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If you could eat anywhere in West Virginia (WV)?

klmonline Apr 18, 2012 05:49 PM

I am thinking about doing a driving loop through West Virginia just for random sightseeing and pleasure. I have zero knowledge of the state and its environs. Time to change that.

I have complete flexibility on destinations. My SO likes "quaint, charming towns" with interesting non-chain stores, so I plan to hit some of the "Main Street, USA" places on the West Virginia tourism site. That includes names such as Point Pleasant, Ripley, Philippi, Mannington, Fairmont, Morgantown, Kingwood, Martinsburg, and Ronceverte. Believe me when I say that none of those place names has any significance to me! :)

We also love good food of all types - regional specialties, fine dining, hole-in-the-wall, every ethnicity. As long as it tastes good.

So can you start a reply with "If you happen to be near <>, I suggest checking out..."

I may adjust my routing accordingly.

Thanks, West Virginians!

  1. h
    Hobbert Apr 18, 2012 06:07 PM

    Shepherdstown is a must. I went to college there and loved wandering through the shops and restaurants there. The Yellow Brick Bank is a great restaurant in town (American cuisine- my husband still talks about their salmon 8 months after an anniversary dinner there). If you plan to stay overnight, The Bavarian Inn is a must. Wonderful German food and beautiful views of the Potomac. I also enjoy The Blue Moon Cafe in town for casual lunches. I'd avoid Martinsburg- the downtown area is quaint but there are some crime ridden spots and it's not always easy to tell where they start.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hobbert
      klmonline Apr 18, 2012 06:18 PM

      Really appreciate that fast and informative reply, Hobbert! Absolutely the kind of help I was looking for. Many thanks.

    2. j
      judybird May 17, 2012 04:44 PM

      I'm not a West Virginian, but was there recently and had a great meal at the Cathedral Cafe in Fayeteville. It's on the main drag, in a former church so it'll be easy to spot. Before or after, visit the National Park Visitor's Center on the north end of the New River Gorge Brdge, then take the long trip down into the gorge and across to Fayettevile on the old bridge. Beautiful scenery.

      1 Reply
      1. re: judybird
        klmonline May 20, 2012 02:37 PM

        Great suggestion and just the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks for your help, Judybird!

      2. ktmoomau May 29, 2012 09:59 AM

        Well the Greenbrier isn't a bad stop... In Lewisburg I have been Food and Friends and Julians which were both ok. In Morgantown I would recommend Puglioni's out by the stadium, but there is other good stuff downtown.

        If you pass through Davis, WV Siriani's or Mutley's are good. Right there you are also by White Grass which is supposed to have a good restuarant.

        Berkley Springs is a great stop. I haven't been in a while, but they used to have a couple good restaurants. As a note, a lot of the best places to see in West Virginia in terms of scenery, are seen on the back roads. The country to me is what is really worth the time to see.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ktmoomau
          klmonline May 30, 2012 04:55 AM

          I definitely appreciate the extra suggestions, Katie Moo. Looking them up now!

        2. woodleyparkhound Jun 2, 2012 12:14 PM

          Lot 12 in Berkeley Springs. I must confess I haven't been there yet - planning to go this summer. It was nominated for a James Beard award this year. I have friends who have a house there and they have been many times and rave about it, as have other friends who have visited them there.

          On the cheap side there, I love Earth Dog cafe. Wonderful biscuits and gravy, and many other things as well.

          3 Replies
          1. re: woodleyparkhound
            GreenDragon Jun 7, 2012 08:54 AM

            I've lived in Fairmont and Morgantown the last 2.5 years. In Bridgeport (just south of Fairmont), there is a fantastic little french cafe called Provence - delightful food, and attached to a wine shop. Also, a local artisan's gift shop (my jewelry is there, plug!). Try the mushroom soup if it's available that day, and the olive tepanade on the home baked bread.

            Farther into town, there is Oliverio's. Technically it's a chain, as there are three of them, all owned by cousins, but this one is the best. Southern Italian cooking by 3rd generation Italians. The salmon salad is delicious.

            Further up, more good Italian food at Muriale's in Fairmont. Big place, lots of good pasta and sauces.

            Also in Fairmont is Aquarium Lounge. Don't let the dumpy exterior fool you! It's not in a great neighborhood, but it's been there for 40 years. Fantastic steaks and seafood - you will NOT go away hungry.

            Morgantown - fancy some Kenyan food? Kenya Cafe was started by a student who came here and never left. Angresti's Tuscan Grille is in Westover - northern Italian food, well done and not overcooked.

            Do you like wineries/distilleries? In Fairmont, there is the Heston Winery, they serve food on weekend nights, with music sometimes. Great food, fun wines and liquor.

            There is a sweet little tea shop called the Tea Cupboard in Morgantown that serves afternoon tea Wed - Saturday. There are homemade lemon UK style scones, clotted cream, lemon curd, and all sorts of sweets and savories, soup, quiche, etc.

            Terra Cafe prides itself on local ingredients - breakfast and lunch only, though the kitchen is open until 6pm. They do sandwiches, soups, quiche, and such - free Wifi and games on site. My husband works there as a breakfast chef :)

            For finer dining, I recommend Sargasso, steak restaurant.

            Prickett's Fort is a good historical stop for some sightseeing. Also, New River Gorge, a couple hours south of here on the highway.

            1. re: GreenDragon
              klmonline Jun 7, 2012 11:10 AM

              I really appreciate all the detail and great suggestions. Keep 'em coming! :)

              1. re: GreenDragon
                GreenDragon Jun 11, 2012 07:10 AM

                I almost forgot - Ali Baba is a fantastic Mediterranean food restaurant. The odd part? It's in the AIRPORT terminal in Morgantown - and it's still fantastic! Very bizarre. Taziki's is also decent Greek food in town.

            2. klmonline Jul 1, 2012 02:02 PM

              To everyone who gave their suggestions, thank you so much. We drove up from Cary, NC yesterday... Saturday, June 30. Had a great time on our leisurely drive. Stopped in at the welcome center in Princeton and then had some dinner. Then wended our way up old highway 19 to Beckley (beautiful, and very fun in a Corvette!). Along the way, I noticed downed trees. Then as we made it back towards civilization, we started seeing signs knocked down. A gas station had the entire overhead shelter toppled. Then I saw people lined up two blocks long to get to a couple of gas stations. "This can't be good," I thought.

              I had heard nothing of the storm. So it was a complete surprise to see all power out everywhere. We started looking for an available hotel, but the few with power were filled to overflowing with displaced residents and travelers. We eventually headed back East-Southeast and kept checking for available rooms. Princeton, Whytheville, Hillsville/Galax, Mt. Airy... Nothing. The knock-on effect spanned multiple states. We finally ended up back home at 2am after more than 500 miles and 16 hours out and about.

              My thoughts and best wishes go out to any of you affected by the devastation. Good luck and I hope we get another chance to try exploring your state again.

              2 Replies
              1. re: klmonline
                GreenDragon Jul 3, 2012 05:34 AM

                Hindsight is 20/20 - but most of Morgantown had power/hotels. However, just south of us (from Bridgeport west to Point Pleasant) were pretty damaged. We traveled to Point Pleasant, and whenever we saw a gas station that had power, we saw long lines.

                1. re: klmonline
                  huiray Jul 3, 2012 06:06 AM

                  Sorry you ran into the after-effects of the storm (and knew nothing of it beforehand).

                  I didn't see this thread until now. I don't know if you would consider it if you ever tried this "drive-about" again, but Wheeling - in the very top of the state in that "finger" jutting between Ohio and Pennsylvania is a favorite town of mine. **Very Gothic** in feeling to me and should be in accord with your husband's desire for "quaint, charming towns". I love the bridge over the Ohio, the sharp off-ramp (Exit 1A) just at the end of the eastbound lane of the bridge into downtown Wheeling below, the steep ascent/descent on both sides of the bridge, Wheeling sprawled over the mountainous terrain and nestled at the bottom of the steep Ohio river valley.

                  Coleman's Fish Market is a local institution there, with it's "renowned" fish sandwich. It's pretty decent (but not the world's best). But crab cakes there are horrible. https://www.google.com/url?sa=D&oi=plus&q=https://maps.google.com/maps?ie%3DUTF8%26cid%3D4866658149802199416%26q%3DColeman%27s%2BFish%2BMarket%26iwloc%3DA%26gl%3DUS%26hl%3Den
                  Dinner at "Ye Olde Alpha" is interesting, another "local institution". Also not haute cuisine, but decent. https://www.google.com/url?sa=D&oi=plus&q=https://maps.google.com/maps?ie%3DUTF8%26cid%3D2434475918867903666%26q%3DYe%2BOlde%2BAlpha%26iwloc%3DA%26gl%3DUS%26hl%3Den
                  Or you can try your luck and maybe recover some of your gas money (or more) at the Wheeling Casino :-) ... https://www.google.com/url?sa=D&oi=plus&q=https://maps.google.com/maps?ie%3DUTF8%26cid%3D3432624753957429423%26q%3DWheeling%2BIsland%2BCasino%26iwloc%3DA%26gl%3DUS%26hl%3Den Lots of folks from Ohio and Pennsy descend on the casino too... (Of course, this place is certainly *not* on the level of Vegas or even Atlantic City. ;-) )

                  See also: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/718594

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