Archive for the ‘mexican’ tag
This little space on Main across from the Capitol and next to WOLO has been a number of restaurants, for instance the Cat & Cleaver and The Capitol Cafe (not to be confused with the Capitol Restaurant) -- Then it was *almost* a Dunkin' Donuts.
After Dunkin' fell through, the place was vacant for a while then Fever started a (protracted) setup process, finally opened and rapidly went under.
I have to admit that though the place sounded to be something I might like, I purposely did not check it out as I strongly felt that the owner's role in the Taco Wars was unhelpful. Outcompeting someone -- fine. Trying to use City Hall to shut down a competitor -- not so much. I wonder if other people sharing that sentiment was an element in Fever's demise, or the fact that the last two restaurants there closed as well means that the location is just not that good.
(Hat tip to commenter Payne, and to tonkatoy for the "Taco Wars" link during the Have Your Say discussion)
Mi Pueblito / Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, 205-F Columbia Avenue (Lexington): November 2011 5 comments
It looks like a lateral move for this Lexington storefront, which has now switched from one Mexican restaurant, Mi Casa to another Mi Taco. I don't know if the Mi in both names signifies the same ownership, but it seems plausible. I'm afraid I haven't eaten at either incarnation as I still get over to Lexington very rarely.
UPDATE 23 February 2012: Added Mi Pueblito to the post title based on the comments.
I leveraged a trip out to Sandhill the other day to go past Clemson Road and into Elgin. This is a little town (the kind where you will find an IGA) just over the county line that we used to drive through all the time down US-1 on our way to Hartsville -- before I-20 came through (ie: It's been a while!). At that time, the points that stuck most in my mind were the ramshackle looking pottery outlet (still there..), the Elgin Watch factory (the reason the town is not now called Blaney) and the Blaney Drag Strip.
I would still drive through from time-to-time when I lived in Fayetteville, and the double-nickel was still in force making the non-Interstate time penalty less than it is now. On one memorable late night drive, I found an overtuned car and had to ride off to summon help.
All of which is neither here nor there except to the point that I haven't gone through there much in the daytime since the 60s, and I was a bit surprised to find that I-20 has put it almost in the metro area. In particular, I saw a branch of a Columbia Mexican chain San Jose on White Pond Road heading to I-20, and I wonder if that had anything to do with the demise of La Costena on Main Street.
Commenter Miz T says:
They closed down a couple of months ago, which is quite sad. We frequented the place quite often and the workers knew my youngest daughter ever since she was a baby and called her by name. They had a mural of the history of Elgin painted on the side of the building. It is now a fruit and veggie stand.
You can see the produce stand in these pictures, though it is not clear to me if it is using the whole building or just the porch.
(Hat tip to commenter Miz T)
Well, the curse of 2630 Decker Boulevard seems to have struck again.
La Estrella #2 after opening sometime after March 2010 has closed as of 5 January 2012. The sign on the door suggests that it will be back, but given that no date is specified, and given that the place was remodeled extensively already very recently, I am not optimistic.
I may have missed some, but I believe La Estrella #2 is the fifth Mexican restaurant to be in this building.
UPDATE 18 April 2013 -- Well, it's been obvious for some time that La Estrella is not coming back, but it's now official, with all the chain branding painted over, and the building up for lease:
I liked this San Jose pretty well though I did not go there too often.
I recall being very proud of myself one time here when a young lady of my acquaintance simply refused to put on her bib as requested by her mother. Nothing worked until I took it and put it around my neck, netting me a shocked Hey, that's mine! look coupled with the immediate indication that I should give her bib back at once. I did, and she immediately put it on and kept it on for the rest of the meal...
The food here was the standard Mexican-run Mexican restaurant fare you see all over South Carolina. I did like that they had pico de gallo available as a side item for spicing up the salsa, which Pancho's down the street does not (or did not last time I was there).
The closing sign is interesting in that it suggests they may come back at some point. That raises by implication the issue of why they are leaving in the first place. Could this site be destined for some new building and they couldn't get a lease renewal? And it is hard to think of another space in the general area that isn't either too close to Pancho's or too close to Casa Linda. Note also that the other address name-checked on the sign is the former Santorini Grill.
(Hat tip to commenter Mrs. SK)
UPDATE 3 November 2011: Added Pizza Inn to the post title based on the comments.
UPDATE 17 February 2012 -- Well, it's confirmed that Pasta Fresca will be moving here. Also, they have pulled the whole front addition off of the building:
UPDATE 6 March 2012 -- Construction continues:
UPDATE 5 April 2012 -- And still continues:
UPDATE 16 April 2012 -- It looks like they are adding a patio:
UPDATE 7 May 2012 -- Construction is basically done now for the Pasta Fresca move (and note the new Pasta Fresca logo). I talked briefly to the owner, and he indicated that the menu will have the same dishes they have at the current location but add some new appetizer and meat dishes. They are shooting for a mid-May opening:
Cabo Fresh Taco, on Sumter Street near the hospital and in between Quiznos Sub and The Palmetto Sandwich Shop is gone. I never was really aware that it was there, or I might have stopped by though I very rarely eat downtown.
The replacement operation is already in place, Anthony's Past Time Cafe which I presume is connected with Anthony's Dairy Bar on Two Notch.
(Hat tip to commenter Payne)
San Jose is probably the biggest local Mexican chain (though they don't all have the same ownership), and one I like pretty well. I never made it to this smaller location on Sunset not far from the zoo, and in fact am pretty sure I did not know that it was there. Commenter MB notes that it wasn't there too long. I have to say Sunset Center has a good-looking ice cream cone on their sign!
(Hat tip to commenter MB)
Commenter Heath notes this closing as follows:
Another Friarsgate Plaza closing from the summer or early fall of 2010 – Monterrey Mexican Restaurant. They were located there since at least the early 2000’s – after buying out Tez’s Mexican Cantina that was located there from sometime prior to 1990 or 1991 when I first knew of it. This Monterrey’s was owned by the same group that owns the location on Knox Abbott Drive in W. Columbia, and had slightly different recipes than the other group that owns the Vista, Columbiana (Afton Ct.), and Killian Road locations. The El Monterrey location you see on Broad River near I-20 (and possibly still open on Parklane?) is yet another splinter off of the other Columbia locations.
I think I vaguely recall seeing another Tez's somewhere in the area, and of course there are a number of Monterrey locations as Heath mentions, but I had no idea this one existed. I have to admit that I only just got it through my head fairly recently that Broad River Road goes all the way to I-26 and beyond as growing up I always associated it purely with the Dutch Square/Intersection Center/Boozer Shopping Center area.
(Hat tip, obviously, to commenter Heath)
Za's Brick Oven Pizza / Loco Bandito's / CW's Taproom / Naughty Macs, 1260 Bower Parkway: 2005 13 comments
Today is Cinco de Mayo, so today's closing is Mexican.
As I recall it, Loco Bandito's lasted only a short time in Columbiana Station, the upscale strip mall behind Wal-Mart on Bower Parkway.
I found out about the place from a very positive Eaton Wright piece in The State published just after the grand opening. Judging from the archives, it was probably from the Weekend section on 10 December 2004. Apparently Loco Bandito's was started by the owner of the local Carolina Wings & Rib House chain, and the attraction (aside from the main dishes) was supposed to be a large array of fresh salsas and endless chips on a free bar.
For me, chips & salsa are the main draws in a Mexican restaurant. I like the main dishes, of course, but really the chips and salsa is what brings me in (and I won't go back to a place that doesn't have them). In my mind, the best salsa in Columbia is at El Chico (once you add the hot peppers anyway) though I always get pushback whenever I say that here. Be that as it may, I was looking forward to trying what Loco Bandito's had to offer.
In the event, I'm afraid I found the place very substandard. As I recall, the chips were especially disappointing, being the greasy, flexible, chewy, unbreakable kinds you get sometimes when the frying process goes awry. Honestly, you should check each batch, and not put out a batch like that. The promised wide array of salsas was underwhelming as well. I don't recall exactly what I thought about them at this remove, but certainly they did not live up to expectations. There was something weird about the setup that I can't recall either. It was something like they didn't give you decent bowls for the salsa though that might not have been quite it. And to top it off, the service was rather ditzy and inattentive.
Anyway, I resolved to never go back and never did. Now perhaps I caught them on a bad night, but I can't find any reference to the place being in business after Feb 2005, so I'm thinking my experience was not unique.
I don't recall a Za's being here at all, but the Eaton Wright piece namechecks it as the former tenant.
UPDATE 7 May 2011: Added CW's Taproom and Naughty Macs to the post title based on the comments.
UPDATE 29 November 2012 -- As mentioned in the comments, HuHot Mongolian Grill is going into this spot:
I'm not exactly sure when this restaurant on Decker just South of Faraway Drive closed since it never really caught my attention until I noticed the ongoing work there. It appears that it will be re-opened as a bar, or at least as a place with an ABC permit. With the applicant's name being Seductive LLC, it might even be a strip club though presumably that would put paid to all the front window space.