Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

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Today’s favorites come from Sarah Dresser, Program Specialist for the Office of Cultural Affairs. Everyone have a great weekend!

Place for a coffee break, low key lunch, pre-movie snack, or late night drink:
Uprise Bakery

Uprise

You’ve probably guessed that I frequent Uprise Bakery quite a bit. Possibly 3 or 4 times in one day! The good thing is that the atmosphere is always welcoming to my recurring visits. There is a wide array of unique soups and sandwiches as well as a great selection of craft brews. Plus you can take food and drinks with you into the neighboring Ragtag Cinema or enjoy on the patio if the weather is nice. Another perk is the staff’s great taste in music.

Outdoor happy hour:
Mojo’s Forrest Rose Park

Mojos

When the weather starts to warm up again in the spring, one of the first places on my list to go is Forrest Rose Park at Mojo’s for Friday afternoon happy hour. It is the perfect place to start the weekend and enjoy free live music on the patio or at a picnic table in the grass.

Event to make new friends:
True/False Film Fest

RayaBrassBand

The light at the end tunnel each winter is True/False Film Fest. Between the documentary films, parties, parades, and busker musical showcases, you are bound to connect with some new people. Some of my best CoMo friendships were forged at True/False!

Place to see the unexpected:
Roots N Blues N BBQ

Roots N Blues

I expect to see and hear great music at this festival. However, did I expect to see a roaming, glowing, larger-than-life winged caterpillar float overhead during the Avett Brothers concert? The answer is no. There are artsy surprises around every corner at this music festival in Stephens Lake Park. Hanging in the trees, wandering through the crowds, wherever you look there are art installations to intrigue and amazing you.

Runner up in this category: True/False’s March March

True False parade1 2014 Photos-3 -Elise

 (Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Ride to Rocheport:
Boone Dawdle

Boone Dawdle

My favorite way to ride to Rocheport is to dawdle – that is to Boone Dawdle. This annual event (also a fundraiser for True/False) is the perfect combination of all of my favorite things – fun with friends biking on the Katy Trail, live music along the way, trailside surprises, documentary film, great food, spectacular views of the Missouri River, and more!

Place to re-balance:
alleyCat Yoga

alleycat

(Photo from Facebook)

At least once a week, I need to take an hour or two to step away from all the hustle and bustle of Columbia and focus inward. alleyCat Yoga is my favorite place to quiet the mind as well as practice my favorite yoga poses. I’ve enjoyed many different classes, which are offered in a range of styles for students of all ages and all levels of experience.

Food truck:
Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.

ozark biscuit

(Photo from Facebook)

I love that Columbia has embraced the food truck culture! Throughout the week, I will track on social media where to locate the trucks. My favorite has to be the biscuit truck. I enjoy the Souie Pig, smoked pulled pork piled on a biscuit and drenched in tangy arkan-sauce topped with vinegar cabbage slaw. Yum!

Theatre experience:
GreenHouse Theatre Project

greenhouse

(Photo from Facebook)

A theatre experience like no other in Columbia! GreenHouse Theatre Project’s motto is “innovative theatre in unexpected places.” You will see classical, new works, and experimental theatre productions at a variety of venues (think: art galleries, yoga studios, and even rooftops).

Place to mingle:
PS Gallery

Mingle

(Photo credit Chelsea Myers)

I’m always looking for an excuse to dress up and mingle with downtown. Even better in the presence of new and thought-provoking art. PS Gallery is the perfect location to mingle, with bi-monthly rotating exhibits that feature local, regional, and national artists. Opening receptions feature tasty bites from local eateries as well as the opportunity to chat with the exhibiting artists, see your friends and make new ones.

Cool thing to tell people about Columbia:
Public Art

29 Look Out Point (1)

“Look Out Point” by Carol Fleming

Columbia has an unbelievable collection of public art! Look around and you will see art along the street, on parking garages, outside city hall, in front of the library, on traffic signal boxes, and the list goes on. One of the best aspects of my job with the Office of Cultural Affairs is to spread the awareness of the diversity of public art in the city. OCA has a hard copy and online Public Art Guide, and a new mobile app for iPhone was just launched with Otocast. Take a self-guided tour with one of the guides and learn more about Columbia’s rich cultural landscape!

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Who else is excited for Roots N Blues N BBQ this weekend? We’re ready here at the CVB so we’ve put together some staff Roots N Blues-related favorites for you!

The Avett Brothers

(The Avett Brothers Facebook)

Megan: This year, Roots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ has really outdone themselves with their lineup. With artists from John Prine to Trampled by Turtles to Roseanne Cash, there is such an incredible variety to choose from. I, for one, will be sure to find my spot at Stephens Lake Park for The Avett Brothers on Saturday night. I’ve heard for years about how incredible they are live, and I’m finally getting my chance to see them perform right here in Columbia. Hope to see you there!

Rosanne Cash

(Rosanne Cash Facebook)

Amy: Roseanne Cash – I have been a fan of her family for many years and I love the legacy she represents. It also doesn’t hurt that I was a child of the 80’s and remember clearly using the vacuum as a microphone when Seven Year Ache played on the radio. And I have to see Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I traveled to New Orleans many times growing up and my dad always had to go to Preservation Hall, I only wish he could be here to enjoy them as well. What memories! Every year I attend, my eyes are opened to music and bands I haven’t heard before. And THAT is my favorite part of the weekend.

Buckinham's

Julie: My favorite BBQ place in Columbia is Buckingham’s. Their beef brisket is always nice & tender with a sweet sauce. I also love their pit salads with turkey, and you gotta love their sweet potato fries!

Matthew Curry

(Matthew Curry Facebook)

Rachel: This year will be my first Roots N Blues experience so I’m excited to see what it’s all about! I’m looking forward to seeing Matthew Curry, JJ Grey and Mofro, and Bettye LaVette. I’ll be there for most of the weekend with some great CoMo goodies, so be sure to follow us on social media for your chance to find me and win!

Lutz's BBQ

Beth: My favorite BBQ in Columbia is Lutz’s barbecue.  It’s not an easy choice because Columbia has so many great options, but what puts Lutz’s over the top for me is their pork loin and their amazing sides.  Lutz’s has so many options for sides that I have a hard time deciding which ones to get every time I order: mac and cheese? Yum! Sweet potato fries? Yes, please! I love coleslaw and Lutz’s is delicious, so that’s another hard decision. And last, but certainly not least, those chips. I love those chips and they come in so many different flavors, it’s just impossible to pick one.

Amos Lee

(Amos Lee Facebook)

Billye: This will be my first time attending and I’m so excited. A friend of mine introduced me to Amos Lee a few years ago, and he is the artist I am most looking forward to seeing. I’m not familiar with a lot of the artists but hope to come away with several new favorites.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the festival if you are able to attend!

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Friday Favorites

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Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! Emily Lorenz from Show-Me State Games has shared some of her CoMo favorites with us:

I am excited to be able to share my Friday Favorites. I am the Marketing Coordinator for the Show-Me State Games, and have lived in Columbia for 12 years. Many of my favorites have changed a bit over the years, from when I started college to now, a married mom of two. But that is one of my favorite things about living here – there are shops, restaurants, and things to do, no matter your age.

Favorite Park: Philips Lake Park

Philips Lake 2

This is such a hard one to pick because there are so many I visit on a frequent basis. I took walks at Stephens on almost a daily basis as an undergrad and now love bringing my kids to play at Bethel and Flat Branch. However, one of my new favorites is Philips Lake Park. It is absolutely gorgeous, quiet, and has such a nice trail. The Show-Me State Games hosts our triathlon there as well as a Pumpkin Fun Run for kids, and it’s such a great park.

Favorite Patio: Las MargaritasLas Margaritas Patio

(Las Margaritas Patio, Las Margaritas on Corporate Lake Facebook)

The space now occupied by Las Margaritas has had many different names over the years. It was walking distance from the first apartment my husband and I lived in together and we walked there many nights.  I love how the patio overlooks the lake and gets both shade and sun. It’s great for a date or family night.  And one of the best parts is that Las Margaritas food (not to mention margaritas…) is delicious, its clean and has great service.

Best Kept Secret: The Groom Room

Groom Room

Well, it’s not exactly a secret, as the owner is very busy, but it’s a hidden little gem, great for kid’s haircuts, men’s grooming services, and select spa services for ladies. It is perfect for toddler haircuts since there is a fun little car, movies, and snacks to keep kids happy! She also does mom-daughter pedicures which I am so excited to do with my little girl.

Local shop: Lizzi and Rocco’s

Lizzi and Rocco's Natural Pet Market

(Photo From Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market Facebook page: Kyle, Jessica, and the bosses – Rocco, left, and Lizzi)

Five years ago we adopted a dog from Second Chance Columbia. She’s been a part of our family ever since, and whenever we feel like treating her, Lizzi and Rocco’s is our choice. They have tons of healthy and delicious treats for our furry friend and they also host a lot of events. My kids love going, too, because they always get to make new doggie friends!

Summer Activity:  Little Mates Cove

Little Mates Cove

This summer I discovered Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes Park. My 1-year-old and 3-year-old both fell in love and it really has helped my daughter get more comfortable being in the water. It’s a fun, relaxing experience, and I only wish it was open longer…summer keeps me busy.

Columbia Event:  Show-Me State Games

Show Me State Games

Speaking of keeping busy in the summer, I know it is cheating a bit, but the Show-Me State Games really is my favorite Columbia event. From watching the kids in the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremonies to seeing seniors in their 80s competing, it is a very inspirational, rewarding experience, and I am proud to be a part of it.

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Friday Favorites

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Happy (football) Friday! Hope everyone is ready for the game tomorrow! Today’s favorites were shared with us by Lydia Melton, owner of Gunter Hans.

Tallulah's Storefront

(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

For me, visiting Tallulah’s is like having Christmas come early! The store is always beautiful and full of the best goodies one can only dream of having in their kitchen. If Pottery Barn met William Sonoma and had a love child, this is it- minus the chain-like feel. From one cook to another- one visit in will have you thanking this local favorite is a Columbia original.

(Photo from Nash Vegas Facebook Page)

Nash VegasBest Place to Let Loose
One of the best things about this place is the ability to really let loose. They almost always have live music going on over the weekend and oftentimes, one of the owners will actually play himself. That combined with the homemade moonshine is almost always a home run.

Short Wave Coffee – Best Place to Relax and Get Work Done
I love this hidden gem! It’s tucked away in Alley A, but definitely worth the trek downtown. A great place to bring my laptop and really get to down to work. Ask for the blueberry tea! It’s the most heavenly thing you’ve ever tasted/smelled.

(Photo from Boone Olive Oil Co. Facebook Page)

Boone Olive Oil CompanyBest New Store
If you haven’t tasted fresh Olive Oil yet, that’s a must on your list. It’s simply not the same as what you would get at your normal grocer. Located off 9th street, this store is newer town… but I can definitely see becoming a Columbia staple for years to come.

(Coley’s Blister in the Sun, from Facebook Page)

Coley’sBest Place For A Cocktail
Each season, it always seems like Coley’s cocktail menu is really thought out. In addition to having a wide variety of cocktails, they are all made using fresh ingredients. Try Blister in the Sun. With freshly pureed strawberries, it is simply heavenly on a hot August day.


(From Culinary Adventures Facebook Page)

Culinary AdventuresBest Place For a Non-Traditional Date
If you haven’t been to Culinary adventures, it’s time for a change. They have classes of a wide variety all the time! So, you can learn how to cook just about anything. While a movie and dinner is always a solid date night go-to, this is such a fun way to get out of your box and impress your date.

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Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday! It sure is hot again today but we have a beautiful weekend in store! Today’s favorites come from Nate Brown, Manager of External Relations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. You may also know him as @touristinresidence on Instagram – if not, check out his great CoMo photos! Today’s blog features his photos as well.

Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge

Sure, it’s easy to accept an ice bucket challenge during a hot summer day. But would you run or dive into a frozen lake in winter? That pretty much describes Polar Plunge Columbia, a local fundraiser that benefits Special Olympics Missouri. Braver souls than me take the plunge every year at Stephens Lake. The next Polar Plunge is February 21, 2015.

Mizzou Volleyball

Mizzou Volleyball Autograph Session

No matter the final score, the women of Mizzou Volleyball are winners. Their home games at the Hearnes Center are family friendly, and include the opportunity for children to come down to the floor and give high-fives to the athletes during player introductions. A fan favorite: autograph sessions after select games. The players are most gracious during the meet-and-greets, and they wield their magic markers until the last person in line gets an autograph. I suspect some of the little girls who attend these games will some day wear the black and gold for Mizzou Volleyball. The 2014 season home opener is today.

Hittsville

Hittsville

Where in Columbia can you flip through vinyl records, rent or buy a video, have a drink or a meal, and enjoy said nourishment while watching a big-screen movie — under one roof? The answer is Hittsville, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Hitt Street. Ragtag Cinema, Uprise Bakery, Ninth Street Video and Hitt Records share a roof — and their employees share a spirit of camaraderie — but they’re four separate entities. Speaking of movies, watching one at Ragtag is the closest thing to seeing a flick at home without having to clean up after your friends leave. Did I mention leather sofas? (They have upholstered seats as well.)

Historic brick streets

Cherry Street at sunset looking west toward Fourth Street

There’s buried treasure in Columbia: the city’s original brick streets. Many are covered, including Broadway (between Aldeah Avenue and William Street), Ninth Street and Rollins Street. Fortunately, some of historic brick streets can still be seen and enjoyed, including Cherry Street (between Fourth and Seventh streets) and University Avenue (between College Avenue and William Street). Many of these streets are more than 100 years old and in good shape. In March, the City Council approved a policy to maintain and restore the brick streets (including removing the pavement from some of the covered blocks). This is a map of the city’s brick streets.

Shelter Gardens and Fountain

Shelter Gardens Collage

After a busy day at work, it’s nice to stop at Shelter Gardens to see the waterfall, listen to the birds or sit a spell in the one-room schoolhouse. This oasis of calm behind Shelter Insurance is a nice respite before continuing your journey home. Afterwards, depending on the time of year, you also could stop by the fountain in front of Shelter Insurance and watch the sun set. The fountain is a popular destination after dark as well.

Peace Park

Peace Park

Peace Park is one of the largest green spaces in the city center. Full of trees, walk paths and a stream, the park is a refuge for book-reading students, a rehearsal space for musicians and — if you bring a hammock — a place to catch a quick nap. I’ve also seen residents and preschoolers enjoying the former McAlester Park, which was renamed Peace Park after the 1970 shootings at Kent State.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

As long as the earth continues to rotate on its axis, the best sunset is at Les Bourgeois Vineyards, enjoyed with a picnic, a bottle of wine and good friends.

Quick bites

Ice Cream Collage

I could live on ice cream (and I have the waistline to prove it). My favorite flavors in Columbia are Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream’s honey lavender and Buck’s Ice Cream’s Tiger Stripe. And every couple of weeks I stop by Kaldi’s and treat myself to a slice of gooey butter cake.

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Friday Favorites

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Today we’re switching things up a little bit so below are CVB staff’s favorite “recent discoveries.” Even CoMo pros learn something new every day!

Katy Trail State Park, Rocheport

(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Amy: After a couple of years dedicated to NOT exercising, I recently challenged myself to do the Roots N Blues N BBQ 10K. With that goal set, my next step was figuring out the best way to train. As it turns out, the answer was right outside my office window – Flat Branch Park and the MKT trail. I began on the part of the trail near my office, but I’ve started to use different parts of the trail for variety. It doesn’t matter where you start, each part of the trail is beautiful and you forget you’re in the middle of Columbia. AND let’s not forget McBaine, where you can get on the Katy Trail and run alongside the Missouri River.   That’s enough to get you “up and running!”

(Columbia Transit Facebook)

Beth: The Chamber of Commerce invited the CVB ladies on a CoMo Connect ride so that we could learn more about the new system. We learned so much! For instance, did you know kids ages 18 and under ride for free? And you can go to their website to watch for your bus and find out what time it will be at your stop. Super easy to use!

(Back Space Therapeutic Massage Facebook)

Billye: My recent discovery is a new massage therapist. I have been going to see Christopher Schiefer, the owner of BackSpace Therapeutic Massage since about 2011. I’ve been seeing him, and only him, for a few years now. However, Christopher recently had to have surgery on his shoulder and I was in desperate need for a massage. I reluctantly made an appointment with Ashley in his office. I am pleased to say that she did an equally wonderful job of massaging my stress away. I would see any therapist at BackSpace. It’s a wonderful, locally owned business, and they show that it’s more than just a business, they really care about you.

(Alumni Hall – Mizzou Facebook)

Julie: My mother-in-law bought a shirt for me from Alumni Hall, and I needed to exchange it. I had never been there before and was really impressed by their great selection! I didn’t have time to look through everything while I was there so I exchanged the shirt for a gift card. I can’t wait to go back and pick out my Mizzou gear!

Megan: Known to the SEC faithful for years, Zaxby’s serves up delicious southern favorites, which of course means most of them are fried. I’m very partial to the onion rings dipped in Zax sauce, but they also have salads, sandwiches, chicken in many forms and incredible sweet tea. You can either dine in or drive through, and their food is always fast and delicious. It’s good to be in SEC country!

Room 38 lobster mac 2

Rachel: A few weeks ago, I joined Missouri Division of Tourism on a FAM (familiarization) tour of some of Columbia’s restaurants. Room 38 was one of our stops, and they made a few dishes for us to photograph and sample. One of those dishes was their famous lobster mac n cheese. Let me just say, I HATE seafood, so I was thinking, “there is no way I’m going to like this.” But I tried it anyway and oh my gosh – I loved it. I think I have dreams about it.

(Photo by Madeline Beyer, Cafe 115 at Mizzou North Facebook)

Terra: The University Club recently opened Cafe 115 at Mizzou North, located in the Old Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, now the home of several University offices and the Museum of Art and Archaeology and Museum of Anthropology. Open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., they serve breakfast and lunch featuring daily specials. Also, you can purchase a Cafe 115 tumbler for $7.00 and enjoy $1.00 fountain drinks, iced tea and coffee. It’s nice to have a new convenient spot for lunch on the north side of Columbia. I’m looking forward to trying it out soon.

 

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Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday! Today’s favorites come from Heather Cole, Assistant to the City Manager of Columbia and Columbia Tourism Ambassador.

Wow, I feel a little like that nun in the Sound of Music doing a little number about a few of my favorite things. Lucky for you this is just a blog – because I can’t sing, play guitar or rhyme. Okay, so I’m a 30-something with a BF and no Mini-Me’s, who has lived in CoMo for about 12 years now. I work downtown and I play downtown. If I could wiggle into a swanky loft downtown, I’d do that too. I love outside adventures, music, food and beer. So with that demographic in mind, these are a few of my favorite things. (C’mon…you can’t read that last line and not sing it Julie Andrew’s style!)

When the dog bites…
Best Park: Stephens Lake Park

SLP Fairy Door

I love Columbia parks, but this one has to be my primo pick because of all it has to offer. Not only is this beautiful park great for a run, a swim or stop at the splash-park in the summertime, but it’s also great for sledding when Snowpocalypse hits in the winter too! It’s also host to great music events including the free concerts at the SLP amphitheater on Thursday evenings and of course, serves as the new home to the Roots & Blues BBQ! (The Avett Brothers are coming!! **Squeal!!**)

But what makes SLP even more unique than other parks? A fairy lives there. Before you stop reading and call some kind of hotline for assistance – hear me out. I stumbled upon a tiny little fairy door built into the base of a tree one day in SLP. Ppffft! OF COURSE I OPENED IT! Inside was a tiny tin painted with ivy. The tin contained a handwritten note from a fairy introducing herself as Willow, a tree fairy who just moved to the park and was trying to make new friends. The tin also contained a tiny pencil for people to leave messages back and forth. There were tons of messages on there – some questions and some welcoming messages. This was the CUTEST project I think I have ever stumbled upon. I mean…seriously? Her favorite meal is dandelion soup for crying out loud! That. Is. Awesome. We have some mega cool creative folks in this town. Am I right?

When the bee stings…
Best Event: The Boone Dawdle

I HATE having to pick just one!!!! Maybe I can come up with a pseudonym and do another guest blog with a totally new list of awesome things in town. (If you see a blog in the near future from “Sue Perman”…it’ll be our little joke. Just laugh to yourself.) Back to biz-naz: The Boone Dawdle. This event meshes so many awesome things into one event. Films, music, biking, food and fun! This event takes place in August as a mid-year fundraiser for the True/False Film Festival. You bike from Flat Branch Park to Les Bourgeois Winery. There are plentiful fun stops along the way with bands, ice cream treats, silly activities and games. When you get to the Blufftop Bistro, you get amazing music, food, drinks, prizes and best of all….an outdoor screening of a great film on the blufftop overlooking the Missouri River. It even features special guests, like film Directors for Q&A time.

Boone Dawdle Moon

Last year, we stopped for a photo opp on the moon. These were our best “no gravity” faces. Obviously. I also got solid advice from the mysterious “Advice Machine” which told me to sing to my cat in his native tongue to get him to stop meowing at me all the time. That’s solid stuff there. Solid.

When I’m feeling sad…
Favorite brews: Logboat Brewing Company

Logboat Beers

This place is pretty new to CoMo and is already wildly popular. Not only do they have great brews on tap (try em all with the sampler flight!), but they also have an AWESOME yard with plenty of outdoor space for games or general outdoor laziness. “But I wish they served food” – said no one, because the food trucks frequent this place on a regular basis! Hit me with an Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company Haughty Hillbilly sandwich and a Logboat Lookout Pale Ale and I AM GOLDEN!!
Disclaimer: Those are not all for me. And if they were…don’t judge. But they weren’t.

I simply remember my favorite things…
Best BBQ Sauce: Sycamore Restaurant

Sycamore

(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Yeah…it’s that good that it deserves its own “best of” category. The BBQ sauce they put on their pork sliders and meatloaf is so amazing that I could probably have an I.V. set up to pump this straight into my veins. (Yes, I know – that defeats the purpose of getting to taste it, but I think I need this BBQ sauce to live.) This place has great food, the bartenders make great drinks, it’s charming…AND they participate in Earth Hour by having a nice candlelight dinner hour every year. Who loves the Earth? Sycamore does.

And then I don’t feeeeeeeel…
Best Dessert on the face of the planet: U Knead Sweets

Tira Mizzou Cupcake

(Tira Mizzou Cupcake)

You can’t go wrong with pretty much anything in this place but if you’re looking to really knock your sweet socks off – the Tira-Mizzou Cupcake is a must hog…I mean have. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll only eat half and save the other half for your boyfriend, but you won’t. You’ll eat the entire thing because you can’t stop yourself because it’s soooo good and then you’ll have to make up this wild story to tell your boyfriend about how you fell down on the sidewalk by the creek and the other half rolled away into the mouth of a crocodile and even though you wanted to get all “Romancing the Stone” on that croc and fight him for that cupcake, you decided to let that cake go because even crocs need good cupcakes. True story.

Sooo baaaaaad….
Best cat in town: My cat Simon of course.

Simon Cat

Just kidding (but not really), I mean CAT-TV! Columbia Access Television is an independent community media center that operates the public access tv channel for Columbia.  CAT-TV makes it possible for anyone in the community to get training, use equipment and have your own tv show! They have a fun and helpful staff that can take CAT members from no-experienced newbies, to producing and directing all stars. James Cameron got his start here. (that’s a lie, I’m just name-dropping now.)

But seriously…how cute is my cat?

Thanks for tuning in to hear about some of my CoMo top picks. I hope you get a chance to try them all out.

Cheers and a Happy Friday to all!

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Welcome to another edition of the very popular ‘Friday Favorites’ series! This week, Josh Wright with The District was kind enough to share his Columbia favorites. Thanks, Josh!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

I moved to Columbia a decade ago and immediately fell in love with this city. It’s great to have the ability to walk or bike to several shops, theaters, concerts, art shows, and other events in our community. I am always surprised by all there is to experience.

Favorite Event

ArtrageousFriday

Artrageous Fridays/Weekend – Artrageous Fridays and Artrageous Weekend have become my favorite community events. Everyone is so welcoming and I appreciate all the shops that provide a space for local artists and musicians to showcase their work.

Best Brunch

BroadwayBrew

Broadway Brewery – When friends come back to town we always try to fit in brunch at Broadway Brewery. Broadway Brewery was founded in 2009 with a local, farm-to-table mindset. You can always find great items on the Sunday Brunch menu and the bloody mary bar is fantastic. On top of that, there is always a bluegrass jam with some great musicians during brunch.

Favorite New Thing In Town

IMG_20140410_173018

Food Trucks! – Columbia recently started allowing food trucks to operate in designated public parking zones around The District. Working on Tenth St. has always made for a great lunch hour and now that trucks pop up here and there it’s even better!

Sidewalk Cafes

TellersWindow

Tellers – When the weather is nice for sitting outside it’s always great to sit at a sidewalk cafe. I like patios and people watching and getting a table on the sidewalk is great for both. Tellers, located on 9th and Broadway, is right in the middle of all the bustle which makes it one of my favorite spots in town.

Grocery

RootCellarDoor

Root Cellar – The Root Cellar moved a couple years ago from Broadway to its new location at 1023 E Walnut in the North Village Arts District. The Root Cellar provides the community with a true connection to our local farmers. I recommend registering for the bounty box program to get a great selection of hand-picked local produce every week.

Favorite Sandwich

SubShop

The Veggie at Sub Shop – It doesn’t take long hanging around Columbia before you hear about Sub Shop. I particularly like the South 8th street location in The District which has an amazing, hand-painted Lord of The Rings mural that makes my inner nerd very happy. My favorite sandwich Sub Shop has to offer is The Veggie. It’s loaded with cheese and veggies. It’s great.

Favorite Local Gift

Candy Factory chocolate

Chocolates at The Candy Factory – The Candy Factory has been making Columbia’s fine chocolates for four decades. As a younger and far less wiser man I hadn’t shopped at The Candy Factory for the first few years I lived in town. I have since realized that I shouldn’t to try to find a “perfect” gift when the 4 out of 5 times the best gift is at least a dozen chocolates. I have learned a valuable life lesson from The Candy Factory that I won’t soon forget.

Favorite Juice Bar

256

Main Squeeze – I don’t go more than three days without craving a good juice mix. Main Squeeze on 9th Street is my favorite juice place because of the local ingredients and crazy fun people behind the counter. I usually get the Rejuvenate Your Life or, if I need a shocking change, the Ring of Fire. They also make my favorite Tacos in town!

Favorite Clothing Store

MaudeVintage

Maude Vintage – Clothes I’ve found from Maude Vintage are my favorite items in my wardrobe. They have a great costume selection and the staff will help you find the best outfit for just about any occasion. I took my 8 and 11 year old sister and niece to Maude last year and we spent hours trying on every hat in the store…and it was a blast.

Favorite Happy Hour

Mojo's Happy Hour

Friday Happy Hour at Mojo’s – My favorite thing to do all week is head to Mojo’s for Friday Happy Hour from 5-7pm. I’ve seen the best local musicians during happy hour all for free. Sometimes musicians perform outside in the beautiful Forest Rose Park where you can enjoy the weather, the great company, and great yard games.

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Friday Favorites

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Today’s favorites come from Columbia Tourism Ambassador, Carla Hunter.

When Alumni come back to CoMo, they look forward to visiting their favorite eating and drinking establishments from their days at the University of Missouri. When the friends I have known since college are visiting, they normally request going to the following traditional destinations:

The Heidelberg:

The Heidelberg

Thank goodness The Heidelberg rebuilt after the fire that significantly damaged their building in 2003. This local landmark was voted “Best Happy Hour” in 2014 and features Buy One-Get One Free appetizers.  Popular sandwiches include their Reuben and their house made pork tenderloin, which is double the size of the bun. Convenient for Reunions, The Berg has a Brunch Buffet on Sundays and will reserve space for seating large parties.

Sub Shop:

Sub Shop

This locally-owned sandwich shop was a popular destination for Sunday dinner during my college years.  While the Sub Shop on campus was torn down when the Reynolds Alumni Center was built, the restaurant on 8th Street is located just a short distance away. The menu and their ordering system, which uses playing cards, are similar to the 1970’s when they first opened. And, fortunately, the bread they use when making their sandwiches still tastes the same.

Broadway Diner:

Broadway Diner

While some can’t recollect the specifics about their times at Broadway Diner, this local relic is still fondly remembered as part of infamous weekend activities. Moved to a different location (from Broadway to 4th Street), the building itself is as unique as its signature dish, the Stretch.

Shakespeare’s Pizza:

Shakespeare's pizza toss 2

Decades before being voted by Good Morning America as the “Best College Hangout,” Shakespeare’s Pizza was a popular favorite of both students and locals. With two additional locations now in Columbia, it is somewhat easier to get a table on a busy weekend. The South and West locations also have large party rooms, which are convenient for Reunion get-togethers.

Booches Billiard Hall:

Booches

There have been no noticeable changes at Booches over the last several decades. The menu features popular slider hamburgers served on pieces of wax paper. Long lines routinely extend out the door on busy weekends.

I recommend that Alumni try some additional CoMo restaurants that have opened since they graduated. These establishments reflect Columbia’s ever-changing personality. Each of these is also easy walking distance within The District.

Kui Korean BBQ:

Kui BBQ

Columbia has a wide variety of ethnic restaurants. While it is hard to choose just one, I took a former college roommate to try Kui Korean BBQ on 9th Street last winter. With the flavorful food and friendly service, she now asks to go back each time she is in town. Their menu offerings are reasonably priced and include soup and salad. Their flavored teas are also a great addition to your meal.

Billiard’s on Broadway:

Billiards

If you want a delicious grilled burger, there is another popular option in CoMo. Located on Broadway near the western edge of the District is Billiard’s on Broadway. They have a large seating area and lengthy menu including hot dogs and house cut French fries. While waiting on your burger to be made according to your size and specifications, you can play a game of darts or pool.

Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream:

DSC00296

Sparky’s got national attention with their cicada-inspired ice cream several years ago. However, it is the flavors they create each day using local and seasonal ingredients that have gotten them outstanding recognition. Open 10 years, Sparky’s is always a fun stop along 9th Street. Upon request, their ice cream creators will also make a unique flavor for a special occasion like a college reunion.

Room 38:

Room 38 lobster mac 2Room 38 has a daily Happy Hour featuring specialty drinks and original appetizer creations. Their menu is described as modern global cuisine, with sharing plates such as edamame, seared dumplings, and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Their lobster mac and cheese is simply too good to share.

Columbia has a wide range of restaurant options including the traditional spots that stand the test of time, as well as a newer selection that will provide a pleasant surprise. Have fun trying something new or returning to an old favorite.

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Friday Favorites

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Hope everyone is having a great week! Today’s favorites come from Kim Trabue, one of our CVB Advisory Board members.

Favorite time of year: Back to school! 

back to school img_52464

(Photo from poeticaperture.com) 

I can smell it in the air – the aroma of late summer, anticipation, and school supplies.

And extra trucks and SUVs with unfamiliar drivers on the roads. I remember my first move to Columbia and carrying boxes up three flights of stairs. I remember driving through town with a map in my hand (we didn’t have GPS back then).

Now that I’m a “townie,” part of me is sad that the lines at stores and restaurants will increase, but I know this is a wonderful time in Columbia. Thousands of people are making a change of address to this great place we call home. Welcome! You’re gonna love it here!

Favorite activity: Student performances

2008-09-29 Providence Bowl Parade IMG_0484

(2008 Providence Bowl Parade) 

Of course I love the University of Missouri Tigers, the Columbia College Cougars, and the Stephens College Stars. Our treasure chest overflows with sporting events, plays, and musical performances delivered by the troves of talented students in Columbia. But real amazement, entertainment, and heart-warming stories come from gifts delivered by younger students. From TRYPS to PACE to high school bands and choirs, there is an abundance of opportunities to enjoy and encourage young people in Columbia. Watch out for those Bruins, Kewpies, Spartans, and Trailblazers. They’re top performers!

My “kids” grew up here, and we never missed a Friday night halftime show or jazz concert. Even as an empty-nester, though, I still take great delight in the parades and marching competitions and plays that showcase wonderful performances by young people.

Favorite festival: Art in the Park

2013-06 Art in the Park

(2013 Art in the Park)

For more than fifty years the annual Art in the Park Festival, sponsored by the Columbia Art League, has showcased magnificent talent and celebrated the typical “Chamber of Commerce weather” that we usually enjoy the first week of June. Even if it rains, the show goes on – artists sell their creations in open tents, food vendors offer delicious choices, and festival goers vote for Best of Show.

Besides, it’s not often you can have your picture taken with a metal-boned bovine.

Favorite charity: The Food Bank

2012-04-02 Food Bank

(Photo: Kimbermedia.com)

Based in Columbia, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri provides FREE food to soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and special programs in 31 Missouri counties. This more than thirty-year-old charity started as a college class project and has become one of the most successful Food Banks in the nation. It operates a giant warehouse with a professional staff and coordinates hosts of volunteers in order to distribute millions of pounds of donated food annually. From food drives to fundraising there are dozens of ways to help our neighbors through this organization.

Favorite plant place: Strawberry Hill Farms

greenhouse Strawberryhillfarms5

(Photo: StrawberryHillFarms.net)

Whether it’s garden-planting season or time to place some flowers on the porch, a trip to Strawberry Hill Farms is a necessary excursion. It’s easy to wander through multiple greenhouses and imagine the results of the growth. There’s always a great, healthy variety of vegetables, annuals, and perennials begging to go home with you.

Favorite park: Twin Lakes Dog Park

2012-11 Twin Lakes dogs

(Jack and Sophie, November 2012)

Leash laws are important for pet safety in our community, but sometimes the dogs just need to run freely. For these wonderful times, Twin Lakes Dog Park offers a safe environment for running and swimming. Benches are placed throughout the park for great watch spots. Just remember to bring a towel or blanket to cover your car seat… happy, wet dogs can be a little messy.

Favorite shopping: #ThinkLocal

americanshoeinc

(Photo: AmericanShoeInc.com)

From medical offices to computer stores, Columbia has almost every service or goods provider you could need. Of course there are ample chain stores that fill many needs and provide notable employment opportunities in our community, but my preference is t0 think local.

Some of my favorites include:

The owners stay involved with the daily operations of these businesses, and they usually recognize their customers and clients when they see them outside of the stores. Doing business with your neighbors is good for the local economy. It assures exceptional service, and often offers a chance to catch up on local current events.

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