Tag Archives: Food

Craft Beer and Blues Tunes at Concord University

Craft Beer and Blues Tunes at Concord University
Article by Miranda Woody

The college experience can be quite quiet when you attend a smaller university. However, Concord University has decided to get loud with their third annual Blues Brews and BBQ festival. This year, Blues Brews and BBQ will feature performances from The Allen Smith Band (named for Concord’s very own Allen Smith); Tazewell County teacher Victor Lawson; Trailer Swift & The Bolt Mountain Boys (also featuring some Concord alumni and employees); and the event’s headliner, The Tommy Cox Band. Along with some great blues tunes, West Virginia’s very own Greenbrier Valley Brewing will be serving up some Devil Anse IPA in cans and bottles. A few other craft beers will be featured, mainly sourced from Virginia and North Carolina. Pulled pork barbecue sandwiches and sides will also be served, fulfilling the event’s “BBQ” component. The event is free to anyone who wishes to attend, but food and beverages must be purchased on site.
Blues Brews and BBQ kicked off three years ago thanks to the careful planning and guidance of Concord University’s student activities planner, Andrew Sulgit. Sulgit was seeking to host an event that would be entertaining for students, staff, and the surrounding community. Essentially, Sulgit wanted to host an event that would surely become a staple on Concord’s close-knit campus, drawing attention to the small school for its friendly vibe and laid-back atmosphere. When asked about the general feel of Blues Brews and BBQ,  Sulgit says, “We have a great cross-representation

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Event Preview: Bollywood Night 2014

Written by Dawn Nolan
Bollywood Night 2014 is a “celebration of Indian food, movies, dance music and fashion”. This year’s fundraiser will be held at the Charleston Civic Center on Saturday, May 17. This year’s theme is “Bellies, Bodies and Brains”. Proceeds will be divided between three non-profit organizations – Manna Meal, WV Health Right and the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center.
“From Those to Whom Much Has Been Given, Much is Expected” – Nilima Bhirud, Chairwoman
The festivities begin with a social hour at 6:00 p.m. A buffet dinner of “delicious, multi-cultural cuisine” will follow at 7 p.m. Bollywood style performances by 100 dancers, including the Charleston Ballet, January’s Dance Studio, Lisa Hughes’ students, Zumba instructor Amy Burdette and partner, Beth Fellure and friends, Victoria Russo’s Latino dance group and the Charleston Filipino community, will take place from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. A fashion show, choreographed by Meenu Choudhary, and silent auction are also scheduled.
Tickets for Bollywood Night 2014 are $100 and tax-deductable. They can be purchased online at www.bollywoodwv.org.
(Video from bollywoodwv.org)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy_GVP3XuLY&w=640&h=360]

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Event: WV Strawberry Festival

Written by Dawn Nolan
Springtime marks the beginning of festival season in West Virginia, and the Mountain State has plethora of food-centered festivities – whether you’re craving chocolate, ramps or even fresh fruit. One of the oldest celebrations, the WV Strawberry Festival, is taking place in Upshur County this week. “The WV Strawberry Festival began in 1936 when the Buckhannon community wanted to honor our local strawberry farmers and give them an opportunity to sell their berries,” recounts Laura Meadows, Executive Director of the Upshur County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
This year’s festival runs through Sunday, May 18, and its theme is “Old Traditions, New Beginnings”. “We have so many traditional, time honored events like the Strawberry Blonde contest that has happened for years, but as we’ve grown, the Strawberry Festival has added some new events, like the Horse & Carriage Parade,” explains Meadows. “We will hold on to the traditions everyone has grown to love but want to keep the Strawberry Festival a fresh, new and exciting time.”

Want the 2014 Strawberry Festival Program? Stop by our Chamber & Visitors Center on Main Street, Buckhannon to get a copy for $3!

One of the week’s most enjoyable activities, Party Gras, is scheduled for Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17. “Main Street is closed down, and we have live music and entertainment,” says Meadows. Other popular attractions are Strawberry Idol, a singing competition held in the Courthouse Plaza and the long-running Arts & Craft Show at WV Wesleyan College. “It’s always a favorite;

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Guy Fieri imports Hillbilly Hot Dog from Huntington for Fallon

The Food Network’s Guy Fieri imported a specialty Hot Dog for NBC’s Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on last night’s show. This gigantic hot dog is from one of the most infamous places to get a delicious hot dog in West Virginia, Hillbilly Hot Dogs.
 

Guy Fieri unveils “The Homewrecker”

Hillbilly Hot Dogs is located in Huntington, WV and the hot dog featured on the show is called “The Homewrecker”. If you haven’t tried one of their hot dogs, you’re missing out! Check out this video segment from last night’s show! Also, check out their website and Facebook page so you can learn more about their food and let them know you seen their infamous hot dog on the show.
Website – http://www.hillbillyhotdogs.com
Facebook – https://www.fb.com/hillbillyhotdogs
 

 

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Eat Local: The Mason Jar

Written by Dawn Nolan
In downtown White Sulphur Springs, less than a mile from the famed Greenbrier Resort, stands The Mason Jar, a charming little restaurant known for its laid-back atmosphere and hearty comfort food. “We serve upscale, home-style cuisine that mom and grandma used to make,” describes Chef Adam Sydenstricker. Specialties include the restaurant’s famed Buttermilk Fried Chicken (which has been featured on the Travel Channel) complete with green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy; MJ’s Fried Green Tomatoes served with spicy mayo, Mason Jar Chicken & Dumplings, and the Mason Burger, a beef patty topped with grilled ham, American cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles and dressing. The homemade pies – available in apple, blueberry, blackberry, cherry, peanut butter and coconut cream – are also a hit, and adventurous eaters can complete the Triple Cheeseburger Challenge to win a free dessert.
Sydenstricker, a former Greenbrier chef, took ownership of the eatery about two years ago. “The original restaurant opened in 2008,” he recalls. “I was working at the hotel at the time but started helping the owner at night. We developed a relationship, and he later asked if I’d like to buy the place. We opened in our current spot in July 2012.”

In addition to a full menu, The Mason Jar also offers a lunch buffet Monday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., an all-you-can-eat Southern BBQ buffet on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and a breakfast / brunch buffet on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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Event Preview: Lemonade Day West Virginia

Written By Dawn Nolan
Most children get their first taste of business through conventional methods – bake sales, car washes, and of course, lemonade stands. West Virginia Lemonade Day, which will be held May 3, 2014, expands upon the lessons learned during these activities, providing registered participants with the tools needed to create and execute their own business plan. “Lemonade Day is an entrepreneurship curriculum geared towards elementary and middle school students,” says Matthew Thompson, CNP, Program Director at Vision Shared Inc. “They learn about setting goals, planning for success, investing, advertising, buying and maintaining supplies, building a stand, making a product, budgeting and accounting, opening a bank account and giving back to the community.”
Classrooms, church groups, Girl and Boy Scout troops and other aspiring business owners will have stands set up all over the state. “They can choose the location that is best for them,” says Thompson. “Most will be in high traffic areas like grocery stores, parks or festivals.” A full map of stand locations is available on the Lemonade Day West Virginia website.

Once the participants close up shop, sellers must determine how they want to spend their hard-earned profits. “They can use the money how they wish, but we encourage them to save some, spend some and share some,” explains Thompson. “That’s our mantra.”
The nationwide event was established in 2007; however, it is the second year that West Virginia has been involved. “Last year was our pilot program,” recalls Thompson. “We had about 2,000 kids participate around the

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Calling all foodies! – 101 Unique Places to Dine Nominations

Calling all foodies! The West Virginia Division of Tourism is seeking your recommendations of local, exceptional eateries for the next edition of 101 Unique Places to Dine. Nominations are being accepted through April 30. “The first edition was done in 2010, and we received over 500 nominations,” recalls Jane Bostic, Marketing Specialist at the WV Division of Tourism. “We expect a lot more this time since the brochure has gained popularity, and we have engaged social media to get the word out.”
At the end of the submission period, nominations will be reviewed and tallied. “Selections are based on popular vote,” explains Bostic. “The top 101 [eateries] with the most votes will be chosen for the brochure as long as they meet all of the specific guidelines.” Selected establishments must be located within the West Virginia and not be a part of a national chain. Additionally, nominations must be filled out in full and submitted online on the Division of Tourism website. To submit your choice, visit http://www.wvcommerce.org/travel/thingstodo/wvdining/101-places/vote.aspx.

Try some of these distinct dining establishments from the 101 Unique Places to Dine 2012:

Cathedral Café – 134 S. Court St., Fayetteville – “This beautiful old church has been transformed into a great café. Every dish is served fresh and hot. The berry pancakes are so huge they spill over the plate!”
Custard Stand – Webster Springs, Elkins, Oak Hill and Danville – “Home of the famous chili dog. Full menu and 50-plus yummy flavors of soft serve. Open year round.”
Fat Patty’s – 1935 3rd

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Shop Local: Mission Savvy Vegan Café & Juice Bar

For Jennifer Miller, a longtime vegan and former animal rescue worker, passion has always been the basis of her business. She opened Mission Savvy, an eco-friendly, sustainable clothing boutique in downtown Charleston in 2010 as a way to provide ethical fashion to local buyers. However, Miller’s business model changed from fashion to food after she realized the popularity of the grab-and-go snacks she stored in the boutique’s fridge. “It was just flying off the shelves,” she remembers. “So, I decided to take the risk in assuming that it was a good idea to completely transition to food. I did that about a year and a half ago.”
Before taking the leap, though, Miller decided to test out the market with a food truck. It’s fun,” she describes. “We go out to fairs and festivals. The menu is what I like to call ‘transition food’ – veggie dogs, veggie burger, curry – all organic, though. We’ve been doing it for about three years.”
Now known as Mission Savvy Vegan Café and Juice Bar, Miller and her team is still fulfilling a need in the community. More and more people are becoming ‘veg-friendly’,” she says. Whether her customers are visiting because of health or moral reasons, Miller doesn’t mind either way. “To each their own,” she says. “I’m just providing an option where no animals are hurt in the business process. Also, there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding vegans. I want to show people that the food is really good and you feel

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Eat Local – Mario’s Pizza

Charleston has its fair share of pizza places – both locally owned and national franchises – so it takes a loyal customer base for a restaurant of this type to survive, and after decades of ups and downs, it seems that Mario’s Pizza has finally hit its stride.
The credit can be attributed to restaurateur Jeff Burger who now co-owns the business with his father. The two reopened Mario’s Bigley Avenue location in July 2011 and expanded into Belle in July 2013. Unfortunately, like most businesses in the Charleston-area, Mario’s was affected by the recent chemical spill. However, customers can rest easy knowing that the pizza joint is still using bottled water and bagged ice. “If we won’t use the water ourselves, we aren’t going to give it to our customers,” says Burger.
Customers can recognize the pizza joint by its unique logo. “It’s a caricature of me,” describes Burger. “My childhood best friend, Trace Corely, who owns Gnarleston, designed it. We wanted something that would stand out.”
Food-wise, Mario’s menu is pretty standard in its offerings. It features pizzas ranging in size from mini to 16 inches, salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and calzones. Although, it is the attention to detail and quality that makes the shop’s selections stand above the rest. “We take pride in what we do and don’t use the cheapest ingredients we can. We go with what we like, even if it might be more expensive, and find that tastes better,” explains Burger. “All of our food gets

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Eat Local – Mario’s Pizza

Charleston has its fair share of pizza places – both locally owned and national franchises – so it takes a loyal customer base for a restaurant of this type to survive, and after decades of ups and downs, it seems that Mario’s Pizza has finally hit its stride.
The credit can be attributed to restaurateur Jeff Burger who now co-owns the business with his father. The two reopened Mario’s Bigley Avenue location in July 2011 and expanded into Belle in July 2013. Unfortunately, like most businesses in the Charleston-area, Mario’s was affected by the recent chemical spill. However, customers can rest easy knowing that the pizza joint is still using bottled water and bagged ice. “If we won’t use the water ourselves, we aren’t going to give it to our customers,” says Burger.
Customers can recognize the pizza joint by its unique logo. “It’s a caricature of me,” describes Burger. “My childhood best friend, Trace Corely, who owns Gnarleston, designed it. We wanted something that would stand out.”
Food-wise, Mario’s menu is pretty standard in its offerings. It features pizzas ranging in size from mini to 16 inches, salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and calzones. Although, it is the attention to detail and quality that makes the shop’s selections stand above the rest. “We take pride in what we do and don’t use the cheapest ingredients we can. We go with what we like, even if it might be more expensive, and find that tastes better,” explains Burger. “All of our food gets

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