After Missy chose to buy her new car in Ironton (Bob Clyse and the Chevrolet Spark get thumbs up from Missy), we decided to get lunch at a place in greater Huntington where we’d never been. We’d heard about a new place in Barboursville that featured a coal-fired oven; that sounded intriguing so we made our way to Chistopher’s Eats (http://www.christopherseats.com/) for a slightly late lunch.
First thing you should know, the coal-fired oven wasn’t working on our visit, so we didn’t get the full experience. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our visit enough to go back.
The restaurant is located in a strip mall on Rte. 60. It doesn’t look like much from the highway, so it is easy to miss (as we almost did). The inside (check out the website for pictures) is very nicely done. There is a spacious dining room with a very clean look and modern furnishings. Because the weather hadn’t gotten oppressively hot, we chose to eat outside. The view isn’t much — a parking lot and the highway — but they had a large fan to keep the area temperate.
The beer selection is fair with the usuals on tap and a few higher-end brews such as Magic Hat and Stella but nothing special or unusual. There was a full bar and since I wasn’t driving I took advantage of a Marker’s Old Fashioned (good, but looked only half-full in my glass) and what they called “The Scout” but was really a Sazerac (I really liked this one, especially after the bartender checked on the drink and said he’d never made one before). Missy had a Miller Lite that she assured me tasted like a Miller Lite.
We started with an appetizer of potato and greens cakes:
These were mainly hashed potatoes and green onions topped with a nice dill sauce. The cakes could have been cooked for a few seconds more for our tastes, but they were still very good. The dill sauce actually tasted of dill, without being overpowering.
For lunch, we decided to split a flat bread (these were called pizzas a few years ago) and a plate of sides. The sides we ordered were the Brussels sprouts hash (Missy was very excited about this one), the gouda mac and cheese and the truffle fries:
The mac and cheese was very good; it’s gouda mac and cheese, how could it not be? The fries were crisp and loaded with real garlic, romano cheese and truffle. They were very tasty, but it was hard to eat a ton of them. The hash was a bit of a disappointment. Missy loves fresh brussels sprouts, but the hash was a mix of formerly-frozen spouts, potato cubes and pork belly. There is something about frozen brussels sprouts that concentrates all of the wrong flavors, so the resulting hash was just okay.
We wanted a flat bread with meat and decided to go with the “Ms. Piggy.” This … can I please just call it a pizza, please … was topped with Pepperoni, Sausage, Pork Belly, Mozzarella, Romano, and Red Sauce.
I liked it, even if it wasn’t life-changing. The meat toppings were abundant — the sausage was falling off every piece — which made the whole thing a bit salty. Here is the one place where the broken coal fired oven reared its head. The pizza became soggy very quickly; I’m fairly confident the regular oven would have given the bottom of the break a nice char and reduced the sogginess.
Lunch was a bit pricey ($55 before tip, but $20 of that was the bar tab thanks to two cocktails with brand name liquors I knocked back) and with the appetizer we ate more like it was an early dinner.
Overall, we liked Christopher’s and I would like to go back when the oven worked. Not sure I would recommend a drive from Charleston to Barboursville just to eat here, but if you live in Cabell County or are working/shopping/hanging out in Barboursville otherwise, it is worth a visit.