Friday, January 8, 2016

Top Notch Mexican Food – Columbia SC

About a week after returning from our Florida trip, Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill came to visit us in East Tennessee.  We only spent one day at home before hitting the road to the Atlantic coast.  Our goals were Charleston South Carolina and Carolina Beach North Carolina…

I don’t usually miss my turns as badly as I did this time… I wasn’t paying attention and once we crossed over the Smoky Mountains, I ended up continuing on I-40 instead of turning south on I-26 toward Charleston.  When I realized my mistake, I looked at the map and decided that I’d cut back over to I-26 via US Hwy. 74 and US Hwy. 64.

I hate retracing our route and I usually look for a new way to go… In this case, my choice of routes was fortuitous.  So it was off to Chimney Rock and Hendersonville North Carolina via the ‘back roads’. 

It was a very pretty and interesting drive… In addition, we discovered the ‘apple country’ in the highlands of North Carolina.  There were orchards everywhere…with most accompanied by related cider mills and retail outlets.  Since we were just beginning our adventure, we really couldn’t take advantage of our ‘discovery’, but we made a mental note to make a special trip in September of 2016!

North Carolina is ranked 7th among apple producing states.  Henderson County accounts for about 85% of the total crop for the state.  What I didn’t realize is that the State of Washington accounts for almost 64% of the US total production.  New York is second with almost 10% and Michigan produces just a little over 5%. (Being from Michigan originally, I was surprised at the numbers!)

I’d done some research in an effort to find potential luncheon stops along our route to Charleston.  I’d expected to stop a bit further along the route but my ‘detour’ caused us to end up around Columbia South Carolina when it was time to stop…

I had selected one possibility near the Interstate at Columbia.  This is Real Mexico…’M x can’ estaurant.  Despite the sign and the building looking like a former convenience store, the parking lot was packed!

The interior of Real Mexico was very casual, colorful and hectic!  There was a lot going on…with lots of business lunches and families too.  A crowd like this usually means one or two things… inexpensive food and/or top notch quality food.

As is the norm for most Mexican Restaurants, our waitress brought us a couple of baskets of corn chips and salsa.  The chips were fairly ordinary but we all liked the salsa…not boring, but not too spicy either.

Bonnie went with the Pork Carnitas… Can you spell excellent!?
I should have taken a photo of the menu so I could talk about the variety of offerings at Real Mexico.  The variety of Mexican dishes at Real Mexico far surpasses what one normally sees in the ‘usual’ Mexican restaurant.  The menus from this restaurant that are posted on-line on the various review sites don’t include this offering.

Bill ordered the Chipotle Chicken Burrito.  As you can see, it was completely stuffed with chicken.  Bill gave his lunch 2 thumbs up!

I ordered the Fish Tacos plate… Beautiful and very good indeed!  Of course I added a bit of heat before I devoured my lunch…but that’s standard operating procedure for me.

When I wrote this posting, I went on the Internet to see what others have thought about this restaurant.  First of all, all major review sites have rated Real Mexico at 4 + “Stars”.  If you combine the Excellent and Very Good vs. the Poor or Terrible reviews from Trip Advisor and Yelp, the total positive reviews total 302…and the negative reviews total only 11! 

Laurie loves quesadillas so she ordered this chicken, mushroom and bacon version.  She loved it!

Good food…far better than the typical Mexican fare…combined with really reasonable, (actually budget), prices, equal a ‘real’ winner at Real Mexico!  Our food bill for 4 of us only totaled $24.45!

Real Mexico Restaurant is located just a short drive off of I-26 at 2421 Bush River Drive in Columbia South Carolina.  Phone: 803-750-8990.  This restaurant doesn’t appear to have a website.  To read other reviews about Real Mexico, just go to

 Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and having lunch with us!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. I hate making driving errors like that but I believe everyone has done it. At least you saw a pretty area and had some delicious food.