Home Team BBQ
Bennett Bogan, a third-year integrated information technology student and employee at Home Team BBQ, said he recommends several drinks. If you are 21 or older, he said the Game Changer — which consists of gold and spiced rum, orange and pineapple juice, cream of coconut and nutmeg — is the way to go. His favorite non-alcoholic drinks are "any of their classic glass bottle sodas."
He said his favorite sandwich is the Fiery Ron's Burger — a two-patty burger topped with cheese, bacon, harissa mayo and more. If you're a fan of slight spice, this is the burger for you.
Shalimar Curry House
Main Street is home to a variety of cuisines, including one of the few places to find home-cooked Indian food in Columbia. A small restaurant between Firehouse Subs and Moe's, Shalimar Curry House is family-owned.
Bushra Ghazi is the owner of the restaurant and one of the few cooks, and her son Omer Ghozi is the manager. They said they recommend the curry chicken bowl paired with mango lassi, a traditional Indian yogurt drink. Can't handle spice? Don't worry — all dishes are served with an option of mild, medium or hot.
Joann Hoffman, a barista at Cool Beans, said she loves the soy vanilla latte with a double shot. While all vanilla lattes are great, she said she recommends adding the soy milk because of the vanilla taste in soy.
"I'm a vanilla fanatic, so I really love it [with soy milk]," Hoffman said.
She said she thinks it pairs well with a blueberry muffin or pumpkin bread loaf, but ordering it with a meal might be a little too overwhelming.
Salty Nut Cafe
The combination of Salty's pimento cheeseburger and a Shock Top beer pairs well, according to Jacob Rhoads, who works as a door staffer at Salty Nut Cafe.
"For the pimento cheese, it's got a nice little spice to it. The burger is fine quality meat. The fries here are wonderful," Rhoads, a third-year finance student, said.
Pawley's Front Porch
Pawley's is a longstanding burger joint in the heart of Five Points, and if you've never had the chance to drop in, manager Samantha Mims has a pairing for first-time diners.
She said she recommends Pawley's top-selling wadmalaw burger, which comes with chipotle barbecue sauce, bacon, tomato, lettuce, red onion, cheese and the Southern classic fried pickle chips. To wash it down, she recommends Mims Lemonade, an original cocktail recipe with Boodles rhubarb and strawberry gin.
"It's just what's been selling recently," she said. "It is becoming a little more like fall, but that was definitely a good summertime drink."
Not feeling fried pickle chips? Mims' personal favorite is the Isle of Palms burger that comes with pimento cheese.