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picaman

The Beverley Restaurant, Staunton, VA

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I'm now a resident of New York City, but after living in North Florida for most of my life (after all, south of Orlando is the North, and north of Orlando is the South :laugh: ) I'm still a Southern boy at heart.

My partner Kirk is performing as the character Hedwig from the play "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and is hosting two days of benefits for a local Richmond, VA food bank, so when I (a NYC eGullet Burger Club member) got a chance to sample some burgers on the road, it only naturally followed that I should tell everyone all about them.

First up...the Beverley Restaurant on Beverley Street in the historic downtown of Staunton, VA. I'd been here once before and made a special trip back just to have lunch, and especially pie. More on that later--first the burger.

The Beverley is run by several Southern women who dish up some of the best "meat and two sides" you will ever have. As good as I know that is, I made the ultimate Burger Club sacrifice and had a burger--and am very glad I did. My choice was the Beverley Burger; $6.10 for an enormous burger accompanied by your choice of fries or onion rings (both excellent.)

Maybe the best part of the burger was the bun--a potato-based roll made on premises that was eerily reminiscent of those wonderful rolls I hope you were fortunate enough to get from your cafeteria in elementary school. It was soft and pillowy, yet sturdy enough to hold up to a very substantial burger with a multitude of toppings.

The burger itself was a hand-formed patty approx. 3/4" thick, perfectly molded but not overmolded--the texture of the ground meat remained intact. The meat was high-quality, and I would estimate an 80/20 meat/fat ratio. The patty was grilled in a slight amount of butter, and had a perfect amount of juice without being overly greasy. A perfect amount of salt had been added to the meat before grilling.

Toppings came on the burger, and included romaine lettuce, a very fresh ripe tomato slice, raw onion, pickle slices, cheddar cheese, and 1000 island dressing. My one cautionary note would be that, while I liked the combination of toppings, they are not on the side. When ordering the burger, one should specify what you want on the burger or on the side.

Overall, this was a nicely done burger at least on a par with most I have had recently. (For the NYC burger crowd, I'd rate it above Molly's and different from McHales, yet of equivalent quality in its own way.) Pluses would be the flavor and juiciness of the meat and the quality of the bun. Potential minuses would be a slight amount of sloppiness (not a problem to me) and the default inclusion of all toppings on the burger itself.

Now, the pie. When Wallace Stevens wrote in his poem "The Emperor of Ice Cream" about "concupiscent curds," he must have been looking at a slice of pie from the Beverley. The pies are baked on premises from all-fresh ingredients. On the day we were there, nearly everyone had pie with their meal, and in fact, they did a brisk business of people stopping by to pick up pie slices to go. The one caveat is that when the pie is gone, the pie is gone. Choices on the day of my visit included lemon meringue, coconut cream, and chocolate pudding pie, along with a very nice looking apple pie. Upon my arrival, I saw one remaining slice of coconut cream pie which was immediately brought to my table for safekeeping, where it stood watch over my burger and sweet tea (91 cents).

At $2.10 per generous slice, this has to be the comfort food dessert bargain of the universe. The crust is tasty and flaky, the coconut is freshly shredded and generously mixed through a perfectly-flavored custard base, and it's all topped with a high mound of wonderfully browned waves of meringue.

In all, simple food done simply and perfectly. I'm in Richmond, VA now, and will hopefully be able to report on a great burger here. Locals--any suggestions?

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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Excellent report! It's not easy to find a great burger in the South, but I'm glad you have accepted this mission. Please continue to report back frequently. I think I'll try a burger joint for lunch myself, as you have inspired me.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I'll be headed through Staunton a week from Sunday with Bro Rich on our way to a week at Seneca State Forest in W.Va. Might have to schedule a stopover for burgers & pie...


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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the historic downtown of Staunton, VA. 

I visited Staunton a few years ago and I'd say it's a must visit for anyone into historic buildings or really neat old towns. Way cool.

Staunton has one architectural advantage over most of other small towns in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia: it escaped the Civil War unscathed. Many of its 18th and early 19th century homes and buildings still stand and are wonderfully preserved.

The history of Staunton

I'd say to make sure to check out the still-operating railroad station. The old station was renovated and is now a restaurant (don't know anything about the food) with an amazing bar that was saved from a demolished hotel.

The forty-plus foot bar gracing the Depot Grille was originally a fixture in the luxury Ten Eyck Hotel, located in Albany, New York. Legend has it that the Ten Eyck was the official Republican Party headquarters for that State Capitol.

A postcard from 1921, brought to us by a customer, refers to the Ten Eyck as "the finest hotel in Albany". The 1947 Albany city directory included a full page ad for the hotel that boasted of "circulating ice water in every room" and two restaurants. By the mid-fifties, the hotel had become part of the Sheraton Chain.

The bar was saved intact prior to the demolition of the hotel and transported to Staunton for inclusion in the restoration of the Train Station.

The Depot Grille


Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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the historic downtown of Staunton, VA. 

I visited Staunton a few years ago and I'd say it's a must visit for anyone into historic buildings or really neat old towns. Way cool.

Indeed it is. I spent a few days here last year. My partner was appearing in a play at a theater festival there; the town has a detailed reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Well worth checking out if a performance coincides with your visit.

Staunton is a great little town for a day trip or a weekend--close to Shenandoah and with lots of cool shops, antiquing, historic interest, etc.

I'd say to make sure to check out the still-operating railroad station. The old station was renovated and is now a restaurant (don't know anything about the food) with an amazing bar that was saved from a demolished hotel.

We ate at the Depot Grille and, while I don't remember specifics, I remember liking it a lot, from both a food and a historic standpoint.

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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My parents live in Staunton, and i visit a couple times a year. Unfortunately, they're both in poor health (but still cheerful!) and don't dine out at all. But maybe i'll cruise up the road from their house to the Beverly to check out the pie.

My brother and wife live in nearby Weyer's Cave. When i stay at their house, i always wake up to the most lovely vista of rolling foothills. Sure is a pretty part of the world.


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Just YESTERDAY I posted that The Beverley had the best burger in the WORLD in another forum in which someone asked about restaurants in the Blue Ridge. I went to college in Staunton, and Beverley Burgers with fries still call to me in my current home near Washington D.C.

I also recommended The Southern Inn in Lexington. It's further down I-81 from Richmond, right on the main drag through town. I never dined there as a student. It was a bit too expensive for my part-time minimum wage standard of living at the time. But I did go there three times in a row when I was back in the area about 2 years ago. My partner (a 6th generation New Yorker) couldn't get enough of the place. It is really good.

When I lived in Richmond right after I graduated from college, my college buddies and I used to go to a Greek restaurant in the Fan called Konsta's. I don't know if it is still there -- or still good -- but we LOVED it. They used to have a sampler plate that had a little bit of everything that I lived for.

Is Strawberry Street Cafe still there? They used to have a great salad bar that they served out of an old Victorian bathtub. On Strawberry Street in the Fan, of course.

And, of course, there is also the 3rd Street Diner in downtown Richmond. There's no place better at 3 AM. They had such good homefries. It must have been the grease...

I know there are other places that are probably more highly rated. I haven't lived in Richmond in 10 years (although I do go back to visit my old college friends every few months but they all moved from the Fan to the suburbs years ago), and my financial situation wasn't much better right after I graduated from college and lived in Richmond than it was when I was in college. So, I didn't do much fine dining in Richmond back then. But we had some great spots...

And actually, I had a business lunch at Poste in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago... and frankly I probably won't ever remember it as long or as fondly as I do the Beverley Burgers in Staunton that I pulled my loose change together to eat when I was 19, or the moussaka that I had on my 25th birthday at Konsta's.

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OOPS!

I meant The Southern Inn was down I-81 from from STAUNTON, not Richmond. My typo...

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