*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.
Food unites us. No matter your skin color, ethnicity, gender, or religion, you need food to survive. That need gives us common ground. Growing up in a small Southern Baptist Church in rural South Carolina, I learned that lesson well at an early age. After church – we ate. Homecoming – we ate. Fifth Sunday Night Singing – we ate. Someone got married – we ate. Someone died – we ate. Graduation – we ate. VBS – we ate. That time I was commissioned as a missionary and the church canceled the Sunday evening service to load up in the van and attend my commissioning ceremony – food was involved. I would joke that we are the “Church of the Covered Dish.” To give someone food is to say, “I care about your survival.” Food is used to bring people into something deeper. When I worked in Collegiate Ministry, most of our events centered around food, and when we were out on campus promoting those events, we often started the conversation with, “You should come; there’s going to be free food.” And typically we’d hand them some cotton candy, a sno cone, or some candy while we said that. Now that I work in the media department here at First Baptist Church, one of the most common questions/complaints that I get is, “Where’s the Wednesday night dinner menu?”
Thus all of these experiences with food and the Church are why we’ve decided to start a little category under our Life At First section of the Web site called “Sunday Lunch Blog.” Here we want to share with you some places around town where we like to eat and maybe try out some new places to give you the rundown before you go spend your money. It’s easy to get stuck in a meal rut, so this is a fun way to hopefully help you get out of it. More importantly than food though, we want to foster community and explore what it means to live in good Christian community. We hope that you’ll join the conversation by participating in the comments section at the bottom of this post. Let us know some of your favorite places and/or food traditions. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get inspired to meet up with an old friend or invite a new friend out for a meal.
Now without further ado, let’s get down to the food!
Sure Fire Tacos and Tortilla Grill – 916 Gervais St, Columbia
I love tacos. They are versatile, innovated, convenient, and delicious, but despite that love, I’ve started to grow a bit weary of all of these taco shops popping up EVERYWHERE. It’s kind of like yogurt shops a few years ago; there was one on every street corner. So, when I saw that Sure Fire was moving into the old Salsarita’s building on Gervais Street, I thought, “Snooze. Just another taco shop.” But of course, I decided to check it out anyway. At my friend Kara’s suggestion, we went for lunch the other day. When we went to order, she said, “You’re just going to want to order one taco; these aren’t like the other places. They’re big.” So, I chose the Tex-Mex taco (choice of chicken or beef, refried beans, rice, queso, pico de gallo, and probably some other stuff) and made it into a meal, which meant I also got a drink and tortilla chips with the choice of queso or guacamole. (I chose queso. I will always choose queso.) Then they have a salsa bar to which you can help yourself. Kara got the Mr. Piggy taco and made it into a meal as well. The Mr. Piggy had pork and a lot of other delicious looking things. In fact, confession, I sort of had food envy when I saw hers come out.
Once she bit into her taco, her first response was, “This is good.” As I ate my Tex-mex taco, my envy of my friends taco went away. Perhaps you could say that it redeemed me from my covetous ways. At least for that moment. The beef was tender, the flavors mixed well, and it wasn’t too spicy. I like spicy, but spicy doesn’t like me, so I tend to stay away. By the end, we were both very full.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the new taco shop on the block. The decor was pleasing and there appeared to be plenty of space if you wanted to bring a larger group there. If you like tacos and if you like being full, you can be happy for under $9.00.
References to food are made a lot throughout the Bible. In Matthew 5:13 (you can hover over that reference to get the verse), Jesus refers to his followers as “salt of the earth.” Most of us know that salt seasons food by bringing out the foods own flavor. I’ve found in my cooking experiences that often when I want something sweet to taste sweeter, adding salt instead of sugar will achieve my desired results (because I hear that too much sugar is bad for you). The salt pulls out the good taste in the food and enhances it. The question is, do we enhance life around us? Are those around us better for having been exposed to us? When people have an interaction with us or when new people visit our church, are they left with a metaphorically good taste in their mouths? In a world of negative things, let’s strive to bring out the positive. Lets encourage one another and help bring out the good in others. And by all means, let us please avoid getting into vicious rants and debates on Facebook and other social media, but meet people face to face (possibly over a meal!) to listen to them and share our lives. That’s what being salt does. So, let’s choose to follow Jesus’ teaching and be salt in a world so desperate in need of taste.
Have A Seat At Our Table
The next Sunday Lunch Blog will feature FIRST Family member Michelle Wang of the M Gourmet group. 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.