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If you’ve never been to Cafe Strudel on State Street, you are missing out! The food is excellent, the atmosphere is laid back, and because it is across the bridge (pretty much in Cayce), parking is a LOT easier to come by than the Vista.

Chicken wings and Duck nachos – I know you’re jealous…

I’d been to Cafe Strudel before, but I’m not sure I’d ever been to its current location, which is just a little further down State Street than before (it used to be right next door to 116 Espresso Wine Bar and New Brooklyn Tavern). But this location is bigger and better, and comes with an outdoor picnic table area, perfect for private events.

Bri and I were recently invited to an EP release party for Twitty, one of our coworker’s husband’s bands (try saying that five times fast!!!), and the location and the night could not have been more perfect.

This time of year in Columbia, South Carolina is truly one of the most pleasant times. Well…this and fall. The days are warm and sunny, while the evenings are cool and breezy. So having this event at Cafe Strudel outdoors was wonderful!

Simeon Twitty and his brother make up a duo that is somewhat bluegrass, but less twangy. I’d never heard them play before, but they were so good!!!! They both have amazing voices, and Simeon plays the guitar while his brother plays the keyboard. Simeon has even auditioned for American Idol, and made it as far as the callback in Hollywood! Bri and I were impressed to say the least. If you’ve not checked out their music, you should definitely try to get your hands on one of their EPs.

But can we talk about the food?!?!?! Cafe Strudel is southern in nature, complete with brunch on the weekends and unique spins on traditional southern and pub fare throughout the day.

Duck seems to be one of its specialties. They have a few dishes that feature the bird, including Duck Fat Fries, which I’ve heard are amazing. Now, I’m not typically a big duck fan. It’s a bit gamey tasting to me. But somehow Cafe Strudel has figured out how to make it delicious!

We ordered the chicken wings, which were perfectly tender on the inside, while remaining crispy and sticky on the outside (exactly as they should be). I hate when chicken wings are slimy, and these were definitely not.

But the real star of the night was the duck nachos. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of duck. But when topped with melted gouda, sweet and lightly spicy Thai chili sauce, and green onions, I barely even noticed the gamey-ness of the duck, and just loved every bite that was going into my mouth!

And the chips themselves? Well, they’re not corn tortilla chips! They are some kind of crispy, but lightly soft and chewy deliciousness. I’m not actually sure what they are, but good grief, all nachos should be made like these!

We did not order dessert that night (I think we’d had plenty of unhealthy food for one evening…), but the dessert case when you walk in the door is to-die-for. So if you head over there, make sure you save some room…if you can! Or better yet, go for JUST dessert and invite me!!!!

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