What’s Good Here?Le Peep in the Vista

Special to The StateJanuary 22, 2014 

Le Peep owner Christian Paez

SPECIAL TO THE STATE — Deena C. Bouknight

  • Le Peep

    701 Gervais St. Suite 110

    PRICES: From around $6 to $9.

    HOURS: Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    INFO: www.lepeep.com or call (803) 254-1200

What’s good here?

Anything made with eggs – hence, the name – Le Peep. There are several selections of eggs Benedict, including Crabby Patty Benedict, with two generous crab cakes, poached eggs and a topping of hollandaise sauce. Pampered Eggs are actually egg dishes that exceed beyond the typical scrambled, poached or fried varieties. Green Fields Forever has fresh spinach, chicken, chives, mushrooms and cream cheese and cooked with scrambled eggs. Items on the menu are made with all egg whites and classics such as biscuits and gravy. Skillet items, including the Drifter, have onions, mushrooms, cheese and basted eggs. There are also several selections of omelets as well as crepes, including ones filled with ham, turkey, Swiss cheese and bacon and topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. From the griddle are pancakes, from the basic, simple pancake to ones served with everything from blueberries and granola to cranberries and almonds. French toast and waffles are also served. Le Peep serves breakfast or lunch all day.

What else? The lunchtime menu includes salads and sandwiches. There is a house, cobb, Asian and Cilantro Lime salad – with roasted corn, avocado and a chicken breast marinated in cilantro lime. Sandwiches are classic – such as a BLT – or unique – such as the popular Spinach Turkey, with smoked turkey and sauteed spinach and mushrooms topped with Swiss cheese and grilled into a panini.

How did it get its start? The Le Peep concept began 45 years ago in Colorado. However, Christian and Angie Paez, both originally from New Jersey, opened Le Peep in Columbia in 2008 in the Sandhill area, and then moved the restaurant into the heart of the Vista in September 2013 to cater to a bustling downtown crowd. The couple have been involved in the food industry and decided Columbia needed hearty, all-day breakfast fare. “This is the first time we’ve owned our own restaurant. Everything is made to order; people especially love the crepes.”

What is the ambiance? The exterior of Le Peep on Gervais Street features a typical downtown store-front façade. Patrons can park in metered parking on the street, or take a side driveway to free parking behind the restaurant. Inside is an open space with exposed black ceiling pipes, plenty of natural lighting, gold walls, tiled floors, and an open eat-at bar space.

Who eats here? Christian Paez says that Le Peep attracts a significant lunch crowd of primarily business people and politicians during the week, and a wide variety of friends, families and associates on Saturday mornings. On Sunday, Le Peep can be reserved for special events. Le Peep just began delivering to customers in the downtown area.

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