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November 2, 2013

Charleston, West Virginia

I used the time in Charleston to explore for a new restaurant.  Mike has the duties of dropping off and picking up grandkids from school, so there wasn't a lot of time to wander around.  I have long wanted to try out South Hills Market & Cafe and Mike knew the roads of the area, making it work into our quick trip.  The Cafe is  small and located in a strip mall, for once it resembled what I had in my mind all along.  Urbanspoon gives it 87% thumbs up on 336 votes which is a pretty good score.  When using online sources like this, you come to realize that the number of votes is much more important, for instance a 97% score on 30 votes may just mean the owner has gotten all his friends or "fanboys" to plug in votes.  So South Hills Market had a pretty fair score considering the numbers.

The cafe is one of those restaurants that is more deeper than wide in dimension.  I had heard there were only a half dozen tables but there were more than that, perhaps a dozen or so.  I hold the opinion that any meal will be more enjoyable when you sit at a bar- often you get more chances to ask questions or engage in conversation with the staff that adds interest to the place.  So we were happy to find two seats at the small bar (more of a lunch counter than a liquor bar, though you are facing a nice selection of bourbons, etc) , then an excellent waiter appeared who did not mind to be stopped often for information about the food and the business. 

We started off with the  sweet corn madelines with honey butter, which were delicately flavored cornmeal cakes (cornbread) that was quite good.  We ordered up two sandwiches (it was lunch) and skipped the sides in place of the really nice and flavorful beef and white bean soup. The side dishes were not your traditional offerings, I saw a selection of house prepared pasta salads and a very interesting looking artichoke salad, all of which I forgot to make much a note of in terms of names or ingredients since we were most interested in a bowl of hot soup on a wet and blustery day.   Our waiter filled us in on the most popular lunch sandwiches and so we decided to split the Ham & Brie and Larry's Reuben sandwiches.  That was a good choice as the ham & brie sandwich was very lightly flavored while the Reuben had a good punch to it, giving a nice contrast between the two.  The ham & brie was so delicate in flavor, I think I would have preferred to have some roasted tomatoes added to it (such as this recipe), so you might give that a try as I saw roasted tomatoes on the burger list options.  I really enjoyed the lunch, both for the food, the atmosphere, and the conversation with both Mike and the staff.

Here is the link to the Urbanspoon page, as well as a link to the restaurant page.  I think you'll enjoy your visit there.   For my next trip, I think I'll try the cheeseburger.  Where else in our area can you find goat cheese to build your burger with?

Seth Godin's blog today speaks about the difference between persistence and tenacity.   Persistence is choosing a direction and keeping at it again and again until it works.  I believe this was once the very best route to take, you would analyze the situation and the facts presented to you and then make a decision.  No need to review it as it was the best decision you could make.  As he explains,  tenacity is using new data to chart new avenues of direction,  new pathways, new ways to achieve a goal.  In modern times, it seems like tenacity is the only way to go.  Your "best" decision cannot be the defining and ending moment to chart your direction in business or life as the situation changes more rapidly than before and the facts are more and more available.  Decisions and directions must match the changing situation.   The difference between these two approaches to life may define the slim line between stalemate or success.  His example is the persistence of telemarketers versus the tenacity of Nike.  You choose.