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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

New Elk City Bistro offering “pop up” meals for now

The new Elk City Bistro that moved into the old Gonzoburger space on Charleston’s West Side is now open as an occasional lunch, brunch or dinner “pop up” leading up to the restaurant’s grand opening still to come.

Elk City Bistro is open for occasional "pop up" meals on Charleston's West Side
Elk City Bistro is open for occasional "pop up" meals on Charleston's West Side

Both the hours and menu items change from day to day, so potential diners should check out the restaurant’s Facebook page to see when – and what – food is being served.

Recent lunch or dinner items have included blackened salmon with smoked gouda grits; pulled pork BBQ on brioche with slaw; shrimp, chicken or steak teriyaki with rice and veggies; mac ‘n’ cheese loaded with chicken, shrimp or pulled pork; Cajun or regular shrimp or chicken alfredo; and beef birria tacos with rice.

There have also been wings or grilled salmon with dirty rice and slow-cooked green beans; baked potatoes topped with steak, chicken or shrimp; a shrimp boil; a buffalo ranch fried chicken sandwich; and a bacon, apple, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

A brunch menu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this past Saturday featured Cajun shrimp with cheesy grits and kielbasa; fried chicken and cinnamon toast waffles; a brunch burger with maple bacon, avocado mayo, egg, cheese and hash browns; a stack of pancakes; and assorted desserts.

Stay tuned to The Food Guy for my official take on Elk City Bistro’s food and details on its pending full opening.

  • IF YOU GO: Elk City Bistro at 207 West Washington St. in Charleston is currently open for pop-up lunches, brunches and dinners at various times throughout the week and weekend. For more information, including opening times and daily menus, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

WV woman named a Food & Wine Best New Chef

Here’s some big West Virginia food news for you!

Food & Wine magazine’s exclusive annual roundup of the country’s best new chefs includes a woman who once lived right here in the Mountain State.

Aisha Ibrahim (photo from
Aisha Ibrahim (photo from

In the article published this fall, Aisha Ibrahim is featured as one of only 11 chefs to make the prestigious list, which was created after the national magazine scoured the country looking for the best up-and-coming culinary talent over the past year.

Although Ibrahim was born in the Philippines, her family emigrated to Evans, WV, near Ravenswood when she was just 6 years old.

That’s where she grew up before heading off to college in North Carolina on a basketball scholarship. An injury there forced her to change paths and – on a dare from a friend – she then tried her hand at cooking, was immediately hooked and eventually graduated from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary program.

Now the Executive Chef at famed restaurant Canlis in Seattle, she has brought the tasting-menu concept back to this iconic fine-dining spot. An evening there might include a silky custard topped with earthy mushrooms, tiny fried sweet Walla Walla onion petals served with whipped goat cheese or a seafood broth flavored with fish bones.

One of her signature plates, however, is a rice thickened with parsnips, chestnuts and cream topped with crispy, tempura-fried “hen of the woods” mushrooms.

I hate that she’s not cooking for us back here in the Mountain State, but congrats to this former West Virginia resident on an awesome culinary achievement!

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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