Salty Nut Café – 2000 Greene Street

Posted by The LunchMen Monday, September 14, 2009

The Salty Nut Café is a Five Points Institution. It’s large wrap-around deck, free roasted peanuts, and plentiful TV’s make “the Nut” a popular place to relax for happy hour during the warm weather months (February to November in Columbia). Later in the night and on the weekends the crowd becomes noticeably younger and rowdier, but if you can grab a table on the back porch of the restaurant then you have an unparalleled spot to enjoy some draft beer and serious people watching. The Nut also boasts an extensive food menu, though most people order dinner only after a few after-work drinks stretch into dinner time. The kitchen stays open late and offers standard bar fare in addition to wraps, salads, and newly arrived seafood po’ boys (shrimp, oysters, flounder).

I’ve been steadily pouring my money into this place since the fall of 2001. In fact, I’ll never forget the bartender’s reaction when I came in for my 21st birthday: “Are you serious? You’ve been drinking here for three years!!” I think its safe to say I’ve tried just about all the entrees on the menu - usually with an appetizer of two or three bourbon drinks.

This past Friday was a typical early football season day in the Capital City – warm, sunny, and unproductive. Hoping to get the weekend started off early, a large group of us headed to the Nut to try lunch out on the patio. The outing started off strong as we found a large table that could accommodate us all and helped ourselves to a few baskets of the complimentary peanuts. However, things soon took a turn for the worse.

When our food finally arrived – we didn’t get to eat until about an hour after sitting down – it was clear that, without the benefit of a little liquid pleasure to whet our appetite, the Nut’s menu simply does not stand up. While there were several different reasons people did not enjoy their food there was one common word used to describe the meal by all: DRY. Tank and Caveman both ordered Chicken Phillies, which had way too much bread and no juicy goodness of any kind (Caveman was smart enough to wash his down with a beer). A large number of the group went for jalapeño burgers, a house specialty, only to find themselves in dire need of condiments to take some of the heat off. In fact, despite his towering physical presence and striking good looks, Fabio was unable to get our waitress to bring any ketchup to the table. Luckily Tex took matters into is own hands and snagged a bottle off of a table inside. Also, the raw fries, which when served greasy and soggy have no rival, were on this day overcooked and brittle. The Queen of Frozen Cuisine may not leave the office for months after the poor tuna melt the Nut served her, and we doubt her sister will ever come to lunch with us again.

To make matters worse, the sun began to beat down on the patio, and the group waited over half an hour to get their checks. Pizza the Hut and Fabio simply left cash and the rest of the group behind. The end result was a two hour lunch that did little for our working goal for the week and even less for our appetites. Word to the wise – Salty Nut is a can’t-miss for a night out in Five Points, but I wouldn’t try heading over there until happy hour.

- Rabbit

Salty Nut Cafe on Urbanspoon


Post a Comment

Search This Blog

About Us

My photo
Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.


There was an error in this gadget