Columbia SC Dining: Blue Cactus Cafe


Blue Cactus Cafe
2002 Greene St #H, Columbia SC 29205
(803)929-0782

Web Site: http://www.bluecactuscafe.com/

When I inquired about other good Asian restaurants in the Columbia area, the folks over at Baan Sawan suggested that I check out the Blue Cactus, another Five Points restaurant for lunch.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Its kind of a funky combination of Mexican and Korean” said Sam.

“You mean like Kimchi burritos and stuff? Like what David Chang makes in New York at Momofuku Ssam Bar?

“Yeah, sorta, but they’ve been there for like 14 years, at least as long as we have been around.”

Given how much I trust Sam’s judgement on good food, particularly Asian cuisine, I had to go check this place out.

As it turns out, an American guy who was familiar with Tex-Mex cooking married a Korean lady, and they opened Blue Cactus in 1994. The menu is an eclectic mix of Korean and Cuban/Mexican/Tex Mex cuisine. I didn’t try much of their Latino/Mexican stuff, but what I will say is their Korean is very good, given what they have to work with in Columbia and not having a lot of access to Asian markets.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Mexican…. Korean! Which one is it? Does it matter if it tastes good? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

The open kitchen that faces the take out counter.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Menu Page one…. Mexican and Cuban/Latino with appetizers (First time I ever saw Kimchi and Korean Dumplings on the same menu as Cuban Black Beans and Burritos. Click on photo to enlarge.)

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Menu Page 2 (Click on photo to enlarge)

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Menu Page 3 (Click on photo to enlarge)

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Blue Cactus’s hot sauce collection of about 200 bottles is truly awesome to behold.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

As is their collection of SPAM.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

The plastic cactus that started it all.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

So you think David Chang came up with the idea of wrapping Korean food in a tortilla first? Think again.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

The Kimchi Plate.

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Seafood Soup

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Blue Cactus #2 with Tofu and Curry Sauce. SPICY!

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Korean Dumplings (Deep Fried)

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Korean Dumpling Closeup

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Ma Po Tofu

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Kimchi Stew with Pork

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Bulgogi (Marinated, Stir-Fried Korean Beef)

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Bibimbap

Blue Cactus Cafe, Columbia SC by you.

Cuban Coffee. And a damn fine pot it is.

3 Responses to Columbia SC Dining: Blue Cactus Cafe

  1. td says:

    As a resident of the region, I’ll be trying this place out soon. Only these small places can really have the freedom to experiment with various established recipes.

    South Carolina, despite popular misconceptions, has always been a melting pot of cultures and their prospective recipes. A thorough research of the State’s historical recipe books will reveal this.

  2. Biz says:

    Wow, my mouth is watering just looking at those dishes! What a weird combo!

    I would be in HEAVEN with all those hot sauces!

  3. Randi says:

    At least they were honest about ” Krab”. Ive been to a few places that passed Krab off as Crab. So NOT the same thing.

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