Friday, March 25, 2011

Charleston Edition: Inta Juice & Bluegrass Kitchen

Chris Slater and I decided to make a day trip to Charleston, WV, to see good friend Brittany Erskine's workplace (The Associated Press) and catch up with Steven Adams.

Inta Juice
We all met up at Inta Juice, a franchise created by Randy Moss, that features yummy smoothies. The smoothie bar has various categories, including citrus and berry. The variety is a bit overwhelming, as I took a few minutes to decide how to decipher the menu. Once I figured out where the less healthy (more yummy) smoothies are, I opted for the Fruit Flirtation, a customer favorite. It included a mixture of berries and banana. It was quite tasty, refreshing, but definitely sweet. I could have chosen a less sweet one, but I was very happy with the texture and taste. I had a regular size cup, and it was more than enough. It was a very warm day in Charleston, and the smoothie provided perfect company for the rest of our activities. Chris had a less sugary lemonade-type smoothie; Brittany opted for a healthy one, as well as a shot of wheat grass.

Grade: B 
INTA Juice on Urbanspoon



Bluegrass Kitchen
For dinner, Brittany suggested Charleston favorite Bluegrass Kitchen. This restaurant boasts "eclectic comfort food" with natural ingredients grown and raised in West Virginia. Local artwork is featured on the walls, and the modern comfort food brings about a very hipster scene. The menu wasn't expansive by any means, but the options were quite interesting.

While waiting for Brittany to arrive, we ordered a beer cheese and bread appetizer. The focaccia bread was moist, and the beer cheese robust and flavorful. The blend of cheeses made a oozey, melty mouthful of heaven. For my main meal, I ordered "the perfect chicken" sandwich, which included a roasted chicken breast with bacon, sun-dried tomato mayo, and Swiss cheese grilled inside out on ciabatta bread with greens and a tomato. Fries on the side. When our main entrees came out, I was slightly confused, as the top part of my sandwich was upside down. I guess that was the "inside out" part. Anyway, the sandwich was tasty, as one would expect, but I was slightly disappointed that it was a little dry. With that much chicken, it's necessary to have a substantial amount of dressing/mayo/etc. so it doesn't feel like you're chewing on a piece of rawhide. Regardless, you can't go wrong with a chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato. I just wish the mayo was more prominent because what I did have of the mayo/pesto combo was delicious. However, all the ingredients that were in the sandwich were crisp and fresh. No soggy tomatoes or wilted lettuce here.

Finally, for dessert, I had a blueberry cheesecake. In a very cream-cheesy, New York-style, it was tasty, but the presentation was seriously lacking. It was crumbling apart, but the waitress said the reason was because it was the best looking piece. I was put off a little bit because of the sloppy appearance, but the flavor was still good - about average for cheesecake.

Grade: B
Bluegrass Kitchen on Urbanspoon