The inspiration for a new restaurant can come anywhere from a vacation to a family recipe. For Tim Watson, co-owner of Native Eats, it goes back to his heritage.
"I wanted to start a food truck. I thought of my grandmother who was a Shawnee Indian. I thought about what she would approve of. I started talking to my partner Chris Wood who had made his own hot sauce a few years back and asked if he would like to start a restaurant. We started tossing around ideas and he suggested Bison tacos," Watson said. "We started with a Bison taco then did an ancho chile taco, then a maple ale turkey taco. We looked at a number of different options before deciding to do a pop-up restaurant and catering to get word out for us. I came in at Huntington Cycle & Sport to get coffee and I talked to Tom Peck and he suggested coming in here."
Native Eats is a small pop-up restaurant that pops up in Huntington Cycle & Sport each Saturday. There are always a selection of two different tacos to choose from as well as a choice of soup such as roasted red pepper or chili.
Watson and Wood also sell their own hot sauce, which can be purchased at Native Eats as well as Tulsi at The Market.
"In the meantime we thought about stuff for branding. We thought of different types of hot sauces. Chris was doing research, I was doing research and we discovered Wojapi. It's a type of dried fruit preserve. They would take wild berries from their region, mix it with a sugar substance like honey or sugar cane then take it and dry it out," Watson said. "So we decided to try to make a hot sauce based on it. We also have a red hot sauce and a barbecue sauce. It's got a very unique flavor. People are really into it. It's not a typical 'hot sauce' — it's more of a flavor enhancer."
A regular favorite is the Chocolate Stout Braised Bison Taco ($8), which features locally raised bison, a fire-roasted salsa, red cabbage slaw, white cheddar and a horseradish sour cream. There's also the Ancho Chile Grilled Chicken Taco ($6) made with free range chicken, fire roasted corn salsa, red cabbage slaw, extra sharp white cheddar and a buffalo sour cream. Uniquely, the tacos are served on naan bread as opposed to a traditional tortilla.
Native Eats is located at Huntington Cycle & Sport at 1010 10th St. in Huntington. It is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. No checks are taken at this time. For carry-out orders and catering options call 304-544-7591. For specials and coming events, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nativeeatswv/.
NAME: Native Eats
TYPE OF FOOD: Tacos, soup
ADDRESS: Huntington Cycle & Sport,1010 10th St., Huntington, WV
HOURS: 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays
PHONE NUMBER: 304-544-7591
PAYMENTS ACCEPTED: Cash and All Major Credit Cards (No Checks)