The bottom line: A restaurant with an interesting concept that you must try at least once!
While I went to college in the Columbia, SC area I must say that I didn’t really venture out to try and see what the city’s culinary world was like. But I mean, can you blame me? There are only so many options for a college student on a limited budget. For the most part sandwiches and ramen were my staple meals. Sometimes I wonder if I ever were an unemployed student with no income again if I could survive all that, but I am sure I could get creative with my cooking at this point. But let me not deviate from what I am here for!
Some weekends ago I went back to my old stomping grounds and had lunch with one of my close college friends at Motor Supply Company Bistro. This restaurant is located in The Vista section of downtown Columbia (aka Cola). The Vista is the young professional part of town and is right by the state house and some bank offices so you get to see a lot of the corporate crowd when you are in that area. I had been to Motor Supply a year or so ago before my blogging days so I was really excited to finally be able to talk about it. During my first visit there I remember that I had a salad and also one of their brunch bread baskets (brought in from a local bakery) and the meal was enticing enough to make me want to come back.
The interesting thing about Motor Supply is that they just don’t have a set type of cuisine. They incorporate into their menu different dishes that range from American, Asian, Italian, and more. The restaurant also tries to make everything in house. Typically all their food is made from scratch with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Something else that I find refreshing about the place is that their lunch and dinner menu changes every day! Just imagine the possibilities. At least you know that if you visit this place more than once a week you will more than likely find different dishes you can try! It also has a cute little outside patio where I have preferred to dine when I do go. During the summer it’s covered in plants and for some reason it transports me into feeling like I am part of those lazy southern summer days we often see in the movies.
During my latest visit to Motor Supply I was feeling extremely hungry so I opted to go for one of their entrees that sounded like it could fill me up. Since their menu changes I don’t know when they will offer this again but I ordered their shrimp over rice covered with sweet chili sauce. The dish also came with a side of asparagus. I must say that I started with the asparagus because my logic subconsciously told me “get through the vegetable first and leave the good stuff for last!” Haha Well to be honest with you the asparagus were delish. They were simply cooked (I imagine steamed) and were seasoned with salt. They were simply made but tasted fresh! Something that I have found really adds to a vegetable…the fresher the better! The shrimp was also really good. They were flavorful and not overcooked. I want to say that maybe they were slightly grilled (I could be imagining things) but the best part was the contrast between that seafood taste and the sweetness of the chili sauce. The flavors really did balance off each other and one made up for the other one. In one bite you had the saltiness and flavor of the sea and immediately you felt the heat of the chili with the sweetness of the sauce. If there is one thing that I really wasn’t satisfied with is when I ran out of shrimp. Once this happened I found myself just eating the rice that was served with the dish mixed with the chili sauce. The rice was a bit mushy (think risotto style) so it absorbed the sauce. What I didn’t like about it is that since for the most part rice is bland, the mixture with the sweet chili sauce became overwhelmingly sweet. And even though I am sucker for sweet stuff I could not find myself being able to finish it all. Other than that I would say that Motor Supply did not disappoint me once again.
You will also see pictured a chicken sandwich with a side of potato salad. I don’t recall entirely what the chicken sandwich had but I do know it included bacon and honey mustard (you can never go wrong with bacon…never!). My friend commented she enjoyed her sandwich although did not touch her potato salad simply because she’s not a fan of it. I tried some of it and thought it was good. It did not have that much mayo which often overpowers the taste of sides like these since they are heavily mayonnaise based.
Overall Motor Supply once again did not disappoint. I don’t know how long they have been around but I do wish I hadn’t missed out on it for so long! Football season has started so maybe a trip to see a game can result in a trip to visit Motor Supply one more time 😉