Fayetteville, W.Va.: Small town, big city tastes
FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. - A Latin breeze blows through Fayetteville these days for anyone who happens to be downwind from Diogi's, a Mexican grill and cantina that opened last fall. Owners Oscar and Barbara Aquilar moved to town from Philadelphia and immediately opened Diogi's.
Oscar flavors Diogi's dishes with seasonings from his native El Salvador. His refried beans are made only with black beans. He makes his salsas and guacamole from scratch. The chunky guacamole is described as "El Salvador Style," and includes bits of hard-boiled egg. The surprise ingredient deepens the dip's rich flavor.
Servers in this brightly colored cantina start every patron with a basket of warm corn tortillas and salsa.
Appetizers include cactus salad, a dip of avocado, cactus strips, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime; and four varieties of white cheese dip - mild, spicy with pico de gallo and hot salsa, "loco" with ground beef and enchilada salsa and "cangrejo," with lump crabmeat, pico de gallo and hot salsa.
Aquilar's creative menu features wraps, tacos and burritos with chicken, steak, shrimp or carnitas filling. Carnitas is slow-roasted or braised pork, which is seasoned and pulled. The border burger is an 8-ounce ground beef patty topped with caramelized onions, jalapeno slices, white cheese and chipotle lime sauce.
The requisite taco and garden salads are on the menu, but Barbara's house salad with a mix of spring greens, goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins and walnuts provides an interesting alternative. Aquilar just added to his menu a refreshing tropical salad of greens topped with mango, pineapple and coconut in a homemade coconut lime dressing.
Generously portioned entrees include platters of four flautas (chicken- and pork-stuffed, rolled and deep fried corn toritillas), four enchiladas and fajitas as well as carne asada, grilled chicken, steak and pork chops.
Fish tacos top Aquilar's seafood menu in popularity. He fills soft tacos with grilled tilapia, pico de gallo, chipotle lime sauce, lettuce and cheese. For a richer dish, try crab enchiladas or shrimp or crab quesadillas.
Prices range from $2 per taco, to $5 for burritos, to $7 for salads, burgers and about $12 for seafood and grilled entrees with side dishes.
The restaurant's name is a tribute to the Aquilars' four dogs, Liberty the Irish setter, Lucy the Olde English sheepdog, Lola the Yorkshire terrier and Lexi the silky terrier. During the warmer months, the Aquilars welcome patrons and their well-mannered canine friends outside on the deck. The dogs are served a complimentary taco and bowl of water.
Diogi's is located at 103 1/2 Keller Ave. in Fayetteville. Call 304-574-3647 or visit www.diogismexicangrill.com for information.
Other Fayetteville eats
For a small town, Fayetteville has more than its share of notable eateries. Whitewater rafters head to town to fuel up after energetic days on the New River. Near the town's main crossroads, Gumbo's features Cajun cuisine such as low country boils, po-boys, crawfish and white bean ya-ya, étouffée, shrimp creole, Gullah rice, and its namesake dish: gumbo. Gumbo's, 103 S. Court St.
Across Court Street is one of Fayetteville's classic eateries, the Cathedral Café. Open for casual breakfasts and lunches, the restaurant is in a former church and offers an espresso and coffee bar, homemade desserts and a breakfast menu of pancakes, frittatas, smoked salmon and dill scrambled eggs, omelets, and southwestern eggs and chorizo sausage in burritos or quesadillas.
For lunch, try inventive salads with homemade dressings, a variety of quesadillas, paninis and sandwiches. Call 304-574-0202 for information.
Just outside town on W.Va. 16, Sedona Cantina and Tapas serves a multicultural blend of tapas, or "little plates," meant to share with companions or to scarf down on your own. They're conveniently divided by price. For $3, you'll get Asian cucumber salad or hard pretzels and spicy mustard sauce. For $4, try bagna couda, a warm Italian dipping sauce and crusty bread. A hummus plate or a pork verde or chipotle meatball quesadilla costs $6, while honey Dijon baby back ribs cost $7. Seafood tops out the tapas menu at $9 for crab fritters or panko crusted shrimp.
Cocktails at Sedona are also listed by price point, starting with $5 sangria and going up to $8 peach or raspberry cosmos, classic margaritas and flavored martinis. Visit www.sedonacantina.com or call 304-574-3411 for complete listings.
Pies & Pints, which formerly occupied Diogi's location, has moved to more spacious quarters at 219 W. Maple St. As the name implies, Pies & Pints features handcrafted specialty pizzas and an impressive selection of draft and bottled beers and ales.
The innovative specialty pizzas include Thai Pie with shrimp, toasted coconut, Thai curry sauce and fresh cilantro and basil, Cuban Pork Pie with marinated pulled pork, caramelized onions, pineapple, jalapenos, feta, cilantro and crème fraiche, Balsamic Chicken Pie, Garlic Spinach Pie and a Grape Pie with red grapes, gorgonzola and fresh rosemary.
And yes, you can get plain old pepperoni and cheese, if you must. For information, visit www.piesandpints.net or call 304-574-2200.
Reach Julie Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1230.