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Occasionally you just need to feel fancy. So my girlfriends and I decided to have a recent happy hour (which, let’s face it – nearly always turns into dinner with us) at Motor Supply Bistro. Did you know they make everything from scratch? Like, even their ginger beer, which makes for one heck of a Moscow mule.  

We arrived slightly before the restaurant officially opened (hey – we were thirsty hungry!), so we sat at the bar and learned all about the fresh ingredients used in all of Motor Supply’s mixers. I mean they make EVERYTHING from scratch.

Once we were seated at a table, we were handed the daily (handwritten!!!!) menu. The ingredients are so fresh that the menu literally changes almost everyday.

Shrimp and Grits made with Adluh grits

Our server was fantastic. He made wine and food pairing recommendations, as well as  helped each of us navigate our weird food allergies (poor guy).

We ordered a round of PEI mussels and a cheese plate for the table. Both were fantastic, as well as the fresh baked bread served with oil and vinegar. I’m pretty sure I ate half a loaf of bread by myself, which is why I only ordered an appetizer for my dinner.

Not yet tired of seafood (and really, when will I ever be tired of seafood?!?), I had the fried oyster appetizer for my dinner. My companions ordered the duck appetizer and the shrimp and grits respectively as their dinners. Everything was perfect.

Fried Oysters and Roasted Duck appetizers

Motor Supply also prides itself on using local ingredients, where available. So you can enjoy Adluh grits, City Roots produce, Doko Farm meats, Wil-Moore Farms eggs and dairy and more.

I love when a restaurant uses local vendors for its food. You know the food is cleaner and fresher that way.

Another thing I love about Motor Supply is the old Columbia feel it has. Now on the historic registry, the building started out as an engine supply shop. They’ve even kept the original neon sign, as well as some of the exposed brick on the interior. This gives the restaurant a uniquely historic Columbia feel, while still maintaining its rustic modern vibe.

Though Motor Supply can be a bit pricy, its lunch menu is affordable, as are the very filling appetizers. Brunch is also fantastic. Because everything is made from scratch, their mimosas are fresh-squeezed, and their bloody marys have everything but the kitchen sink. Check it out. Oh, and invite me please!