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Feb 11, 2011 08:22 AM

WV and VA Drive on 64/81

A Friend and I will be traveling from St. Louis to Swoope, VA in July. We are trying to plot a course that runs along I64. We are looking for off the beaten path places to eat, the crazier the better! We are both in the industry and enjoy all kinds of food. Also looking for any LOCAL foods, products, grocery, etc. Thank you!

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  1. Swoope looks like it is near Staunton, VA. Staunton has a nice little downtown area with some decent restaurants. Spend an hour or so walking around there to get a feel for the place. The Staunton Grocery is an upper end restaurant that has had good write ups in several magazines. Also, there is a theatre called the Blackfriers, which is a replica of Shakespear's indoor theatre. Very cool place to catch a show while in the area.

    There is a dive in Waynesboro called the Basic City Luncheonette. Cinderblock walls and all. Great place for breakfast; country sausage and homemade biscuits. They are only open on Friday night for dinner, and it is always packed. Good down home food at very reasonable prices.

    In Harrisonburg, which is about 23 miles north of Staunton on I-81, there is a place called Jess' Quick Lunch. Make sure you go to the original downtown H-burg location. Great chili dogs, hand made burgers, and fries joint. I like to sit at the counter for the full experience.

    The Staunton Grocery
    105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401

    Basic City Luncheonette
    408 N Commerce Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodjack

      Jess's Quick Lunch is on the square right in downtown Harrisonburg...It is a place that makes you feel like you have discovered where all the locals hang out...try it....Also, in Waynesboro the tailgate grill on the 250 by pass (I think that is what they call it, one street/block over from the HS) makes the best burger in the area. The last time I was in there a couple of weeks ago they had a special..burger/fries and drink for $6.75 I almost got one to go at this price...try this you'll like it....

      1. re: jogger

        Hey Jogger,

        Love Jess' Quick Lunch! Used to eat there a lot many years ago when I was at JMU.

        I lived in Waynesboro for 5 months back in 2008. The downtown area had been hit pretty hard by the economy, but there was one restaurant on main street that I used to like. I don't remember the name of it, but it had an Italian / Greek flare. It had reasonable dinner specials nightly. Is it still there, and do you know the name of it?

        1. re: jogger

          Hey Jogger,
          I found the place online. It is Chickpeas on main st. Have you tried this place? It was friendly and reasonable when I was there.

          1. re: foodjack

            Foodjack. . . thank you we def. plan on hitting Basic City Luncheonette for breakfast! It looks like my kind of place.

            Basic City Luncheonette
            408 N Commerce Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980

      2. There's a place called Fat Boy's Pork Palace on US 33 in Brandywine, WV. I discovered it on my road trip from Asheville, NC to Brooklyn. I've only had their pulled pork, cole slaw and coffee. The pulled pork is pretty sour from the heavy vinegar base, but tasty non the less. I also liked their cole slaw, which was crunchy, not too heavy and naturally sweet. Their coffee sucked, though. You'll also need some patience getting there from I-81 because of the twisting, climbing roads going through Monongahela National Forest and Shenandoah Mountain. A very beautiful drive, especially the top of Shenandoah, but a tad daunting. I should also advise you that Fatty's has no physical address, per se. They're on US 33, maybe twenty to thirty minutes west of Shenandoah Mountain's base and on the east bound side. Supposedly they have excellent pies as well. I hope this helps. Here is there phone number:(304) 249-7025

        PS I was curious about your route and I saw that the i-64 intersects with US 220 North. You can take 220 to US 33 East and find it that way. It's a beautiful drive, but not too many food stops. I also noticed you won't be far from Roanoke. There's an interesting Korean restaurant in the Lamplighter Mall Shopping Center. I say "interesting" because I believe the head chef is a local redneck who married a beautiful lady originally from Korea. Who also showed him how to cook. The menu is small, I'm guessing it's to appeal to the local taste. They, but between the banchan and what menu items are served, it's as tasty as you'll find in K-Town Manhattan.

        Fat Boy's Pork Palace
        , Brandywine, WV 26802

        1. Excellent milshakes at Wright's in Staunton - not far off 64. You can drive up and order "car-hop" style. I have had better burgers but tater tots and milkshakes are wonderful,

          2 Replies
          1. re: richmond3005

            I do love a good drive inn milkshake and tots! This trip is still a ways away and I'm compiling all the places and planning our route. We will be driving on I64 from St. Louis, so if you run across any ideas for southern Illinois or Indiana please let me know. On our way back we're taking a southern route through Tennessee (81 S to 40 W), which may prove to be more rewarding. Thanks again to all the replies!

            1. re: thatguytrent

              Off I 40 west, take exit 378A. in Cedar Bluff ( west of Knoxville) Turn left and go under the overpass. Turn left at the first light, Puleo's Grille is on the corner. GREAT place to stop for lunch or dinner. Food, atmosphere, and service are tops. Look it up at

          2. You'll call me crazy, but you should take a quick detour off of I-64 and go to the Dairy Queen in Hinton, WV. This is NOT, I repeat NOT, a run of the mill dairy queen. It has a riverside dining room and everything on the menu from broccoli to hotdogs. Fantastic food and a really random kind of place. It is so unique there is a Facebook group for it with over 6,000 members-- and Hinton only has a population of 2,000. It is also a beautiful drive in the springtime, follows the river. You can detour from Hinton to Lewisburg, WV and join back up with I-64 there. Lewisburg was recently voted the coolest small town in America and also has some fun places to eat.

            Dairy Queen Restaurant
            10907 Courthouse Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22408