Monthly Archives: September 2014

Unique and Interesting… – Mountain Pie Company

Ashley says…

As I was about to embark on an eight-week nutrition challenge with other members of my gym, I decided there was no better time than now to load up on some not-so-diet-friendly grub, a last hoorah, if you will. A super strict paleo diet does not allow grains, sugar, alcohol or dairy products, so I needed to get my fill of those forbidden foods before the next eight weeks. Pizza was the first thing to come to mind. But I wasn’t feeling just your ordinary pizza with typical sauce, toppings and cheese; I was craving something different, unique and interesting.

It was a rare Saturday that my husband wasn’t working, so we slept in (all the way to 7:15, but after getting up before 5:00 am everyday, that is sleeping in.) We enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee and then had a late breakfast. We spent the afternoon with family so by 4:00 we were starving. I’d already established the diet blowout was going to go down, so off to Hurricane we went.

Mountain Pie Company (MPC) opened about four months ago with limited hours, and is still open just Wednesday through Saturday each week from 4:30 to 10:00 pm, midnight on Saturdays. I see the point of these limited hours for a small, new restaurant, but this place may want to rethink those limited hours once it gets cold. My first visit was probably in late May or early June. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long for a table that night, but the dining room filled up rather quickly after we were seated. This doesn’t prove to be too difficult since the dining room is very small; I mean tiny. MPC dining room

The landlord has since built an uncovered patio off the side of the dining room, which was a huge plus this summer and fall. Everyone I’ve spoken to said whenever they’ve gone and anytime I’ve driven by, it was packed and people were waiting outside for a table. Good for MPC!

This last visit Marshall and WVU both had noon home games that day. We arrived right at 4:30 and were the first customers that weren’t family of one of the owners. It was a warmish afternoon so we chose to sit on the patio. In a matter of minutes, all the patio tables were full of MU fans with a WVU fan sprinkled here and there.

MPC patio

We both ordered a beverage- MPC’s seasonal draft selection, Southern Tier Pumking, for him and a Woodchuck Amber bottle for me. MPC has a decent selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles. But what I forgot about was their housemade sangria until I saw a pitcher of it arrive at a nearby table. Since I was forking the place, I felt it was my duty to give it a try. Neither my husband nor I are big wine drinkers, but we both LOVED this sangria. My husband likened it to grape juice. I didn’t completely disagree, but I definitely tasted other flavors. Our twenty-something server was ever so helpful when asked what exactly was in it, “a blend of a few wines and fruit juice, but I’m not sure which ones.” (Thanks for that detailed explanation!) But she assured us they did make it in-house and that it was very popular. At $6/glass and as tasty as it was, the (rather large) pitcher at $19 seemed to be the better value.  20140913_165552

Enough about the drinks. (Order the sangria! You won’t be disappointed!) Let’s move on to the food. It’s called Mountain Pie Company for a reason…the “pies.” In this case, they are more like personal pies, as each is prepared on a crust of the Indian bread, naan, and are about eight to nine inch pizzas. I chose the Inigo Montoya pie and Husband chose the Meat and Cheese pie. More about those later. We started with stuffed mushrooms with a choice of sausage, crab or artichoke/spinach stuffing for $8.00. We chose the artichoke/spinach stuffing and enjoyed eight piping hot, bubbly, melty medium-sized mushrooms. The filing was a lot like that of spinach/artichoke dip found in other restaurants. I thought they could have used a little more artichokes and spinach, but who am I kidding; it’s the warm gooey cream cheese that makes the dip.20140913_165452

We also elected to share a bowl of lobster bisque for $3.00. It seemed like a great bargain since lobster is so pricy, but it was disappointing to say the least. Aside from it being just barely luke warm when it arrived at our table, it was very short on lobster. I wasn’t even sure if I even got any lobster in any of the bites I got. “Meh” is the best way for me to describe this soup.

Our pizzas arrived shortly after we finished our appetizers. My Inigo Montoya pizza consisted of steak, horseradish/chive cheese, mozzarella cheese and banana peppers on an alfredo/horseradish base drizzled with A1 sauce. If you like horseradish, you’ll really enjoy this pizza. I’m not a huge fan of A1 sauce, but it was a very nice addition and I was glad I didn’t ask for it to be nixed like I’d initially thought.  MPC Inigo Montoya

The Meat and Cheese pie didn’t have the exceptionally good looks that my pizza had, but it sure made up for it in flavor. Husband likes it spicy, so he added ghost pepper cheese. (Though the ghost pepper is the hottest pepper in the world, this cheese was more on the heat level of a jalepeno or a serrano.) There was enough of each meat to taste them individually without the pizza being too meaty or too greasy.  MPC Meet & Cheese

On our previous visit, we got the Pompei with spicy sausage, shrimp, ghost pepper cheese, gorgonzola, red onion and jalepenos on a garlic sauce. This should light up anyone’s mouth, but surprisingly, it wasn’t as hot as expected, but it was very flavorful. We also got the Steak and Gorgonzola pie. Other than the obvious, toppings include red onion, tomatoes, banana peppers on a tomato sauce. We enjoyed both pizzas, but agreed they could have been cooked a little longer so that the crust was crisper. The second time around I noticed more crispness to the crust. Other interesting pizza choices are Buffalo Mountain with grilled chicken, gorgonzola and mozzarella on a white sauce and the Freaky Greek with feta, tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, kalamata olives on an olive oil base. You can also create your own pizza from an extensive list of toppings and sauces.

Pizzas might be MPC’s specialty, but that’s not all that’s on the menu. Other appetizers include tomatoes with your choice of the same mushroom stuffings, wings with your choice of four sauces, a cheesy Asiago bread dip, Mountain Pie Cheese (ghost pepper cheese melted on toast) or Hot Mountain Dip, MPC’s version of buffalo chicken dip (you know, that pot luck favorite made with cream cheese, chicken and hot sauce.) There are also a few interesting salads such as a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, bacon and tomatoes, the Feta World Peace (get it?), mixed greens with feta, walnuts and cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette, and the Mountain Goat which is roma tomatoes sliced and stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Entrees include Mountain Lion, which is actually marinated pork loin served with pierogies. Again, interesting…. Also on the entree’ menu is lasagna, penne pasta with your choice of sauce and meat and M.P.C.M.C., a fancy mac ‘n cheese to which you can add chicken if you’d like.

MPC is unique and interesting as I stated more than once. I like this place and I will eat here again, several times, and I will continue to explore the other unique and interesting items on the menu. FOUR FORKS.

Mountain Pie Company                                                                                                   Mid Valley Plaza                                                                                                               1811 Teays Valley Rd.                                                                                                    Hurricane, WV 25526                                                                                                   (304) 397-6249

Mountain Pie Co on Urbanspoon

Muriale’s Is a Must

muriale1Susan says…

It’s sure been a long time since I’ve written a post, huh? During that span of time I reconnected with my high school love, ran off to Louisville KY, got married, changed jobs, and started a Louisville restaurant blog called NewtoLou. I come back to West Virginia frequently, mostly because my girls are finishing school here, but also because I miss my friends, family, and my true home. You can take the girl out of West Virginia but you can’t take West Virginia out of the girl! (At least not THIS girl!)  I’m sure all my new acquaintances are completely sick to death of hearing me wax poetic about the mountain state.

I have been suffering inner conflict. Should I tell you all about Muriale’s during football season or not? As you read my review will you come to understand just how perfect a plan it would be to include Muriale’s in your pregame (night game, that is) ritual and I don’t want to have to wait on a table as a result of sharing this great tip. But alas, I have a duty to the Fork You public and I will proceed.

As a mother, a wife, a victim of Pretend OCD, and a food fanatic, I have lots of rules and policies. Some of my rules include: 1) spread the shower curtain back over the length of the tub when you’re done; 2) you must be completely ready for school before you’re allowed to goof off in any way; and 3) check the order before pulling away from the dive thru. One very important policy is this: when traveling to Route 50 and points north, one must eat Italian. There are some great places in the Clarksburg area alone.

On our way to the WVU home opener last weekend, I was prepared to follow the policy. My husband took a little convincing. (I found out later he thought I was going to take him to some froo froo gourmet place.) (Is that how you spell “froo froo”? You know what I mean.) I successfully campaigned for Oliverio’s , my favorite in the area, and my mouth was already watering at the thought of pasta and pine nuts. We approached the parking lot and realized they don’t serve lunch on Saturdays. That’s fine for ordinary Saturdays but they are missing an opportunity on Night Game Saturdays. Just sayin’. My next most favorite is Muriale’s so we skipped the visit we planned to Mountaineer World (we honestly don’t need more WV gear) and headed on up I-79.

My husband had never been to Muriale’s before. Poor thing. He even grew up in Buckhannon! I was more than happy to accompany him on his virgin visit. We arrived around 1:30 and had no trouble obtaining a table. There are great old photographs on the walls and displays of wine, pasta, and oils. I quickly located a lunch special that was too good of a deal to pass up: you can choose from several pastas (ravioli, spaghetti, rigatoni, manicotti or linguine with fresh vegetables) and also receive a house salad and a slice of garlic cheese toast ALL FOR ONLY $10!! I would pay almost that much for a Wendy’s combo meal. We both chose the manicotti.

We were served a basket of bread and butter when the salads were delivered. The housemade Italian dressing was tangy and herbalicious. Husband chose the housemade balsamic and offered me a taste, which was also very good. Salad toppings included roasted red and yellow peppers, large marinated green olives, tomato, pickled onions, and shredded cheese.

muriale2

Manicotti Lunch Special

Our lunch specials were so generously portioned we could barely eat it all. Well, I didn’t eat all of mine. I gave it my best effort but had to leave just a few bites, even after my husband had a little of my meatball. We received two large manicotti stuffed with an herb and ricotta cheese mixture generously covered in meat sauce and a large meatball. The meatball was a bonus I had not expected since there was no mention of it in the menu description. The meat sauce was richly and deeply flavored, and had obviously spent a good amount of time simmering. The pasta was delicate and the ricotta mixture flavorful. For me, I could have done with more ricotta to balance the richness of the sauce. Plus, I really like ricotta. The meatball was tender and well-seasoned. I wasn’t too crazy about the garlic cheese bread. I LOVE the garlic toast at Fazio’s and declare it is exactly how garlic toast should be made: crisp, almost dripping with butter, and significantly tasting of garlic. Muriale’s sprinkles the bread with some herbs and the oregano totally overpowered any taste of butter or garlic. I could do without the cheese on it, too.

This was a meal worthy of the Number One Foam Finger. What a great deal for fresh, homemade, delicious Italian fare. We were so satisfied from the meal, we didn’t even bother to grill the hot dogs we had packed for tailgating. I am going to the Oklahoma game next weekend with my daughters and hope to convince them that a pregame meal at Muriale’s is just what we need to fuel up for an evening of Mountaineer excitement. Another nice touch is that all the waitstaff wear WVU apparel on game day. It made us feel more comfortable coming in with our t-shirts and face stickers and also provided a festive atmosphere.

The service was excellent. Our water glasses never went below the half-full mark and the entire staff worked together seamlessly to meet every customer’s needs quickly and efficiently. Our server was friendly and fun.

muriale3

yep, it was that good

Even though I now live in the big city of Louisville, there are just some things that can’t be done better than in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia: beautiful scenery, friendly people, an exciting college football atmosphere, and some great traditional Italian food. The quote of the day, from my husband, after devouring his meal and licking the bowl clean (as in the photo): “I don’t know why I even doubted you”.

Go to Muriale’s. Four forks.

1742 Fairmont Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
304-363-3190

Muriale's Restaurant on Urbanspoon