One may think that I am addicted to caprese salads….and they would most likely be correct. Stopping at a well-reviewed cafe in Columbia, SC called Michael’s Cafe and Catering, the lunch menu was surprisingly extensive. With a selection of typical cafe items including wraps, sandwiches, and salads, to that of Montrachet cheese with fresh fruit or deep fried cheese curds accompanied by marinara sauce, there is something for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the mild chicken wings and $2.50 domestic beer weekend special, but the caprese salad was something I had not seen before. As the waitress placed my caprese in front of me, it looked like a red and white kabob engrossed by shrubbery. Then, I realized that it was simply skewered cherry tomatoes and miniature mozzarella balls abed a mixed green salad. Of course, a balsamic vinegar reduction finished things off. The mozzarella was fresh, the tomatoes sweet and not “gritty” at all. While this was not the absolute best caprese I have ever experienced, it was certainly a good, solid reproduction with a unique twist. Certainly recommended as a meal or as a plate to share with fantastic company, this dish was well worth the $6.95 that it cost.
I would certainly try this establishment out again. Next time, I would sample the fried cheese curds and Montrachet dishes simply to add variety and see what else Michael’s has to offer. There is a bonafide list of restaurants that I will always go to when visiting Columbia, and this one has certainly earned a place amongst the ranks. Try it out and let me know what cheesy discovery you find! Cheers!