Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thomas Edition: Mountain State Brewing Company

Mtn State Collage

The original Mountain State Brewing Company is located in Thomas. I've been to the one in Morgantown many, many times. So I wanted to see what the original looked like.

Mountain State Brewing CompanyFrom the outside, I was a little confused. I had to like drive around the back, and an entrance wasn't totally clear. When Brittany and I walked in, the one guy sitting at the bar and the other working were dead silent. The TV was on mute. There was no music. It was painfully silent. I awkwardly sat at the bar and asked if they're serving food, and I was told no. Just beer on Sunday. Oh, ok.

Well, we're already here. So, I ordered a pumpkin beer - as I've already had the others on tap - and this one was new. Still, no one is talking. We clearly broke up the boys' club, and it was painfully obvious. The pub part of Mountain State must be more like a man cave, and we were violating the code.

The man working was watching some weird gory cartoons on his laptop, and would occasionally laugh and point at it. OK, time to finish this beer - which was a little too heavy for my tastebuds - and get out. We took turns chugging this, paid quickly and left. I'm sure they felt as relieved as we did.

So, it may be different when they're serving food. I hope. And it is cool that they are brewing the beer there. Luckily, I'm a fan of most of their other beers. The seasonal didn't quite do it for me. So, if it's pub only, I'll pass.

Grade: C
Mountain State Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Morgantown Eats Culinary Crawl

                    Chefs & Owners
     Multiple Eateries
About Local Food & Wine

Date: 12.6.14
Time: 3-7 p.m.

$35 Advanced
$40 Day of

 Over 1,600 Parking Spaces

This delicious walking tour provides sumptuous sips and tantalizing tastes from a dozen downtown restaurants.
On the tour:

The Bank

Black Bear

Cafe Bacchus

Iron Horse

Real Juice Bar

Tin 202

Vintage Room 
Samplings at The MAC:
Lebanese Bistro

Morgantown Brewing Company

Mountain State Brewing Company

Table 9 


                 CULINARY CRAWL

Tease your taste buds with delicious treats from old and new Morgantown on this tasty tour of downtown.  Start your afternoon by enjoying food, beer and wine samplings at the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC). Then stroll through the district sampling an exclusive menu of treats offered by local businesses on the tour.

Morgantown Eats is a project conceived by 20 students from the WVU Reed College of Media in partnership with Main Street MorgantownMorgantown Social NetworxMon Arts Center and Greater Morgantown CVB.
1,670 parking spots downtown. 
Wear comfortable shoes 
& bundle up!

All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to the Monongalia Arts Center.

Thomas Edition: The Purple Fiddle

Purple FiddleThe Purple Fiddle is one of those places that I would pay to have a location in Morgantown.

Purple FiddleIt's a cafe with great food, beer and music. It's comfortable, eclectic and full of character. There's a bar along the right side where they dish out ice cream, a main counter to the front where you can order and a stage off to the left.

Purple FiddleAlong the way, you can pick up bumper stickers, buttons or other momentos characteristic of West Virginia.

Purple FiddleOnce Brittany and I got to the front, we grabbed some menus and looked over our options. We ordered the Fiddle platter, which had hummus, feta, olive tapenade and pico de gallo with pita. Plus a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.

Purple FiddleThe platter was served in individual ramekins and was pretty good. I loved the feta and fresh pico. The hummus was tasty - though I tend to like mine a good bit more garlicky. And the tapenade was good, too. Most of my pita bites tended to have a thick slathering of each ingredient.

Purple FiddleThe cheesecake was super indulgent. Rich. Tasty.

Purple FiddleOh, and I also got a blueberry pop. I was going to get something different - something more local, maybe. But I had a hard time passing up this adorable little label.

It's Maine Root, and it's kind of a little bit of heaven.

First of all - have you ever had blueberry soda? If you have, you're already way ahead of the game - from me, at least.

I wish blueberry soda was a more common thing. Why isn't that a common flavor? It's delicious. Somebody, make this happen.

Or ship me some of these, that would work just fine too.


The Purple Fiddle is great, and I'm actually hoping to do a piece on them for Taste WV soon.  So, I will hopefully have more details about the history and background in the future. In the meantime, go go go if you haven't. Super cool vibe, good food and an awesome environment.

Purple Fiddle

Grade: A 
Purple Fiddle on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Davis Edition: Blackwater Brewing Company

Blackwater Brewing CompanyI'm doing a story on Blackwater Brewing Company for Taste WV Magazine, so I was lucky enough to try some of their beer and food while there. You'll have to check that out for their awesome story and plans for the future.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyThe restaurant features a handful of beers and a weekly rotating menu during the weekends.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyLet's start with the beer: They have some German-inspired beers due to the owner's brewing history. They have the Canaan Valley Kolsch, a 3200 Alt Bier, The Goldenrod Gold Ale, The Laurel Run EPA, and The Angus Macker Hardy County Sweet Oatmeal Stout. I had a taste of the Goldenrod Gold Ale and had to get a growlette of it to take back to Morgantown with me.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyIt's smooth and uses a local honey. How cool.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyOK - food. He literally serves food only Friday-Sunday and it changes weekly. As far as a theme, he tries to play on seasons, and there's usually a soup or stew. He had a beef carbonnade, which is a Belgian beef dish with cubes of beef in a rich broth incorporates the Belgian blonde ale as the base. Hot and flavorful. With a side of beer bread.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyThen there was a bratwurst that incorporated his Kolsch bier, served with homemade potato salad and sauerkraut. This potato salad was so delicious. It was warm and hearty. So loved it. The bratwurst was delicious and on a nice toasted bun.

Blackwater Brewing CompanyMy favorite, though, was this beautiful peperonata di patate soup, which had four types of peppers and potato. For one, it's beautiful. And two, it had this really deep, slightly spicy, slightly sweet soup with some potato for some substance. Just super good. Plus some nice buttered crostini.

Blackwater Brewing CompanySo, if you go during the week, get a really good beer. If you're there on a weekend, choose one of his meals (there are only a couple options), but I know it'll be worth it.

Grade: A
Blackwater Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 17, 2014

Morgantown Edition: Dos Bros Cantina

Dos Bros CollageThe Mediterranean Market went out of business, and a new Tex-Mex restaurant has replaced it: Dos Bros Cantina. They've been pretty active (and funny) on Twitter. When they opened, they sent out a tweet. A few days later, I visited with some coworkers.

Dos BrosThe outside has some wood panels, and the awning is no more. Inside, bright vibrant colors paint the chairs, the walls and the floor. We walked up to the counter but then someone seated us. Then we moved because my chair was wobbly and I'm a diva, apparently.

We were brought some chips and salsa. It was fine. I'll be honest when I say this isn't typically my most favorite type of food. I tend to gravitate toward sweets and creamy, rich sauces. Just personal taste. However, I try to judge it based on what it is. And the chips and salsa were just fine to me.

The menu seems to be evolving a bit. It is slightly different than the one they posted on the storefront, and when another friend visited, it looked slightly different from that. So here's the menu I ordered from, and I think it's mostly the same.

You have your burritos, combo meals, some house specials, appetizers and salads. I ordered off the lunch special menu: Lunch Special No. 8 - shredded beef enchilada, chicken enchilada and rice.

Dos BrosDos Bros

There were definitely some kinks in service, which is to be expected during soft openings. We waited quite a while and none of our orders were totally correct. I got two shredded beef tacos (instead of one with chicken), another coworker had the burrito meat and taco meat switched, another had a kind of beef and a kind of pork instead of beef and chicken. 

Dos Bros 2We had waited so long for our food, we didn't really have time for them to remake something else. We had to get back to work. So it was fine. I really liked my rice. That probably sounds like a lame thing to say - but I did. It was fresh tasting. When I've had it at other places in town, I feel like it's often turned to mush by the time I get it. Plus peppers and whatnot. It was good. 

My enchiladas were fine, too. Not totally what I was expecting - the tortilla was dried out and cracked. But honestly, the flavors were just fine. Kind of your run of the mill Tex-Mex. Nothing here that really stood out to me, but the food wasn't terrible either. 

Dos BrosA manager asked how our food was, and I was honest in that the orders were all sorts of mixed up. He apologized. I totally get it - new, busy, trying to figure things out. But I wanted to let him know, too. The owner came over and apologized and said they're disorganized right now but to bear with him. He was kind. He then took 10 percent off our bills. Our meal wasn't much to begin with - the lunch specials are very cheap. But we paid even less. 

I appreciated his concern and his gesture. That meant a lot. Seems like he's aware of where their weak points are, and he's working to fix them. If you're into Mexican food - and especially if you're downtown - give it a go. It seems on par with the others in town to me. I think they'll work out the kinks and be similar to the others around.

Grade: B
Dos Bros Cantina on Urbanspoon