Although the calendar says it's December, the warm weather as of late sure could've fooled the Buds.
NOT that they are complaining! No siree.
Taking full advantage of the elements, the Buds hopped in the car and headed south to New Martinsville to make the last two Bud-related stops of the year. (But don't let that get you down, because that means the highly coveted Top Ten list is just around the corner!)
The first stop on the Buds' agenda was Baristas Cafe and Pub.
Located at 326 Main St., Baristas includes a cozy cafe upstairs where patrons can enjoy a tasty meal and a flavored latte and a trendy pub downstairs where folks can gather for drinks and occasional entertainment. What a great idea, right?!
The cafe drink menu features a bevy of both hot and cold concoctions made to order. Expresso, cappucino, latte, brewed coffee, tea, chai, smoothies and more are available with a seemingly endless list of flavors - many sugar free - that may be added.
The cafe food menu offers patrons a selection of tin plate specials which vary daily, as well as a variety of sandwiches and pizza that are always available. Soups and salads are available and also vary day to day. Some of the everyday items - served with chips and a pickle - include the Grilled Cheese and Tomato, Reuben Grill, Barista Burger, Smoked Turkey, Apple & Cheddar sandwich, Monte Cristo, and bagel sandwiches topped with ham, turkey, roast beef or veggies. Baristas also offers the unique option of a half and half special, where for just under six bucks folks can get half of two menu items excluding the Barista burger.
The Buds, always looking for more bang for their buck, both decided to take advantage the half and half deal allowing them to sample a broader range of the Baristas brand. Bud Em went with a half order of the artichoke dip - one of the day's tin plate specials - and half of a Monte Cristo sandwich. And who could resist a couple of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the jar on the counter? Certainly not Bud Em.
Served with slices of toasted garlic bread, the artichoke dip was delicious! Creamy, cheesy, and loaded with chunks of yummy artichoke hearts just the way Bud Em likes it, she didn't even offer a taste to her cohort. Sorry, not a square to spare! The Monte Cristo was to die for, stacked with sliced ham, swiss cheese, honey mustard and raspberry jam on French toast-like grilled bread sprinkled with powdered sugar. It is the perfect blend of sweet and salty and if you've never tried one you should - today!
Bud Shaunna, having been teased by the outside sandwich board, decided to try the cream of spinach soup and a Tin Plate special - the BOC (bacon, onion and cheese) quiche. The coffee-lover in her could not resist a latte from the drink menu. The number of sugar free syrup options were quite numerous - Bud Shaunna was impressed! - so she chose white chocolate, as that is not a flavor always offered in sugar free.
The quiche was flavorful and didn't last very long on Bud Shaunna's plate. The cream of spinach soup, served with blue corn chips, was a favorite, as it reminded her of the creamed spinach her grandma and mom always made. Nothing like a little comfort food to warm your belly!
During the ordering process, Bud Shaunna's eagle eyes caught some very naughty looking chocolate peanut butter marshmallow bars marked with a half price sign. Um, hello! The Buds each snatched one up before heading out. As tempting as it was, Bud Shaunna was a good Bud and took it home to her hubby. Bud Em, who did not have the discipline of Bud Shaunna, happily oohed and aahed as she made short work of hers.
The Buds were quite thrilled with their experience at Baristas. The food options were unique and because they change daily, patrons can return to Baristas over and over and try new things. If the Buds were closer, we're pretty sure we'd quickly become regulars!
The Buds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org