Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mr. Delivery

Mr DeliveryThere are just some days where it's more than you can bear to leave the house. It might be rainy or you may have just had a long week. It's those days when delivery is your best friend.

For me, that tends to happen on Sundays. Fortunately, living in a college town, there are quite a few places that deliver. And, if restaurants don't have their own delivery drivers in-house, there is a service that provides that for them.

Mr DeliveryMr. Delivery is an online ordering and food delivery service located in 20 cities across the United States. Morgantown, West Virginia, just happens to be one of them. The company reached out to me recently to try their service so they provided me with a $25 credit to try anything my heart desired. 
We make ordering food simple, fun, and accessible via desktop or mobile devices. Our focus goes beyond food, partnering with local businesses, schools, groups, and restaurants, bringing our customers the best experience possible. With Mr. Delivery, you can save time, avoid stressful traffic and inclement weather, all while ordering from the comfort of your home or business. Now, "What will it be?"
Mr. Delivery features all sorts of restaurants - from Cold Stone Creamery and McDonalds to Black Bear Burritos and Lefty's. I don't think it's any secret I've fallen in love with Lefty's, so this was an easy decision for me - though it would be cool to also have delivery from Black Bear or McDonald's because that's kinda cool. 

Mr DeliverySo, I went the site, perused Lefty's menu and added a bunch of stuff to my cart: pizza, mozzarella sticks, a burboli and two drinks. The $25 credit applied only to food, so I ended up paying around $10 for tax, a processing fee, and tip. Lefty's delivery fee was waived, but that could be an additional expense to keep in mind. I placed my order and got a call a few minutes later from Mr. Delivery saying that Lefty's ran out of mozzarella sticks - bummer! But, we swapped it for buffalo chicken tenders, and they revised my total to reflect that - just about $1.50 more. Then, I simply waited.

Mr DeliveryIt's pretty cool to see the progress, so you know where your food is at all times. You enter it online, the folks at Mr. Delivery make the order, the restaurant prepares it, Mr. Delivery picks it up and brings it to you. Mine even came five minutes earlier than originally scheduled! 

Mr. Delivery is a great option, especially for those restaurants who may not deliver otherwise. It, and OrderUp, are the two delivery services offered in town, and if you haven't tried Mr. Delivery, you may just find your favorite restaurant there. 

Mr Delivery

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Toscano in Appalachia - DeFeo Family Vineyard & Winery

Toscano in AppalachiaOne of the best things about Parkersburg's Point Park Marketplace is that there is a winery shop right inside.

Toscano in AppalachiaToscano in Appalachia - DeFeo Family Vineyard & Winery has tastings available for their various wines: Liebfraumilch, Riesling, Gerwurztraminer, Ciao Bella, Vecchio Volpe, Vigna Antico, Cinque - plus their delicious sangria.

Toscano in AppalachiaBecause I can go for either whites or reds - as long as it's not too sweet or too dry - I sampled a little of everything. I actually loved just about every one I tried! There were a few additional that weren't reflected on that sign.

Toscano in AppalachiaOh, and that sangria - absolutely delicious! A must-try if you're shopping in the area.

Toscano in AppalachiaThe "Bianco Tedesco" ended up going home with me. It's a German white wine that I felt was perfectly balanced. What's your favorite?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Parkersburg Edition: Point Park Marketplace - Village Cakery

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryPoint Place Marketplace is a lovely market in Parkersburg that has made-to-order food, as well as vendors selling their wares and lots of cute trinkets.

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryVendors include: Toscano In Appalachia Winery, Maka Mia Pizza, Timely Brew Cafe #2, Whit's, Frozen Custard, Breads & Beyond Bakery, The Village Cakery, Q-Wagon BBQ (coming soon), and Ittle Bitty Merchantile.

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryThey were selling a bit of everything - from food and tupperware to clothes and souvenirs. They even had pottery and artwork.

Point Park Marketplace - Village Cakery

The Village Cakery is well known in the area, so I've been wanting to try it. 

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryI was there just in time to try a vanilla raspberry cupcake.

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryAnd it was good! Tons of sugary icing on top with just a little bit of raspberry in the middle. Pretty good.

Point Park Marketplace - Village CakeryWhat's your favorite part of Point Park Marketplace? What should I get next time?

Point Park Marketplace - Village Cakery

Point Park Marketplace - Village Cakery

Third Street Deli

Thursday, April 27, 2017

West Virginia Bites & Brews 2017

Bites & BrewsThe SPARK Imagination and Science Center hosted its second West Virginia Bites & Brews on Saturday, April 22.

Bites & Brews
The event, which brings together food trucks, breweries and coffee vendors, benefits Spark! Imagination and Science Center, a 501(c)(3) organization which inspires people of all ages to explore science and the arts through hands-on exhibits and programs that spark a lifelong love of learning. In addition to the food & drink, there was also music, raffles and silent auctions.

Bites & BrewsTickets were $40 for beer & food (but if you bought early in advance, it was jut $35), and you got a card that gave you samples for four food trucks, three desserts, two coffee stations, eight breweries and one meadery. Then, you took your mug and card around to try all the different places. If you want more than a sample, the food vendors had larger meals available for purchase. And, you could purchase a ticket for a full glass of beer or honey wine for $5. After trying everyone, you took your three chips and voted for best food, dessert and craft beer.


Bites & Brews
Pyles Of Pasta: Gorgonzola Fettuccine Alfredo with steak and balsamic glaze

Bites & Brews
Bar-B-Qed Beast: Smoked Brisket Slider with chipotle mustard butter and tobacco onion and Korean style BBQ Pork on top of Sticky Rice with a plum relish

Bites & Brews
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe: Signature Pasta - a bed of mixed lettuces with penne pasta and grilled chicken, tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, topped with tomatoes, feta, and fresh basil

Bites & Brews
Menas's Mobile Foods: Pepperoni rolls

That pasta dish from Pyles made me fall in love. It was the first thing we tried, and it remained my favorite throughout the event. I love the creamy, slightly tangy, with the balsamic glaze. I tried to go back an purchase a full size of this, but was denied because they were running out. I was, however, promised it will become part of their menu selections. The slider from Bar-B-Qed Beast was also very good, and it was a close second favorite.


Bites & Brews

Rosalind Candy Castle: Chocolate-covered pretzels

Bites & BrewsDaisyMoon Bakery: Tiramisu cream puffs

Bites & BrewsThe Cupcakerie: Assorted cupcakes

The chocolate covered pretzel won my heart because it was super smooth chocolate, salty pretzel and melt-in-your-mouth good. The Daisy Moon puff was good, and I've been wanting to try Daisy Moon for some time, so that was nice. And, I got to try a lemon shandy cupcake from The Cupcakerie, which was a new one so I was happy about that.

The Sip Station - I tried an iced french vanilla drink from here that was delicious.
Ridge Roasters - I tried a strong Colombian roast that would definitely wake you up!

Bites & BrewsBEER:
Screech Owl Brewing: Hoo's Your Daddy
Morgantown Brewing Company: Brookside Saison
Big Timber Brewing: Logger Lager
Brewstel: House GPA
Chestnut Brew Works, LLC: Smoke Hole Lager

Bites & BrewsAnd, I loved the Hip Hef (hefeweizen) from Parkersburg, and the Muddy Tow Path from Berkeley Springs was my second favorite. But, there were a good bit of new ones here that I hadn't tried before, so that was really exciting.

Bites & BrewsBites & BrewsSo, I voted for Pyles, Roaslind & Parkersburg. And the winners were (drum rolls please)...

Bites & BrewsWINNERS:
Food Truck - Pyles Of Pasta
Dessert - DaisyMoon Bakery
Craft Beer - Parkersburg Brewing Co.

Bites & Brews

Bites & Brews

Bites & Brews

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Morgantown Edition: Pho Hung

Sher - Pho Hung

ATTENTION: Morgantown now has a pho restaurant. "It's about time," you and I both collectively sigh in relief.

Sher - Pho HungThe Vietnamese noodle soup craze has swept the country for the past few years, and Morgantown is finally joining in.

Pho Hung
Pho Hung opened on Saturday in Westover. Located in the plaza with Big Lots, there's plenty of parking, it's easy to find, and it's not too crowded. The actual restaurant has fewer than a dozen tables, so it's fairly small.

Pho HungSo, I had actually tried to come on Saturday when they opened, but we were turned away because they ran out of food. So, we came back on Sunday and initially were turned away at noon because they said they needed more time to prep, but then we were waved back in. So, finally! Got to try it!

Pho HungThe menu has spring rolls, satay, pho, entrees, bun, some vegetarian dishes, a couple Thai dishes and kids meals. It's a fairly small menu with all the basics:

Sher - Pho HungPho is a noodle soup; bun is the same noodles from the soup but atop greens and with a meat; "com" is a rice plate + whatever meat it comes with; and Vietnamese Iced coffee is darker and thicker than most American coffee but sweetened condensed milk is pour over.

Pho Hung
Arguably the most popular Vietnamese dish in Houston, pho -- or rice noodle soup -- is a relatively new dish by Viet standards. Believe it or not, this very Vietnamese dish has Chinese and French roots: Chinese influence in northern Vietnam brought rice noodle and the signature pho spices such as anise, ginger and cinnamon, while French occupation of what was then called "Indochina" encouraged the consumption of beef. Pho is made by boiling animal bones down into a rich stock, then adding in rice noodles, spices, meat and vegetables. Although most pho has a beef base, pho ga (chicken pho) is gaining in popularity. A bowl of pho comes with garnishes and sauces that allow you to customize it to your taste. Typical garnishes include basil, lime, cilantro, jalapeƱos, crunchy bean sprouts, sweet hoisin sauce and spicy Sriracha. Popular combinations like pho bo vienadd spongy beef meatballs to the soup. Pho tai adds thinly sliced rare steak which cooks in the broth and pho nam adds slices of brisket (Source).
Pho HungWe ordered a few different appetizers so we could try a little of everything.

Sher - Pho HungFresh Spring Rolls - fresh rice paper rolls wrapped with shrimp, lettuce, basil and vermicelli. Served with peanut sauce. These were really good. They're light, fresh and simple. The peanut sauce on the side is a little sweet and just delicious.

Sher - Pho HungFried egg rolls - minced veggie with noodles in a rice wrapped & lightly fried to a golden crisp. Served with fish sauce. These remind me of the eggrolls one of my coworkers brings in that I absolutely love. I definitely think there was pork in these, and they were absolutely delicious. Very nice and crisp with a lot of seasoning inside. The fish sauce on the side made it.

Sher - Pho HungBanh He - chive cake. The photo showed more of a dumpling, and these were more like fried saucers, but not bad. Not my favorite of the group, but a decent - and vegetarian - option.

Pho HungPho Tai Bo Vien - eye of round steak and meatball noodle soup. My pho came with the steak and meatballs. Usually the steak is put in rare and cooks in the broth. Mine was pretty much already done once it arrived, but that doesn't matter to me too much. I think the broth was good - flavorful and light. The meatballs and steak were tasty. I added some hoisin and some lime to make it perfect.

Sher - Pho HungSher got just the meatball one, which you can see above. Let me be clear, the serving size of this thing is huge. You could easily get two meals out of it (and, I did). The mix-ins came out a bit later. I'm a bit picky about my sprouts, but I definitely used up the lime.

Pho HungBesides the wonky service (they brought out the wrong dish and then Sher had to wait quite a while before they got the right one), the food is quite good. I am by no means an expert, but I really enjoyed each of the dishes. The pho has a great broth, and the meatballs/beef were delicious with just a touch of hoisin and sriracha. The egg rolls and spring rolls were both fantastic. I also love that this is something town has been lacking for quite some time, so it's really nice that if you're feeling a craving for a giant bowl of noodle soup, you can satisfy that easily in town - and at a pretty good place, at that.

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