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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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