Sunday, July 22, 2012

Brunch with a Beat

Dupre Percival is a very special person in my life.  He has been a friend of my parents since the beginning of time and in my case, my friend since the beginning of my time.  Yep, that's 44 years, for those of you keeping count.  When I was a kid, he made double black olive pizzas for me and my sister at his Irmo restaurant McIntosh's.  (Actually, it was pepperoni, sausage & double black olives....the best pizza on Earth.) Later, he opened a bar called Pickel's.  During the day, we were allowed to go in and eat and that began our love of the "Pickel burger."  And fast forward to 2004 when he catered my wedding.  I still have people tell me how much the crab cakes rocked at our wedding.  Dupre determined that we needed "action" so he set up a crab cake station which had people in line pretty much the entire evening.

Dupre's catering business is a great success. In Columbia, you don't even need to know his last name.  You simply mention Dupre and people 1) know who you're talking about 2) know how good his cooking is and 3) will attend any event simply because he's catering.  His current location is at Senate's End...where Senate Street meets the Congaree, literally.  His 300 Senate building has been a restaurant in the past, it serves as a party rental place and now has transformed itself into a special occasion location.  300 Senate is only open on Sundays for brunch and live jazz.  My daughter and I accompanied my parents there today after church.  What a treat!

Dupre and his lovely wife Gina (more about her in a minute) have teamed up with Think Jazz Columbia to bring together food, wine and song every Sunday.  What a cool way to lunch on a relaxing Sunday.  There was a beautiful buffet set up, complete with an omelet station, true to Dupre's love of "action." Here's the line-up:

Omelets with these choices (as best I can remember): tomato, chicken, Parmesan, cheddar, roast beef, leeks, onion.  Grits, bacon, chicken wraps, crab salad croissants, sweet potato casserole, barbeque, biscuits and gravy and peach cobbler.   For those sausage lovers out there, this gravy would be your heaven.  Chock full of sausage. There was also a special: boneless breast of quail cooked to order.

Around 1:30 the music started.  This really got my daughter's attention!  What kid isn't completely enthralled by saxophones, a grand piano, bass fiddle, trombone, drums and trumpets?  I looked around the room to observe a crowd of all ages enjoying brunch, or having a glass of wine, admiring the artwork, and really diggin' the music.  It was a very cool, fun vibe.  The kind that makes you feel good for the rest of the day.

Now, let me go back to Gina.  I'm not sure what talents she does not possess.  She's an accomplished artist, she cooks alongside Dupre but also runs her own food truck business, The Carriage Cafe, and I learned today, she's a damn good singer.  She's always happy and frankly she's cute as the proverbial button.  I love Gina. Check out this video:
  Behind 300 Senate is a small building.  They have turned that into an all local market.  It's open 9-5 on weekdays and features some pretty cool stuff.  Some of the items I looked at today were heirloom tomatoes, ice cream from Gaston and grits from the Ace Basin.  If you're lucky, you'll probably find Gina's truck serving up her goodies right outside in the parking lot.  She has coffee that she personally custom blended.  Trust me; it's a heckuva cup o'Joe. If you haven't experienced the Sunday brunch and jazz, you owe yourself this special treat.  The food is great, the music is fantastic and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun.  Gina gave me a heads up that the Dick Goodwin orchestra will be there next Sunday.  Those guys are incredible.  I think I know where we'll be next week after church!

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  1. Oh, my!! You, dear Elizabeth, are amazing with your blogs. I always enjoy seeing what's cooking in your brain and kitchen. Great, entertaining, informative, and well put together!

  2. Elizabeth,

    My name is David Allen and I write for Capital City Eatz. I have moved on to Charlotte but wanted to keep posting material to the site. I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on our site. We would post a teaser on our site that would link back to your site in order for the reader to finish reading the post. I think its a win-win. You get exposure to some new readers, and my site stays active. I am going around to other food bloggers and have gotten positive responses from The Hungry Lady and The Foraging Foodie. Please let me know what you think!



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