrooms but this one wasn’t seasoned at all and I did not care for the bread they chose to use. It came with provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato. I ate all of it because I hate wasting food and it wasn’t disgusting. BUT the tomato soup was amazing. (My brother had the tomato soup as well and didn’t care for it, so it’s not for everyone.) The soup was made with Fuji apples and there were chunks of the apples in the soup, and I appreciated it. I’ve never had a tomato soup such as this one and it was quite pleasant.

IMG_8296I don’t remember the exact name of this dish but it was jerk blackened chicken with Spanish rice. I tried the rice and it was really good and my family tried the chicken and they said it had a nice jerk flavor and it had a good spice to it.

IMG_8299This was the jambalaya. I know for sure that it has shrimp and chicken in it. I tried a little bit of the sauce and I did not care for it but my family did, the shrimp was flavored beautifully.

IMG_8297This was my favorite dish of all, it is the shrimp and grits dish. It was creamy and amazing. If you’re to ever visit Boll Weevil this is a must get dish. It was perfect. This dish also came with cornbread. I didn’t take a picture of it but it was made with jalapenos and just wow, it was pure perfection. It was crunchy on the outside and warm and spicy on the inside, hands down the best cornbread I have ever had.

And of course we got dessert, we got it to go though because we were stuffed. We ordered the Tropical dream cake which was filled with pineapple and coconut, AMAZING!!!! and we also got the turtle cheesecake, I didn’t care for this one because it was kind of salty but it was not bad at all.

This place was lovely and I’m so happy that it was opened on Sunday.