The rich smell of freshly roasted coffee draws college students and lawmakers alike to this sidewalk café.
Once inside, customers dine on homemade scones, muffins, cookies and carrot cake.
On Fridays, there are often specials such as apple turnovers or croissants stuffed with chocolate or ham and brie. For lunch, there are specialty sandwiches: the Big D is a croissant layered with smoked turkey, white cheddar, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and homemade honey mustard.
Sometimes the café offers a unique Vietnamese sandwich with cooked ground turkey, carrots, radishes, cilantro and spicy mayonnaise served on a roll. Immaculate Consumption’s daily sellout is its chicken salad, made with white meat, olive oil, sliced almonds, apples and herbs.
Salads are a hit, as are the daily special soups such as Mediterranean vegetable, mushroom, green pea or gazpacho.
A variety of sides are offered with sandwiches. One of the sides is a pasta salad with penne drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with parmesan and served warm.
Coffee beans from South and Central America, Africa and Indonesia are roasted in the café’s basement. Not only do diners enjoy the freshest coffee on the block, but they can purchase bags of it to take home. A pound is $13.16, while a half-pound sells for $6.85.
Rob Reed purchased the establishment in 1995 after it was already named and had been a café since 1991. He says that someone suggested the name and the previous owner felt like it was clever.
Immaculate Consumption has been strategically located in the shadow of the back side of the State House for more than 20 years. It is in easy walking distance of students attending the University of South Carolina as well as politicians, lawmakers and business people working in and around the state’s capitol.
Located in an older, downtown brick building on Main Street that was previously a bank, the ambiance is urban: exposed beams painted a bright blue contrasted with wood floors, counters, booths, tables and chairs. Menu items are mostly posted on chalkboards. Light floods the smallish space from windows and the glass storefront. A true sidewalk café, Immaculate Consumption has outdoor seating among potted plants. Over its door is its signature: a sign featuring a large coffee bean with angel wings.