Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deskins Candies

Deskins Candies

I stumbled across Deskins Candies quite a long time ago, actually, but I hadn't had a chance to write about it until now. I saw this variety candy tray in Kroger and noticed it is from Bluefield. How cool is that? And the candies are delicious. I love the peanut butter fudge!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Morgantown Edition: The Greene Turtle

The Greene TurtleThe Greene Turtle is a sports bar chain with an East Coast seafood vibe. Most of their locations are in Maryland, with a few in Delaware, Virginia, Washington DC, and New York. Morgantown's recently opened The Green Turtle is the first location in West Virginia.

The Greene TurtleThe menu features crab dip, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, crab cakes, tacos, seafood mac & cheese, ribs, fish and chips, steak, salads, soups and more. I'm thinking Applebees sports bar with a seafood slant. Lots of menu items so there's something to please everyone in your family, plus TVs at every table to make dad happy. Seriously, TVs everywhere. They also have a "mug club" where you can get a discount on draft beer and some other stuff that I don't know.

The Greene TurtleI ordered a pick two ($7.99) with a soup and half pizza: crab flatbread and Maryland crab soup. My dear friend Maggie loves this crab flatbread, so I wanted to try it. It's essentially a very thin crust with their crab dip on top, with a layer of cheese over top. It's very rich and creamy, but the crust provides a nice crisp. Not bad. The soup was decent. There were a few nice chunks of crab, and I liked the broth, too. The combo was good.

The Greene TurtleOverall, it was pretty average, I think. Plus a ton of loud TVs. Service could've used some work. And the cups, which have a green tint, were weird housing my water. I felt like there was algae. Small complaints, but whatever. This place is fine. If you're going to watch a game, yes, do it. If you want to actually hear the person on the other end of the table, maybe not so much. Anyway, times and places for all things.

The Green Turtle is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. It is located at 7100 Willie G. Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26501.

Grade: C
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lexington, KY Edition: Bourbon n' Toulouse

Bourbon n ToulousseAh, after a long first day of tasting bourbon (tough work, I tell ya), it was time for dinner back in Lexington! Bourbon n' Toulouse kept coming up in ranking after ranking after ranking - and it got the Brittany stamp of approval - so we ventured to this cajun and creole joint.

Bourbon n ToulousseIt's an eclectic group of diners - from businessmen to college kids. We ordered at the counter; I went with a 1/2 and 1/2 of chicken etouffee and black beans & caramelized corn. The chicken etouffee is their top seller, with its spicy roux base. The black beans and caramelized corn features red bell peppers in a light cream sauce and is vegetarian.

Bourbon n ToulousseAfter a short wait, they call our name at the counter and walk up to fetch our plastic plate overflowing with food. We took it back to a table that was surrounded with what looked like a mini version of the French Quarter - beads and artwork abound.

Bourbon n ToulousseThe chicken etouffee had a good, fairly mild flavor with a kick of heat. It is a different kind of cuisine than what I'm used to eating, but it was tasty. Not one I typically gravitate toward, but I appreciate it for what it is.The corn was a perfect balance because it was sightly sweet, so the two went together swimmingly.

Bourbon n ToulousseI enjoyed my meal, and before we left, I even got an "Ale 8," because I was told I absolutely must have one while in Kentucky. I actually didn't get a chance to drink it until a few days later (I kept it in the hotel refrigerator), but it wasn't bad. I'm not sure what to think of it. A mellower Mountain Dew, maybe? Like a diet or flat gingerale? Not bad, but considering I don't drink pop often, not something I'd go crazy about.

Grade: A
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kentucky Brewgrass Trail

Country BoyAfter we completed the Bourbon Trail, we went to the Visitors Center to pick up our free* (minus the cost of all those tours and bottles of bourbon to take home) T-shirt. While there, we were told about the Kentucky Brewgrass Trail, which works in a similar way - but with craft beer instead of bourbon. Visit all the Lexington area breweries, get stamps at each and get ANOTHER T-shirt.

Country BoyCountry BoyWe had two days left, and we had already planned on going to two of these places anyway ... so that's only six more ... and most are in the Lexington area. Vicki and I aren't the ones to turn down a challenge. Call it ambition or boozy, whichever word you prefer, and we completed this tour in about a day and a half.

Country BoyCountry Boy Brewing - the first time I heard of this one was at the Rails & Ales Festival in Huntington. I've bought some of their beers whenever I've had the chance, so I was excited to visit their actual location. Country Boy has some very tasty beers. I especially liked their jalapeno porter. You could just smell the jalapeno. Very good. A little not-super-welcoming environment, but Vicki won everyone over by the time we had to leave.
Ethereal BrewingEthereal Brewing

UntitledEthereal Brewing - This place has the coolest layout. We drove around what seemed like a sort of abandoned warehouse district, only to walk up to the behind of a building and have it totally open up to this indoor/outdoor space where they served very tasty beer. The Ethereal Anomaly Saison was a tasty one.

West Sixth BrewingWest Sixth BrewingWest Sixth Brewing
West Sixth BrewingWest Sixth Brewing - I think this was my favorite of the breweries! The interior was so cool, I liked ALL the beers, and the vibe was just way cool. One really cool thing is that they do an experimental brew each Thursday, and this week's was a double IPA with orange, thyme and ginger. Very tasty.

Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company - We already talked about this one over during the bourbon trail (it's on both tours). This place is a "brewstillery" - so they have beer AND bourbon. We got four chips to start with and could choose what we wanted to drink - whether that's liquor or beer. I did a mixture of the two. I liked both their Kentucky Ale and the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout (which is beer made from the bourbon barrels). Yum!

ChaseChase Brewing Company - This was the most disappointing of the bunch. First of all, their hours are wrong on their website. Then, when we do go back, they don't actually have any of their own beer. I ended up ordering a CiderBoys cider.

Beer Engine
Beer EngineBeer EngineBeer EngineBeer Engine - Beer Engine was a good bit more south - about an hour south in Danville. But we took the treck down, and I'm so happy we did! I liked their Sauerbock. Plus we ordered some of their beer cheese - which was a little spicy and thicker. Housemade. Literally - he was making it as we walked in. It was delicious.


RoosterRoosterRooster Brew - Then we went all the way up north. We were welcomed as soon as we walked in the door. I gravitated toward the "Quiche My Ass." It was tasty and has a sassy name. Not much better than that.

Blue Stallion

Blue StallionBlue StallionBlue Stallion Brewing Company - This was our final one, and I was pretty tired by the end of the day. When we arrived, it was getting late, and it was so loud. We saddled up to the bar - and by that, I mean I had to literally jump up on the stool and the bar was up to my chest. Tallest bar ever. This one probably had my least favorite beers - but that was also probably a combination of being full and exhausted.

Blue StallionThe Brewgrass Trail was a lot of fun, and because it was all so local, we were able to knock it out pretty quickly. It doesn't take as much planning, because you can go in whenever you want and leave whenever you want. No hourlong tours. Plus, I know a bit more about beer than I do bourbon.

But, mostly, it was fun to have all three girls together for this whole tour. We were able to talk about what we like, sample a little bit of everything and see what each other also liked.

Plus, it was just a really nice way to end our visit in Kentucky. Between learning about bourbon and trying some of their craft breweries, I learned a lot. And I learned a lot about what I personally like. Kudos, Kentucky. Kudos.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Busy Beaver Farm & Greenhouse

Busy Beaver FarmBusy Beaver Farm & Greenhouse is a newcomer to the Morgantown Farmers Market. And they had so many goodies! Lots of cookies, cakes, candy, banana bread and, mmmm, peanut butter fudge.

Busy Beaver FarmI couldn't help myself! This peanut butter fudge is addicting! I can't wait to see what else they have in markets to come!

Busy Beaver Farm

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lexington, KY Edition: National Provisions

National ProvisionsNational Provisions is SO cool.
National ProvisionsNational Provisions

It's a local grocery, with items like mushrooms, pomegranates and other produce. It also is a lunch spot. It is also a quick prepared small salad, meal shop. It also has an olive bar. There is also a beer hall. There is also meat and cheese. Oh, and desserts. Absolutely amazing.

National Provisions

National Provisions

National Provisions

National Provisions

National Provisions

National Provisions

National Provisions

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lexington, KY Edition: Stella's Kentucky Deli

Stella'sOur last dinner in Kentucky was at Stella's Kentucky Deli. We (barely) finagled our way around the outside to the very back table and proceeded to order everything on the menu.

Stella'sFirst, tomato and artichoke soup. Good. Thin and a little lumpy - not creamy - but good.

Stella'sSecond, the spinach and artichoke dip. This was far less on the cream cheese side and much heavier on the artichoke side. You can actually taste artichokes in every bite. Plus those toast points. Mm.

Stella'sThird, local sausage bites. The Stone Cross farm sausages were served with a beer mustard that was quite tasty.

Stella'sFourth, hot brown. The open-faced turkey, bacon and tomato sandwich with mornay sauce was served with mashed potatoes. The famous hot brown (though in Lexington, not Louisville) is well-known in these parts. It's this salty combo of deli meat, bacon and the tomato cuts the saltiness just a bit. The sauce is delicious - the bechamel with cheese.

Stella'sFifth, Mary Porter Pie. This is their house dessert, and as the story goes, it was created inadvertently when two pages of the cookbook stuck together. So, Mary created the first part of one pie and the last part of another, creating the ganache, almond, cheesecake, toffee and chocolate pie. This was good, but I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, which kind of dominated the flavor.

Stella'sSixth, Chess Pie. I hadn't ever heard of chess pie, and our server described it as a "slice of Paula Dean's soul." That made us giggle. She said it's essentially like a sugar cookie condensed. I still didn't get it, so we ordered it, too. Chess Pie is super sweet and amazing. It's pretty basic - flour, butter, sugar and eggs - heavy on the sugar. Whatever it was, it was amazing.

Overall, a good way to end our lovely dinners in Lexington.

Grade: B
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