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Bite of the Week: Bacon and Blues at Columbia's Cool Beans

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What: Bacon and Blues

Where: Cool Beans, 1217 College St., 803-779-4277,

Cost: $9

A lot has changed at the University of South Carolina in the past ten years. The Russell House, once a dark and dreary Student Union, now looks like a sprawling Apple Store. The campus itself has sprawled all the way to Colonial Life Arena, with new high-tech facilities scattered in-between.

But while the university keeps evolving, some things remain constant and true. Cool Beans has been just that, holding down the fort for students and professors for years with endless carafes of coffee, blissfully late hours of operation and some of the coziest tables in the city.

The menu at Cool Beans is far from rocket science. It’s sleek, simple and reliable for getting you what you need before your next class, task, job, etc. without trepidation.

The Bacon and Blues is one of the fanciest options on the menu, but still only has five ingredients: crispy bacon, crumbles of bleu cheese, fresh spinach and some sweet and fragrant blueberry and lavender jam from Sallie’s Greatest, layered between focaccia and panini- pressed until golden and toasty. While the bacon is still the star of this riff on a BLT, it’s the funkiness of the blue cheese and bright perfume of the jam that really gives this sandwich mileage.

The sandwich comes with your choice of side, a pickle, tea or coffee, and a mint. Fairly generous deal all things considered.

Today, there are more options for getting caffeinated than ever before in the city. While it’s great knowing that coffee culture has taken off, there’s something comforting about knowing that O.G. places like Cool Beans and Immaculate Consumption still have a place in local hearts.

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