Author Archives: Susan

Definitely Not a Smoke-Free Zone: Barnyard BBQ

Ashley says…

 

A few months ago driving through Teays Valley on a Friday evening just hoping something different would jump out at us for dinner, my husband and I discovered this little gem.  Nestled  in a small building on Hospital Drive just off of Rt. 34, you really wouldn’t notice this place if not for the huge smoker out front and with the smoke rolling out of it.  Then there’s the smell. ..I love the smell of dead animal cooking on a wood fire.  Barnyard smokes all the meat right there in the front of the building.

We walked in to a surprisingly-crowded place with the décor to match its name.  Rough wood floors and walls are throughout making it appear barn-like.  We were seated immediately in the main dining area at the only empty table left.  Barnyard BBQ has a bar in the main dining room with a couple of TVs and sells a large selection of beers, but no other alcohol. 

We ordered the fried pickles for an appetizer.  Unlike Susan, I love pickles,  all shapes, sizes and flavors.  Barnyard makes theirs from scratch.  They were very good. 

One of that night’s specials was fried chicken livers, cooked to order, with two sides.  My husband ordered them because he is a sucker for liver. Blech!!!  I’m like Fonzie when it comes to liver.  (Anyone remember that about him on Happy Days?)   I’m here for barbeque so bring on the meat!  I ordered the combo plate with pulled pork, pulled beef brisket and smoked chicken.  I chose onion rings and sautéed green beans as my sides.  All meals also come with a corn fritter. 

Portions are huge.  I got a good amount of the pork and beef and  ¼ (leg and thigh) of a chicken.  The pork and beef had some of Barnyard’s homemade BBQ sauce drizzled over them.  All three meats had a great smoky flavor, were very tender and very good.  On the table were three sauces, all made in-house, sweet tangy heat Memphis-style, vinegar-based North Carolina-style and a mustard-based sauce.  I love NC-style sauce so I used some of it combined with the Memphis-style.  Yum!  My onion rings were the frozen kind, but still good, and the green beans weren’t your typical southern style beans.  They were sautéed and flavored nicely.  Husband liked his chicken livers, mashed potatoes and green beans.

I recently had a craving for BBQ so we made a second visit.  This time I got the two-meat combo of pulled pork and beef with cole slaw, macaroni and cheese and a fritter.   One thing to note also is that all of Barnyards sides are homemade except for the onion rings and French fries.  Other sides include red skin potato salad, macaroni salad and baked beans.  This time Husband ordered ½ rack of baby back ribs with baked beans and potato salad.

My pork and beef were just as good as the first time and the mac and cheese was to die for.  The cole slaw, however, wasn’t so much.  It was super finely shredded, too watery and without much flavor.  The ½ rack of ribs was a good size and very meaty.  The smoky flavor was really evident too, which I love.  I also tried the beans and potato salad.  Both were really good.  I don’t even like potato salad, but I would consider ordering it here. 

This time, against my full belly’s recommendation to pass, we ordered dessert.  Desserts are also homemade.  On our first visit we heard other diners talk about how good the bread pudding was, but they were out of it that night so we didn’t get an opportunity to try it. This time we were in luck.  “WOW!” is all I can say about it.   It was warm and gooey and tasted like a cinnamon roll right out of the oven.  Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert was heavenly.

Barnyard BBQ opened as a full-service restaurant late last year.  They’d done only catering before and now do both.  It is the only place of its kind in the area that I know of since Smokey’s and Smokey Bones closed.   It ranks right up there with all the other BBQ joints I’ve tried here and in other states.  I give it FOUR FORKS.

Barnyard BBQ
1101 Hospital Drive
Teays Valley, WV 25526
Tel: (304) 964-3322
Barnyard BBQ on Urbanspoon

Teays Valley New Edition – Fireside Grill

Ashley says…

It’s about time a new “sit-down” restaurant finally opened in Teays Valley.  Located in the building that used to house Uno’s, the Fireside Grill began operations in February.  Our first and only visit so far was a few days after the opening on a Tuesday evening around 5:30.  I was surprised by the crowd of people on the host’s list waiting 20 minutes or more for a table.  A member of our party had gotten there a little early and got the waiting out of the way for the rest of us. 

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Gourmet Pizza With Some Elbow Room – Pies and Pints

 Susan says…

I have heard a lot about the Fayetteville incarnation of Pies & Pints but since girls who can’t swim shouldn’t be whitewater rafting, I never had an occasion to sample their fare.  All the comments I heard were positive so I was excited to try the Charleston location.  Crowds and busy schedules delayed the experience but a birthday celebration with my two BFFs finally got me there. 

Here’s a sampling of the banter at our table:

Server: Can I start you ladies off with a beer or cocktail tonight?  We are featuring blah blah blah on tap.

Friend #1:  I’m pregnant so I’ll have water.

Server:  Congratulations!  Would you like lemon with that?

Friend #1: No thank you.

Me:  I’m not pregnant so I’ll have a Michelob Ultra.  And you can congratulate me for that.

Server:  Congratulations!  (laughter all around at my funny joke)

There were several mouth-watering menu items that caught my eye but I kept going back to the Thai Pie – shrimp, curry, toasted coconut, and basil.  I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff.  My friends ordered the eggplant pizza and the plain ol’ pepperoni.  Our server was friendly, funny and kind enough to suggest we order a large and do the “half and half” for two of our choices which would result in a bigger pizza for less dough.  So we did.  The 10” small pizzas are still too large for me to eat at one sitting (heck, who am I kidding?  I could eat it all at one sitting, I just shouldn’t!) and are priced around $12.  The 16” large pizzas yield 8 large slices for around $22. 

One friend ordered the small spinach salad for $7 which was definitely large enough to share.  The ingredients appeared to be very fresh and the add-ons were plentiful.  Pies & Pints also offers appetizers, sandwiches and a nice beer selection.

My pizza was De. Lish. Us.  The crust was fabulous – on the thin side and crispy.  The shrimp had a great flavor and the mild curry and coconut notes came through nicely.  I ate two slices at the restaurant and took two home with me which, paired with a salad, was enough for two meals.  Reportedly, the eggplant and roasted red pepper pie was also delicious but I didn’t put on a pouty face to try to snag a bite.  The texture of eggplant is a turn-off to me.

We ended the meal with house-made tiramisu for $4.50.  It was made in individual serving dishes and was a nice portion size for the price.  It was good, but the texture was a bit grainy.  Honestly, I like Olive Garden’s better even though I know they probably get that from US Foodservice.  It’s not a problem for me, though…I’ll just fill up more on that delicious pizza!

I’m gonna do that thing that some of you may not like: I’m gonna compare.  I just can’t help it.  I felt the creativity of the pizzas at Pies & Pints was comparable to that at Lola’s but the menu was more extensive.  Lola’s cramped quarters could be labeled “intimate” but I felt a crowded and was very aware of the conversations around me.  I really enjoyed the extra elbow room at Pies & Pints.  Pricewise, they are about the same.  I liked the crust at Pies & Pints better – it was thinner and didn’t have the cornmeal dusting.

In the future I’d like to try the Grape Pie (grapes, gorgonzola and rosemary), the Black Bean Pie (black beans, jalapeno, salsa, and cilantro) and the Mozzarella Caprese Pie (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil & balsamic reduction). 

Everything about this experience was positive and I highly recommend Pies & Pints.  In fact, I tried to go there for lunch today but there was a 20 minute wait.  Shucks!  FOUR FORKS

Pies & Pints on Urbanspoon

Nominate Your Favorite

Susan says…

Surf on over to wvfarm2u.org and nominate your favorite West Virginia eatery for the 101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia. 

Simply click on the icon right under the website header.

Big Taste at Little India

Susan says…

An Indian restaurant within walking distance of my workplace is a dream come true.  We tried it out the first couple weeks they were open.

Little India is located in the old firehouse location on Washington Street near the Capitol where at least 138 different eateries have called home.  The exterior was spiffed up and adorned with a new sign.  More significant changes were made inside: new booths and tables and new lighting updated the space and made dining more comfortable.  A change I wish they had made is to get rid of that awful ramp from the back seating area to the buffet area.  I feel like I am going to fall over head first when I walk down that ramp in my high-heeled shoes.   If it weren’t for the handrail, I don’t think I could sit in that section.

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Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe

photo from their website

Ashley says…

My husband and I were in Huntington on a non-home game Saturday afternoon recently looking for somewhere “different” to eat.  We don’t make it to downtown Huntington very often, so finding somewhere “different” shouldn’t be too difficult, right?  We struggled a little.  We didn’t want to go to one of the chains (Uno’s, Max & Irma’s or Five Guys’ Burgers and Fries) at Pullman Square and we weren’t in the mood for Asian, Italian or Mexican food (Thai House, Frankie B’s, also at  Pullman Square, or Chili Willi’s.)  It was between lunch and dinner hours and a couple of other places (Huntington Prime and another I can’t recall the name of) weren’t open yet.  So we decided on the Marshall Hall of Fame Café.  We’d eaten there a couple of times before, but it had been a few years.

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