That is the only way to describe the meal the Buds had this week as their semi-charmed kind of life landed them at the fall meal series put on by the culinary arts program at West Virginia Northern Community College.
The Buds always look forward with anticipation to these events which offer the public a chance to sample some of their fine work and give students an opportunity to show off their newly acquired skills. A win-win for everyone.
The series includes both luncheon and dinner dates during the months of October, November and December, beginning with an a la carte menu available for lunch Nov. 6 and 27 and for dinner service Nov. 1, 8 and 29.
Next will be the Harvest Buffet, described as a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with a modern twist, available for lunch Nov. 12 and 13 and for dinner on Nov. 14 and 15. The third and final event of the fall meal series will be the Yuletide Luncheon on Dec. 3 and the dinner on Dec. 5 and 6.
The a la carte menu during the Buds' visit included soups, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts which ranged from $2 for a cup of soup to $12 for the Maryland style crab cake meal. Iced or hot tea and coffee are included.
On the table was a basket of fresh bread that the Buds nibbled on while they looked over the tantalizing menu which included options such as French onion and cream of roasted red pepper soup; risotto cakes with Fontina cheese and shrimp with ginger beurre blanc and wilted spinach (oh la la!); caprese and house salads; club, barbecue pork and tuna salad sandwiches; and entrees of pork medallions, crab cakes, beef stroganoff and spiced bean curd.
Bud Em started off with a cup of French onion soup and a house salad. As expected, the soup - topped with a crostini and melted Gruyere cheese - was fantastic. A tasty explosion on the ol' taste buds for sure. The side salad was a simple mixture of field greens topped with cucumber slices, tomato and onion.
Having lost the battle for the crab cakes, she went with her second choice of pork medallions with raspberry bacon cream sauce with roasted potatoes and sauteed green bean (Pictured above right). Neither Bud would have dreamed up flavoring pork tenderloin with the raspberry/bacon combo but - WOW! - it worked! The meat was tender and delicious with the berries adding sweetness and a hint of tartness - much the same that cranberry sauce does for turkey. The bacon added a bit of saltiness without being overbearing. Bravo!
Bud Shaunna began her meal with the caprese salad. Fresh, thick-sliced mozzarella cheese and fresh basil were served stacked like tiny sandwiches on slices of red and yellow tomatoes. The stacks were drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction for a very fresh, summery tasting salad. Oh if only it were so easy to hang on to summer through a divine salad!
As the winner of battle crab cakes, Bud Shaunna happily dug in to her entree (photo at far left). The crab cakes were full of lump crab meat and were fried to crispy, golden brown. The Remoulade sauce had a nice lemony flavor that was refreshing to the taste buds and helped make a dish that could be "heavy" a little lighter. The meal was completed with roasted potatoes - the little round baby kind that were delicious - and sauteed green beans.
After the wonderful meal, the Buds decided to be good and skip dessert. And then they saw the dessert cart. The end!
Choosing the most unique looking dessert, Bud Em ended up with charlotte russe. Who knew that charlotte russe was more than a trendy clothing store?! It is actually Bavarian creme and raspberries layered in a mold and surrounded by ladyfingers and it is delicious!
Bud Shaunna selected a chocolate mousse simply because it was the smallest item on the dessert tray. However, once she tasted the fluffy, milk chocolately concoction, she was in mousse heaven and gave herself a pat on the back for her wise choice.
The Buds continue to be impressed by the professional attitude and skill of students at the Culinary School at West Virginia Northern. The meals are always full of flavor and are so artistically plated that they almost look too good to eat - almost!
Call 304-233-8934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservations today for one of these delectable meals. We promise you won't be sorry!
The Buds may be reached at email@example.com.