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Monday, June 21, 2010

Columbia Eats: The Other Store

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect upon entering The Other Store. Tucked deep within the back streets of Forest Acres, I've amazingly lived within minutes of the store for the past five years, but only now have taken a peek inside to see what lies beyond its unassuming doors. Formerly a gas station from the looks of it, The Other Store has since become simply a convenience store - at least on the surface. Walking in, you don't get a strong first impression, what with the unlit refrigerators and ancient shelves of common goods, some less familiar then others. In the back, however, was the deli - a brightly lit and welcoming contrast to the front, it quickly lured me away from the suspect and raised my spirits as I sat down to order.

The menu was surprisingly eclectic, featuring a variety of deli sandwiches and salads that were a little different from the norm. The Jamaican sandwich first caught my eye, with its mix of jerk chicken and shrimp, but I soon opted for the 'Original Greek Turkey' along with a side of pasta salad. Boy did I make the right decision. Stuffed with olives, feta, a cucumber salad along with a tangy, sweet dressing, the Greek Turkey definitely fit the bill. At first glance, it looked like it would be a bit dry, but it shocked and surprised on first bite, actually being moist and flavorful thanks to the fantastic dressing and cucumbers. The Greek Turkey definitely gets the thumbs up for its layers of depth and satisfaction.

The pasta salad also gets a seal of approval. Bits of finely chopped celery and onion gave the side a bit of a crunch, and a light dressing accentuated the flavor of the pasta nicely. It's not often that I approve of pasta salad, but this is certainly an exception.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on The Other Store
Atmosphere: It's essentially in a gas station. How crazy is that?
Cost: A touch high, around $7-8.
Try: The Original Greek Turkey. Average looking on the menu,
beautifully rewarding in your mouth.
Don't: Underestimate places in the middle of nowhere.

Final Verdict: Anyone who manages to wander onto this side of town will find few deli options better the Other Store. While the prices may be a bit hefty (the Greek Turkey, side of pasta salad, and bag of Lays chips ran me just under $9), the end product is well worth the visit. Also worth checking out is the faithful recreation of van Gogh's Starry Night on the back of the store. If you're fortunately enough to eat here on a nice, cool South Carolina day - a rarity, for sure - take a spot on the back porch and enjoy. Family run and locally supported, the Other Store may be one of my new favorite places in Columbia, SC.

The Other Store on Urbanspoon


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