*Disclaimer: First Baptist Church is not affiliated with, nor does it necessarily endorse any of the restaurants that are discussed in these posts. These are just the personal opinions of the blog writer and are meant only for information and fun.
Blue Marlin – 1200 Lincoln St. Columbia
Over here in the Music and Media Department, we’re a bunch of busy little bees and sometimes our boss, the Honorable Reverend Steve Phillips takes us out on the town as a reward for good behavior. This week was one of those times. After much deliberation, we decided on Blue Marlin for lunch. I was happy because not only to do I like Blue Marlin, but they have been on my list for this blog. Blue Marlin has been a great supporter of our Celebration of Liberty and it is frequented by many First Baptist members, especially for Sunday lunch. It’s time that we gave them a little shout out as well.
When we arrived for lunch, the crowd in the restaurant was unusually large. Regardless, the staff was very accommodating and our server, though very busy, was still kind and attentive. To my knowledge, none of them knew that I’d be writing about them either, so I don’t think it was just for show; it’s just how they are.
The menu is pretty fantastic and makes it very difficult to choose what to order because it all looks good. No worries about taking your time though because they bring you some goodies to hold you over. First there’s the bread and fresh butter. Mr. Steve gave me some Blue Marlin trivia and said that Blue Marlin makes everything in house except for the bread, which is brought in from a bakery in Charlotte. They go through about 200-300 loaves a day! Once you sink your teeth into one, it’s not difficult to see why. And then there are the collards. Can we just pause a minute to reflect on how wonderfully Southern it is that in addition to bread, you get some greens to help you warm up for your meal? Some of you misguided folks might be thinking, “I don’t really like greens.” I was once like you. But trust me, you just haven’t had good greens yet. Come eat these greens at Blue Marlin and you’ll be a changed person.
I finally decided on the Blackened Salmon Charleston (blackened salmon topped with creamy crab sauce and shrimp). It was either that or the Pecan Encrusted Catch. My exact selection process in my mind went something like this, “Well, salmon is healthy. Yeah, let’s go with the salmon and be healthy today.” This came with a side of more collards (no complaints here) and stone ground Adluh grits. There might be a few more of you, once again, misguided folks out there thinking, “I don’t like grits.” I’m going to assume that is because all you’ve ever known of grits is those little packets of instant microwave grits or the grits that that guy, we’ll call him Carl, from the Backwoods Baptist Church makes on the one day of the year that he ever cooks because the men of the church have an annual Brotherhood Breakfast where they choose to serve everyone by cooking breakfast before church and you need a hammer and chisel to eat your grits because the grits that Carl makes are no longer plural, but one big grit. If I had to eat Carl’s grits, I wouldn’t like grits either, but these grits at Blue Marlin, my friend, are not Carl’s grits. These grits are like fluffy clouds made with the joyful teardrops of angels … or heavy whipping cream, which is what I imagine that tears of joy from angels tastes like. Take my advice. Try the grits.
We all ordered different items, and they all looked good. Also, if you are not much of a seafood person, you can get some non-seafood items, such as the chicken pasta that Lauren ordered. Then we ordered some dessert to share. I rarely order dessert, but Keith brought it up, so though stuffed, we all decided that that was a good idea. I had Blackout Cake, which is homemade gooey chocolate fudge cake, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch sauce, and whipped cream. Yes, it was a good idea.
If you’re looking to treat yourself, maybe after church with family and friends, or for some special occasion, head over to Blue Marlin. You’ll leave happy and full.
Since I ate fish and probably a whole loaf of bread at lunch, what could be more fitting than to talk about Jesus feeding the multitudes with fish and bread? There were two instances that were recorded of Jesus miraculously feeding large groups of people. The first instance is when Jesus feeds 5,000 men plus women and children (Matthew 14:13-21 also Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15). The second is when Jesus feeds 4,000 men plus women and children (Matthew 15:32-39 also Mark 8:1-10). There is debate among Bible scholars about the significance and symbolism between these two accounts, however I do not have the space or desire to go into those. Rather, let’s just simply take in who Jesus is through these passages and look at who we are because of Him.
In the first instance where Jesus feeds the 5,000+, news had just come that John the Baptist had been killed. Jesus goes off to be alone, but the needy crowds find Him. He sees their need and has “compassion on them” and starts healing the sick. As the day winds down, the disciples want to send the people away to get food, but Jesus doesn’t see the need for that. He tells the disciples to come up with a solution. They find a boy with five little loaves of bread and two fish, but know that that’s not going to cut it. Then Jesus shows them that He can multiply their little. Everyone is fed and there’s even food leftover.
Not long after the instance with the 5,000+ crowd, we encounter the second instance with the 4,000+. This crowd had been with Jesus for three days and they were getting hungry. Jesus was again compassionate toward them and turned to His disciples. The disciples asked again where could they possibly get enough food to feed all of those people. I like to think that perhaps in the back of their minds they knew that Jesus was going to provide again, but were just too nervous to say it. Or maybe they really are like us and forget easily all that God has done for them when they’re in times of difficulty. I mean, Jesus could have fed them after the first day or the second, but it wasn’t until the third day that everyone was fed. Maybe they had enough packed for the first two days that they didn’t need a miracle. No matter, when the need was there, Jesus met it and everyone was full with plenty leftover.
In both of these instances Jesus has compassion on people. Both times, He is performing a ton of miracles. Both times His disciples, the people closest to Him, doubt Him. Both times, regardless of doubt, Jesus meets the needs of each person. Sometimes we’re needy like the crowd, just hoping to catch a glimpse of Him and see what He can do for us. Other times we’re like the disciples, so close and so involved with Jesus that He becomes routine and we forget just how awesome and powerful He is. Then there are those times when we’re like the little boy with his meager offering, holding it up to Jesus to let Him make something more from what we have to give.
There are so many points and details that we can pull from these passages and I encourage you to study those. Yet in this space, just know that wherever you find yourself, our God is one who provides. And the cool thing is, He provides whether we doubt or not. Not only is Christ for us, but He understands us and has compassion on us. Read these passages and take heart. Whatever you have, He can take it and make so much more.
Have A Seat At Our Table
Let’s chat! When has God provided for you? Tells us your thoughts in the comments section below. If you are a church member and restaurant owner and would like for us to come visit your restaurant, e-mail me here. Or, if there’s a place you’d like for us to check out before you spend your money, let us know in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
Hi! I’m April. I work on staff here at FIRST designing a bunch of things for print and Web. I believe that world peace can be achieved over a pan of fresh baked biscuits and everyone coming to faith in Jesus. Ok, really it’s just Jesus, but the biscuits help.