Food.Bar.Food - An Inside View

It’s been only two short months since Food.Bar.Food opened their doors on Bruce Street, but it’s already changing the dining scene in downtown. This restaurant introduces an innovative culinary cuisine not yet seen in the ‘burg. The amazing flavors come together to create a menu described as “global comfort food.”


Amanda Cannon stands beside the gorgeous Food.Bar.Food logo designed by Lynda Bostrom. 

My name is Kayla Maxwell. I’m a waitress at Food.Bar.Food, and I was just as excited for the restaurant to open as the people in Harrisonburg! The added bonus is getting to share in the excitement along with the people who come in to eat. As an employee, getting to sample the menu for the first time was like traveling across the world and picking the most delicious meals from along the way. Each dish was created by Chef Jeff, who is a culinary expert and brilliant at what he does. The dishes are infused with a global consciousness, and some of the menu items may be new to many of our diners. A lot were new to me. But, after trying them I was in love with the flavors and excited to expand my taste palate to new and delicious foods. Even if I didn’t work here, I would come in to try everything on the menu. 


Pictured are: Chefs Candace Willis and Jeff Minnich

Since the dishes are so innovative, I learned quickly that it is important to study the menu and know what each item is. After describing the ingredients and flavors, it’s fun to hear the ‘oooos and aahhhs’. The favorites, so far, seem to be the Waygu Steak, Shrimp Lo Mein and the Asian Spiced Fried Chicken for dinner. On the Brunch menu it would have to be Pad Thai Frittata (my personal favorite!) and the Kaya Toast. But even then, it’s really hard to pick favorites.

There are options for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian customers. Also, a lot of the food is locally sourced, which is great that you can know where the food comes from. It gets even better, as the pricing is affordable! Even on my college budget, I can come here and avoid having an empty wallet afterwards.

The drinks…well that’s another story; a very happy and tasty story. Imagine bright colors, creative combinations, and stylish glassware when picturing drinks from Food.Bar.Food.. The Jalapeño Peach Margarita has been one of the most popular so far, but my favorite is the Hibiscus Ginger Greyhound or Singapore Sling. Many of the drink specials vary from week-to- week because they use ingredients from the local Farmer’s Market.


Bartender Allie Motyka is all smiles. 

Overall, being part of a new project downtown has been an incredible experience.  As an intern at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance this past summer, I learned how vibrant downtown Harrisonburg is. Now, to actually be a part of working downtown is a really cool opportunity, and especially to be part of an innovative restaurant like this. 

Amanda Cannon and Jeff Minnich, the owners and openers of Food.Bar.Food are incredible to work alongside. One of the best parts of this whole experience has been to see their dream and vision come alive. And, it’s a story of collaboration. A lot of their family and friends helped to get this project to what it is today. I mean, this was literally a deserted building that as of a couple years ago, no one took a second look at. With their determination and creativity they have unleashed a restaurant that is already thriving. I am so proud of them and they have been two people that inspire me to go after what I want to do in life. They followed their passion and I believe in return, they have inspired all of us that work for them. In just a few short weeks, the employees that work here have already become friends, which contribute to the positive feel of the restaurant. As employees, we want to become friends with our community too, and can’t wait to keep serving everyone who comes in to dine at Food.Bar.Food.


Pictured are a few of the wait staff: Michael Morikawa, Eduardo Robles, and Whitney Ford


Kayla Maxwell is a waitress at Food.Bar.Food, and a senior at James Madison University.
Photos courtesy of Kayla Marie Photography