Despite a Facebook feed that may often seem otherwise, I’m really not out eating and drinking at all of the places all of the time.
I’d love to be — don’t get me wrong — but there’s simply too much culinary ground around the state for one Food Guy to cover. Lucky for me, there’s an army of hungry readers out there who feed me restaurant tips as well.
If you remember me sharing the news many months ago about South Charleston’s King Kabab opening a second location in Kanawha City, that exciting development is still happening. It’s just taking longer than expected to get the new building (the old Sinbad’s Pizza) up and running.
After noticing the “coming soon” sign still up in Kanawha City, a curious reader reached out to ask if I knew what was going on. I didn’t, so she did a little investigative reporting herself.
“I just left King Kabab in South Charleston and asked about the new location,” Leah Bostic wrote. “The owner told me they’re still working on the remodel and that it should be opening in about two months. I told him I would let you know.”
Thanks for the update, Leah! I love that little restaurant’s Middle Eastern fare — especially those luscious lamb chops — and look forward to having another place to enjoy them.
Reader Amy Ricketts wrote in to tell me about a new-to-me discovery near Ripley.
“I wanted to tell you about a little gem called Sorella Ristorante off the Fairplain exit of I-77. I am Italian and pretty picky when it comes to Italian restaurants, but I knew I was in the right place when I read a sign over their banquet room that said: Buon cibo, buon vino, buoni amici. Salute! (Good food, good wine, good friends. Cheers!)”
Amy went on to tell me that the owner is Italian and almost everything is homemade, from the sauce and meatballs all the way down to the salad dressing.
“We were there for lunch and had the spaghetti and meatballs, and the sausage and peppers hoagie. Everything was delicious and tasted like what my Mom used to make! The Italian wedding soup, although one of the few things not homemade, could have fooled me it was so good. Bread and a fresh salad came with lunch and the homemade Italian dressing was superb — you could tell they use high-quality olive oil.”
She said she wanted to buy a bottle of the dressing to bring home, but they don’t bottle it. At least not yet.
“Our waitress, Sarah, who is also the general manager, was kind enough to send me home with more though. Bless her!”
She added: “The restaurant’s atmosphere is lovely and they also have a very nice bar area. The menu is not very large, but I would bet that everything offered is good. I would love to hear your take on it if you decide to check it out for yourself.”
Speaking of readers, Jessie Perdue is in need of noodles in a bad way.
“I’m looking for the best, chewy Chinese/Korean noodles in the valley or beyond — not going to lie, I will travel for them if necessary.”
I told her Ichiban’s awesome Street Noodle and Hot Pot menu immediately came to mind, but those options all include Udon, Ramen or Singapore Rice Noodles. (Jessie specified it’s the chewier Korean-style noodles she seeks. “This pregnancy craving is REAL!” she joked.)
Outside of Ichiban, both Yen’s and Pho Vinh Long at the Mound in South Charleston have great noodle options, including both crispy and soft-noodle dishes at the latter.
Let’s hook Jessie up with our very best recommendations. Anyone have a Korean “chewy noodle” source in the region or state?
Finally, once again this year, area churches will come together to host the “Taste of Nitro” this Saturday to benefit several year-round initiatives of the Nitro Mission Team, including the city’s food pantry, Christmas toy drive and children’s backpack program.
This year’s food festival will feature a variety of items, from pepperoni rolls and hot dogs to homemade desserts. In addition to food samples for purchase, the event will include a live bluegrass band and a car show hosted by the Nitro Antique Car Club.
“The Taste of Nitro has grown in popularity during each of the past several years,” said event chairman Bill Fortune. “People like the top-quality, homemade food prepared by Nitro churches so much, that many have learned to get there early to make sure they get it before it runs out.”
The event takes place from 4-7 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 2008 20th St. in Nitro. Tasting tickets are 25 cents each, with each item varying in the number of tickets needed for a sample.
For more information on the event, contact Fortune at 304-881-2015.