Morgantown has a heaping helping of new eateries that will tickle your taste buds, offer some home-cooking comfort, and maybe introduce you to your new favorite dish.
Written by Mary Wade Burnside
Green Tea Asian Fusion Restaurant
FOOD You can get a variety of Asian foods in one location—Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, including noodles, sushi, stir-fry, and lunch and dinner boxes.
OPENED March 15, 2017
POPULAR DISHES Crunchy Unicorn Roll, featuring shrimp tempura, avocado, and cream cheese topped with spicy crabmeat and crunch flakes; the similar Butterfly Roll, with shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy tuna, and crunch tobiko; and Dry Hot Pot, with chicken, beef, or shrimp plus vegetables, tagged with two chilis for “Hot & Spicy.”
MENU Extensive, ranging across appetizers, soups, salads, noodles, and entrees by country. You and your friends can get pho, pad Thai, sushi, hibachi, and General Tso’s Tofu all in one place. BBQ Squid, anyone? And don’t forget dessert—choices range from fried cheesecake and fried banana ice cream to tempura ice cream and the customer favorite, mochi Japanese ice cream covered in rice cake to make it crunchy.
ALCOHOL A selection of beers, including the Japanese Sapporo and the Chinese Tsingtao, as well as wine and sake.
VIBE Small and contemporary—owners Emily Cai and Qiaowu Chen want to provide great food options both to students and their neighbors in the Suncrest area.
UNIQUE FEATURE The extensive menu, which also includes nine flavors of bubble tea—tea with tapioca balls—including mango, Thai, taro, coconut, green tea and chocolate. Diners can also order comforting ginger honey tea with goji berries. Sushi is also a work of art, not only in the slices of fish but in the presentation that can include cucumbers and pickled ginger slices blooming into flowers and wasabi sauce designs on the plate.
HOURS 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, noon–10 p.m. Sunday
511 Burroughs Place, Suite 106 304.381.2140 or 304.381.2403
Pho Hung Vietnamese Cuisine
FOOD It’s right there in the name—pho, pronounced “fuh.” It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup that can feature a protein such as chicken or beef. Then there are traditional garnishes served with pho that the diner adds in—bean sprouts, jalapeño, lime, thai basil, and, often, sriracha sauce.
OPENED April 22, 2017
ORIGIN OF NAME Named after owner Hung Hoang and the primary dish on the menu.
POPULAR DISHES Pho, of course. The wildly popular dish—a second pho restaurant opened in late May in Suncrest—has a loyal following. And it’s OK to slurp the broth after you’ve eaten the noodles, vegetables, and protein. Vermicelli, or rice noodles, with the diner’s choice of grilled pork, chicken, or shrimp, is also a frequently ordered item.
MENU The house specialty, Pho Hung, is packed with meat—rare steak, beef, meatballs, tendon, and well-done flank steak. There’s also Pho Bo Vien, or meatball noodle soup; Pho Bo Chin, or eye of round steak noodle soup; and Pho Bo Tai, which is well-done brisket noodle soup. On the lighter side, there is Pho Tom, with shrimp, and Pho Ga, or chicken noodle. Non-pho offerings also include chicken or beef satay, lemongrass soup, bun—or pork and noodles—and spring rolls wrapped in rice paper served with peanut sauce. Hoang plans eventually to offer the popular Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi.
ALCOHOL Hoang is working on obtaining a liquor license. In the meantime, diners can enjoy the specialty Vietnamese iced coffee with their pho, or select from other options that include oolong or jasmine green tea, Thai iced tea, soy milk, and coconut juice, and, of course, water and soda.
VIBE The small space is contemporary and comfortable, with bright orange walls and modern décor.
UNIQUE FEATURE The traditional Vietnamese cuisine. A native of Saigon, Hoang based his recipes on those made by his mother.
HOURS 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday–Saturday, noon–8 p.m. Sunday
21 Commerce Drive, Westover, 304.292.5622
Morgantown Flour & Feed Co.
FOOD “Comfort food with a twist”
ORIGIN OF NAME Many Morgantowners might remember previous restaurants in this location in the heart of Wharf District, most recently the Lebanese Bistro. And then there are a few who might recollect the Morgantown Flour & Feed warehouse—formerly the historic Kincaid and Arnett Feed and Flour Building.
POPULAR DISHES Hunter’s Meatloaf with bison and boar, wild mushrooms, garlic confit mash, glazed heirloom carrots, and brandy pan sauce. “People love it,” says owner Kristin Elek.
MENU “Fine Dining on Traditional Recipes,” with an entire section on the eatery’s specialty: homemade pierogies. Flavors include herbs, cheddar, potato, andouille, and herb butter. Toppings include caramelized onions, lardons, house-made sauerkraut, and roasted mushrooms. The restaurant serves brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and there are plans to do occasional barbecues on that day as well, roasting a whole pig out back.
ALCOHOL Local craft beer, wine, and signature cocktails, switched up seasonally.
VIBE Laid-back, with deck seating by the rail-trail in good weather. Elek aims to provide an atmosphere where customers “can come in and relax and have a good meal without being rushed out.”
UNIQUE FEATURE The history. “We have pictures on the wall of women dressed up as flour girls from the 1940s—they are stuffing sacks,” Elek says. Also on display is a scale used to weigh flour; a 1932 calendar from the warehouse also will go up on the wall after Elek has it put in glass.
HOURS 5–10 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sunday
156 Clay Street, 304.212.5092, morgantownflourandfeed.com
Ta-Khrai Thai Cafe
FOOD Thai cuisine, with many dishes made from owner Phasavee Katepratoom’s family recipes that originated in his hometown of Ayutthaya, about 50 miles north of Bangkok.
OPENED January 19, 2017
ORIGIN OF NAME Ta-Khrai means “lemongrass,” a frequently used ingredient in Thai food.
POPULAR DISHES Pad Thai, which comes in several varieties, such as Pad Thai Yellow Noodles and Pad Thai Woon Sen. Customers also like the Drunken Noodles—stir-fried rice noodles with chicken, bell pepper, string beans, onions, and tomatoes in a spicy basil sauce.
MENU Wide-ranging, featuring a large selection of appetizers, soups, salads,
big bowl noodle soup, vegetarian fare,
Asian fried rice, and Thai curries. Diners can stick with the familiar, such as Cheese Rangoon, or explore such dishes as Triangle Tofu, Balloon Soup, Papaya Salad, and
ALCOHOL Not yet. Katepratoom and his wife, Panaphat, are applying for a liquor license. In the meantime, diners can enjoy the signature Thai Iced Tea, made with Thai tea leaves using a secret family recipe.
VIBE Located above Zenclay in the same location as the recently closed Dancing Fig, the space is brightly adorned with statues and other Thai décor.
UNIQUE FEATURE In two separate locations, customers will see offerings, one set for Buddha and another for Chulalongkorn, a king of Siam. “We do it every morning,” says Pannaphat Katepratoom of refreshing the offerings, which can include rice, oranges or other fruit, sweets, and something to drink. “We do that because they bring good people, good customers, and make my restaurant popular.” Also, customers get a 10 percent discount if they pay cash.
HOURS 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, Sunday; 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. Friday–Saturday
2862 University Avenue, 304.322.2737, takhraithaimorgantown.com
Feast to West
FOOD “I call it an eclectic American fusion diner,” says owner Todd Washburn, longtime chef at Oliverio’s on the Wharf. “We’ve taken staples from various parts of the country and brought them here. Some say we’re a diner on steroids.”
OPENED March 20, 2017
ORIGIN OF NAME “You come in the restaurant and feast, and we’re in West Virginia,” Washburn says.
POPULAR DISHES “We serve a lot of bacon and a lot of waffles. We use brisket a lot,” Washburn says. He makes his own curry ketchup “that goes great on potatoes,” although bottles of the Heinz variety are readily available. The restaurant’s Bourbon Bacon Balls are a hit.
MENU Washburn watched about 30 episodes of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives before crafting the extensive menu, which features six versions of eggs Benedict—“The Bennys”—including the Waffle Benny, plus sections on sliders and burgers, as well as delights such as Bacon Fondue, Fish & Chippers using Guinness beer, and an oyster dish called The World is Your Oyster.
ALCOHOL The assortment includes both local craft and domestic beers, wines, four types of mimosas and bloody marys, plus margaritas and drink specials.
VIBE Diner atmosphere with TVs and a digital jukebox, original murals carrying out the Feast to West theme, and Washburn’s growing collection of license plates. “People come in and bring a license plate and we trade them a cold beer for it. We have all 50 states already—I’m trying to overwhelm it with West Virginia.”
UNIQUE FEATURE The entire menu is served at any hour. “You can come in and have a Jack Daniel’s and a burger at 9 a.m. or eggs Benedict and a mimosa at 9 p.m.,” Washburn says. And the serving of french fries comes in a different presentation—half on the plate and half in a glass. For dessert, the PB&J Waffle Taco and the Waffle Cinnamon Roll sound pretty great.
HOURS 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday
750 Fairmont Road, Westover, 304.241.4916, feasttowestcafe.com