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If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you probably already know I love the University of South Carolina athletics. For example, you may have remembered me talking about tailgating gear for football season. I support all sports at South Carolina.
But my favorite would have to be the women’s basketball team. It’s so much fun to watch the reigning National Champions play basketball. So I love to travel to Columbia to watch them. I love looking here for great deals on South Carolina women’s games.
When I go to games, I am often looking for a place to eat before or after their games. One place that is an easy walk from Colonial Life Arena that I recently just discovered is the Thirsty Fellow Pizzeria and Pub. It was not only close to Colonial Life Arena but close to the hotel I was staying at, Courtyard by Marriott Columbia Downtown at USC (you can read our review for the hotel here).
Thirsty Fellow would be a great choice for a restaurant if you are in town to see something at Colonial Life Arena. Its location on campus makes it also a great choice for a restaurant if you are visiting Columbia. And finally, it is just a good choice for a restaurant if you are in Columbia. Now let me tell you why.
Atmosphere & Service
Before I get to the food, let me tell you a bit about the atmosphere and service.
First of all, I really loved the atmosphere. I love how the restaurant has a unique personality. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of chain restaurants. But it’s neat when you travel to a city and you get a sense of the local flavor of the town.
I really love the decor.
I especially liked the books on display.
The service was also exceptional. I was able to get a table right away, though I should mention that I went the night before a game rather than before or after. And it was when students were home for the holidays. So I would imagine the wait would be much greater one of those times.
At any rate, as I said, the service was exceptional. My server was great. She even made sure to give my forgetful family back glasses and a card we had almost left behind. I was very grateful to her!
Food & Drinks
But all of that wouldn’t really mean much of the food and drinks weren’t any good, right? But luckily that was not the case here.
Let me first mention the drinks. I can’t speak to the beer since no one from my family ordered any. But their Pinot Noir was great.
They also had Coke products instead of Pepsi, which I liked.
Now, for the food. Even though it is a pizzeria, most of my family got the BLD Burger.
See, even though it is a pizzeria, one of the great things about the restaurant is its extensive menu. They have so many great menu options, like pizza, sandwiches, salads, and burgers.
Anyway, the BLD Burger was delicious. Ever since I first had a burger with eggs at Blue Talon Bistro in Williamsburg, Virginia, I have loved burgers with eggs in them. I think the flavors compliment themselves well. The burger comes with an 8-ounce Angus patty, a sunny side up egg, and applewood smoked bacon. You can add on your choice of cheese for $0.75. You can choose from provolone, mozzarella, cheddar, American, Swiss, or pimento cheese (I chose Swiss).
It comes with housemade chips. You can upgrade to French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries for an extra $2. I did that, though unfortunately, the Fries were a bit hard. I thought the French Fries were a bit better than the Sweet Potato Fries.
As for the chips, they were also hard (much harder than the French Fries). The flavor was really good, though.
Another popular item at my table was the Mushroom & Provolone Burger.
It comes with a 8 ounce Angus patty, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and provolone. It was excellent. At first, it seemed like it did not have enough onions in it. But then, you could taste the onions. And the onions were superb. They were delicious and the best part of the burger. The cheese was good, too. It was ordered medium rare and that’s exactly what it was. It was pink but not too pink.
The only negative from my family was the Philly Cheesesteak.
It was mostly good. The only problem was we specifically asked to hold the peppers. And there were peppers in it. And unfortunately, peppers are an overpowering taste so if you don’t want them and you get them, it does really alter the taste of the sandwich. That was really the only negative of our experience.
If you are looking for a restaurant near Colonial Life Arena, or the Kroger Center for the Arts, or other locations on the University of South Carolina campus, then Thirsty Fellow Pizzeria and Pub is a great choice. But it’s also a great choice if you’re not close by because it’s a great restaurant. It has a nice local flavor, a wonderful menu, and delicious food.
This definitely made my family’s list of restaurants we like to eat at when we’re in Columbia. You can read our reviews for a few others of these restaurants: