I have a nostalgic bias when it comes to soft shells, which I first tried at Mr. Friendly’s, one sautéed, one steamed, with no breading. It was like eating the marsh on the first spring-like day, when there’s just enough warmth in the air to take off your shoes and feel the sun.
An uncoated, steamed or sautéed soft-shell crab is a delight, but so is one breaded and fried to crispy perfection. A recent lunch special at Mr. Friendly’s, the Crab Louis salad, keeps this fried treat light. Crisp lettuce and cucumbers, sweet grape tomatoes, and blue-crab roasted corn salsa are the perfect match for the fried soft shell. The salad’s wedges of hard-boiled egg put it in a league with Cobb and Niçoise salads, but with a superior protein.
Crab Louis (also spelled Crab Louie) is a classic dish whose history is hard to trace. It may (or may not) have been served first on the West Coast, possibly in Seattle, or maybe in San Francisco, in the early 20th century. The dressing most often resembles Thousand Island or occasionally Russian, chef’s choice. Like many classic American dishes, the origin and exact recipe is untraceable, meaning interpretations are endless. Mr. Friendly’s particular iteration, with fried soft shell instead of just the typical lump crab, is the perfect way to enjoy a soft shell crab for lunch.
Mr. Friendly’s is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m.
Written by Anne Wolfe Postic Free Times Publication April 4, 2019
The Art of Real Estate Team, a local real estate agency, dined with us recently for lunch, and judging by their video review – thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Why the video review? To better serve their clients and encourage relocation to the Soda City! We’re proud that after 20+ years of serving lunch & dinner, we’re still a top pick for locals and out-of-towners alike. Check out the video below, and their full review by clicking here!
A big thank you to the readers of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine for voting Mr. Friendly’s the BEST WAIT STAFF! The magazine recently released their annual “Best Of” edition, and we are very proud to be chosen as we strive to be the most dedicated service industry professionals in Columbia!
Columbia Metropolitan Magazine has been polling its readers for over 20 years, to find out their top picks in all sorts of categories, not just restaurants. To see the entire list of winners, please click here!
Readers of local newspaper, Free Times, have spoken again!
This year’s “Best Of Columbia” issue marks the 25th anniversary of the annual readers’ poll, first launched in 1989. Since then, readers have been able to nominate their favorites for a long list of categories including Food & Dining, Politics, Culture, Nightlife, etc.
We are very proud to announce that this year we won BEST RESTAURANT as well as, BEST SOUTHERN RESTAURANT! Not to brag, but that makes it 9 times winning Best Restaurant out of the last 10 years! THANK YOU COLUMBIA!
Also a shout out to our sister restaurants – Solstice Kitchen who won Best Restaurant Northeast and Best Neighborhood Bar (runner-up),
and Cellar on Greene who won Best Wine List (runner-up).
Just this week “The State” newspaper made it’s top picks for the best food in the Midlands – and where you can find it. We were thrilled to get a mention, along with our sister restaurant, Solstice Kitchen!
Solstice Kitchen got picked for a top spot in the “Farm-to-Table” category for their unbelievably delicious Sweet Tea Brined Heritage Farms Pork Chop.
And yours truly, Mr. Friendly’s, scooped up a top spot in the “Dessert” category for our famous Moonpies! This homemade dessert consists of freshly baked praline wafers layered with white chocolate mousse and drizzled with chocolate & raspberry sauce. Moonpies are served Monday nights alongside our House-Ground Meatloaf and Half-Priced Wine!
The always-handsome photographer for the Free Times, Jonathan Sharpe, stopped by Mr. Friendly’s this week to take part in our annual MARDI GRAS celebration! While enjoying a nice afternoon on the patio, Jonathan dined on the always popular Louisiana Crawfish Cakes with grilled corn maque choux and creole mustard remoulade, plus a Myers’s Rum Hurricane from the bar!
To see the Free Times article online, please click here.
Mr. Friendly’s Owner & Executive Chef, Ricky Mollohan, also happens to be the owner of our sister restaurant next door, Cellar on Greene! Cellar is Columbia's first Wine Shop by Day, Wine Bar by Night! If you haven't checked them out, you're also missing out on their nightly $22 three course dinner. Get a little more info about them by checking out last week’s WLTX Restaurant Report Card!
Recently Ron Aiken, writer for Chomp!, asked local chefs what items on their menu rock but for whatever reason just aren't ordered as much as they should. Our Executive Chef & Owner, Ricky Mollohan, answered quickly with a Mr. Friendly's staple dish – Fried Catfish!!
Click here to read the article and see why you should head our way for a Fried (or blackened, or lemon peppered, or simply grilled) Catfish plate today. Served at both lunch and dinner!
Recently, Columbia celebrity – The Shop Tart – dined with us, not once, but twice in the same day! Lucky for her, she has friends that like to eat Friendly's for their birthday meals. Check out the full story, complete with delicious photos, by clicking here!
And don't forget we are open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11:30am – 2:30pm, serving Columbia's best lunch since 1995!
Our favorite delicacy has arrived this week, the Soft Shell Crab! Before you get too excited, Soft Shells are in high demand and we are never 100% sure they will show up with our deliveries. Keep checking our website and facebook each day to see if we have them in stock. Fingers crossed the season lasts through the Spring this year!
The Shop Tart enjoyed them yesterday at lunch – click here to check out the story!
Hope to see you around the restaurant soon! Eat local, eat great, eat with us!!