1 A Restaraunts

West Columbia restaurants incorporate local produce into menus for tasty spring season touch

The growing season is upon us and that means some differences at some West Columbia restaurants.

Expanded menus and the availability of more produce means spring is a good time of the year to go out and dine. 

Terra at 100 State St., West Columbia, is a chef-driven neighborhood bistro focused on highlighting the beauty of local produce, according to Mike Davis, Terra owner and chef. 

Breakfast at Ruiz

Terra’s menu changes based on the season and dishes are prepared using techniques to showcase the bounty of produce available from local farmers. 

“We use as many locally grown ingredients as possible,” he said. Terra also gets fresh bounty from the sea. 

“It’s soft-shell crab season and we have those now,” said Alex Greiner, Terra’s general manager. 

“We also use local strawberries, fava beans and ramps,” he said.

Alex said ramps have a short period of availability. He described ramps as having a unique spring onion taste, similar to garlic and onion. 

Mike said he is proud of Terra’s strong “field-to-table” focus and the restaurant provides a list of local suppliers used by Terra for the dining public. 

A State Street neighbor of Terra also uses fresh ingredients. Maddie Sims is the manager of The Hideout in Weco at 118 State St. She said spring affords The Hideout to use a product grown right outside of the restaurant’s door. 

The Hideout in Weco

“We grow our own basil and use it,” she said. ” It’s grown in planters on our patio.” 

Black Rooster, at the corner of Alexander Road and Meeting Street, in the Brookland complex, recently made a substantial change in its menu. With Chef Josh Wilson, Black Rooster has created an Italian menu with nods to both “red sauce” Italian fare. It’s also a “farm to table” restaurant.

Black Rooster Owner Kristian Niemi said the restaurant gets microgreens from City Roots in Columbia. Black Rooster also gets produce from all over the area. 

“We get produce from a lot of different farms,” Kristian said. “We use Bushels and Bags Farms (Ridgeway) Bradford Family Farm (Sumter) and Rawl Farms (Lexington) and many, many more.”

In addition to an increased availability of produce, some restaurants add items to the menu when it gets warmer. 

“We’re rolling out some new menu items for the spring season,” said Iris Perea. She owns Breakfast at Ruiz at 116 State St. “One new item is the lemon-blueberry waffle topping,” she said.


Breakfast at Ruiz is known for its omelets and Iris said there would be new omelet options at the restaurant, in addition to other new spring menu items. 

“We’re working on a separate menu now,” Iris said. “We’ll give customers our regular menu and another menu with the seasonal specialty items on it.”

Maddie at The Hideout in WECO said there will be special beverages for the spring season at the restaurant.

“Our S’mores smoothie is something we promote in the spring and summer,” Maddie said. “It’s made of marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers.” 

Black Rooster

She said there will also be other special drink offerings over the summer. 

Alex said Terra has created a strawberry and Campari spritz. It’s made with strawberries from Cottle Farms.

“We buy the strawberries at the strawberry stand on Sunset Boulevard,” he said. 

As the temperatures rise, there is not a tastier time of the year for food and drink. It’s a good reason to get out of the house and visit one of the many West Columbia restaurants that are making an effort to make your dining experience fresh and unique. 

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