Special Reports

April 25, 2013

Vista restaurants: Ooooooh, the choices!

From sushi to steak and cupcakes to coffee, the Vista offers more than 50 restaurants in the heart of downtown Columbia.

From sushi to steak and cupcakes to coffee, the Vista offers more than 50 restaurants in the heart of downtown Columbia.

A quick sandwich at Jason’s Deli, Jimmy John’s or Subway can satisfy someone on the go.

Monterrey Restaurant and Salsarita’s offer tacos and queso.

The fresh seafood lover can get sushi at MVista or SakiTumi – or choose between neighboring Pearlz Oyster Bar and The Oyster Bar for tastiness on the half shell.

But for those who can’t decide or want variety in their menu, there is Liberty Tap Room, Wild Wing Cafe or Carolina Ale House.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything,” said Brittany Suber, Carolina Ale House service manager. “We have a great full menu.”

Some of the options? Wings, quesadillas, salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, ribs, seafood and steak.

Carolina Ale House serves the lunch, dinner and late-night crowds, open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. The customers range from the business crowd to college students, and Suber, who has worked for three other Carolina Ale House locations, said she loves the Vista clientele.

“We have a lot of regulars that have been coming to visit us since we opened this location,” she said.

Dessert can be a meal on its own in the Vista. Cupcake offers mini-cakes with icing doubling the size of desserts. Marble Slab scoops out favorite ice cream flavors and slices of cookie cake. Tutti Frutti or TCBY provide frozen yogurt and toppings. Starbucks brews drinks for loyal latte lovers.

And locally owned Nonnah’s offers cakes, coffee and class. The restaurant was opened in 1996 by mother and daughter Maggie Grof and Shannon Syrbe. The family had just moved from upstate New York and wanted a place to go to after the theater where customers could have a dessert and a cocktail and cup of coffee.

Nonnah’s, or Shannon spelled backward, was born.

For the first few months, the sidewalks were torn up outside of the upscale coffee house during the Gervais streetscaping project.

“So people actually had to walk the plank to get here,” Grof said.

Now the restaurant has a lunch menu and some dinner items as well as a pastry shop that opened in August. The most popular of the more than 20 desserts offered is the Chocolate Temptation Cake, Grof said.

Looking for something exotic and romantic? Have a flaming dessert and admire your beloved in the light of the flames.

Cassie Cope

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