You Have To Try This Place: SC Pedal Parlor

Bike w People

SC Pedal Parlor

Vista Bar Crawl & Five Points Bar Crawl | www.scpedalparlor.com

The SC Pedal Parlor gives you a whole new way to experience Happy Hour in Columbia! The Pedal Parlor’s unique “bike” is 100% human-powered by pedaling, eco-friendly, and allows you to see bars, taverns, restaurants and shopping districts in a safe and fun way…from the seat of a moving bar stool! Two-hour long pub crawls include visits to up to 2-4 bars or restaurants, based on your group’s preference. SC Pedal Parlor

Started in 2015, the Pedal Parlor offers tours through the Vista daily, at scheduled times, and Five Points tours can be accommodated as well. Tuesday nights are Prize Parlor nights, where Pedal Parlor swag is given away, and they also do special events! Take the Pedal Parlor for a spin the next time you’re celebrating a bachelor/bachelorette party, birthday, or have a corporate team-building event and your guests will not be disappointed!

Pedal Parlor Tours require 6 people minimum, however the Private Party option allows you to have the whole bike, which seats up to 16 people! Want a night of fun to remember? Reserve the bike for a special event of your own, at the daily rate of $1400 (includes travel and associated costs). Check here for special discounts and updates, and check the SC Pedal Parlor Facebook page for that, as well as amazing videos of past tours! To reserve your spot(s), click ‘Book Now’ on their website, or give them a call at 803.302.7750.

Weekday Therapy: Tombo Grille

One recent Hump Day, the Gardener Guides went looking for a dining spot – something unique and exciting, yet casual and welcoming. We decided to head over to Forest Acres, which fits that description as well! Forest Acres’ is known as “a city within a city”, and its residents enjoy a wonderful assemblage of restaurants, both large and small.

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Miriam turned 21 recently, so she is happy about that!

Tombo Grille has become something of an institution in Forest Acres. Since 2002, when it opened, the modern American bistro has served up a fresh, varied menu made up of local and seasonal ingredients, to people from all over the Midlands. Despite knowing this, only one of us had ever been to Tombo, and so we were unsure about what to expect. It was early for dinner and we were able to sit where we wanted, so we chose a small, tucked-away table surrounded by soft lighting and local art.

Thomas, our wonderful and attentive waiter, helped us with our drink order, relaying the day’s specials and taking our preferences into consideration. Tombo is all about daily specials – featured wines and beers, pizzas, soups, small bites, entrees, as well as deals like Monday Night $9 Burgers, Beer and Live Music, Tuesday Night $5 Pizza & $15 Bottles of Wine, and Thursday Night 3-Course Dinner for 2 for $49. Thomas knew the menu inside and out, and suggested the Smoked Salmon Terrine, Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, and Smoked Salmon Rangoon as best bets, and Virginia insisted that we order the Fried Brussels Sprouts as one of our dishes.

The Charcuterie and Cheese Plate included Thomas Hoe Leicestershire Red, Carr Valley Shepard’s Blend and Irish Porter Cheddar cheeses, Trois Petite Cochon Paté, Olli Toscana and Calabrese Hot salamis, seasonal fruit, a selection of peppers, onions and olives, Tombo Grille meat and cheese platterwhole grain mustard and baguette slices. Everything went well together, so you could mix and match items off of the plate and add them to your baguette slice for a perfect bite each time. The Smoked Salmon Rangoon were salmon, scallion and cream cheese-filled wontons, fried and served with a Mandarin chili glaze – an upscale (and better) version of the Chinese food menu staple, crab rangoon. The Smoked Salmon Terrine was accompanied by capers, onions, cornichons, flying fish roe, and crackers, and would be delicious as any meal of the day! The Fried Brussels Sprouts came in a large bowl, with herbed buttermilk dressing. These warm little gems were crispy yet soft, caramelized and sweet; like vegetable candy! We ate the entire bowl and felt great about it, because they’re vegetables. (Also, let it be known that Virginia got a whole bowl of them to go because they were that good!)

The next day, we all remarked how nice Tombo had been, with such a friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere. The food selection was unexpected, yet comforting and satisfying. It’s no wonder the place has become such an invaluable part of the Forest Acres dining landscape!

Tombo Grille Weekday TherapyAddress: 4517 Forest Drive

Phone Number: 803.782.9665

Hours: Open Monday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 10:30pm; bar opens at 4:30pm

Visit Tombo Grille’s Facebook Page here!

Weekday Therapy: Grill Marks

img_2059On a recent December weekday after work, with temperatures dipping, the Gardener Guides team, cold and hungry, was in search of some comfort before the holidays. We headed over to see if the good people at Grill Marks could help us out.

We were immediately excited to see a cozy area with soft lighting, great decor and a fireplace, and placed our drink order. Grill Marks’ bar offers a huge selection of wines, “Now” craft beers and scratch-made cocktails, as well as a range of ice cream concoctions such as Floats, Milkshakes, Freakshakes, and alcoholic-infused Spiked Floats, Shaketails and Beer Shakes. Unfortunately, we were just too chilly to try those, but will definitely be back for them once the weather warms!

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Food requests from the team ranged from burgers, for which Grill Marks is famous, to any of their potato offerings, of which there are many: Skinny Fries, Fat Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, White Truffle Parmesan Fries, Bleu & Pimento Cheese Fries, as well as White Truffle Parmesan Chips and Bacon and Bleu Chips w/Cracked Pepper. The decision was difficult,img_2062 but we settled on the Slider Trio which included a Pimento & Bleu Cheese slider, Crimini & Swiss slider and Jalapeno & Pepper-Jack slider. We also ordered the Marks Pimento Cheese Poppers, and for the pick-3 appetizer option chose White Truffle Parmesan Chips with Dijonnaise dipping sauce, Fried Green Tomatoes with Chipotle Ranch and Sweet Potato Fries with Orange Cinnamon sauce.

We can report that the rumors are true; Grill Marks’ burgers really are incredible! Everything from the degree of doneness of the fresh, custom blended burger patties to the buns (each one baked daily and individually branded) to the toppings, were superior. In fact, our only regret was that we hadn’t ordered our sliders off of the Happy Hour menu, as they would have been a tad larger and therefore led to less infighting among the gals, but, live and learn! The other appetizers were wonderful as well, and really brought up a notch with the housemade dipping sauces that came alongside.

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At the end of the hour we were ready to venture back out into the cold streets of the Vista with the knowledge that we’d found a real gem of a Happy Hour venue, one that we could count on to provide us with the atmosphere, food and drink that makes for the best kind of Weekday Therapy!

Address: 711 Gervais St.

Phone Number: 803-661-8932

Check out their Facebook Page here!