The Food Guy: Bistro owner opens new restaurant in Huntington

When I told you a few weeks ago that Bridge Road Bistro had started offering a new Saturday morning brunch menu, I had no idea that wasn’t the only new project up the South Hills restaurant’s sleeve.

Turns out owner Sandy Call also just opened a new restaurant in downtown Huntington.

Located in a spot at 910 4th Ave. that used to house popular restaurants Huntington Prime and, most recently, Prime on 4th, the new Sunset Grill blends farm-to-table dining and live music in a modern “speakeasy” setting.

The menu — also created by Bridge Road Bistro executive chef John Wright and Sunset Grill sous chef Derek Merrill — features brick-oven pizzas, steaks and more, with catering services and delivery offered to downtown Huntington businesses.

They’ve moved into a nice spot there in Huntington — complete with a top-floor lounge overlooking the Ohio River — so I look forward to seeing Sandy, John and crew make culinary waves in Charleston’s sister city.

The Margarita Garden opens at Mi Cocina

In other local restaurant news, I recently spent a gorgeous Saturday afternoon sipping and snacking at The Margarita Garden at Mi Cocina de Amor, a new outdoor dining patio and live music space that more than quadruples the restaurant’s previous patio.

Surrounded by wrought iron and corrugated steel fencing, this al fresco oasis now offers seating for about 100 additional guests at picnic tables, iron tables and bar stools situated under strings of festive lights.

The new area stretches the length of the entire building all the way to the alley, with a large stage in the back ready to welcome local singers and bands.

I happened to stop by on the day of the restaurant’s Fall Music Festival and Arts & Crafts Fair, where I enjoyed a frosty margarita or two (who’s counting?) with a piping hot skillet of delicious bean dip while a local band was covering everything from the Eagles, Doobie Brothers and Van Morrison to Bryan Adams, The Black Crowes, Tracy Chapman and Green Day.

The music was great, the food was delicious, the drinks did their job and the place was packed with happy diners. What’s not to love?

Best burgers in the galaxy?

For the constant requests I get from readers wanting to find the best burger in town, reader Bettijane Burger (real last name) offers an unlikely recommendation.

“An overlooked gem is the juicy big hamburgers at Galaxy Lanes [bowling alley] in Kanawha City! He cuts them in half.”

Of all the years I spent there with my three once-young boys, I can’t believe I never tried one. I’ll remedy that soon, though.

Bowling, anyone?

Chinese buffet in Eleanor

Reader Cathie Zuspan reached out to rave about a restaurant she loves in Eleanor.

“You must try the Moon Buffet,” she insists. “It’s the best Chinese food anywhere!”

She said the restaurant suffered a devastating fire in January and customers were afraid they were gone for good, but the owners found another location and just reopened a few weeks ago.

“They had so many customers they ran out of food, which was hot, perfectly cooked and so good.”

More Spencer bakery love

The Spencer hotspot Chrissy’s Bakeshop that a reader praised two weeks ago got more love from another fan this week.

“I have to echo your reader’s comment on this awesome place in Spencer,” Ben Hughes told me. “I travel there for work frequently and always stop in for the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had — and I am an expert.”

He added that the bakery’s small chocolate “cakelets” are amazing, along with fresh bread and sandwiches that are both delicious and low in price.

“I’m glad to see them getting some recognition,” he added. “It’s a nice young couple. The Front Porch Cafe in Spencer is also worth checking out!”

Free food on Halloween

This Halloween food news is anything but scary, but you can stop in the following local restaurant chains tomorrow for a discounted or free treat — if you’re willing to dress up for it, in some cases.

Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut of choice to anyone who comes in wearing a costume on Thursday.

Kids who wear costumes to Chuck E. Cheese will receive 50 free game tickets on Halloween.

Tomorrow only, the Jack-O’-Lantern thin-crust pizza at Papa John’s is only $11.

Baskin Robbins is offering scoops of ice cream for a discounted $1.70 all day — no costume required.

Ice cream coming to the West Side

Speaking of ice cream, a new sign posted on a storefront beside the old Staats Hospital on West Washington Street hints at sweet things to come for the West Side’s hip, happening “Elk City” neighborhood.

What new shop will soon open there? Dancing Dog Ice Cream.

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or by email at wvfoodguy@aol.com. You can also follow him on Facebook as “WV Food Guy” and on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as “WVFoodGuy”.

Funerals for Thursday, November 21, 2019

Bias, Kenneth - 7 p.m., Evans Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

Carrow, Mildred - 1 p.m., Marmet Memorial Gardens, Marmet.

Coleman, Aaron - 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.

Fore, George - 7 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Midkiff, Cleo - 2 p.m., Bartlett-Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Outman, Roxine -  2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Shamblin, Cathy - 7 p.m., Christ Community Church, Scott Depot.