The Buds can't think of a better way to usher in fall than by being guests 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.
The series includes both luncheon and dinner dates during the months of October, November and December, beginning with an a la carte menu which will have lunch service on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at noon and dinner services on Thursday, Nov. 7 and 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
mesclun salad with cranberries and apples
Next will be the Harvest Buffet, described as a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with a modern twist, available for lunch Nov. 18 and 19 at noon and for dinner on Nov. 20 and 21 at 6 p.m.
The third and final event of the fall meal series will be the Yuletide menu that will feature a lavish feast of delightful foods, including mouth-watering appetizers, delectable beef with fresh vegetables, tempting desserts and some holiday cheer. The luncheon is slated for Dec. 2 at noon and dinner services will be Dec. 4 and 5 at 6 p.m.
The a la carte menu during the Buds' visit included hot soups, salads, sandwiches, light dinner items and desserts which ranged from $2.50 for a cup of soup to $12 for the Maryland style crab cake meal. Iced or hot tea and coffee are $1.
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 chicken noodle and cream of mushroom soup; risotto cakes with Fontina cheese; mesclun and house salads; club, reuben, beef brisket, Philly cheesesteak and grilled portabella sandwiches; and entrees of crab cakes, chicken and waffles and duck breast.
Bud Em started off with the risotto cakes and opted for the portabella sandwich as her entree. Talk about yummy! The risotto cakes were rich and delicious, served on a marinara sauce with shaved fontina. In fact, the rich dish would have made an ample lunch on its own.
The portabella sandwich featured a perfectly marinated and grilled portabella mushroom on focaccia bread topped with roasted red peppers, feta and chopped basil. It also included a side of fries.
The sandwich was amazing! The marinated mushroom was bursting with flavor perfectly complimented by the sweetness of the roasted red peppers and the saltiness of the crumbled feta. Heaven on focaccia, we say.
Bud Shaunna opted to start off with the mesclun salad. A bed of fresh greens was topped with cranberries, julienned apples and toasted almond slices and then drizzled with a fresh vinaigrette. The vinaigrette had a nice bitey taste that created a nice flavor mix with with zesty cranberries and sweet apples. Patrons have the option of ordering this salad with chicken, although Bud Shaunna ate it sans meat.
For her entree, Bud Shaunna chose the crab cakes. Sigh. Bud Shaunna is a sucker for crab cakes. Honestly, her father-in-law makes the BEST crab cakes, although the ones that Northern served up came pretty close. Lump crab meat was fried to a golden brown and topped with a spicy Remoulade sauce. Side dishes with the entree included roasted crispy potato wedges and sauteed zucchini and squash. Maybe her eyes were bigger than her stomach, but those crab cakes were worth every bit of exercise Bud S did later in the day!
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!
The Buds recommend that you call 304-214-8934 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 tastebuds@ timesleaderonline.com.