Blue Cactus Cafe
2002 Greene St #H, Columbia SC 29205
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.
“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.
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.
The open kitchen that faces the take out counter.
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.)
Menu Page 2 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Menu Page 3 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Blue Cactus’s hot sauce collection of about 200 bottles is truly awesome to behold.
As is their collection of SPAM.
The plastic cactus that started it all.
So you think David Chang came up with the idea of wrapping Korean food in a tortilla first? Think again.
The Kimchi Plate.
Blue Cactus #2 with Tofu and Curry Sauce. SPICY!
Korean Dumplings (Deep Fried)
Korean Dumpling Closeup
Ma Po Tofu
Kimchi Stew with Pork
Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
Bulgogi (Marinated, Stir-Fried Korean Beef)
Cuban Coffee. And a damn fine pot it is.