Tuesday, December 11, 2012

China Kitchen

UntitledChina Kitchen is located in the Cheat Lake area in a plaza with a gym, a pizza place, and a few other odds and ends. If you didn't live in that area or were specifically seeking it out, you might not know it ever existed.

It seems as though they cater to the takeout crowd, as there are only a couple tables inside. It could use a nice scrubbing inside.

UntitledThey have the typical menu board with photos of select items - General Tso's, Sweet and Sour chicken, Chicken and Broccoli, the usuals. We happened to be here around lunch time, so flipped a paper menu over to see their options. $5 for their general tso's, with white rice. Also ordered a side of cheese wontons, $4, and a pop. I ended up paying around $10.

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UntitledOur cheese wontons came out on paper plates, steaming hot. After a few minutes, the guy working brought out some sauce. A few minutes later he brought out my friend's entree. Then a few minutes later, he brought out mine. It was a little awkward and disjointed with the timing here.

UntitledThe cheese wontons, while having lots of wrapper, also have lots of filling. I broke off much of the top part and ate the pocket full of cream cheese. Tasty, too. The sweet and sour sauce was a little odd in that it hardened, or congealed, quite quickly. After a minute or so, I actually had to break the topping through to get to the liquid part - eh, no thanks. Turn off.

UntitledThe general tso's sauce was good, but it had that low-quality, stringy meat that I can't stand. If it's steaming hot, it's pretty good. You can focus on the taste of the slightly spicy, but sweet sauce. As it gets cooler, it 's hard to ignore the texture of the chicken - instead of white, striated meat, it is processed, stringy, darker pieces. Not my cup of tea. Also, I wish there was some more broccoli.

It was also pretty smokey in here, so when we left, we smelled of hot oil and grease. If it's the only place in town, I can understand this being your go-to. But I'd prefer other places over this.

Grade: C
UntitledChina Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Mt. Morris, PA Edition: Rising Creek Bakery

UntitledUntitledMt. Morris is right across the state line into Pennsylvania and is home to Rising Creek Bakery, a sweet, hidden treasure in the town. Known for their salt-rising bread, the bakery ships it all over the United States. You can even get a shirt or bumper sticker proclaiming your love for the bread. They have other kinds, baked on different days, as well as a breakfast menu, lunch menu, and pastries on pastries on pastries...

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UntitledUntitledUntitledThe shop is a little off the main route and overlooks a creek, so I suggest you Google it to get the specific location because I kept that photo on my phone, and it got me right there. We walked in and fell instantly in love with the traditional charm and modern flare. Along the wall was a long bench with pillows and chairs on the opposite side. Cases were full of pies, pastries and desserts. A chalkboard menu hung above the counter, and I took a few minutes to digest the options.

Mostly, it looked as though they had some typical sandwiches: turkey, BLT, grilled cheese. But I saw they had quiche, so that was something different - turkey and caramelized onion. I also got a side salad with their balsamic vinaigrette, as well as a coke.
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The quiche was pretty tasty; I would've liked an even bigger piece, but it was great. It definitely had more of an egg-y taste than ones I've had in the past. It was a great flavor combo - like breakfast flavors. Even more cheese would've made it over the top.

UntitledUntitledUntitledThe house salad was surprisingly stacked with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers - much more than your typical house salad. The balsamic was tasty, too. While eating, I was trying to figure out how much more I was going to spend here - I definitely needed a loaf of the salt-rising bread. But before I could say much more, the sweet woman working the counter asked if it was our first time visiting, which it was, and she asked if we knew about salt-rising bread. She came over to our table to try to explain that "old folks" know about the tradition. She brought us over some slices of toast so we could try it. Quite tasty!! I think it was around $8.50 for the quiche and salad, so not a ton of food, and I was still a little hungry.

UntitledUntitledI browsed the case to select some goodies - banana bread with walnuts and a brownie were headed home with me. The banana bread was phenomenal - I think they added some coconut, but it wasn't a prominent flavor. I'm not huge on coconut, but I was huge on this bread. The brownie, though huge and looking milk-chocolatey, was more bittersweet. So much so that I didn't finish it. I like my sweets sweet.

UntitledUntitledOverall, it's a really nice little place, just outside of town, with some delicious fresh food. Check out their Facebook. The bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Grade: B
Rising Creek Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Late Night: Hotdog Man & Morgantown Tacos

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UntitledUntitled While a large city with a vibrant nightlife may don dozens of late-night food services for the club-goers, Morgantown does so on a smaller scale. Two options: Hotdogs and Morgantown Tacos.

The Hotdog Man has been a staple downtown forever (here). Though, honestly, I didn't know about it until more recently. He goes out onto High Street at midnight, and this guy can make a hotdog in about a half-second. $2 with any toppings you want, and you're good to go. There's another hotdog vendor, Byrdman, who does the same, but hasn't been around quite as long.


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UntitledUntitledAnd then there's the more recent Morgan- town Tacos, who sits outside of Joe Mama's starting at 11 p.m. Check their Twitter because I won a free taco recently!





UntitledBottom-line is that it's made for the drunk college crowd. But, hey, it's probably something you should try before you leave town (holla December grads!)

Morgantown Taco Truck on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dining on I-79, US-19

I drive down the middle of the state a good bit. So, I see a ton of places along I-79 and US-19 that I want to try. Sometimes Chris and I make the drive together, so I'll start crossing some of these off my list soon. Hopefully.

Kirkwood Winery
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The Waffle Hut
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Dirty Ernie's Rib Pit
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Oasis Diner (It's too creepy to not check out)
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Tamarack! I haven't eaten here!
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DJ's 50's & 60's Diner
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79'er Restaurant
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Grandma Jean's Country Kitchen

UntitledUntitledWith the closure of Sam & Betty's, Morgantown is pretty devoid of homestyle diners (besides Ruby & Ketchy's in Cheat Lake). However, I just heard about Grandma Jean's Country Kitchen right over in Westover along Dunkard Avenue. After doing some preliminary research, I saw some people are big fans.

Though there aren't many restaurants in that area, you could miss Grandma Jean's if you weren't looking for it. It's a small red building displaying a huge American flag. When you walk inside, a loud bell announces your entrance, so look natural. It's really small inside, but only a few tables were taken up while we were there.

UntitledWe picked a bigger table to the left and sat down. There are cute tablecloths on the tables, and you're served on actual dishware - not fancy plates - just like grandma's. I noticed how tilted the floor is - I was actually sliding toward the front of my seat. One menu was on the table that my friend and I shared.

The problem with the menu is that it's old apparently, and most of the stuff on there they don't serve or are out of. So, best option is to go off the markerboard on the wall of their specials. I quickly scanned and determined the meatloaf would be a good option. Plus mashed potatoes and potato salad.

UntitledUntitledThe food came out pretty quickly. My meatloaf and potatoes were covered in gravy - I usually prefer a more tomato-based sauce than a gravy just because that's what I grew up eating. I think it could've used some more seasoning, but it was still good. I like a heavy hand with the garlic, and breadcrumbs and bread pieces, etc. Ketchup solved that. The mashed potatoes creamy and thick, and the potato salad was mustardy, but added a nice cool and tangy element to the dish.

UntitledUntitledThe board said their pies are all homemade, so I couldn't resist. One apple, please. It was glorious. Huge, cinnamon-covered pieces of apple in a soft, pillowy crust. If it was warm and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it couldn't be beat.

If you check it out, make sure you have cash, and pay attention to the hours. (304) 685-4496

UntitledMonday – Friday
7 a.m. – 11 a.m. breakfast
11a.m. – 4 p.m. lunch

Saturday – all day breakfast!
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Grade: B
Grandma Jean's Country Kitchen on Urbanspoon