Thursday, February 11, 2010


No Clocks allowed…..

Madeline’s located across from the historic Warner Theater on High St. in beautiful Downtown Morgantown WV. When walking in you will be greeted with good smells, and a nice comfortable atmosphere, kind of a Seattle coffee shop meets French bistro feel to it. Usually with some sort of eclectic special on the board, for example, espresso chili rubbed prime rib with cheesy polenta and kale served southern stile. Sound interesting? Well we will talk about that later. When coming here, they do not allow clocks so leave your watches in the car, because nothing here is fast. If you are in a hurry, go somewhere else. Dinner here is an affair a big production so bring some notes on extra conversation topics because you will have time to discuss them all.
First, it was cold in there, I am a rather big fellow and I thought you could hang meat and it would keep for weeks. Nevertheless, I kept my sweater on and we pushed forward with the meal. The menu is full of things that sound delicious with tapas from every food genera Asian to Caribbean, French, and southwestern. The entrees are mainly French, with Italian influences, with modern American mixed in for flair. We sat down and made our drink order. Well that took about ten minutes to fill; they left and came back ten minutes later to take our appetizer order. We went with the Jerk chicken with the tie peanut sauce, and the chicken taquitos. They also offered crab wontons, mussels in white wine, and black bean quesadillas. I have had these before and they are all really well done.
Around ten or fifteen minutes went by and our waitress presented us with a bread bowl full of different breads; a roasted onion loaf, poppy seed bread and a multigrain that I thought was delightful. With olive tapanade and compound butter served on the side. Then we made our entree order. I went with the special as described earlier an espresso chili rubbed prime rib with cheesy polenta and kale served southern stile. My dining partner Brooke went with the mussels in white wine served over linguine.
A few minutes later, we received out appetizer order. The Jerk chicken, served luke warm and the tie peanut sauce was cold. The chicken almost dried out but just almost. The flavors were there though, It was delicious the spicy jerk smoothed out by the peanut sauce then hit you again with the chili burn finish, it was a flavor explosion. Running your taste buds through an emotional gambit, the flavor version of watching Meet Joe Black. It was good but if it was hot it would have been awesome a symphony of flavors but instead it was just a good garage band. The taquitos were just right, warm with homemade salsa, and sour cream beautifully presented, tasty, crisp, and an all around good bite of food.
The entrees served while eating the appetizers… they finally brought out the food in a timely manner and they had to serve it on top of the other food they just brought out. The Mussels were served over linguine that was cooked perfectly beautifully presented, not over sauced, this was a good-looking plate of food. Brooke let me have a bite or three and I was impressed the Mussels, cooked well not rubbery at all and the pasta, served al dente, the sauce was just missing something though…. I know…. It was not; hot it was just luke warm…again a potentially good plate of food reduced to mediocrity because of the service. My meal was served so sloppily that I was taken aback. Just a huge chunk of meat served with a GIANT serving of polenta, and some Kale on the side. So much food you couldn’t see the plate. It liked like a magic tick the food just hovering there above the table. Appearances can be deceiving because my prime rib was cooked beautifully, a nice medium rare basted in their wonderful espresso chili sauce it tasted great, the polenta was so cheesy and smooth, it felt like silk on my tongue. In addition, the kale was awesome, slowly simmered with bacon and onions, and vinegar it reminded me of the collared greens my nanny made when I grew up in South Carolina. The whole plate of food reminded me of a good summertime barbeque, except made from arguably better ingredients. Prime rib instead of brisket, polenta instead of macaroni and cheese, and Kale instead of collared greens. I was almost a happy camper. However, sadly this dish was also served too cold. It seemed the theme for this whole meal was a poor service, which undeniably ruined the food. Things just sat out too long before they were served. You could tell that a lot of care went into preparing the dishes making sure all the flavors were there. Nevertheless, the service was just lacking. It was inexcusable; there were two waitresses there to cover six tables. At one point we went without water for so long, that my mouth felt like sand was poured in it.
At the end of our entrée when our waitress was pushing us to leave, Brooke wisely inquired about desert. The waitress for the first time had a glimmer of excitement in her eye, as she announced their special desert for the evening a Bananas Foster bread pudding. Some people do not know what bread pudding is. Well it is the second best thing on the planet. Crispy on the outside gooey in the middle, always full of flavor; this dish is a Chefs desert, something to end the meal right, sweet and savory, just fantastic. The best desert in my opinion and something I will always order when it is available is bananas foster. Bananas and brown sugar sautéed in butter then flambéed with rum it caramelizes the bananas and it is usually served over ice cream. Combine these two things and you have a perfect end to a meal. Needless to say, we chose this desert option to share. It came out piping hot it was ouhhhey and gooey and delicious served with premium vanilla ice cream caramelized bananas, and tons of the syrup it is an awesome sight to behold. I definitely recommend trying it. This by the way was the only thing we had that was served hot and it was definitely the best thing we had.
This is a good restaurant because when they are on their game the food is really well executed. It is always slow but sometimes everything comes together and you will be raving about the food. The place is comfortable the food is potentially awesome, but at least always good, but the service “put in a nice way “ could use some improvement. I will be back I did enjoy it. My one recommendation, call ahead to see if they have the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding available if they say yes run there if they say no walk but still give it a try. Just don’t be on a time schedule and enjoy yourself.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Yes, there is a Cheers in Saberton WV.

A bold statement I know, but I am still going to lay it out there.  The hardest thing to do is find the place, it is in the back corner of nobody knows how to find its ville.  Actually coming off of interstate 68 heading into Saberton take the first right before Sheetz, then take the immediate right and it is 100 yards up on your left hand side. However, I bet you didn’t know there was even a road there.

Once you find the place, you will never forget how to get there. Twenty-one and up only please (yes they do have slot machines).  Come for the cheep cold beer stay because you make friends and come back for the food again and again..

The atmosphere of the place has a good feel to it. It is a well kept up dive bar. With lots of rich dark woods on the floors and tables and, a good bar to sit at and B.S. at, you don’t mind getting comfortable and staying for a while. TVs everywhere, and yes they will show Football and NASCAR at the same time.  They even have trivia and guitar hero if you run out of stuff to talk about.  The only issue with the place I had was that occasionally because it is small It can get smoky in there when a lot of people light up at once. But it is a bar and if you are one of those people that complain about stuff like that, you probably wouldn’t enjoy this place anyway because you might over hear someone having a good time too.  You don’t come her for afternoon tea wit the Queen. You go here to blow off steam after work and cuss about your day.

The Staff is awesome after you come her once or twice they start to recognize you and remember what you drink and just bring it over with out even asking…. Does anything make you feel better than that? Makes you feel welcome and that people are happy that you are there. Love it. A few of the main characters are Kay (hope that’s how you spell it) and Angela. Kay is the front of the house lady. This Woman is very cool. Talks to everybody, makes you feel like family, thanks you for being there and appreciates your business. If you want it, she will make sure you get it. Angela is the Chef de Cuisine and with a remodeled kitchen, she puts out some killer specials that we will talk about in a minute. The barmaids Brittany and A.J are fun and talented too, some might even call them attractive, and those who didn’t would be wrong.    

The Food, The food here is good but some of it is really good.  Get the Specials. They have specials here that are made fresh daily, not specials to get rid of old junk. Moreover, there are different ones every day. Some of my favorites are on Mondays Spaghetti and Meatballs… Yes, I know what you are thinking Really Zach, Spaghetti and meatballs at a dive bar… Yes, I know what I am talking about. The meatballs are made from scratch not from a bag, and they are fantastic. On Mondays, I imagine Angela looking like an Old Italian grandmother with a housedress, pink slippers, and too much Jewelry on hunched over a cauldron sized pot listening to old Dean Martin records stirring away for hours.  It is good try it.

Tuesdays.. Probably the best day to go to this place is on a Tuesday.  For the lunch, special Angela whips up homemade meatloaf and gravy with mashed potatoes. This is a meaty, hearty, meat loaf not a whole lot of peppers and onions in it just enough to impart flavor but not enough to take away from the main attraction., The Meat. Tuesday is also Taco Tuesday. WHOO HOO I know right tacos, who cares, if you wanted tacos you could just go to taco bell right.. If you are saying this then shut up and listen buster. In either pulled Beef or Pork, soft or hard, These are the best tacos in or around town slow roasted meats Beef Brisket and Pork Shoulder cooked for hours with and then pulled by hand massaging out all of the potential flavors with all the love and care of someone who enjoys what they do.  Served on a grilled or deep fried tortilla depending if you want hard or soft put your own toppings on it over at the toppings bar and there you have it. How much would you expect to pay for a taco like this? $4 or $5…. Well you would be wrong you can buy them for  $.75 or a buck fifty for two. They are not small either. Definitely worth a try, you will find yourself looking forward to Tuesdays.

They also do a really good Fish Fry on Friday a 9oz Pollack filet (Gordon Ramsey’s choice fish for fish and chips) Deep-fried to a golden brown served with fresh cut fries. It is good and lent is just around the corner.

The burgers are good. Half-pound burgers cooked to medium well served on a toasted bun.  Have it your way, or their way, but either way it is a good choice every time.  Best about them… they are available every day.

They have a couple of good appetizers.  You have to try the potato skins; real potatoes, real cheese and real bacon combine to make an exquisite cheesy, bacony, velvety smooth taste, that rolls across your tongue like the winds across the plains of Africa The whole family would enjoy them but you have to be 21 to get in.  A must have is the nachos. They make there own chips. Ill type that once more. They make there own chips. They deep-fry the tortillas for each order of nachos, the chips are good plain, and these are garbage nachos, piled so high they should be served in a bucket not on a plate.  A must try, but not a must try on a first date. These are so good I almost bit off my own finger trying to shove them in my mouth so fast.

They have salads and they are huge, they use good romaine lettuce and fresh vegetables to put together some bright vibrant looking good tasting salads, I didn’t order one, I’ve tasted someone else’s though. I did mention they had good hamburgers.

Soups…. Angela is a Soup Guru, Beef vegetable, broccoli cheddar, Creamy tomato, chicken this, and bisque that. Whatever is on special is fresh and is definitely good. She even makes a Cheeseburger Soup. I know what you are thinking that sounds stupid, and until I tried it, I too was an ignorant fool. This creamy concoction is like eating a warm hug from a long lost friend, I have never met anyone who did not like it. If you don’t like it, I think they perform exorcisms on the third Thursday of every month at the church downtown. I’ve asked how she makes it but she said, “no I wont tell you” so I didn’t ask anymore I just asked for another bowl.
They have other food that is good but it is your standard bar food done pretty well, the wings are good; they have some creative sauces like Cajun Honey Jalapeño, and Medium Parmesan.  Good cheese sticks they use real cheese, not plastic. They also have your typical bar sandwiches Philly steak etcetera…. 

Get the specials though, they are always good and it is always enough to satisfy. Come in and stay for a while you will enjoy yourself I know I did.