Sunday, July 31, 2016

Morgantown Edition: The Clubhouse Grill at The Pines

Clubhouse GrilleThe Boston Beanery is no longer at the Pines Country Club. Rather, it moved to I-68 and is now called the Beanery American Grill, along with three other locations.
"The Boston Beanery has been a staple in north central West Virginia for more than 30 years. Now, the team that brought you The Boston Beanery is introducing several new dining experiences to the region. In early 2016, three former Boston Beanery locations became Beanery American Grill — a nostalgic blend of homecooking and all-American favorites. Or visit our former Tygart Lake Boston Beanery location which is now home to Apple Annie's, a favorite among locals."
Clubhouse GrilleI dunno, dude. Regardless, this is about the NEW restaurant that went in the previous location at the Pines: The Clubhouse Grill at the Pines.

Clubhouse GrilleYou DO NOT need to be a member to have a meal here, and there's plenty of parking right outside the restaurant. So, don't let that dissuade you.

I ordered a club sandwich here because it just felt right, y'know? And, I can get down with a good club sandwich. This one wasn't bad. I really think it needed some sort of sauce with all those cold cuts. If there was mayo, I didn't taste it. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of meat and bread. The sauce is key.

Clubhouse Grille
The fries are thicker than the Beanery's, but they have the same seasoning, which I love. Dipped in ranch dressing is a favorite.

Overall - not bad. Good fries. Decent sandwich.

Grade: C
Clubhouse Grill at the Pines Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Huntington Edition: Jewel City Seafood

Jewel City Seafood
Personally, I think Huntington is one of the greatest food cities in the state - what, with Backyard Pizza, Black Sheep Burritos & Brews and a bevy of drive-in restaurants, how could you not think so?

Jewel City SeafoodJewel City Seafood is one restaurant that consistently ranks fairly high amongst restaurant reviews in Huntington, and I finally had the chance to go while passing through on a trip south. I pulled up to the restaurant for an early lunch and walked inside. A few moments later, I was greeted and seated at a table.

Jewel City SeafoodThe tables are a bit odd - these tablecloths are way oversized and they're like a heavy vinyl. A bit gross and grimy on bare legs. That point was furthered when my water glass came out looking a little less than clean. Anyone who knows me knows this is a sticking point with me. I'll try just about any weird, off-the-wall food - as long as it's clean. I don't want germs.

Jewel City SeafoodSo, I ordered the 1/2 Whitefish Poboy with hushpuppies. I love a good fried fish sandwich. I have very fond memories of getting a large battered cod sandwich with my dad at Shop 'N Save (of all places) or the fire station on Fridays when I was young. Just give me a large piece of fried fish and all the tartar sauce (not relishy) on a soft bun, and I'm happy.

Jewel City SeafoodThis was almost there. The fish was lightly fried, so the bits of batter kept flaking off, along with the too-toasted bread, every time I picked it up. The fish itself was fine, but thin and not huge chunks of white flaky fish like I like. The hushpuppies were fine - but no dipping sauce. Honey butter please?

I recognize this will not live up to the nostalgia placed in my brain, and I also realize there are a thousand other options on this menu that I need to pursue. For now, this was OK. I just wanted it to be so much. I think you may get better at a fish fry during Lent.

Grade: B
Jewel City Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 29, 2016

Morgantown Edition: Apple Annie's Bakery

Apple Annie's - MorgantownApple Annie's in Point Marion, PA, has been drawing West Virginians keen on giant, toppling pieces of pie for years. And, now, Morgantown has its very own location.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownI have to admit, my last experience at Apple Annie's was not my favorite. I went for desserts, and when I asked what something was, the person behind the counter rolled his eyes and asked what was on top, and this exchange continued a few more times with various desserts (I wanted more detail as opposed to what was just on top), until I gave up and left. But, I wanted to keep an open mind with the Morgantown location, and the food has always been great - so, let's do it.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownApple Annie's - Morgantown
Apple Annie's Bakery opened on Don Knotts Boulevard across from the car dealership (near a former golf business). I went around the Fourth of July, when they were JUST opening, so no signage was complete, but they did have lots of red, white and blue decorations. And, there is an actual bakery here in the basement - it's not just a satellite location. It's a full-fledged bakery (no restaurant or real dining space, though).

Apple Annie's - Morgantown
Apple Annie's - MorgantownThey have cookies, brioche, muffins, scones, donuts and drinks. They also mentioned adding more in the coming weeks (so they may already have new stuff).

Apple Annie's - MorgantownI tried a few items: a blueberry muffin, a spinach and feta briolle and a lemon cupcake.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownThe blueberry muffin, which is one of my favorite muffins by the way, was good. I'm a fan of the crystallized sugar that gives it a bit more texture, but even though this lacked that, it was moist, filled with blueberries and tasty.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownThe briolle was fun because I don't think I've ever had a briolle before? The spinach and feta is one of my favorite combos, so this was a no-brainer. Savory and fabulous.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownThe cupcake was probably my least favorite of the bunch. The icing was super dense and kinda hard. But, the flavor of the cake itself was tasty.

Apple Annie's - MorgantownSo, overall, I love the idea of a new bakery in Morgantown. And, I'm a big fan of their muffins. I think the donuts and cupcakes lacked a bit for my personal preference. But, I'm excited to go back and continue to try their new offerings!

Grade: B
Apple Annie's Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Nashville, TN Edition: Flip Burger Boutique

Flip Burger Boutique
Richard Blais owns a burger joint in Nashville called Flip Burger Boutique.

Flip Burger BoutiqueBlais, a mainstay on Bravo's Top Chef, open the burger-focused restaurant with three locations in Atlanta, one in Birmingham, and the newest location in Nashville. Flip Burger Boutique is a modern restaurant - stark white and bright red in a futuristic format - that puts a modern spin on the classic burger.

Flip Burger BoutiqueSo, I went with the Butcher's Cut, which came with their signature black angus blend beef burger, emmi roth buttermilk bleu cheese, caramlized onions, soy truffle vinaigrette, frisee, pickled shallots and red wine jam. This was a pretty darn good burger. A little sour - but sweet with the jam. Good overall. A side of macaroni and cheese was good - nothing totally special but good.

Flip Burger BoutiqueAnd, I couldn't decide whether I wanted the nutella + burnt marshmallow or the turtle milkshake. Our waitress saw my indecisiveness and said that if we each got one, she could halve it out and we could get half of each. Definitely loved the turtle one; the nutella was a bit too chocolate overload for me.

Flip Burger is good. Is it great? I don't know. It doesn't help that I had a ton of great burgers in Nashville and that I was super full by the time I even got to dinner here. It was a good burger, and it had some great qualities. But overall, I think it was a solid B.

Grade: B
FLIP Burger Boutique Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nashville, TN Edition: Husk

Have you ever been to a restaurant that changes its menu every day? What about twice a day?


HuskHusk is one of those places I dream about. A beautiful, elegant building with brilliant lighting, exquisite decoration, and forward-thinking dishes all with the culinary vision of a genius.

HuskHusk Nashville is actually the second location of Sean Brock's restaurant - the first being in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2010, Brock won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Southeast Chef. He has also been nominated for Outstanding Chef and Rising Star Chef. Bon App├ętit Magazine named Husk (Charleston) the “Best New Restaurant in America” in 2011. He's kind of a big deal.

The restaurant is beautiful with lots of lighting, a walk to the table takes us through the kitchen, and an upscale comfort minus the snootiness permeates the dining space. "The design of the Husk’s interior spaces enhances the building’s roots while demonstrating a sense of Southern style, modernity, energy, and cosmopolitan flair," according to its website.

HuskOnce we were seated downstairs, we took a look over today's dinner menu. Yes, the menu changes from lunch to dinner that day. THAT's how fresh and seasonal they are. The menu is ingredient driven with a focus on heirloom products that emphasize Southern food.

HuskOur first bite came in the form of buttermilk rolls with sesame seeds, smoked bourbon sea salt and the most silky honey butter you've ever laid eyes on. Gahhh so good.

HuskFirst up was shrimp and grits for me. What appeared was this plate of foam with a black nugget in the middle. Shrimp foam and a confit egg took this classic Southern dish to the next level. Perfect variance of textures and flavors and this smokey deliciousness was just beyond.

HuskMy main dish was the Pit Roasted Springer Mountain Chicken, Jimmy Red Corn, Morels and Spring Greens. It was hard for me to pass up morels. And, while the chicken was chicken, that little assembly of gnocchi and greens and sweet and sour and crunch and creamy was the Like, in the top 5 things I've ever eaten in my entire life. I wish I knew all that was in it, but it hit every single texture and flavor in a combined harmony that just was perfection.

With a meal this good, how could I not get dessert?

HuskSo, I had never heard of a Pavolva before, so I went for it. Blueberry ice cream, lemon sable and thai long peppercorn combined to form this beautiful dollop of meringue, but inside:

HuskJust wow. It's beautiful, for one, and for two, it was sweet, but not overly sweet, and super refreshing. Ah, just, yes.

HuskAnd, when Brittany got up to use the restroom at one point, the server came over to her chair and folded her napkin and placed it back on the table. How lovely. AND, a manager came by to ask us how we were. When I mentioned I was visiting, and my friend was new to town, he personally gave us some recommendations for where to go. That is going above and beyond.

HuskService was great, the atmosphere was great, the food was phenomenal, we didn't even get a chance to try the drinks. But all that does come at a price. But, I would do it again and again. Absolutely amazing, and if you ever get the opportunity, GO.

Grade: A
Husk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nashville, TN Edition: Biscuit Love

Biscuit LoveQuintessential Nashville is made up of a few things: fruit tea, hot chicken and biscuits. Oh, the biscuits.

Biscuit LoveBiscuit Love specializes in that last one. And, it is very quintessential Nashville. So I had to go - much to Brittany's chagrin. Overrated, she scoffed. And ... she was maybe right.

Biscuit LoveBiscuit Love has the coolest little outdoor patio surrounded by buildings, and the interior is the standard run-of-the-mill hipster I've come to expect in Nashville (that's not a bad thing!). It's cute with mixed textures, fun art and modern.

Biscuit LoveWhile online reviews lament the long wait, we came at a good time because we were ushered right in. I ordered the Princess, which is a biscuit, Nashville-style spicy hot chicken, honey, mustard, and pickles.

Biscuit LoveSo, this sandwich was good. I had so much amazing hot chicken in Nashville, though, this hardly compared. The biscuit wasn't bad, but once I got some extra honey to temper the spice, this was a solid meal. Not bad by any means, but I've had both better biscuits and better hot chicken. But, this was a good place to get both at once.

Grade: B
Biscuit Love Brunch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, July 25, 2016

Nashville, TN Edition: Czann's Brewing Company

CzannsWell, a quick Google search for "best breweries in Nashville" led me to Czann's, which ended up being my favorite during my time in Nashville. Czann's tap room is small, with just a few chairs at the bar and another couple tables nearby. But, as soon as I walked in, I felt comfortable.

CzannsThere were two seats at the bar - which was perfect for us. They did have food available, but I was more set on getting a pint. They have a typical blond ale, pale ale, IPA, but then I saw the Dunkelweizen. Yes! Sign me up.

CzannsThis garnered the attention of the man seated to my left who operates a brewery tour business. Czann's, he said, was his favorite.

CzannsThe Dunkelweizen is "A dark wheat beer featuring caramel and munich malts from Germany, France, and Belgium. Brewed with German Hefeweizen yeast for the traditional banana and clove flavor, complimented by the underlying dark malt flavor."

CzannsThe beer was great. Great flavor, drinkable, a nice little malty flavor. But, beyond that, what I really loved was the sense of camaraderie. The owner was talking about the beers he brews, and all the patrons were talking about beer they like. I love learning from people who love what they do. And, this, was just that.

Grade: A
Czann's Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato