Today I am taking you on a journey to Huntington, West Virginia.

Now, I have to tell you I am quite biased toward this city. I lived in Huntington for four years as I was earning my degree from Marshall University. I made many close friends in this city, and I also met my husband here. I ate many a great meal in this city. I had quite a few laughs in this city. Simply, I love this city.

To call Huntington a “city” is a stretch. Huntington does boast many a great place to eat, shop, and view the latest film. But Huntington truly is a college town. Walk down the street and look around and I pretty much guarantee you will gaze upon a future, current, or past Marshall student. Huntington is an intriguing mix of campus, “fix-er-upper” college housing, and business. Huntington, like most places I have visited, has it’s run down places and it’s stunningly beautiful places, and everything in between.

Literally across the street from one end of Marshall’s campus lies the Black Sheep Burrito and Brews. The joint is located on a corner which used to be occupied by a coffee shop housing many an open mic night. I frequented the coffee shop often both for delicious hot beverages and poetry gatherings. Needless to say, I have a lot of memories that came about as a result of that prime corner location.

The coffee shop closed down months ago, and in it’s place came the Black Sheep Burrito and Brews (http://www.blacksheepwv.com/). This was recommended to me by two different friends in response to the question “Is there anywhere new I need to check out?” (and in Huntington, the answer is almost always “yes”).

I was struck with bittersweet nostalgia as I walked through the doors of what used to be a regular haunt my senior year. I walked in to find the the homey, albeit cluttered and mismatched, decor replaced with a sharp, streamlined look. One wall was occupied by a rather impressive looking bar. Many high tables with stools lined the walls, surrounding lower tables and chairs in the middle. A small area in the front perfect for live music was also present. Local (I assume) modern abstract art placed on the walls rounded out the look. Despite my nostalgia, I was impressed with the flip they had made of the place. The atmosphere was clean, relaxed, and updated, if not a little hipster.

My friends and I balanced on the high stools, hung our purses on the conveniently located wall hooks (an ingenious idea), and perused the menu. We arrived for the “Sunday Brunch,” which offered an interesting array of internationally themed breakfast food. The Sunday brunch also offered bottomless Bloody Mary’s or mimosas for less than $10 (a deal in which I did not partake because I was indeed driving).

I decided to try the intriguing pairing of eggs Benedict and curry.  I am a fan of each individually, and I was feeling adventurous. This is what I was served:

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I have to say, it tasted pretty much how you might imagine- curry with eggs and bread. The eggs were well cooked, the curry had a good flavor-not overpoweringly spicy, and of course the portion was huge. I couldn’t complain about the taste of the food or the value for money! I did, however, have some trouble getting into the idea of curry for breakfast (although this was around 11:30 am and was, of course, brunch-for me, it was breakfast). That was no fault of the Black Sheep Burrito and Brews. The whole meal, INCLUDING coffee and tip, cost just $15.

I was so impressed, and also my friend was playing open mic there, that I went back AGAIN later that same evening. I love open mic nights, and the experience was truly enjoyable (below is a blurry picture of my good friend playing the open mic, to give you an idea of what it was like, along with a picture of all of us at the table). A quart sized, ice cold, draft beer was only $3. For those who might enjoy non-alcoholic beverages, an endless cup of hot tea was only a buck (although I have to say, a friend at the table who ordered this deal never did get a refill on her hot water for her tea).

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If you live in or near Huntington, are visiting Huntington, are driving through Huntington….I strongly recommend you give this place a chance. Reasonably priced, generous portions, good taste, fun and relaxed atmosphere, and hipster staff….what more could you ask for in a college town restaurant?

And, if you are in Huntington on June 30, may I suggest visiting the Black Sheep Burrito and Brews and being astounded by the talents of Sasha Colette (http://holdmyticket.com/event/116274)? She is a personal favorite of mine. It’s a free show, so add to the above list good free music. I think you’ll find yourself enjoying a delightful evening.

Until next time, Bon appetit!

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