Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maxwell's

Maxwell's is one of those restaurants you must try when you are in Morgantown. It's off the grid, and it serves different food from most Morgantown offerings. Technically located at 1 Wall Street in Morgantown, this restaurant is little more than a hole in the wall. Most locals will refer to its location as in the alley beside the gay club - Vice Versa. Hopefully that doesn't deter you, because Maxwell's is a local favorite, and it's a place to take for a spin.


Because it is located on High Street, walking distance is preferred unless you know of a parking spot near the area. My coworkers and I were so lucky, as it is summer and students are mostly away, so we gave this place a try. Walking along High Street, you'll see the chalkboard menu before you see the restaurant. Turn beside the club Karma, and begin to walk down that alley. Soon enough, "Maxwell's" will jump out at you. You go down a few stairs and open a door that you're not sure if you should open. As soon as you do, you see a small dining area open up with restaurant-goers staring at the newcomers. If you don't know to just take a seat on your own, the cooks will yell to you to do so.


The dive is definitely devoted to vegetarians and vegans, in both terms of the menu and atmosphere. The dining area is eclectic with some wood paneling and some other decorations. We sat at a table, and a waitress came over shortly thereafter to take our drink orders. I just ordered a water, as their portions for juice are extremely small and aren't included in refills. The menus are tattered brochures that have gotten some heavy use. Inside the pages, many healthy and veghead dishes await. They even have little checkmarks (greencheck) beside the dishes that are good for vegetarians.

After sorting through the menu, I decided to get a spinach melt and a salad. I couldn't find regular sides, so I just opted for a salad. When I said house salad, she asked if I wanted a dinner salad, so it's basically the same thing. The salad came out first and didn't exactly wow. On the menu, it said the dressings were made in-house, so I wanted to try it. The salad came with lettuce, carrots, one cucumber slice, three slices of onion and the side of dressing: French.The French wasn't a smooth, creamy type. It was more acidic and reminded me of a balsamic vinaigrette instead. It didn't stop me from eating the salad, though I wish there was a little more to it.

My spinach melt came out next - grilled mushrooms and fresh spinach with Swiss cheese and tomato on whole wheat bread. On the side was their homemade creamy cucumber dressing. The price tag for the sandwich was $8.25. The sandwich wasn't bad, and the dressing went well with the whole wheat bread. But, it's nothing to write home about. If you're a vegetarian, this might be the next best thing to a hamburger, but I wouldn't know. I like all the ingredients, I just wasn't wowed. They were all fresh and went together okay. But when it comes down to it, it's mushrooms, cheese and fresh spinach. If the spinach was cooked, I may have been a bigger fan, but it wasn't bad. I also had a side of chips, so the crunchy with the soft was a nice balance.

This restaurant has a reputation for being fantastic and a Morgantown staple. Which, it is. The menu is eclectic, and just about everybody can find something. It really caters to that crowd, and the ingredients are exceptional. I've never had a meal I didn't like, but it's usually not the first place I'd choose either.


Grade: B
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