Friday, October 19, 2012

21 at the Frederick - Truly Charming

A few weeks ago, my spouse and I decided to have our date night at 21 at the Frederick, and we were both quite pleased with our selection. And that is an understatement.

The atmosphere is the first thing one notices as entering the restaurant requires going into the beautiful lobby of the historic Frederick building in downtown Huntington. The restaurant itself is very ornate, robust and romantic. The dim lights, quiet setting, and interesting decorum sets a great environment for dinner.

The service was perfect as our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and the specials, and he was very personable. He made just the right suggestions as we were served quite possibly the best steaks we've had in town. Extremely flavorful and topped off with a wondrous cheese mixture, and surrounded by flavorful sides and tasty warm bread.

So to recap: an atmosphere like any other around, wonderful service, and delectable food. All these things work together to easily make 21 one of the CVB's favorite upscale restaurants.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pizza - with a twist or two...

The new kid on the block has been turning some heads... and for good reason. Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar located at 841 4th Avenue is the newest addition to an already impressive lineup of local restaurants in Downtown Huntington. The key to all the buzz surrounding their highly-anticipated opening? Taking an old Huntington favorite, then topping it off with some titillating twists!
Yes, I'm talking about the ol' the pizza pie: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and maybe a little pepperoni or sausage, or if you're feeling adventurous maybe you add some olives or even pineapple. Sure, those ingredients sound good right about now - I mean, who doesn't love a good pizza? But Backyard Pizza has certainly made it a priority to think outside the box to the way they've approached one of our heralded meals.

The overall experience is new and exciting for this pizza place. Walking into the restaurant is a treat in itself as its tasteful decor leads to a very eclectic look and sophisticated mood. The wood fire oven that is used gives your pizza a more robust texture and a perfect crisp, and the toppings range from the classics of sausage and mozzarella to avocados, BBQ pork, ricotta, black beans, calamari, and habanero infused nacho cheese. Mouth watering yet? If for some reason it's not, maybe the raw bar would be more to your liking with items like panfried or BBQ New Orleans style oysters.

Next time you're in town, check this place out. It's good for casual dining, business lunches, or a date you want to impress.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Power of Huntington

Over the years I have become quite fond of electricity.  I’ve always had it. I guess I’m really a city girl at heart.  I don’t like camping, the outdoors, heat, or being uncomfortable.  Some may call this high-maintenance.  I call it the way my Mama raised me.  Either way, when I was recently without power at my Southside home for 5 days, this caused a problem.  A big, sweaty, grouchy problem.

After “roughing it” for almost three days, this girl was done. Staying with friends was not an option because most of my friends were either also without power, or were harboring their own temporary shelters for other friends and family.  I made a few calls and was able to find one of the last remaining hotel rooms downtown. During check-in, I made friends with a lot of other local residents who were doing the same thing I was. The kids, who had already spent time in the hotel pool, didn’t seem to mind at all.  The lobby of 40+ people were mostly kind and gracious.  We were all in the same boat and just wanted some relief.

Making the best out of this situation seemed to be the only option here, but I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did! “Living” downtown allowed me to walk to places like Uno’s and Rooster’s for dinner, stroll through Empire Books and pick up some new reading material, and browse some amazing shoes at Heels. I could walk to my favorite watering hole, Hank’s Fourth Avenue, and spend time with friends, many of whom were also without power. I realized that while most people were not enjoying this change in lifestyle -  I was not at all unhappy about my living situation! Having never lived downtown, I was experiencing all she had to offer in a different way than ever before. Shopping and dining experiences aside, my morning view over the Ohio River was an inspiring way to wake up. A view that screamed “There are people who have situations much worse than you.  Not just today, but every day. You just woke up to this.”

Every day I would go home and check to see if there were any signs of light.  Nope.  I think I secretly wanted the power out for another few days so I could continue my downtown vacation. It allowed me to have a freshly made bed every day, which usually doesn’t happen at home.  It allowed me a fresh breakfast every day, which never happens at home.  It allowed me newly laundered towels daily, which is usually a toss-up at home.

Ah, home.  Maybe I am starting to miss her.  The beautiful, tree-lined brick streets of the Southside.  Where I can walk to Ritter Park for an evening stroll (weather permitting, of course); I can walk to Speedway for my favorite breakfast: a fountain Coke (see earlier comment about fresh breakfast); I used to be able to walk to get yogurt, but now I can walk to get a pedicure.  Personally, I preferred the yogurt. I can talk to my neighbors, who have lived in the same house for 40 years, and where I have watched their grandchildren grow up in the backyard.

I guess the bottom line is, no matter what part of Huntington I live in, I love every inch of her! So different, yet lovingly familiar.
As for me… I am back home now to my un-made bed, empty refrigerator, and a bag of laundry.  And I couldn’t be happier.  I may just walk down the street and get a pedicure.

Stay cool, Huntington!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taste of Asia: deliciously diverse

The Huntington area is home to some wonderful restaurants that boast an ethnic flavor: Tascali's, Rocco's, and La Famiglia are a just a few of our many Italian restaurants; Tahona Grille and Rio Grande headline a long list of Mexican restaurants; Nawab has excellent Indian food; then there's a plethora of fantastic eateries that specialize in food from the orient including Wonderful Restaurant, Thai House, and Hibachi. The one we are highlighting today is Taste of Asia found on 3rd Avenue which masters Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisines. The sushi is prepared in front of you and is of top quality, and the show that the Hibachi chefs put on is as entertaining as the food is delicious. The Chinese dishes are flavorful and authentic, and the Thai curry is savory and can also be delightfully spicy.
As with any restaurant we like to highlight, the service is great and the ambiance is awesome. You should definitely check it out next time you're downtown!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jim's... It's just that good.

There have been countless articles, reviews, and blogs already written about Jim's Steak and Spaghetti House, but that is for good reason - Jim's has been one of the areas most popular eating establishments for decades.

Whether it's a strong sense of traditionalism or the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality that has preserved the restaurant's incredibly nostalgic charm, it's working. Tons of folks fill the downtown Huntington staple's booths every day and the friendly servers keep the delicious fish sandwiches and spaghetti with the famous Jim's meat sauce right on coming. Those that are familiar enough with Jim's know they have to get one of their slices of pie for dessert, and some (this author included) even look forward to the one week a year that the restaurant serves its famous strawberry pie.

At the CVB we have a tough time verbalizing to visitors just what exactly the Jim's experience is like, it truly is one of those places that must be experienced to be understood. With that said - if you haven't gone, you need to change that!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Make Plans for Party on the Patio This Summer at Heritage Station

The first Party on the Patio kicked off in March, and there's much more fun planned for the rest of the summer! Make sure and save the dates for fun, spirits, live music and good times!
April 20
May 11
June 8
July 6
August 10
September 14

Come and see us on these Fridays this summer from 5pm-10pm!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marshall Artists Series Continues to Keep Keith-Albee Theatre Alive With Entertainment

Cabell County has always had a rich history of arts and entertainment.  One of the main theatrical attractions in our area is The Keith-Albee Theatre in downtown Huntington. The Keith Albee opened to the public in May of 1928 with vocalist Rae Samuels, several vaudeville acts, and a screening of “Good Morning Judge” with Reginald Denny.  Opening day admission was 50 cents per person, and all 3000 original seats were filled.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Keith-Albee featured a recreation of a vaudeville show starring famed singer Rudy Vallee. In December 2006, the Keith Albee was host to the world premier of the Warner Brothers motion picture We Are Marshall, which brought Hollywood to Huntington!

In 1939 the Theatre became home to The Marshall Artists Series, which continues to bring a wide variety of entertainment to Huntington at the Keith-Albee including film festivals, Broadway shows, orchestras, musical guests, and comedians. Most recently, acts like Cee Lo Green, Jungle Jack Hanna, Elvis Costello, Michael McDonald and Glenn Campbell have graced the historical stage.  For information about what amazing performances are coming soon, visit The Marshall Artist Series website at The wide variety of events are sure to have something exciting for the whole family!