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West Virginia Eats


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Hi Gang!

My wife and I are headed into WV for the first weekend of October. We're traveling thru Harper's Ferry and then to the Caanan Valley (Davis and Thomas) for a night or two and then out to Great Gorge (Fayetteville). Then we're out the back door to I-64 to Louisville for IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Trade show and Fan Fest. I'm looking for farmers markets, regional eats and music venues along the way. I know about the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV and it's high on my list. Any help would be appreciated and I will report back when serendipity kicks in.

Thanks in advance!

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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We're two years away from Mountaineer Country, but since you are going through Harpers Ferry (we used to run an inn Charles Town), the Yellow Brick Bank in nearby Shepherdstown is an excellent restaurant. Just south of Davis, the Golden Anchor was always pretty good eats.

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Much thanks kayswv! Every other year we do a mountain run and the music and food of that region is what pulls us back. Basically we do a country breakfast in the morning, grab some car food at the general stores and drive and hike. In the evenings it's regional eats and trying to find a jam session to plug into. Thanks again for reco's.

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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We're two years away from Mountaineer Country, but since you are going through Harpers Ferry (we used to run an inn Charles Town), the Yellow Brick Bank in nearby Shepherdstown is an excellent restaurant. Just south of Davis, the Golden Anchor was always pretty good eats.

I second the Yellow Brick Bank nomination-- though the menu could use some refreshing, but if you've never been there before...

Also, in Shepherdstown you'll find 3 Onions. Good service, attractive space, and great food. I think they're giving the Yellow Brick Bank a little competition.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Hey gang, thanks for the heads-up on the Shepherstown hits. We're going to do a dinner there and then climb back on Skyline-BlueRidge Pkw to Floyd, VA. Then we're on to Blowing Rock NC and then back into WV to the Beckley-Fayettesville area. Back to you if I find any good chews.

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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Hey gang, thanks for the heads-up on the Shepherstown hits. We're going to do a dinner there and then climb back on Skyline-BlueRidge Pkw to Floyd, VA. Then we're on to Blowing Rock NC and then back into WV to the Beckley-Fayettesville area. Back to you if I find any good chews.

We expect a full and thorough report!

:wink:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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The Greenbriar is supposed to be pretty decent, though reportedly overun with politicians, lobbyists and would-be Monicas. :smile:

Less than a half hour off I-64 is Hillbilly Hot Dogs, nice folks, bluegrass jams and concerts out back some evenings and 5 Grease Stain hot dogs.

Huntington WV, which is the exit for Hillbilly Hot Dogs, is somewhat of a hot dog mecca, itself. There are a bunch of places including the original Stewart's Original.

And I urge you on your way to take a break from the bluegrass and head to the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg KY (an hour south of Frankfort) for what is probably the South's and therefore the nation's best country ham - aged a minimum of two years. Their fried chicken is awfully good too.

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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My friend, Leah, writes:

I am not sure if you realize this or not, but these travelers are going straight through my home town and then down the state to where I live now.  If they are looking for places that somehow represent West Virginia, they are going to be shit out of luck.  Restaurants here are trying to be like the outside world.  Ramps are out of season and you can't serve venison in a restaurant.  Places in Fayetteville that come recommended are 1) Cathedral Cafe -- the classic local breakfast and lunch spot, 2) Dirty Ernie's Rib Pit -- self explanatory adventure, and 3) Sedona -- a want-to-be Gabriella Cafe* that is severely lacking the finesse of Jim Denevan.  In Elkins people go out for trout.  The best place to go would be a restaurant at Revelle's on old Rt. 33.  In Thomas they are right about the Purple  Fiddle.  In Davis they would visit Sirianni's for pizza with a redneck twist.  I hope this helps.

*Gabriella Café is the restaurant here in Santa Cruz that does the farm dinners (specializing in organic, local and seasonal). Jim Denevan is the chef, also the guy who started the Outstanding in the Field farm dinners.

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Interesting post from your friend Leah. That post and Holly’s filled in some much-needed blanks. This is our second Mountain run. We did a trip similar to this in 2002 where we went from Port Royal, VA to Waynesboro, NC by way of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the mornings, it was full-blown country breakfasts with local ham, bacon, and sausage --- and grits. Nothing could be finer … in the morning. (Don’t hate me if do a mental karaoke on that tune after you read this post). We’d kept an eye out for where the local cops ate. Sometimes it worked. We snacked in the car for lunch based on what we were able to pull out of the local markets or stands; apples, cheeses, and good regional peanut butter when I could get it. The best food came out of the little places like Snappy’s in Mt Airy, NC and small local grills. BBQ was a bit scattered in High Country, not that we didn’t find it in some spots (a cluster of pits in Maggie Valley) but I’d head more east and off the hills to get to the wood burners. Tons of threads on this. Maybe a different trip next time out.

We hit on the Gamekeeper in Boone here

and the Market Place in Asheville expecting Mountain Fusion but ended with mix dinners more like conFusion. It pretty much echoed what Leah said trying to be like the outside world. But we’re going to keep an open mind and mouth. Be back to y’all.

Edited for link

Edited by marinade (log)

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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I grew up in Davis/Thomas, so perhaps I can offer up my experiences.

Although I haven't been there in years, The Golden Anchor was always a good place to eat. At one time, they had fresh seafood flown in daily -- maybe they still do.

In Davis, Sirianni's Pizza Cafe is great for pizza and italian fare. Don't miss the parmesan wedges. Best pizza around, in my opinion. Blackwater Brewing Company, also in Davis, is good as well.

The Purple Fiddle has great sandwiches and incredible homemade ice cream, not to mention a great beer selection.

Love,

Mr. Roger Troutman, who enjoys food and beverages.

CHAIR, INTERNATIONAL DINING RESEARCH INSTITUTE

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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  • 8 months later...

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I had lunch at the Yellow Brick Bank in Shepherdstown, WV yesterday with my spouse. I ordered a simple salad and the goat cheese souffle, which was less poufy than I like but still quite respectable. My sweetie ordered a corn-bacon-jalapeno chowder that was delicious despite its lack of potatoes (in a chowder?), and a fried oyster-andouille po' boy that he clearly enjoyed (enough so that he only let me scam a scrap of the spicy sausage).

We almost split a gargantuan cupcake from the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop bakery, but decided against it in the interest of health. They had some mighty good-looking sweets there, including all manner of donuts, bar cookies and cake slices.

There is also a small farmer's market in Shepherdstown on Saturdays. There were only three vendors this week (a baker, somebody with salad mix, and somebody with seedlings) but apparently it swells to 10 or so vendors in peak season, including two dairies. The market is close to the main entrance to Shepherd University on German Street.

I expect to be reporting frequently from Jefferson County, WV in the coming years.

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bump

There is also a small farmer's market in Shepherdstown on Saturdays. There were only three vendors this week (a baker, somebody with salad mix, and somebody with seedlings) but apparently it swells to 10 or so vendors in peak season, including two dairies. The market is close to the main entrance to Shepherd University on German Street.

I think the Sunday farmers market in Sheperdstown is a bit larger. Last weekend they had about 12 stands. Really beautiful stuff. The Sunday market is behind the town library.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just in Elkins last weekend, and had a really nice lunch at the Appalachian Grill downtown (can't remember the exact address but it's right in town). The chef used to work at the Greenbrier and the cooking showed it - yum!

I had a smoked chicken and blue cheese bisque that was really good, other people at my table liked it so much they ordered two cups!

They are currently only open for lunch, so the menu is heavy on sandwiches & salads. I got a cornmeal-breaded trout po'boy that was very tasty and fresh. Another highlight was their italian sausage sandwich - the sausage is made in-house.

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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