Partly cloudy. Low around 75F. Winds light and variable..
Partly cloudy. Low around 75F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: June 15, 2022 @ 9:00 pm
Photo of The Travel, a new Asian food truck in Columbia. Photo provided. 

Food Writer
Photo of The Travel, a new Asian food truck in Columbia. Photo provided. 
Editor’s note: Table Crumbs is an occasional roundup of a week’s serving worth of Columbia food news, in brief. 
Award-winning liquor is worth a shot (or two): Leesville-based liquor producer Hollow Creek Distillery won two awards in the 2022 New York International Spirits Competition, owners announced June 6. The spot was named the South Carolina Distillery of the year and their William Alan Straight bourbon whiskey, which also recently won awards in international competitions based out of Los Angeles, was awarded a Double Gold award. Pretty neat if you ask me. 
Say (pimento) cheese: The once-successful Pimento Cheese Passport, a series launched by Experience Columbia SC, is making an appearance again in Columbia. With the purchase of a passport, folks gain access to 17 restaurants in the area that offer different pimento cheese dishes. More information can be found at
Missing Baan Sawan? This is for you: The temporarily closed Thai bistro, Baan Sawan, will be back in operation soon. Well, not really, but sort of. Co-owner and chef of the spot Alex Suaudom du Monde will join The War Mouth’s Chef Rhett Elliott for a collaborative four-course meal featuring pork carnitas served over som tuhm (a type of Thai salad) slaw and wine pairings for each course. The War Mouth has also extended its hours and is open until midnight on weekends for bar service. The dinner has been sold out, but will have limited walk-in seating and more information can be found on the restaurant’s Instagram (@thewarmouth). 
Another Another Broken Egg: You didn’t read that wrong, I meant to put two anothers. That’s because there’s another Another Broken Egg Cafe opening at 931 North Lake Drive in Lexington in late June. The brunch restaurant which operates other chains in the area will host a grand opening on June 27 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On the first day that Naw and Tar Htoo set up their food truck The Travel in early April they only got two customers, making them doubt their decision to pursue the venture. 
“I told my wife, ‘Oh my god, we might be in the wrong business.’ But we started praying and we put ourselves on social media,” said Tar, who cooks and owns the Asian cuisine food truck.
The couple, who met in Columbia after moving to the city separately from Thailand, decided to purchase a food truck in November of last year and officially started serving food out of it on April 1 of this year. 
The food truck has begun garnering attention through its participation of food truck events at spots like North Main’s coffee shop Curiosity Coffee Bar. 
The Travel is one of the few Asian food trucks in the area and owners hope they will soon be the only spot to serve authentic cuisine from Myanmar. Right now, they serve Asian food familiar to Americans like fried rice and spring rolls and also sells Boba teas, a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan. 
But the Htoos hope to expand to more traditional cuisine once they get a little more established in the area. 
“We didn’t know many Asian food trucks here. I’ve seen a couple but not that many. Especially for our language and our culture there is rarely food trucks (like that.)” said Naw, who moved to the United States over a decade ago. 
The Htoos got the idea for their food truck after making food for their friends and finding that people liked what they made. Tar, who’s worked in the restaurant industry in the past, works as the cook of the truck. 
The pair hope to eventually open a restaurant, but for now are happy to set up shop around various businesses and spots around Columbia. During a recent event at Curiosity, the food truck drew in over two dozen customers. 
An Asian fusion chain with locations in two other cities opened a restaurant in northeast Columbia June 8. 
Urban Wok, which brands itself as a “global fusion” spot, will join other chain spots like Starbucks and Salsaritas at 1033 Robert Branch Parkway, just off of Killian Road. 
“When we had people coming in, the number one word that they used was unique,” said company founder Mark Toth. “We’re very fast paced and very convenience driven and, you know, it gives you kind of a worldly perspective because you’re not playing in one sandbox, we’re not tied to one cuisine, we’ve got whatever the world has to offer.”
Toth started the chain in 2018 with the first store opening in St. Paul, Minnesota, after getting the idea from Amsterdam chain Wok to Walk during a visit to the country. He realized the create-your-own-stir-fry model would be popular in the United States and having a history in marketing and restaurants, decided to open his own restaurant. 
The chain is 100 percent cashless and uses kiosks for things like ordering food and drinks, so there aren’t wait staff or bartenders. They also use gluten-free ingredients and focus on ‘clean’ eating, Toth said.
In the fall, Toth said franchise owner Eshita Kothari will open a second location closer to the University of South Carolina’s campus. 
“We’re excited about being so close to a college campus and we’ll be opening one of our locations close to Lincoln Street in late fall,” Toth said, “We like the area … and we’re super excited to be here and connect and grow our franchise in the Southeast.”
The restaurant is at 1033 Robert Branch Parkway and is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. 
Food Writer
Hannah Wade is the food writer for the Free Times. Before joining Free Times, Hannah worked as a reporting and photojournalism intern with The Greenville News. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2021.


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