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Virginia - Small Cities and Towns


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Sperryville, Staunton I had two great pizza's in the past couple of months.  The first was at the Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen in Sperryville.  The second was at Newtown Baking in Staunton.  Both f

Catawba (near Roanoke) Right on the outskirts of Roanoke in a town called Catawba there's a restaurant called home place. It's on top of a mountain and they are open from 4-8. They serve the same thi

Winchester Grover and I were in Winchester last weekend (okay, Thursday through Sunday) and to celebrate a special occassion, we decided we'd take advantage of Chef Ed Matthews of One Block West and

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I have a thing for maps.  I created this one so I could find chow when out and about near Shenandoah National Park.  It's limited to restaurants west of US15 and 29 and north of Charlottesville in Virginia.  No recommendation is implied (I haven't been to most of them).  It's just a reference.  Hope someone finds it useful.

btw for anyone who enjoys hiking: Hiking Upward is a great resource.

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Upperville

http://www.blackthorne-inn.com/ is the Blackthorne Inn which is just west of the Hunter's Head Tavern, about two miles or so east of the Ashby Inn directly on route 50.  The Blackthorne has a 250+ year old pub (literally once owned by George Washington) that has as much character and "Old World" ambience as perhaps anywhere in the eastern United States.  Working fireplaces, stone and brick walls, wood beamed ceilings and candle light-it is incredible.  For all of the world it could have been a stagecoach stop in the 18th Century.

And it was.

The food, i.e. salads, hamburgers, etc. is decent, too.

This competes with the Hunters Head Tavern for locals but the Blackthorne-for ambience alone-is a special place.  Certainly worth a stop in colder weather for an Irish coffee or a glass of wine.

This is actually a full blown Inn and restaurant perhaps even larger than the Ashby Inn. We haven't had dinner there but we've stopped a number of times for a lighter meal in the Pub and a drink or two.  Our first visit was a year ago when we were driving by and I was just curious about it.  We parked and walked in.

Not only did we stay for a drink but a year later I am writing about it.  The Pub is certainly worth one last sip after dinner at the Ashby Inn.

All the more reason to love this part of the United States.

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Strasburg

Holy Moly Donuts - potato doughnuts

The NOVA suburbs lack a specialty doughnut shop, that I'm aware of at least. There are good doughnuts to be had for sure (Mama's Donut Bites, Chantilly Donut Shop, fresh cider donuts at The Apple House and various bakeries, etc), but those places either don't have a retail store front or don't make doughnuts their primary focus. Surely not an easy business to maintain, but somehow cupcake-centric bakeries have been sustainable to a degree and other cities have various options beyond DD and KK and grocery store bakeries.

So, I was excited/surprised to run across a specialty doughnut shop in Strasburg. I had never driven through the town until earlier this month when I took Hwy 55 to avoid traffic on I-81 and I-66. Unable to stop the first time, my wife and I stopped at the doughnut shop on the way home yesterday after a weekend in the Valley. The shop opened earlier in the summer and more background info can be found in the link above.

I had never tried potato doughnuts, though I had read about them when visiting Charlottesville (The Spudnut Shop). Holy Moly makes both regular potato and sweet potato doughnuts. The dough seemed to be consistent across the different flavors, which were differentiated by a light glaze. We split a grapefruit and blueberry donut at the shop and this morning a maple sugar donut (dusted). The glazes were good and true to their name, but subtle since the doughnuts are pretty thick and filling. They would be good with tea or coffee. I forget some of the other flavors, but they did have ginger, regular sugar-coated, ginseng, maple bacon, and raspberry (I think). Personally, I prefer lighter doughnuts, but variety is nice and the business seems to have good intentions for the community. Hope the locals can sustain the business. If you're passing through its worth a stop, especially if you're restless with the doughnut options in the suburbs.

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Warrenton

This past Saturday MrB and I had a 5:00 reservation at The Shack in Staunton, VA.  We decided to make a weekend of it and enjoy Virginia's back roads and fall foliage, not to mention, its food.  Starting early in DC, we drove directly to:

The Red Truck Bakery 

What a great bakery!  Chef/owner, Brian Noyes, a former WashPost staffer, opened this retail location in 2009 in a former Esso station (circa 1920s) in the historic downtown area of Warrenton.  On Saturday morning they had a quite large selection of pastries and other items on offer, in addition to coffee brewed from Counter Culture beans.  There is one communal table and we sat there to eat the 4 pastries* we bought and enjoyed conversation with the locals who seemed to be regulars.  Their apple pie looked fantastic and I would have loved to take one with us if we were going directly home.  They also make sandwiches and soups.  (* 4 different croissants: blueberry, chocolate/raspberry, ham & swiss, tomato/olive.  The tomato/olive was my favorite of the 4). Sadly, the bakery is closed on Sundays, or we would have stopped on our way home to get one of those pies.  Next time.

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So Rocks has been asking me for awhile now to break up this thread.  I've resisted because "Virginia" is clearly defined and therefore easy to search, even if you have to scroll through a page or two of posts.  But if you're looking for something in, say, Gordonsville, which part of Virginia do you look in?  Central?  Northern? Western?  How many little pieces do you divide it into?

Rocks suggested "by county" but holy cow, there are 95 counties in VA (though not all represented in this thread, of course).  I'd like to do it by region if there's a reasonable way to define the regions.  Northern, tidewater, southside, Shenandoah...  So here's the question, for those who are more familiar with the Old Dominion than I am: how would you divvy it up?

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Personal opinion:

NOVA is covered and broken up already.

1. Eastern Shore and Northern Neck (East of Fredericksburg down to Gloucester

2. Central Western Virginia (South of NOVA, from suburbs of Richmond West, Lynchburg and Up)

3. South Western Virginia (Roanoke, Blacksburg, etc)

4. Deep South Virginia (Below Lynchburg, including Danville)

5. 95 Corridor (South of Richmond and not the I-64 corridor Petersburg and Emporia)

6. 64 East Corridor (New Kent, Williamsburg, NewPort News, Virginia Beach, Suffolk)

7. Richmond and Suburbs

I could break up which counties I would put in each of the above sections, if that was helpful?  The biggest question would be where Central Virginia ends and South Western Virginia begins... should Lexington and Lynchburg be with Roanoke instead... I think it makes sense for essentially 460 to be the division not 64, but that would be the biggest debate in my head.

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Roanoke

I had a pleasant late lunch yesterday at Horizon Bar & Grill in Roanoke. The restaurant is about 3 years old but is in a beautiful space that must be at least 100 years old with original brick walls, tin ceiling, and some flooring. I had a ham panini with mushrooms, spinach, cranberries, and swiss cheese with a bourbon glaze. I thought it was nicely balanced, with just a smattering of mushrooms and not too much of the cranberries (which I have found other places to overdo sometimes). It was served with an apple slaw, which worked well for me. They had a bahn mi on the lunch menu, which tempted me but I passed on the theory that it could not possibly be better than what is available around here.

It would appear from a quick Google search that this place is now CLOSED.

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There's a lot to like in Charlottesville. I'm just going to start a little list and tag it as "Charlottesville" as I go. Can I accomplish that by simply putting the word "Charlottesville" in the body?

To the Moderators: I think that Charlottesville deserves its own thread.  A lot of us in DC spend a fair amount of time there and it's just not all that far away.  And, some of us may be moving there in the not-too-distant-future.... :ph34r:

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Staunton; Charlottesville

+1 and I had a nice weekend getaway to Staunton and Charlottesville.  In Staunton, we ate at the Shack, Zynodoa, and Nu Beginning Farm store.

The Shack continues to be very good, for both dinner and Sunday brunch.  The only sorta complaint would be the odd portioning choices, esp. for a prix fixe menu - some things in a category are more than 2X the size of other things.  It's not really a complaint since both portions were in the realm of reasonableness, but it's odd.  But other than that, everything was very good and the service continue to be friendly/warm, and the lines have died off a bit so it's easier to get in.

The Zynodoa menu didn't speak to us as much, but what we ordered was quite good too, but not at the level of the Shack.  The dishes we tried seem exactly like the sort of dish that HUSK in Charleston might serve, if that tantalizes anyone.

Nu Beginning is a store with a cafe area serving breakfasts and lunches.  The people there are wonderful and the food is pretty good for the price.  It's a very fine choice for a quick bite to eat for breakfast, lunch, or early dinner.  They have a neat array of organic milk, meats, produces, jarred goods, tea and coffee, at reasonable prices.

If you want something more wild - I bought some mighty fine ramps and morels from a fellow named Digging Jay and would happily recommend him based on my experience.  Easy to communicate via phone and email, and seems like an all around good guy.  His website lists prices to include shipping costs, but he actually charged me a good deal less because I was buying stuff out of his van.

The farmer's market in Staunton was too early for most things, but I did get some nice herb plants for $2.50 each and saw some nice looking vegetables (mostly greens and loophouse produce) for sale.

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To me, there's a natural 8. Shenandoah Valley. This would be anything from Lexington to Winchester and help with folks looking for stops on the I-81 corridor. Waynesboro could be in this, or a Charlottesville grouping depending on which you prefer.

Personal opinion:

NOVA is covered and broken up already.

1. Eastern Shore and Northern Neck (East of Fredericksburg down to Gloucester

2. Central Western Virginia (South of NOVA, from suburbs of Richmond West, Lynchburg and Up)

3. South Western Virginia (Roanoke, Blacksburg, etc)

4. Deep South Virginia (Below Lynchburg, including Danville)

5. 95 Corridor (South of Richmond and not the I-64 corridor Petersburg and Emporia)

6. 64 East Corridor (New Kent, Williamsburg, NewPort News, Virginia Beach, Suffolk)

7. Richmond and Suburbs

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From the days of 23 Beverly to now (the rocking DonRocks keeps sending great reports), Staunton seems to have a lot to offer. I've got to get over there, check things.

On the eastern side of Afton Mtn., there's plenty happening. As soon as you get over, drop down into Crozet and go to Three Notch'd Grill. It's not quite Charlottesville, but it's close enough that lots of C'ville folks go out there for special or regular dinners.

Cathy and Hayden Berry cut their teeth at Duners many (> 20) years ago. Cathy did soups, salads, and just about everything else while at Duners, but now she runs the front of the house at Three Notch'd Grill...delightfully. Hayden came up under really good people at Duners and has great intuitive sense for sauces and meats. (He also knows his regulars: One time, knowing I don't do meat, he came out of the kitchen and found me; "John, the sauce on that Grouper has a teeny, tiny bit of pork stock in it, maybe just a tablespoon. Would you like me to substitute another sauce for you?")

They use fresh ingredients. The menu changes on that basis. And, as that menu shows, you can go from burger to right on the edge of gourmet. Family friendly. It's worth a visit.

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To me, there's a natural 8. Shenandoah Valley. This would be anything from Lexington to Winchester and help with folks looking for stops on the I-81 corridor. Waynesboro could be in this, or a Charlottesville grouping depending on which you prefer.

You are absolutely correct.

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Roanoke

For my sister's b'day, we visited her in Roanoke and had a latish lunch at Local Roots on Grandin in that little neighborhood where it dead ends into the school. We had expected to be five, but turned into a three-top. The hostess still seated us in a nice booth across from the bar.

For an app, I ordered a dozen Rappahannock oysters (I ate 10 of them); they were fat and surprisingly sweet; I wondered if they'd been sugared, but I didn't see any crystals (maybe a sugar solution?). My meal was NC Crab Benedict, which was good, though it, too, seemed somehow sweet. I cut into the yolks right away and they were pretty much to the medium level of done-ness; some ran. The crab was lumpy and there was a fair bit of it. Yummy tomato. The muffin was excellent.

My table-mates went for the ham (one was a salad aux bacon; the other the regular Eggs Benedict), so I have no first-hand observations about their meals. Their reports were quite positive.

The wait staff and kitchen readily accommodated my sister's request to have no muffin with the Eggs Benedict and then the follow-along request that the muffin come to the table for Pat to eat with her salad. Two servers brought all three entrees at once. The water glasses never got below half full. Folx smiled and murmured pleasantries.

All in all, it was a pleasant way to pass the afternoon.

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Marshall
 
Almost overnight, Marshall is turning into an interesting little outpost with some interesting stops if you traveling through the area.
 
Red Truck Bakery opened there a couple weeks ago:  http://redtruckbakery.com/home
(This is a larger version of their store in Warrenton.  I'm guessing that the original location in Orlean is no longer in operation since it's not mentioned on their website).

Just across the street, The Whole Ox butcher shop opened this weekend:  http://thewholeox.com/
(This place started out at a little counter inside the Marshall IGA (which tragically closed recently - - it was like going back in time (in a good way!) when you walked into this place), then they moved to their own store in The Plains, and now they've moved back to an even bigger location).
 
Also just across the street will be the not yet opened Field and Main:  http://www.fieldandmainrestaurant.com/

http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php/topic/46950-field-and-main-from-neal-and-star-warva-to-open-in-marshall-va/?hl=marshall

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Great post on places in Marshall. We are headed out in the near future for a fall trip to Shenandoah park with the little ones from DC. Any other good suggestions along I-66 or more importantly in Winchester or Front Royal or north of or near the northern park of the park?

Its been a few years since we went so not sure what is new or what I missed before :-) Thanks,

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If you get off at the Linden exit from 66, the first thing you'll come to is the Apple House.  They have some nice, homemade doughnuts that are often served hot.  That might be a nice treat for the little ones.  They also serve some good barbeque there, but be warned, the line is sometimes long and the people who work there always seem to be in slow motion!  They often have a guy out front making kettle corn too.

In Front Royal, on the way to Shenandoah park there's a burger joint on the right called "Spelunker's".  I've never been there though.

Further up the road (Rt 55) at the T intersection with Rt. 340 (where you make the left to go to the Park) is Osteria 510.http://www.osteria510.com/menu.html

My wife and I have eaten there a couple of times, but not in a year or so and it was very enjoyable.  It probably can't compete with DC but the entree prices here are appetizer prices in town!  Kids will be fine here too.

The last time I was there I got STINCO DI AGNELLO BRASATO ALLE ERBE AROMATICHE - slow braised lamb shank w/aromatic herbs and orzo $19

It was fall off the bone tender and very tasty, and my dog got the bone at the end of the night as a treat.

The best place in town is probably Apt 2G, but they have a very limited menu and is not as kid friendly.

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Flint Hill; Front Royal

Columbus Day weekend we tried several places in and near Shenandoah national park (most thanks to the recommendations above :-) We really liked Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill (about half way between the Thorton Gap mid-park entrance and I-66) - great beef chilli and amazing apple cake. Apparently, an old granny makes all of the desserts - I'd go just for another slice of cake. Had a good meal at Osteria 510 - not great, but good - in Front Royal.  We went to Spelunkers in FR for lunch too - basically an independent Five Guys with good burgers, ok fries/onion rings, and good custard. Very friendly staff - you order like fast food, but they make it somewhat to order and bring the food to your table. Had a great lunch in the park at the Skyland restaurant -  great stick to your ribs food in ample portions - I really liked my chicken pot pie and my wife's fish and chips were good too. We passed on their dessert specialty - black or blueberry ice cream meringue pie - one slice we saw was literally 6 inches tall. We were less thrilled with Blue Wing Frog for lunch - it got excellent Yelp and other reviews - but it took forever to get the food, they forgot silverware when the food came and forgot come back with any either, my wife's Panini was somewhat burnt, and the sandwiches have too much bread to filling ratio - albeit good homemade bread. We may have been there on an off day.  One of the workers actually cried while apologizing to another table about something that those patrons didn't seem to think was a big deal.

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Staunton,

My wife and I had a lovely meal at Zynadoa last night.  My largest critique was the spacing of the seating.  We could not help but have our conversation interrupted my the server addressing the the table next to us.  The good news was that the waitstaff was quite charming, helpful, and informative.  In fact, I will say that the service was the best I have experienced, except for some slightly slow timing on our main courses.  We had time to spend though, waiting on the show at the Blackfriar Playhouse, so no loss there.

We started off with zuchinni fritters.  Yeah, I know, can you get much more pedestrian?  But my wife's tastes run to the less than adventuresome, and we wanted one starter to share.  And i have to say, they changed my view of what fritters can be.  They were crisped nicely, with a creamy interior, and were balanced by the greens and sauce on the plate.

For mains, my wife order the braised chicken. The chicken was served with grits and (?).  I did not sample her dish (I was focused on my own) but she said she enjoyed it and left little behind.  I ordered the whole trout, despite my misgivings regarding farm raised trout.  I  am glad I did.  This had none of the off-flavors that I associate with farm raised or stocked trout.  Instead, it tasted clean, was well cooked, and I found myself chewing up a few of the bones to continue enjoying the flavor.  The trout was served on great northern beans (nothign remarkable, but well suited to the rest of the dish) and topped by a red pepper and sausage stew that elevated the whole dish way beyond your typical trout plate.  It was a combination that worked much better than I could have imagined, and I am glad I ordered it.

Being our first real date night in 7 years, we splurged and both ordered dessert, instead of our usual of shairng one, if any.  My wife had the tiramisu, i had the apple claffoutis.  Both were pleasant.  The apples in my clafoutis were helped along by a touch of brandy, that gave them a little more flavor than one might expect.  The tiramisu was a pleasant reminder of what the dessert can be, with amarreto playing a real role balancing the espresso, sugar, and creaminess.

So all of the above, after tax and tip (no wine), came in about $100.  Significantly more than we usually go for, but definitely worth it.  Those more accustomed to the decent class of dining around DC might be less impressed, but especially around Staunton, this could become a go-to special occasion spot for us.

 

On a side note, King Lear at the Blackfriar: Fantastic!

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Front Royal,

Stopped at Blue Wing Frog for a Sunday brunch.  This was also mentioned upthread.  Interesting place to come to visit.  They try to make homemade as much as possible, including ketchup, peanut butter, bread, etc..  Beef for the burgers is local grass fed, etc.  Coffee is freshly ground and a pour over, which was really good on a rainy morning.  They have an eclectic set of local Virginia and California wines, plus some local ciders, beers, and even a collection of mead (meads?).  Most bottles of wine go for $22-24, with the most expensive being $28. 

I had the the "Death by Pork" sandwich, which was a thick slice of butterflied pork loin stuffed with sausage, sage, and sautéed sweet onions, all wrapped in bacon with a fried egg on top.  Interesting concept, and not bad, but not as much sausage/sage flavor that I would have expected. I made the assumption that the "Crispy Garlic Taters" were a form of homemade tater tot, but think more along the lines of large home fries.

I would try it out again, and it might be worth grabbing stuff for a picnic.  Do NOT expect the preparation to be quick.  They are very up front about it, and we did not mind.  However, as they advertise themselves as a "Picnic Market and Brew", do not expect to come and and do a quick carryout unless you are ordering pasta salads and bottled beverages.

 

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Fredericksburg:

Foode- The chef here is Joy  Crump who was on top chef.  We had brunch at Foode, and while the food was fine, the service and design elements of this place lead me to believe that the chef didn't pay much attention to how the tables, plates, serving items would actually function nor did they actually eat a brunch service there.  Our waitress started out by spilling grapefruit juice on me, not a lot, and it was fine, but I was sitting on the end and had no silverware or napkin and had to ask for it.  And the glass was a glass that is just easy to spill things from.  Then I ordered hot tea.  The tea bag came out wrapped around a wood stirrer, dangling in the tea glass.  The tea and coffee were served in mugs on little plates that they put  a small container open on top of cream and sugar.  The tea had honey, lemon, cream and sugar all on this little plate.  The pics online don't show the current glassware. This all looked cute, but our waitress spilled my tea and the coffee and spilled it on refilling coffee too.  You had to unwrap the tea bag from the stirrer to use the stirrer, which you needed if you wanted honey or sugar, there were too many things on the plate, and when you opened the packet of honey then it seeped onto the saucer and stuck the cup to the saucer.  The stirrer wasn't a good thing to get the tea bag out of the cup or squeeze the water out (they could have used like a bartending spoon to get the same effect in the look.  And since I didn't get a pot of hot water, I couldn't reuse the tea bag and get more tea.  The server asked each person if they wanted cream and sugar, instead of just bringing a dish of sugar to the table.  It was just a bad system.  The plates were really big and the tables are not huge, so you had to fit this all on your table.  They forgot our pimento toast, it came out when they had already taken some our dishes and silverware, when it came out it was so hot, it burned your mouth.  I had the veggie scramble, which came with toast, but the ham and egg scramble didn't come with toast despite being essentially the same dish, which was odd.  Again, the food itself tasted very good.  MK had sausage gravy he liked, my scramble was good.  It was just an infuriating experience due to small errors that could easily be avoided, and it is a pretty place.  

Vivify- This is an order at the counter, grass fed burger place.  I had a bacon cheeseburger and it was good, not a huge burger, but definitely adequate to fill you up, especially with a side.  I got the tots, which were made with mashed potatoes, and I thought they were very good, very rich.  We also had the frickles, which were some of my absolute favorite frickles, they were really thin and very crispy and had a nice sauce with them.  

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Staunton

Went to Zynodoa several nights ago, as our last stop before home from Florida was Staunton, Va.   We loved the town, we loved the restaurant.  Lots of food, all made very well with mostly local ingredients & high skill.  We were going to order the app. of cornbread w/grape jelly while we were at the bar drinking (a very good local Reisling) but the couple next to us got one and it was huge and would've destroyed any chance of eating a large dinner.  When seated (in a front booth, not the back tables), we had a great waiter and ate too much.  I had fried catfish bites with thin onion rings that was excellent.  My wife had the pork belly app (yep, an app.) which was large enough that I had to help and was glad to do so - excellent).  My dinner entree was blackened catfish (I didn't feel at all silly ordering catfish and catfish - no, not at all) & this was very nice.  She had beef tips which, again, could not be finished, this time even with my help.  A sweet corn dessert was great and we didn't eat again till Brooklyn.  Highly recommended.

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Sperryville, Staunton

I had two great pizza's in the past couple of months.  The first was at the Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen in Sperryville.  The second was at Newtown Baking in Staunton.  Both featured local ingredients.  RPK was an unexpected gem in an area that in the past has had little to offer (excluding the Inn at Little Washington, less than 10 minutes away, but that is another category completely).  Newtown Baking turned out to be the bakery that I knew Staunton should have somewhere, but had yet to be able to locate.  In both places the pie I had included argula and mushrooms.  Both vastly exceeded my expectations, even if the toppings at RPK seemed light.  Each of them came in at the 12-13 dollar mark for a pie, which puts them in the same price range as McDonalds (In both cases, a pies should feed 2, though you may be tempted to order a pie to a person, just because they are so darn good!) but still put you in a whole 'nother world from any fast food.  Newtown has very specific hours.  RPK has very limited seating.  Both are worth your trouble.

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Farmville

If one is at Greenfront Furniture, Charley's Waterfront Cafe, http://www.charleyswaterfront.com/ makes a good lunch stop.  They have an ok selection of wine, we had two specials, a steak salad and turkey panini for lunch and both were perfectly acceptable and good.  Service was good, and it didn't take too long, we could have had a more leisurely meal, but we had a lot of buildings to get through.

Can I just make a note that it is really silly that Greenfront isn't open on Sundays, a boutique hotel and the restaurants could really do well if it would.  There were a lot of buildings and other shops I would have stopped in had I been able to stay for two days.

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Marshall

Friends have a place near Marshall and so we've been through it a few times in the last year or so. It is a nice stop very close off 66 with a small strip of restaurants, thrift shops, grocery store and gas stations and a Tractor Supply & Co. We love Red Truck Bakery which has rightly received a lot of good press. We really like their large cakes - some of our favorites are the Orange and Kentucky Bourbon, the lemon is similar to the orange and also good. The Shenandoah Apple cake is well made but not as well-liked as the others. We haven't had any of their gorgeous pies but I bet they are winners too. The biscuits, granola, muffins, donuts, and cupcakes are very tasty too. I had a strawberry chocolate chip muffin over the weekend that a sweet and delicious. I haven't tried them yet but they also have ice cream pints with mixins from the bakery. A while ago we ate at Gentle Harvest and thought it was only so so for their dine in options. They do have a nice selection of market items but a bit high priced. We went for the first time to Whole Ox butchershop for lunch which was great for big, excellent fried chicken sandwiches and good burgers (great buns on both), the fries were ok but could have been crisper. It is a nice shop which is a meat lover's dream with all kinds of cuts to cook and other prepared foods including lots of good looking sausages. It has a small town feel but it is upscale with lots of gourmet goodies, nice small wine selections, and very nice service. We haven't tried it yet, but also on the little strip in Marshall is Field&Main which is a bit more upscale dining which I've heard good things about.

Upperville

A bit farther north of 66 (but really only 10-15 min drive) is Upperville with the very nice British pub, Hunter's Head Tavern. We went last year a couple of times and really enjoyed our meals. Nice selection for kids and grownups. When it is warm they setup a big tent on their patio which is nice too. I don't remember exactly what we got but think it was fish & chips, salads, fried chicken, burgers.

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Flint Hill

Griffin Tavern, our perennial favorite for good pub food and cakes, didn't let us down during Covid travel last weekend. They are taking reservations for inside and front porch and doing no reservations for the big outdoor patio that is tented and has one heater in the center - which allows dogs (plus) and also smoking (boo). We showed up at 7pm on Friday after some annoying NOVA traffic and despite first being told it maybe 20 mins for a table on the back patio, we were seated in 5 minutes. Often the service is friendly but a bit slow, but this time they really went out of their way to take care of us warmly and efficiently (may have helped we had a cute puppy and 2 children). We got our usual fish and chips which comes with a small side of coleslaw (delicious and fresh) and kids got the usual chicken tenders to which we subbed green beans (which were great) for the fries (am I the only one with kids who hate french fries?).  The waitress thought the kids were cold so she brought them blankets and then when we asked for something warm to drink, she made them off-menu hot chocolates. We still miss the lady Mary Francis who used to make the best apple-spice cake but retired a few years ago, nevertheless, they still have good dessert options. We got a huge slice of carrot cake with a maple flavored frosting studded with some pecans that was good - even my kid who doesn't like nuts managed to devour some.  Great stop after the long drive from DC.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 11:39 AM, KeithA said:

Griffin Tavern

Aw, man, we were driving through Flint Hill last Sunday morning after leaving Shenandoah National Park and I noticed Griffin Tavern on Google Maps, but they weren't open yet. I'll definitely keep it in mind for future trips out there.

I wish my kid would sub green beans for French fries!!

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