Foodies on a Tandem

If it’s one thing we both love, it’s enjoying good food. I know, i know – who doesn’t, right? But we’re actually kind of obsessed with it… meals are often what we look forward to the most in our day, trying new foods during our vacations readily lead us to having 5 plus meals in a 10 hour span, and it’s not rare for one of us to stop the other mid-sentence just so we can enjoy the last bite of a dish.

It’s our passion for food that has led us to this project – a simple blog where we share our dining experiences in the Huntington area. We’re not experts or trained food critics by any means (in fact Kati asked how to spell the word “restaurant” just last week), but we see this as a fun endeavor.

Some things to note about our method:

  • Our overall goal is not to be critical, but rather to promote the local establishments that make our city unique and delicious. Not that we won’t mention snags or caveats, but the focus is to be positive.
  • Local places tend to be our favorites for several reasons: supporting them promotes entrepreneurship; frequenting them boosts the local economy far more than chains; they provide one-of-a-kind experiences; support means a lot more to them where they don’t have the national recognition and marketing chains do. This is not a knock on chains as they, too, can have hard working, passionate, and committed individuals, but you can probably find enough reviews of them elsewhere.
  • We’ll be riding our tandem bike to most of the restaurants we review. No real reason other than it’s just kinda fun.
  • Kati will handle seafood and Will will handle pork (that’s not sourced locally).
  • We’ll be picking one restaurant a month which we will visit twice in that month. This way we can try two apps, two desserts, and four entrees to highlight. Some months we may do more casual/fun topics like “best hot dog” or “battle of the brunches.”
  • Here is our rating scale (will be illustrated by a thumbnail of a bicycle):
    • 1 Tandem Bicycle – Average/Decent
    • 2 Tandem Bicycles – Good/Coming back soon
    • 3 Tandem Bicycles – Wow!/Coming back tomorrow
    • 4 Tandem Bicycles – Amazing!/Can i eat the other customers’ leftovers?
    • 5 Tandem Bicycles – Huntington Legend/We are bowing to you

Enjoy, share, and dig in!

kati and will


La Famiglia

Wow, didn’t realize this before but this blog post marks the first anniversary of our food project! Plenty of restaurants to go and we’re excited to share them with you.


This month we’ll be discussing the very aptly named restaurant, La Famiglia. I say this because a) the name is in Italian and the restaurant’s food is southern Italian and b) it is very much a family affair. That was made abundantly clear on our first visit as we got to chat with the entire Hagys family who own the restaurant: brothers Jordan and Joe, and their parents Ralph and Terri – it was nothing but smiles and warmth from a group that absolutely loves what they do. The family involvement extends past the immediate four, and it was fun listening to what brother does this and what uncle is in charge of that.

Now in its fifth year of operation, the restaurant has really grown on Huntington – both figuratively and literally as its continued success led to expansions and even an additional restaurant, Mulberry Street Meatball Company and Deli which offers lunch service. The original Sixth Avenue house offered a small and intimate dining room in addition to one of the only outdoor seating areas in town, and it’s lovely. Mulberry Street is just a few blocks away in the heart of downtown.


Soon, popularity and event space demands led to adding the house’s second floor to the mix, and most recently the Hagys purchased the home next door for more banquet/special occasion space. Here’s the new gorgeous space:

There are many things to like about dinner at La Famiglia -it’s laid back, friendly, good food, and the atmosphere is just so welcoming. What is most obvious is the attention paid to authenticity and quality. These are family recipes that have been passed down and are executed with care. Desserts are crafted in house, pastas are made from scratch, and ingredients are always fresh or even from their own garden. All of these traits were sorely needed five years ago in downtown Huntington considering the most authentic Italian at the time was Fazoli’s…


First visit

Kati’s order: Special – rigatoni with basil cream sauce


Basil is at the top of my list when it comes to herbs so this special for the evening caught my attention. Basil’s refreshing yet robust flavor is a summer staple. Sometimes, though, I want a richer taste which made this dish the perfect union! The creamy fusion of a white sauce and basil was seriously just what I wanted! The dish was a little deceiving because at first it didn’t look like a large portion (and I was hungry!), but I found myself struggling to finish. Would gladly order this again and again.


Will’s order: Italian Sausage and Peppers – fresh rigatoni noodles with sautéed peppers, slow roasted tomato sauce, and a century old family recipe for crumbled Italian style sausage.


Yum, people! I upgraded mine by adding their Calabrian peppers for some extra heat. Overall this was one hearty meal. The handmade pasta was great and the sauce was thick and flavorful, but the star of the show was the meat- they weren’t shy about making sure the dish had enough of their family recipe sausage!

Dessert: Cannoli – Italian pastry, filled with a sweetened ricotta cheese mixture, and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.


Would you eat that? Of course you would. There’s no diet plan strong enough to stop you. We had the option of getting it chocolate dipped and we took them up on it since we’re not chumps. Cannoli was great – fluffy and rich with good crisp and a little tang.


Second visit

Appetizer: Grandma Jenny’s Meatball – authentic Italian meatballs, simmered in slow cooked tomato sauce, and dusted with imported pecorino cheese.


We had to see what all the fuss was about regarding these here meatballs. Much bigger than the picture suggests, i still regret only getting one. There was a “meatball platter” appetizer that had a bunch of these baked with cheese and served on focaccia bread that i’m definitely getting next time… although, their four cheese fonduta also sounded amazing.

Kati’s order: Raphael – Great Grandfather’s recipe for Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and garlic.20160430_205338 One of my goals this year was to stick with locally sourced meat if at all possible. La Famiglia does have some locally sourced items and their sausage is one of those. It didn’t just fit the local category either, it also fit the best sausage I’ve ever had column, too. Seriously. Each bite of my pizza was packed with spicy, flavorful punch. In fact, when I ordered it, I really was still dreaming of my rigatoni dish I mentioned above. However, now, I can’t wait to get back specifically to order this same pie. When the ingredients to a pizza are of incredible quality, there is no need for a lot of them, and this dish is proof of that. We swapped some pieces among the table of friends, which is fitting for the setting and vibes found in the homey setting, and mine took home the prize!


Will’s order: Lasagna Calabresesignature homemade lasagna, with fresh ricotta & mozzarella cheeses, stewed Italian pork, fresh herbs, and slow cooked tomato sauce.


Famous chef Gordon Ramsey, when trying out new restaurants, likes to order crab cakes. His rationale is because they are quite common due to their popularity and are generally easy to make, however, they are particularly tough to make well. That’s one of the ways he’s able to discern a restaurant’s ability. That was my mentality when ordering lasagna – every Italian restaurant has lasagna but how many have great lasagna? In fact, growing up i didn’t think i liked the dish. That was until i tried Ceredo’s famous Rocco’s (which we’ll need to visit soon); that’s what opened my eyes to how good this Italian staple could be. La Famiglia’s version absolutely delivered. Savory and meaty, and anything they put their tomato sauce on is going to be good. What transcended it into the level of unforgettable was the copious amount of cheese. In my book there is no such thing as “too much cheese” and i’m glad the Hagys are on the same page.


A word from owner Jordan Hagy:

What was your vision/goal when conceptualizing your restaurant?

Our primary goal when we opened La Famiglia in 2011 was to bring our family’s passion for cooking and style of cuisine to the local market.  Having never worked in be restaurant industry, our only experience in the kitchen stemmed from my Grandmother, Jenny Hagy, who taught us everything we know today about Italian cuisine.  She, with her family, immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s from southern Italy.  When they immigrated, my family brought to America their own style of cooking and passion for food which we try to preserve to this day.  Every Sunday we would go to grandmas house for authentic pastas, baked breads, hand rolled meatballs, and countless other Italian specialties.  It was those memories and recipes we wanted to bring and share with the public when we opened La Famiglia.  We wanted each and every person who walked through our door to feel like they were eating at Grandma’s house with us.  We were very blessed to have the support from the local community and over the years have been fortunate enough to grow our business to match the growing demand for classic Italian cuisine in our area.

What sets La Famiglia apart?

What really separates La Famiglia apart from any other restaurant is our passion for our ingredients and our customers.  Being a family owned business- we have a personal connection with each and every guest who walks through our door.  We try to build a relationship with everyone we meet and in turn, make everyone we meet apart of our extended family.  Eating is a very social part of our society and food is something that should be shared with people you care about.  We want everyone who eats our food to feel like they know our family through our recipes and passion for authentic food. We are also different from any other restaurant in that we put extreme emphasis on our ingredients.  To bring a truly authentic experience to a food market that is overrun with frozen, processed, and low quality products – we go to extremes to use only the best ingredients we can.  We source our tomatoes for our pizzas from the San Marzano region of Italy, our flour for our pastas and pizzas is milled in Naples Italy, and a variety of our meats and cheeses are shipped directly from Rome.  If a specific ingredient isn’t imported from Italy, it is either homemade at La Famiglia or sourced from local farmers.  At La Famiglia we hand stretch our own mozzarella cheese, grind our meats for sausage and meatballs and utilize local farmers for fresh peppers, lettuce, mushrooms and a variety of seasonal ingredients.  Authentic food absolutely has to begin with authentic ingredients and a passion for the craft of cooking.


WHEN TO GO: Only open for dinner (reservations are accepted), but make sure to try Mulberry Street for lunch.

BEST PART: Jordan says it best when he talks about how they treat their customers and the attention paid to ingredients. Both are very visible.

WHAT SETS IT APART: Authenticity and you really do feel like part of the family.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Part of the experience is the relaxed atmosphere so do be prepared for longer dining time especially during a busy night. Also, the family told us their favorite meal was Grandma’s spaghetti and fried chicken – let’s start a petition to get that on the menu!

HOW TO FIND IT: 1327 6th Avenue or or

OVERALL RATING: drum roll please…

4 Tandems – Amazing!/Can i eat the other customers’ leftovers?





Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House

As one of our favorite restaurants, we’ve looked forward to writing about Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House for a while now. However, as storied, as well-visited, and as well-documented as Jim’s has been over nearly eight decades (what!) it is a bit intimidating.

As a life-long Huntingtonian, Kati offers the following perspective:

Some places just feel like home.  Growing up in Huntington and frequenting the green booths of Jim’s, I feel home as soon as the bells jingle when I open the door. My order runs off my tongue like a native language. Because duh, I only get two things and those things are perfect.


I didn’t get to experience Jim’s until much later in life, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the quaint restaurant. I never quite know how to describe it – truthfully, i think it’s an unusual place, but in the most charming of ways. Anytime i recommend it to others, most being from out of town, the description is short, and normally ends with something to the tune of “it’s unique, just trust me, you just have to go there, trust me.”

There’s a reason why this is the place celebrities, famous athletes, and big time politicians visit when passing through our area, and that reason is, well, magic. Like Marshall University or the Keith Albee, Jim’s is a bona fide Huntington institution, and stepping foot in the restaurant you get the feeling that whatever history this town has, Jim’s was part of it. Pick any college class throughout the years, they have sat at the iconic counter. The movers and shakers of their times, the green booths is where they gathered to discuss the next big thing. The loveliest couples to have ever resided in this town, this is where they went on dates. Businessmen have shaken hands here; kids have doodled on the “smile” placemats; generations of family members have debated the secret recipes to the timeless dishes.

What Jim’s isn’t is a diner with a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. No, this is a place of proud, proud tradition. One that it works hard to uphold, and a place of extremely high standards, the first of which is customer service. The smiling waitresses, in their patented white dresses and green aprons, are a prime example – they will always treat you wonderfully. On top of that, boy is Jim’s consistent. You can expect your meal to come out exactly right every single time.

Okay, now it’s time for the food reviews. On our second visit, you’ll find that Kati and i each ordered an entree (which came with rolls and a salad/slaw), and also ordered a soup, a dessert, and split another entree. That might seem like a lot, but do understand, we’re just that committed to this blog 🙂

First visit

Kati’s order: Haddock – White Iceland Haddock dipped in homemade buttermilk batter and deep fried to a golden brown. Served with homemade tartar sauce on the side.


Sure you’ve had fried fish, but have you had THIS thick and crispy of a batter or tarter sauce that surely was gifted from Heaven above? Probably not unless you eat fish at Jim’s. It’s crunchy, it’s fall apart in your mouth, and once drenched in that tarter- it’s next level. I paired mine with green beans, a side salad, and rolls. Let’s pause and reflect on the salad dressing. Important choice here: the house oil & vinegar is so good that will always asks me to hand him my bowl when I’m finished so he can soak his crackers in it and eat those, too. Yep… it’s tradition! I also may or may not have drank the remaining dressing out of the bowl a few times when he wasn’t around for the cracker bath  😉


Will’s order: Ribeye – A 10 ounce Ribeye grilled to your preference.


This is Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House so thinking that perhaps sometimes the steak option gets ignored, i figured why not give it a try. It’s straight to the point, economical, and tasty. Comes with two sides so i ordered the buttered potatoes, which are great, and the green beans, which i might enjoy even more.


Second visit

Kati’s order: Spaghetti – famous spaghetti with  homemade meat sauce. Served with a salad or slaw, bread or rolls, and coffee or tea.  They also have a marinara sauce.

I’ll insert the picture of the spaghetti in a bit but instead we’ll call your attention to a pretty important image. You know how when you use Google, it tries to guess what you’re going to type based on what have been popular similar queries? Well, check out what happens when you start typing in “jims spaghetti.”


As you notice, the very first suggestion is “sauce recipe.” One thing is certain, if you were to run a search on just that, you will not find the recipe. There’s a lot of theories, a lot of educated guesses, and a lot of handwritten versions passed down from generation to generation with the instruction of “please guard this – it’s Jim’s sauce recipe.” None are correct. Jimmie, the owner, who i think is a fair person, will even tell you if you get it right when you recite your guess. She’s never had to come clean.

Okay – back to Kati and her review: Up next is my spaghetti order: “Small-spaghetti-side-salad-house-oil&vinegar-roll-tea-please” It takes about as long to say it as it does for your salad to arrive to your table, then 4 minutes later your food. Jim’s is fast! Spaghetti sauce has a zillion variations, but this variation is one in particular that countless people have tried to replicate year after year and always fail. The meaty goodness with hints of smokey, onion flavor is not for faint of heart. This spaghetti sauce will put some hair on your chest. Its consistency is more of a chili/sauce hybrid.


I (will) had the spaghetti as well. I’ve not had all the different spaghettis in the world, but so far this is my favorite by a large margin. Kati and i like it so much, in fact, that Jim’s spaghetti was the main entree at our rehearsal dinner the evening before our wedding. I’m not bold enough to try and guess what the ingredients are that make this sauce so different, but whatever the combination, it works. Oh, a quick note on the Jim’s slaw – so, so good. It’s sweet and fresh tasting, and not mayonnaisey like others.

After the spaghetti, then the haddock, the most popular item on the menu is the hamburger. Just like you would expect, it’s recognizable yet different. There are no buns but regular sandwich bread, toasted on the grill alongside the thin, juicy beef patty. It is old-school pal, and delicious.

Alright, the next section is dedicated to the pies at Jim’s – yes, they deserve their own section.

Pies are sort of a lost art in our food scene today. I know a couple of chains that have them, but in general, cakes, pastries, and other desserts get more limelight than the poor pie family. I’m not sure why, though, because pies rock and Jim’s does them right. My favorite is the chocolate- simple, straightforward, wonderful whipped topping, and perfect enough to come in for just that and a coffee on an afternoon date with a friend. Will’s fave is the coconut. [Actually Kati, allow me to interject here. Yes, the coconut is good, BUT it’s not my favorite. Back on December 2nd of 2015, i know because i put it on my calendar so i wouldn’t miss it, i went to Jim’s to have their apple caramel pie. Speechless. This is my favorite, but sadly, it is only served every 5 weeks so get your own calendar out.] I reluctantly devoured my share and remember that it’s totally delicious, too. Of course, we would be doing a great disservice if we didn’t get to mention Jim’s other claim to fame: STRAWBERRY PIE WEEK! Go back to the Google image above and take notice of what the second suggestion is. Strawberry Pie week begins the Tuesday after Mother’s Day. And from Tuesday to Saturday, Jim’s sells 1000 plus of these jewels! It’s kind of a big deal. The line goes to the corner, there are limits and regulations, and everyone who has ever known anything about Huntington has either attended this event or certainly knows about it. Let me be clear, those pies are certainly fantastic, but don’t wait until that week to get pie at Jim’s! You’ll be missing out! Oh, and another cool pie thing is Marshall students get a slice for free with their meal.

A word from owner, Jimmie Carder:

How Jim’s came about

In 1938, my future mom said to my future dad “get a job or I’m gone!” He borrowed $1,500 and bought Kennedy Dairy Bar. Their goal was to make money to get married. They were hard workers and did whatever it took.

What set Jim’s apart

What we hear everyday – “we love to come to Jim’s because we know it’s going to be the same.” Our goal: quality and consistency. We strive very hard to allow our customers to feel they’re a part of our family.

WHEN TO GO: Great for a quick lunch, date night, meeting, etc. Make sure you don’t miss Strawberry Pie Week.

BEST PART: Tradition and consistency. This is one of Huntington’s best stories because of those two things.

WHAT SETS IT APART: The feeling you get as soon as you enter Jim’s is just different. You feel at home.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: A complaint we hear sometimes about Jim’s is that it doesn’t take credit card, so we might have been inclined to write that in this section, but we disagree. It’s part of the tradition that makes it charming.

HOW TO FIND IT: Right downtown at 920, 5th Avenue.

OVERALL RATING: drum roll please…

5 Tandems – Huntington Legend/We are bowing to you!


Look if JFK and Muhammad Ali have stopped here, then you know they’re doing something right.

Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar

First – let us apologize for our hiatus, we’re back now and excited to share our food thoughts with you!

Although we had some other restaurants lined up, when Backyard Pizza finally re-opened, we had to bump it to the front of the line.20151103_172323

Speaking of which, we know you were just as excited as we were for the return of the ever-popular destination as evidenced by considerable lines extending past the the lobby and into the sidewalk… at 5pm… on Tuesdays. For this town, i can assure you, that is madness.

To address the circumstances that led to this Huntington favorite from having to re-open in the first place, we’ll touch on it just in case you’re not familiar. On the morning of July 27, 2014, the historic Morris Building downtown caught fire due to an issue with an elevator. The building was home to a few residents, a couple of businesses, and two wildly popular restaurants owned and operated by Drew and Megan Hetzer – the original Backyard Pizza and The Peddler. Luckily, everybody was evacuated safely and fire fighters did a phenomenal job extinguishing the flames, but significant damage was done. That morning, we were on our way to Backyard for Sunday brunch as we had family in for a reunion – it was the place we would always take our out of town guests. The news hit the community hard; though it was just a local eatery, it certainly felt like we were losing a lot more. And what we as patrons felt certainly didn’t compare to what the Hetzers and the employees must have gone through. However, from early on Drew and Megan pledged they would return, and the community gladly rallied behind them.

Fast forward to Fall 2015, and the highly anticipated debut came with absolutely zero letdown. For those able to recall the previous Backyard location, it’s understood that the new would have some big shoes to fill. Not just in quality of food and service, but the place itself was the spot. Atmosphere, vibrancy, unique style, art, the old Backyard had it all. How was the new to live up? I am one to not set expectations – that way i avoid disappointments but leave the window open for surprises. When i first stepped into 833 3rd Avenue, i was more than surprised, i was blown away.

We don’t like to give too much away about the actual space as we’d prefer for you to just rush in and experience it yourself, but just know that it is out of this world. If you’ve already been, you saw what i did there. The elements that made its predecessor stand out are still there, but re-imagined entirely. There is tremendous attention to detail, jaw dropping art taking center stage, and now, a more modern edge.

The restaurant is spacious with a giant bar and tables ranging from two-tops to 8/9 seaters. At the end of the bar you can find the Raw Bar portion.


Alright, alright – now to the food review!

First visit:

Pulled pork sliders: these are fantastic. The BBQ is sweet and zingy, with plenty of pop, but what sticks out to me about this appetizer is the woodfired dough serving as bread. The the not-so-small mini sandwiches are also piled high with french fried onion straws to add to the texture.

Kati’s order:  Woo-tang – hickory grilled chicken, bleu cheese crumbles, fresh shredded mozzarella, roasted red peppers, diced jalapeno and red onion. Finished with cilantro, drizzled with our honey, Sriracha and lime schwing sauce.

[Not pictured. Why? Look, it had been over a year – we went to town as soon as the food was placed in front of us]

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t love at first bite. I have tried every pizza on the menu, and this one is still my favorite. The chicken, red roasted pepper with two types of cheeses make for a great foundation, but once that sriracha, honey, and lime schwing sauce is drizzled on…it’s game over. I could bathe in this concoction.  But instead I just eat the whole pizza in one blink because it’s the bomb.

Will’s order: Truffle Shuffle – Baby portabella tossed in white truffle oil and rosemary. Roasted garlic cream sauce, carmelized onion, sauteed spinach, smoked applewood bacon with mozzarella and parmesan.

If there was just one ounce of disappointment in our four or so trips so far, it was that my pizza came out a little overdone. However, i still devoured it and still got enough of the rich, bold flavors i had missed for so long. The cheeses are strong, in a good way, and the garlic cream ties every other ingredient in wonderfully.


Second visit:

Kati’s order: Half shell oysters20151119_174119

There aren’t a lot of places around here to get raw oysters from the half shell, but Backyard’s raw bar is certainly a place that can provide that and be trusted to be fresh. With a squirt of lime, pinch of horseradish, and some cocktail sauce I was in seafood heaven and almost forgot I hadn’t left West Virginia.

Will’s order: Reuben pizza – Guinness braised corned beef, roasted garlic, caraway seed, kraut, smoked gouda and a sweet pickle remoulade.20151119_174110

You know how last time you were eating a Reuben sandwich and you thought “geez Louise, why hasn’t someone made this into a pizza already?” Right, so probably not, but that is the number one thing i love about Backyard – they are adventurous and daring and like to push the limits with flavor, yet calculated and meticulous and successful. They are like that wily, old white water rafting guide that might just be crazy, but you still trust him to keep you alive on your journey through the rapids. What was i talking about? Oh right, this pizza. So good! It really is like taking a bite out of your favorite Reuben, and it so works on that crisped woodfired dough.

Haystack – Our dough deep fried over Velvet cinnamon ice cream, tossed in cinnamon and sugar, whipped topping, drizzled with honey and fudge. Flambe of grand marnier.20151119_175927

The most iconic dessert on the menu, and it’s easy to see why: the Haystack makes a show for itself. With the flames sizzling over the mound of cinnamon ice-cream, it’s impossible not to be tempted to photograph the thing. For Huntington natives, you will take one bite and immediately go into a deep nostalgia of a wonderful little place called Chili Willi’s we all miss dearly. The crunchy almonds, the drizzle of cinnamon, and those “haysticks” all make a glorious exclamation to an already awesome dining experience. It is really as gorgeous as it is delicious.


Okay, so now, one of my favorite parts of our blog – getting to hear from the fine folks that make it their life to treat us with their food. Here’s Drew.

People tend to like classy restaurants that stick with familiar American themes. The elderly love it, it’s classy, and it keeps businessmen and women nostalgic. Inspired by the “Dangerous Book for Boys”, a team of professionals and I came up with something that combines a lawyer’s nostalgia for camping/fishing/military service and our communities love for pizza and oysters. I spent several months conducting a content analysis around our area, focusing on the professional workforce of downtown Huntington. Along with other data, this study provided: taste preferences, distance they’re willing to travel for lunch, budget and how long they have for a break. The name Backyard was chosen because it’s modern enough to be considered upper scale, but common enough to be inviting for everyone. We wanted the name and design to have that Appalachian appeal. I have been in the restaurant business my entire life, it’s what I enjoy doing. I grew up in the business watching my mom wait tables while my dad taught school. My parents separated when I was 6 and I spent a lot of time at work with mom. During my years at Marshall I was undecided with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had always worked two to three jobs while going to school and they were in the restaurant or bar business. When I was at work it was like my play time, I enjoyed being there and connecting with people. The best advice anyone could have ever given me was no matter which path you choose in life, make sure you are passionate about it. With passion you will become the best at what you do. My wife and I being from Huntington, we wanted to offer something unique that people can have pride in. Especially, when they have friends from out of town and they go, “Wow! There’s nothing like it.” Wood fired ovens make the best pizza hands down. We also make everything from scratch and love playing with flavor profiles to create very nontraditional pies. As for the raw bar we special order our oysters so they arrive within 5 days of their harvest date. On the raw bar there is a wood fire grill that gives anything that touches it a delicious rustic flavor.

I think we speak for thousands in the area, and it’s clear to see why, when we scream “Hey Backyard – welcome back!”


WHEN TO GO: Literally, like right now. Or if you’d like for me to be more specific, i guess i could limit it to just lunch, or dinner, or brunch. Oh, that’s right, we didn’t even bring up brunch. Well, believe when we say you shouldn’t miss it – more on that when we have our special Battle of the Brunch edition on the blog.

BEST PART: So hard to say. They are doing so many things right. Ultimately, though, we have to go with the people. That’s what makes Backyard Backyard.

WHAT SETS IT APART: The vision. A lot of people don’t dare to dream, some who do, don’t act on it, and the few that dream big with every intention of realizing it are just special.


HOW TO FIND IT: 833 3rd Ave Huntington or

OVERALL RATING (please visit our first post to see our scale, it’s different than most):

The most elusive, the most prestigious, the most everything:

5 Tandems – Huntington Legend/We are bowing to you

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The Bodega

I (Kati) will be the first to admit that before we review a restaurant, I often have preconceived opinions. It’s hard not to since I have lived in Huntington my entire life! I can vividly remember having a saucy face at Jim’s Spaghetti as a kid and digging my paw into the  toy basket at Bailey’s cafeteria (special props for people who get that reference). However, I can speak for both of us when I say we walked into Bodega with quite a different view than when we walked out. And let’s be clear – we already had a positive outlook when we entered. Interviewing Chef Susan, experiencing great hospitality, and hearing her vision for not just Bodega but all of Huntington made our hearts full. Not only that, but our previous reviews came from restaurants that have been around much longer than Bodega. Considering it only opened in February, it’s important to value a restaurant for what it is now but also to admire where they hope to be in the future. That’s the thing with local spots– they don’t pop up with a cookie-cutter menu and scripts. One of the fun parts is watching them evolve and mold into their character.

And in the case of Bodega, it’s nice to know that Chef Susan and the rest of the crew like to know what you, the customer, thinks, too!  Take it from her as she said, “we already change our menu seasonally, the WHOLE thing! That’s new and at first our customers were a bit taken aback but now we hear nothing but excitement from them. We have experimented with different items in the market to see what sells and what doesn20150731_130243‘t really work. It’s always a work in progress so chances are, every time you come into The Bodega, you will find something new.​”

Bodega is hard to describe because it’s a little  bit of everything! A cafe, a market, a place to grab a drink with a friend, etc. And that’s exactly what Chef Susan had in mind when she envisioned it (more on that later). She hoped that it would be a place that was “a feast to all the senses,” and as soon as you enter, it certainly feels like Bodega has achieved this goal.

Since Bodega is unique in this sense, our review layout will be a little different than standard app, entree, dessert.


House brewed loose leaf iced tea: typically tea (without any form of sugar) seems a bit bland, but this little number is packed with berry flavors and bursts of spice that were tastefully refreshing.20150731_131604
Key lime Pie Italian Soda: can’t eat a slice of key lime pie? It’s okay. Just drink this. Seriously. Drink it all. It tastes JUST like a key lime pie…complete with the whip cream on top.
Chipotle Pineapple Italian Soda: nice blend of sweet and tangy with a tiny kick of spice. Probably unlike something you have had before so definitely worth a try.

Sides (all made in house, from scratch):
Hummus: easily some of the best hummus in town!
Everything Pizza Pasta: You know how the last several times you were eating some bland pasta salad you thought “man i wish this side had some of my favorite pizza toppings on it”? Well Bodega must have read your mind because they took this pasta salad and loaded with tons of flavor.
Bunny Salad: Carrots, onions, grapes, and all the other things a bunny may enjoy. Mayo based and my (kati) personal favorite of all the sides!20150731_132115
French Potato Salad: No mayo here; But you won’t miss it! Olive oil and lemon give this classic dish a little makeover that you will certainly enjoy.
Thai Chili Pasta: this creative side has some familiar flavors formatted in a new way. Definitely spices up the traditional pasta salad.

Kati’s order: #2:  Mozzarella, House Pesto and Tomato.


A perfect selection for a meatless Monday lunch! The ooey-gooey mozzarella melted in my mouth while the freshness of the pesto and crunchy, buttered bread team up to make this simple sandwich super tasty. Each sandwich comes with a side of Carolina coleslaw. It’s pretty standard, but as a slaw fan, I enjoy it as a garnish.

Will’s order: #9: Bacon, Fried Green Tomato, Cloverton



Oh my. I appreciate the fact that Bodega has a seasonal menu that will see items come and go, but i’m going to have some serious separation anxiety when this beauty bids farewell. I already knew i was going to be a fan because of the bacon, but the real MVP is this Cloverton cheese which is made locally. It is incredibly creamy and rich and serves as the perfect compliment to the buttered bread and bacon. While the fried green local tomatoes aren’t actually fried, they taste like they are and are healthier for you, plus they are awesome on this sandwich. I personally like asking for the ghost pepper cheese on all my orders and it provides a very spicy addition to each bite. Check it out if you dare.

Kati’s order:  #1 Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

​Per Chef Susan, this item has been leading the way for this seasonal menu, and it’s easy to see why. Just as most people enjoy a heaping chip full of buffalo chicken dip at tailgates and super bowl parties everywhere, this sandwich offers a 20150731_132258similar, fresher taste in sandwich form. The chicken is tossed in house-made buffalo sauce, the bleu-cheese spread is also homemade (and AWESOME), then add caramelized onions, and local greens and a tomato…all on toasty, buttery bread!
Will’s order: #8 Italian Grilled Cheese

I always ask for staff recommendations, and had it not been for their suggestion, this option may have been overlooked. I would have figured it was a simple grilled cheese, with perhaps some Italian spices but, soft! For this is actually a meat packed deli treat. It would be a good grilled cheese sandwich on its own with its crispy Italian bread, provolone, banana peppers, and tomatoes. However, they kick it up a notch (or three) by adding crisped pepperoni, ham, and salami to the mix. Staff recommends it and so do i.
A word from Bodega‘s Chef Susan Ballard:

What was your vision/goal when conceptualizing your restaurant?

Our vision when we created the concept for The Bodega was to open a quirky little corner store that would be a cool place to grab lunch, run in and shop for unusual grocery items and wines, sit down and try a new craft beer or mix and match a six pack to take home. We wanted it to be a bit off beat and funky, a place that was a feast for all the senses, so to speak. We also had a goal to as much of our spending power in our own community as possible. We are always sourcing local produce and cheeses and grocery items. We are very quality conscious and have high standards for our ingredients. We make our own sauces, jams, etc.

What sets Bodega apart?

I believe that is also what sets us apart. We have taken a concept of a market and café and brought it into an area where that had never been done! It was interesting trying to get all of our licenses etc. They kept saying…”You want to do WHAT?” Selling groceries, sitting in a “market” and eating, having a glass of beer or wine or picking it up to take home just hadn’t really been done. It is a concept we feel like we can continually grow and expand upon.

Lastly, I would like to think what we are doing that makes us stand out is trying to be a part of a growing downtown. We don’t view our neighbors as competitors, we view them as partners. The more successful restaurants, shops etc. there are in downtown Huntington, the more people will be drawn to the area. We will all share in the rewards of a vibrant downtown. No matter how wonderful my food may be, I cannot operate in a vacuum. No one wants to eat the same thing day in and day out. Variety is the spice of life and I hope to see plenty of other creative and inspired people come downtown and hang their shingles!

WHEN TO GO: Perfect spot for lunch! But not a bad idea to spice up your dinner by grabbing some sides to-go and mixing your own 6 pack of beer.

BEST PART: The Ownership — Chef Susan loves this community and wants it to thrive, collectively. We also love the seasonal, rotating menu… never a dull moment!

WHAT SETS IT APART: The colors, the art, and the layout… just sitting in Bodega will brighten your day.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Our only qualm is that a cup of tap water is not an option for a drink. Bottled water isn’t our friend 🙂 Tap water now available!

HOW TO FIND IT: 335 9th St, Huntington, WV or

OVERALL RATING (please visit our first post to see our scale, it’s different than most):

4 Tandems – Amazing!/Can i eat the other customers’ leftovers?

HINT FOR NEXT MONTH’S BLOG: Okay – for sure next month will be our first food battle.

Black Sheep Burrito and Brews

On the national trend that are gourmet burritos, the argument could be made that sticking out of the pack of burrito restaurants is a difficult thing to do. Uh, extremely difficult actually. Do we dare claim that our small town happens to have a burrito joint that could hold its own against similar establishments in the state – nay – country?

I mean, are we really going to go there?


Look, we know we’re not burrito experts but then again the concept is so simple – tortilla wrapped around certain ingredients – that the subject shouldn’t be that hard to master neither on the creation side nor the consumption side. But the reason for our bold assertion is based on a restaurant that isn’t afraid to be bold, in fact, that’s what it strives for. It prides itself on its creativity and quality, and it should. Not only did the place we are featuring this month master the burrito concept, it’s one dissertation away from being awarded a Ph.D.

Black Sheep Burrito and Brews opened roughly four years ago and has been wildly popular among the locals and visitors to the area alike. It’s been so popular, in fact, that a second location is enjoying a lot of success an hour away in Charleston. Spend some time in there and you’ll find out why it’s one of the most recommended places in town. In addition to the food, we can’t review Black Sheep Burrito and Brews without saying a word about their drink menu. While I’m (kati) not a big beer drinker, I can totally respect 13 brews on tap and the local flair Blacksheep offers with breweries from WV and other surrounding states. Furthermore, I can fully attest to the fact that their margaritas are my favorite in town, and be sure to look for special seasonal flavors, too — like strawberry, rhubarb! Oh, something else that stands out; we get a lot of out of town guests that happen to be vegetarian – our number one suggestion is always Black Sheep – kudos to them for being mindful enough to offer so many non-meat options!

The space itself has been home to some near-campus favorites in the past and Black Sheep has filled those shoes wonderfully. The restaurant is large with many tables, a long bar, and has great (and often elusive in Huntington) outdoor seating. Eye catching art adorns the walls, cheerful patrons fill the seats, tremendous atmosphere, and the place just teems with personality. With Black Sheep, they are telling you “hey, we’re going to pair up some stuff that you probably hadn’t thought about putting together, and, really, you’re just going to have to trust us.” So you trust them, and more importantly, they deliver.

First Visit

Appetizer: Specialty Wings – Golden Fried and glazed with our Spicy Apricot Reduction, topped with Bourbon Bacon Marmalade


Specialty Wings

Though not technically on the appetizer portion of the menu, we read over the description of these Specialty Wings (which are relatively new to the menu) and we couldn’t flag down our server fast enough! These jumbo wings would have been phenomenal by themselves as they were plump, juicy, and incredibly tender. But spicy apricot reduction? Bourbon bacon marmalade? Yes, please. The glaze was neither too spicy nor too sweet but boasted a distinct combination of flavors that we both loved. The bacon marmalade added a brand new dimension to chicken wings that i didn’t realize had been woefully missing my entire life. Not only did it add to the intensity of the flavor, but made for a much more robust texture. These will definitely be featured on our blog when we do our Battle of the Wings segment down the road, and as of right now, they look to be the wings to beat.

Kati’s order: Flock of Tacos – 1)Tuna- Wasabi-Cashew Seared Tuna, Sesame-Ginger Aioli, Chili-Mirin, Daikon-Carrot Relish & Fried Wontons 2)Thai Shrimp- Tempura fried Shrimp, Thai Hoisin-Peanut Sauce, Daikon-Carrot Relish & Cilantro 3)Avocado- Tempura Fried Fresh Avocado, Chipotle-Orange Mayo, Spring Mix & Pico de Gallo

Flock of Tacos


For a place that is known for burritos, we admit that we tend to favor their tacos more. The Flock of Tacos is the term used when you get to pick three from their list of 15 stunning tacos. This is my go-to for a couple reasons, I really enjoy diversity in a meal plus… I haven’t met a taco there I didn’t like! This time, I tried a new menu item: cashew crusted seared tuna. The taco has a good amount of tuna on it so it’s a hearty four bites. The slaw is the same as what is on my second taco: the thai shrimp. I will say that this slaw is a bit overpowering, but that doesn’t bother me because I love it! It’s a vinegar base and it goes wonderfully with fish. The tuna is more of a fresh flavor whereas the thai shrimp is heavier since it’s battered and fried. It also has peanut-hoisen sauce which I adore. Finally, I got the tempura-fried avocado taco. Each bite has a creamy, crunchy feel and the textures are perfectly paired!

Will’s order: Kung-Pao Chicken- Honey-Nut Breaded Chicken, House-made Kung-Pao Sauce, Daikon-Carrot Relish, Roasted Cashews, & Spring Mix

Kung Pao Chicken Burrito


Overall this is a solid burrito but i must admit, after reading the description i was anticipating a little more “oomph.” The parts that stuck out were the chicken with a lot of flavor and the spring mix that really added a fresh quality to the fold. The carrot relish sweetened it a bit and the cashews provided a nice intermittent crunch; i think the kung-pao sauce took over a little too much but did combine the ingredients together in a nice Asian-Latin fusion.

Second Visit

Kati’s order: Flock of Tacos (pt. 2) – 1)Brisket- Texas Smoked Brisket, Roasted Red Pepper Slaw & Blueberry BBQ Sauce 2)Portobello- Marinated Portobellos, Black Beans, Cilantro, Fried Tortilla Strips & Queso Fresco 3)Baja- Tempura Fried Fish, Shaved Red Cabbage, Ancho Yogurt Sauce & Cilantro

Although I got the flock the first time around and try not to repeat items, it was a breeze for me to order it again with 3 different varieties!

Flock of Tacos (pt. 2)

From left to right:
The blueberry brisket from Black Sheep is something I could eat by the tub full. Unfortunately a taco is not the best transportation device for large amounts of beef, but even the small portion the tortilla did deliver pleased my buds. Paired with slaw, this slightly sweet morsel that is one of the less eccentric menu items is sure to satisfy almost anyone. The portobello taco is actually my favorite of my top 6. Yes, a mushroom taco is the BEST taco! It may seem odd to some, but the mixture of this marinated ‘shroom and tasty black beans with a sprinkle of cheese and one crunchy wonton is both something I never saw coming, but I also do not want to say goodbye to. The final taco was the baja fish. Tempura fried with crunchy, red cabbage, this fish taco isn’t going to win a medal for the best I’ve ever had, but it’s safe to say I enjoyed every bite!

As Black Sheep mentions, everything is made from scratch, so don’t be in a hurry. But with this said, our food took exceptionally long to come out. Thankfully, our server made it up to us by comping part of our meal, and even better — it was open mic night! While we were lovin’ our food, our ears were delighted by blues, poetry readings, and an eclectic mix of tunage. The room was lively with clapping, laughter, and smiles.

Korean BBQ Torta

Will’s order: Korean BBQ Torta- Sesame-Ginger Marinated Skirt Steak, Edamame Puree, Pickled Carrot & Daikon Relish, Sliced Cucumber, Fresh Mint, and Sesame-Ginger Mayo

I was actually recommended this specialty sandwich by a friend and thought it was worth a shot. I think much more of this friend after this recommendation. Everything about this sandwich just works. The puree adds a cool consistency, the relish and cucumber a splash of crispness, and i really appreciated the sesame-ginger mayo. But let’s not forget about the star of the show, the marinated skirt steak… it’s ridiculous, man. Tender and packed with flavor. Has got to be one of the better sandwiches around.

This section of their menu should not be overlooked and brings to the forefront just how diverse this restaurant really is. It’s much easier to be good at just one or two things but the way they’ve nailed down burritos, tacos, sandwiches, chicken wings, and other things we’ve not even highlighted is rather impressive.

Dessert: Terrapin Ale Peach cake20150628_215228

We aren’t sure why we have never had a peach cake, but one bite into this fluffy, light treat made us think long and hard about why in the world the flavor isn’t more popular. I (kati) particularly enjoyed it because the icing wasn’t too sweet and overpowering. And i (will) loved it because there was a lot of that icing and it was almost like biting into a peach.

Open Mic

WHEN TO GO: Lunch and dinner are great times to go, but we have to recommend the weekend brunch as well as the open mic night on Sunday – fantastic environment.

BEST PART: Atmosphere; creativity of the food.

WHAT SETS IT APART: The awesome personality is what really sets it apart. Well the awesome personality and the top-notch food is what really sets it apart. Well the awesome personality, top-notch food, and forward-thinking attitude towards the art of casual cuisine is what really sets it apart.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Obviously, we are big fans. If we had to choose where they could improve it would be on their sides. The beans and the rice can be a little bland, and we would like to see sides offered with the Flock of Tacos.

HOW TO FIND IT: 1555 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV or

OVERALL RATING (please visit our first post to see our scale, it’s different than most):

il_570xN.261710261il_570xN.261710261il_570xN.261710261  cropped-il_570xn-2617102611.jpg

3.5 Tandems/ halfway between Wow! and Amazing!

HINT FOR NEXT MONTH’S BLOG: Quarterly we will step away from highlighting just one restaurant and do what we call a battle. We pit different restaurants’ similar items against each other and determine a winner (if we can make a decision). Next month we’ll be trying to figure who offers the best ________ (combine two words together to figure it out).

Prime on 4th – June 2015

20150508_173731Prime on 4th entered the downtown Huntington scene in 2014 with some excitement and great buzz. A year later, it’s fun to see that the excitement and buzz remains and that this restaurant is quickly becoming a dining powerhouse in the city core.

On the ground floor of the West Virginia building, Prime on 4th occupies the space most recently filled by Huntington Prime (no relation). The 48-seat restaurant is elegantly decorated by use of rich tones, dark woods, and a contemporary urban flair. It features a great bar area, nice, big windows in the front, and an open-fire oven tucked away in the back. Overall it’s intimate, romantic, and vibrant. And though most food bloggers don’t comment on restrooms, we’re not most bloggers and we’re going to comment, dang it – they’re really tastefully done!

Staff wise one is always welcomed with a very friendly and organized hostess and the servers are always knowledgeable and delightful – at least, that’s been the case in the, oh, 12-15 times we’ve been there. Also, bartenders have not only the skills, but creative concoctions as well – definitely worth some merry exploration on your end. On the management end it appears that this restaurant is in really good hands. Invested in the community, dedicated to the staff, and committed to quality – not much more could be asked for on that front.

Now, the main event. The food. Our first of the two trips came during Huntington’s inaugural Restaurant Week where restaurants offered three course meals, often with new specials.

Appetizer: Deviled Egg Trio – old-fashioned, anti-pasto, banana-peppered

Deviled Egg Trio
Deviled Egg Trio


For as popular of a food as deviled eggs are, they don’t tend to be regular menu items across restaurants. As is the case with a lot of their offerings, Prime likes to take the conventional and spritz it with a little extraordinary and it really pays off with their deviled eggs. Your eyes may skip right over them when deciding on an appetizer but i ask you to reconsider, they are unlike any deviled egg you’ve had! The fact that they flash deep fry them should pique you interest and for good reason, it’s quite tasty.

Kati’s Order: Prime Meatloaf – buttermilk-chive mashed potatoes (subbed in cheddar-chive tater tots), wild mushrooms, crispy brussels, chili onion rings, BBQ gravy

Prime Meatloaf
Prime Meatloaf

Review: I know what you may be thinking– why would I ever go to a nicer restaurant and order a dish that grandma makes… Well, no offense to your grandma, but unless she grounds up filet, sirloin and short rib for her meatloaf, you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of this entree! Wait, have I mentioned the BBQ gravy?? Not only does the meat fall apart in your mouth, the sauce is plentiful and packs a burst of flavor with each bite. The crunchy onions on top add to the texture experience of this dish as well. The brussel sprouts came standard with the dish, and that’s fine with me. They weren’t soggy and had just a bit of crispy edge to them. I did sub the mashed potatoes for one of the tastiest morsels in the world: cheddar-chive tator tots. Imagine the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever had in a small, deep fried bite size pieces of heaven. Each bite is a total explosion of awesomeness! Finally, as if you needed another reason to try this entree out, it is one of the best deals on the menu as far as portion is concerned. The meatloaf and onion rings themselves are hearty, but as it comes with two sides, chances are you’ll need a box!

Will’s Order: fillet medallion served with a local quail egg, roasted sweets, crispy brussels, and pancetta buerre rouge20150403_201738


Honestly, not much i would change about this dish. There was a small hiccup as the temperature of the meat came out more done than what i ordered, but that was addressed promptly and politely. Once i was able to dig in, i was greeted by a masterful coordination of flavors and pairings. The meat was delicate and nicely cooked, and the quail egg on top gave it some flair. The vegetables went very well with the rest of the dish but what brought everything together in harmony was the pancetta buerre rouge (red butter sauce) – it was the link between each bite and certainly intensified the dish. I thought the presentation was lovely as well. Only unfortunate part is that it is not regularly featured on the menu, so i hope that it will be one of the specials on one of my upcoming visits.

Dessert: Apple Buckle

Apple Buckle


Only try this if you have an interest in delicious desserts. It’s like taking a bite into your favorite aunt’s apple pie with a side of vanilla ice cream. The caramel on top is a very nice touch.

Second Visit:

Appetizer: Animal Fries – served with bacon, fried eggs, whole grain mustard, mozzarella cheese curd, gravy

Animal Fries


This is easily one of our favorite things on the menu. Granted, might not be the healthiest option one could make, especially considering the portion, but sometimes it’s imperative to make these kinds of sacrifices. The hand cut fries would taste great by themselves but all the toppings make this one of the best appetizers in town!

Kati’s order: Pecan and Honey Fried Chicken – chicken breast with honey and apple butter, rustic potatoes (hearth-fired mac and cheese)

Pecan and Honey Fried Chicken


When Prime on 4th first opened, I had chicken that was a bit dry. I don’t like to judge an entree by one experience, particularly if it is something I really think I would enjoy with a simple adjustment. I am so glad I gave it another shot! This time, the chicken was perfectly juicy with a crunchy outside. The sauce was ooey gooey and the right sweetness to match up with the crisp, fresh green beans this dish is paired with. I did make a substitution for the rustic potatoes, because it’s hard for me to say no to the mac & cheese here. So cheesy and with little bits of bacon (that I pick out and give to will) and apple, it’s a unique twist on a classically yummy dish.

Will’s order: Prime Angus Ribeye – 16 oz cut, salt and vinegar frites (cheddar-chive tator tots), roasted local vegetables


I actually rarely order steak when going out because i’m usually rather disappointed when the flavors i anticipate or hope for never materialize enough to justify paying for one of the more expensive items on the menu.  Prime hadn’t let me down before, it had earned my trust, so should i risk it? Indeed i did and the outcome? To put it simply: i didn’t want it to end. The ribeye at Prime is a win! Grilled to perfection, succulent, and tons of flavor. We had fries for an appetizer so that gave me the perfect excuse to sub in the cheddar-chive tator tots that have taken hold of my heart, and i was one very satisfied customer. Vegetables were fresh and let me just take the time to applaud the fact that they were locally sourced – any time a restaurant looks local first it does wonders for the economy and environment, so bravo.

Prime Angus Ribeye

A word from the Prime on 4th team:

What was your vision/goal when conceptualizing your restaurant?

Our restaurant is made up of many team members who have chosen to return to Huntington from around the country. We all returned to a resurgent Huntington, WV, and we want to contribute to that success. Our vision is to create a community-driven restaurant that strives to not only offer unique food offerings and superior service, but to weave into many facets of what downtown Huntington has to offer and help foster that growth.

What sets Prime on 4th apart?

Our combined experience and team atmosphere set us apart. Every single member of our team takes responsibility for each item of service we perform. We are all in Huntington because we see its greatness. And we are all at Prime on 4th because we want to contribute to and be part of that greatness.

WHEN TO GO: Anytime really. They just started offering lunch (which we’ve not checked out just yet); dinner is a must; Sunday brunch is worthy of your attention. Also, they now have catering available.

BEST PART: Animal Fries; cheddar-chive tater tots

WHAT SETS IT APART: “Tappalachian” portion of the menu has wonderfully creative spins to classic appetizers; go on your birthday for a neat treat (be sure to bring your ID); when the bill comes it’s a unique ending to your experience there, you’ll see what we mean.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: This restaurant is really doing so many things right. If we were to get really picky, we would like to see a little more creativity on their brunch menu.

HOW TO FIND IT: 910 4th Avenue, Huntington or

OVERALL RATING (please visit our first post to see our scale, it’s different than most):

il_570xN.261710261il_570xN.261710261il_570xN.261710261il_570xN.261710261  4 Tandems – Amazing!/Can i eat the other customers’ leftovers?

HINT FOR NEXT MONTH’S BLOG: This local favorite uses the slogan “where we do things differently.”