Dining Out

Von Blaze

A Sandwich Restaurant in Morgantown, West Virginia

Von Blaze's lobster dog
Written by Brittany Furbee

When chef Chris McDonald and April Passaro set out to open their first restaurant, Von Blaze, together, they had two goals in mind: to create a space that was inclusive and comfortable and to offer a menu that was affordable and high quality with as many scratch-made products as possible.

“Sandwiches seem like a great vessel for that vision,” explains Passaro. “The inspiration is to provide elevated high-quality twists on classic sandwiches and sides in an unpretentious and welcoming atmosphere with a small-town vibe.”

McDonald has found success by drawing inspiration from regions around the world to create a unique yet cohesive menu. Exemplifying this perfectly is their lobster dog, a cross between a lobster roll and a West Virginia hot dog that features housemade seafood sausage stuffed with fresh lobster tail and shrimp and finished with Napa cabbage slaw, fingerling potato chips, and brown-butter-and-lemon mayo. 

A bar tender pouring a beer at Von Blaze, one of seven featured West Virginia restaurants

Aiming to create a familiar yet cost-effective appetizer that would be a crowd-pleaser and pair perfectly with their signature sandwiches, the owners developed “drummies,” frenched chicken drumsticks (aka chicken lollipops) that are fried crispy and tossed in a variety of four sauces. “We smoke all our meats in house, make our own sausages and bologna, and cure our own bacon,” McDonald says. “We may just be a sandwich shop, but we take great pride in doing everything to the best of our ability with a lot of flavors while maintaining the feeling of value.

The menu at Von Blaze is ever-evolving. Most recently, McDonald decided to offer a new pop-up called Wakaba Ramen. The response to the first event was overwhelming, with dozens of patrons lining up at the door to get a taste of the newly crafted dishes and sides. Wakaba Ramen is now a monthly special, serving 90 guests with tickets that sell out in minutes. Clearly, Von Blaze has captivated Morgantown and solidified itself as a must-visit when it comes to West Virginia restaurants.

Can’t Miss At Von Blaze

A massive sandwich with pork and chips from Von Blaze

Von Blaze Burger

This smashed Angus patty is piled with braised short rib, Cooper’s sharp white American cheese, crispy onions, horseradish aïoli, and bordelaise sauce, all on a brioche bun.

The Dom

A pickle-brined, breaded, and fried chicken breast sets the base for house buffalo sauce and a celery-and-blue-cheese salad on a seeded salt-and-pepper bun. 

Pot Liquor Pork

The Tempeh Sloppy Joe offered at Von Blaze

Thinly sliced smoked, peppered pork shoulder gets dipped into smoky pork jus and served with collard greens, aged provolone, and brown mustard on an Italian bun. 

Tempeh Sloppy Joe

Appealing to the non-meat-eaters, too, this comfort food classic gets an update with tempeh and garbanzo beans— but, like the original, still requires a pile of napkins. 

about this restaurant

  • Chef

    Chris McDonald

  • Address

    1 Wall Street
    Morgantown, West Virginia

    • Family Friendly

    • Fast Casual

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