Haunted houses. Ghost walks. Scary movies. Everything about Halloween makes you put your bravery to the test.
This year, consider adding another test to your list: trying some foods from Columbia restaurants that might seem “scary” to you. Don’t worry, if you try them and just can’t stomach more than one bite, you can always order the chicken.
Island Grill, 1601 Harden St.
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Oxtail can be somewhat of a misnomer since it is typically the culinary name for the tail of cattle – not an ox. In Columbia, folks craving the authentic Jamaican version of the dish know to head to Island Grill on Harden Street. Seasoned with cayenne pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and herbs, the oxtails are actually a highly requested menu item at Island Grill. Not feeling quite that adventurous but still up to try something different? Give the Island Curry Goat a shot instead.
Beef tongue, beef stomach
Riveras Foods Mexican Restaurant, 646 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia
If someone offers you a Lengua or Tripa taco at Riveras Food Mexican Restaurant, just be aware that what they’re offering is beef tongue or beef stomach.
The Lengua, or beef tongue, is cooked with onions, garlic and bay leaves. The beef stomach, specifically the cow’s small intestines, are seasoned with cilantro, chopped onions and chile sauce.
Camon Japanese Restaurant and Sushi, 1332 Assembly St.
Since 1985, Camon Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar has served authentic Japanese cuisine and fresh sushi. Several of the sushi rolls – the Columbia roll, dragon roll and Camon 2 roll – contain eel as an ingredient. But if you want the full experience, just order the eel roll made with eel, scallions and cucumbers rolled in sesame seeds and sprinkled with eel sauce.
Real Mexico, 2421 Bush River Road
When you check out Real Mexico’s Facebook page, keep your eyes peeled for the “goat birria” special. A Jalisco-style spicy goat stew served with corn, tortillas, onion and lime, Real Mexico’s version is aromatic, fork tender and a customer favorite.
Baan Sawan Thai Bistro, 2135 Devine St.
Baan Sawan has authentic Thai food with traditional items such as Pad Thai and curries, but also offers items you won’t find many other places. That includes the New Zealand farm-raised camel, which occasionally shows up on the specials board. According to the staff, it’s always a popular choice and those who have been brave enough to try it have come back for more.