They sell for $1.85 to $1.95, a price Arbaugh has struggled to keep down despite the rising cost of butter and grains. "We could make them smaller, but people would notice," he said.
The Arbaughs' young daughter, Bella, enjoys the occasional treat of part of a cookie. The couple adjusted their work routine when she arrived 17 months ago. Anne minds the store during the morning rush, while Arbaugh stays home with Bella. He hands her off to her mother while he heads in for the afternoon and evening shift.
Arbaugh trained at the New England Culinary Institute, and worked at The Greenbrier, Hotel Roanoke and other places before opening Bridge Road Bistro with owner/chef Robert Wong. He and Anne met at the Bistro, where she also worked, and moved away from Charleston while he worked at The Homestead. They returned to open South Hills Market and Café.
There might be some competition between the two restaurants, but Arbaugh said the South Hills restaurateurs mostly have a "the more the merrier" philosophy.
"I think the consensus here of all the restaurants is that we just want to keep people coming up here," he said. "There might be some friendly competition, but everybody is just trying to make a living. We try to look out for each other."
In his soft-spoken voice, Arbaugh greets many customers by name. Some of them pick up a quick dinner from his market case. Meatloaf, roasted chicken and crab cakes are favorites. He's not sure why his meatloaf is such a hit. It's a classic with peppers and onions, very little breadcrumbs and a spiced catsup glaze.
Crispy tender asparagus, roasted carrots, French green beans with blue cheese and raisins, and potato gratin were some of the side dishes in the carry out case last week.
South Hills Market seats 30 to 40 patrons. The intimate setting is usually quiet with no televisions or live music.
"Quite a few people come in for a quiet drink late in the afternoon. They can order anything they want. If they only want three pieces of shrimp, we can do that," he said. "We try to give them what they want."
Customers can check South Hills Market and Café specials on Facebook and Twitter.
South Hills Market and Café, 1010 Bridge Rd., is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday for breakfast, lunch and carryout. Dinner service is added Wednesday through Saturday when the restaurant stays open until 9 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Call 304-345-2585.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.