Call it “River City”, because it’s located at the confluence of three rivers (Broad, Saluda, and Congaree), “Cola” or even “Soda City” (no relation to soft drinks), South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia is succeeding at revitalization.
Yes, it’s hot in Columbia. They know it. They’re owning it! Their new branding campaign, “Columbia – Famously Hot” is terrific. Fun and can be used so many ways. Check out the official Columbia, SC Famously Hot Blog, Experience Columbia Facebook Page, and @columbiasc on Twitter.
My favorite piece by far, completely amazing in person, is the two-winged history of African-American History Monument. If you’re anywhere near Columbia, you must go see this.
Just outside the Capital Complex, at 933 South Main Street, is IMMAC, otherwise known as Immaculate Consumption. Mostly known by word of mouth, it serves politicians, lawmakers, business people working nearby, and USC students. They do not have a website and finding their not-recently-updated Facebook or Twitter pages is next to impossible.
Somewhere in IMMAC’s over 20 year history, someone had the bright idea to cut church pews in half and use them for seating.
Colorful and just a bit funky inside, it’s a perfect place for breakfast, lunch or a snack & drink. Free Wi-Fi also makes it perfect for getting a little work done while sipping some house-roasted coffee.
We stopped in for lunch after taking in the capital. PIC’s Tuna Melt was made with Albacore mixed with yogurt and dill, sandwiched between melted Provolone and greens on Sourdough Bread. He chose a pasta salad as his side. The sandwich, salad and gherkins were all good. Didn’t notice the weird shadow on the bread when taking the shot. Nothing was wrong with the bread.
My pick was their Veggie & Brie Sandwich served on my choice of bread: Kaiser Roll. Chips and gherkins kept this delicious creation company on the plate. Served warm, the Brie was softened enough that the veggies sunk in a bit, staying in place on the roll for easier eating.
I failed to note prices, but most sandwiches are in the $7 to $8 range.
Did you notice the door to the right in the first interior shot above?
Through the door, down a flight of wooden stairs, you step into an excellent space with more seating and IMMAC’s coffee bean roasting operation in the back.
High-tech mass packaging was taking place at the time. Really more like hand-packaged by a friendly guy and his scale. The roaster (not pictured) is just to his right. Bags of roasted beans are available for purchase by the counter upstairs.
The shot below was taken from the far end of the room, looking back toward the stairs (just out of view to the left). This is where I’d meet friends for coffee.
Monday through Friday 7:30am to 6pm
Breakfast 7:30am – 10:30am
Lunch 11am to 3pm
After 3pm – coffee and baked goods
Closed Saturday and Sunday
Two more takes on IMMAC:
- “What’s Good Here | Immaculate Consumption“, published in The State February 12, 2012
- “immaculate destination, dirty life and cash mobs” published by Gap Creek Gourmet June 18, 2012
Epicurean Note: We were in Columbia at the invitation of two gorgeous spirits, Debi Schadel & Tracie Broom and their Intern/Assistant, Mikelle Street (also a gorgeous spirit). Debi and Tracie co-owner Flock and Rally, an events and communication company. They turned us on to Immaculate Conception. We covered the cost of this meal ourselves.
933 S Main St
Columbia, SC 29201