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dracisk

Weekend in Virginia Heading to Culpepper County

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I'll be spending November 13-15 at a cottage on a farm in Brightwood, VA, which is about 20 minutes southwest of Culpeper, with my (non-foodie) husband and toddler. I looked at the Virginia - Small Cities and Towns thread but am a bit overwhelmed because I'm not familiar with many of the small cities and towns and don't know how far they are from Brightwood. I started looking the cities and towns up in Google Maps but can't keep them all straight!

I'm thinking it's unlikely I'll get my husband to drive more than 45 minutes or so to get anywhere -- maybe an hour. Does anyone know of anyplace tasty within about that length of drive from Culpeper (or 20 minutes southwest of Culpeper)? The only place I remember visiting in the area is Foti's many years ago, and as I recall that's probably a little too fancy for our purposes this time. Needless to say, with our toddler in tow, we're not looking for fine dining. Just some solid options for a couple of lunches and dinners would be great.

Also, if anyone knows of any fun toddler-appropriate activities near Culpeper, I would appreciate knowing about those as well. We're planning to help feed the animals on the farm early Saturday morning, but I'm starting to feel like we'll have a long day ahead of us after that. :-)

Thanks in advance!

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Knakals Bakery in downtown Culpeper has the best glazed donuts in the world. Their other products are good too but the glazed donuts are where it's at. It's About Thyme is right up the street from there and is not quite as fancy as Foti's but somewhat so. They have always been very good in my experience- relatively simple European food. The barbecue place on the way out of town on 522 North (the name escapes me) is highly regarded by one of my buddies but I haven't been there as of yet and he is a Carolina barbecue fan so take that with a grain of salt.

Yoders Country Market on 29 near Madison has inexpensive sandwiches, some good deals on bulk foods, and goats outside in an elaborate climbing pen which may entertain the little one.

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I looked at the Virginia - Small Cities and Towns thread but am a bit overwhelmed because I'm not familiar with many of the small cities and towns and don't know how far they are from Brightwood. I started looking the cities and towns up in Google Maps but can't keep them all straight!

Your post got me to update my map of western Virginia restaurants.  I haven't been to most of them so no recommendation is implied; it's simply a visual reference of what's where.  Hope you find it useful.

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Thank you all for the helpful information! I was thinking to avoid Foti's on this trip since our toddler will be with us and her behavior in restaurants varies. :-) But everywhere else sounds like contenders. My husband especially likes donuts and barbecue (I like both, too), and I'm excited about the goats at Yoder's. :-) We may even try an early dinner at It's About Thyme. Thanks again!

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The Barbeque Exchange in Gordonsville is about a 35-minute drive from Brightwood (according to Google maps).  It would seem to meet your needs quite well.  

Highly recommend this as well. Get the sausages. skip the ribs. It is a lovely drive from Brightwood too although the toddler may not appreciate the scenery.

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A very belated and therefore low on detail recap:

We went to the

On 11/6/2015 at 5:27 PM, farmer john said:

barbecue place on the way out of town on 522 North

(Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ) and enjoyed it quite a bit. My husband and I both got combo platters that we shared with the toddler. I ordered my brisket moist and it was a little too moist for my taste, but I'm guessing that's just a personal preference. We enjoyed sampling the different (I believe house made) barbecue sauces on the table. The only other detail I remember is that their cole slaw had shredded coconut in it, which I'd never seen before. I don't even like coconut that much, but I really enjoyed this. The coconut added to the light and refreshing quality of the cole slaw, which wasn't loaded with mayonnaise.

We also went to Yoders and really enjoyed that. We ate lunch at their sandwich bar. (They have a small seating area for people who want to eat in.) The sandwiches were made with Boar's Head meats. We bought some baked goods for later, and the toddler enjoyed the animals in the back.

I wanted to go to the Barbecue Exchange, but we were afraid we'd drive 35 minutes and find the place slammed, so we didn't venture over there this time. We're set to visit the farm again this fall, so I'm hoping to hit the Barbecue Exchange (maybe at an off hour if there is such a thing) and some of the other recommendations in this thread then.

Thanks again to all!

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I'm heading back to Brightwood with my husband and 2.5-year-old October 21-23 (hoping to catch some fall foliage this year!) and wondered if there was anything new to recommend. I think we'll hit Red Truck Bakery in Marshall (a bit out of our way but worth it, I'm sure) and Moo Thru on our drive out. I suspect we'll hit Yoder's again since we really enjoyed our visit last year (though I'm not sure if we'll eat there -- even though the sandwiches were good!). We'll probably visit Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ on our way out of town again on Sunday.

Which actually doesn't leave all that many more eating opportunities, although I'd be happy to alter our plan for something else recommended. We didn't make it to the Barbecue Exchange last year, but I'd really like to go this year, especially since it's supposed to be a nice drive. Knakals is a possibility. The 2.5-year-old may be able to handle It's About Thyme (but probably not Foti's), but the menu doesn't really grab me.

Anyway, if anyone has any new recommendations since last year (or any changes in quality from last year's recommendations) I'd love to know them. Thanks in advance!

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Also in Marshall is The Whole Ox butcher.  They carry a bunch of fresh meat, duh! as well as some veggies, wine, cheese, etc.  They also have a little kitchen counter where they serve food.  Nice store, but pricey.

Just across the street from Red Truck is the just opened Field and Main.  I haven't been yet, but Tom from the Post was raving about it.  They're only open for dinner though.  There's a thread on DR.com about it too.  Right next door is a related business of a take out sandwich shop.

I know you said Red Truck was a bit out of the way, but if you stop there, you should at least check out these other places.  They're practically on top of each other.

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Thanks! I didn't know about The Whole Ox. I'm sure we'll stop in there, maybe for dinner provisions. I've been reading about Field and Main with interest, but we'll likely be in Marshall in the mid-afternoon. I'm also not sure if the 2.5-year-old is ready for Field and Main ... or if they're ready for her. :-)

Thanks again!

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We're leaving for our weekend in Virginia on Friday in case anyone else has suggestions. At this point we're thinking The Whole Ox, Red Truck Bakery, Moo Thru, Barbecue Exchange, Yoder's and Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ. Wondering if there's anything else we should be considering. Thanks!

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On 10/5/2016 at 11:44 AM, dracisk said:

Thanks! I didn't know about The Whole Ox. I'm sure we'll stop in there, maybe for dinner provisions. I've been reading about Field and Main with interest, but we'll likely be in Marshall in the mid-afternoon. I'm also not sure if the 2.5-year-old is ready for Field and Main ... or if they're ready for her. :-)

Thanks again!

For what it's worth, Field & Main is VERY kid-friendly. They have housemade pla-dough and a wall with sheets of paper to write on, along with a considerable kid's menu.

The Whole Ox is the best butcher in Virginia, and personally I don't find it pricey at all. In addition, the "little" counter is now substantially larger and they are a full blown restaurant from Wed - Sat evenings.

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3 hours ago, Keithstg said:

For what it's worth, Field & Main is VERY kid-friendly.

That's good to know -- thank you! I think we're likely to be in Marshall in the mid-afternoon this time, but I'll keep this in mind for the future. Thanks for the Whole Ox info, too. I'm leaning toward stopping in there for dinner provisions (we'll have a full kitchen at our disposal once we arrive at our destination) to avoid having to eat at the Pig n' Steak again.

14 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

What do you plan to do to entertain yourselves?

You mean besides stuffing our faces? :D  We're staying in the guest house at Brightwood Vineyard and Farm. Even though it's only 2 hours from our house in Silver Spring (much closer for you, I'm sure) it feels like a million miles away. We probably won't get there until late afternoon Friday, and we have a 2.5-year-old who goes to bed early-ish and takes a 2-hour midday nap, so that cuts into our time for activities. We'll get up early Saturday (and maybe Sunday, too) to "help" feed the farm animals, then we'll cook our own breakfast (provided by the farm). Last year we visited Yoder's Country Market, an Amish market with animals out back that can be fed. They also have a pretty good sandwich bar. Last year we also did some wine tasting. There are several vineyards nearby (caveat: I'm a wine novice and have no idea if any of these vineyards are any good -- they're beautiful, though!). This year we're thinking about driving on Skyline Drive (Shenandoah National Park isn't too far). I'm really looking forward to foliage, which we missed last year because we went later in the season. Charlottesville is about 45 minutes away. There's also a pumpkin patch in Culpeper, which is only about 15 minutes away. We'll be heading back to Silver Spring mid-day Sunday, so we really won't have a whole lot of time to fill with activities. The guest house doesn't have wifi, and we didn't have cell service in the guest house last year (although we did have service very close by). Even though I enjoy my Internet access it's nice to just unplug for a bit.

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I haven't seen anyone mention the sandwich shop that Neal and Star have opened next to their restaurant, Field & Main, in Marshall.  It's called Riccordino's and is open Thursday through Monday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  This may be of interest to dracisk, or frankly, anyone!

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I'm heading back out to the farm in Brightwood (which is actually in Madison County despite the title of this thread) next weekend (October 20-21). All of the recommendations in this thread have been super helpful -- we've tried almost all of them over the last 3 years!

This year we learned that our friends will be in Front Royal the same weekend, and my husband volunteered himself and the other husband to wrangle the two 4-year-olds while the wives (one of whom is me) do some wine tasting. I see that Linden and Glen Manor, both of which I'd love to try, are pretty close to Front Royal, but that's about an hour from where we'll be in Brightwood. I'm wondering if anyone knows of anyplace more in between Brightwood (about 20 minutes southwest of Culpeper) and Front Royal where the wines are decent, the tasting fees aren't exorbitant, and people won't frown on a couple of 4-year-olds entertaining themselves (hopefully relatively unobtrusively) while their moms partake in wine. Scenic vistas a definite plus!

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On 10/10/2018 at 5:12 PM, dracisk said:

I'm heading back out to the farm in Brightwood (which is actually in Madison County despite the title of this thread) next weekend (October 20-21). All of the recommendations in this thread have been super helpful -- we've tried almost all of them over the last 3 years!

This year we learned that our friends will be in Front Royal the same weekend, and my husband volunteered himself and the other husband to wrangle the two 4-year-olds while the wives (one of whom is me) do some wine tasting. I see that Linden and Glen Manor, both of which I'd love to try, are pretty close to Front Royal, but that's about an hour from where we'll be in Brightwood. I'm wondering if anyone knows of anyplace more in between Brightwood (about 20 minutes southwest of Culpeper) and Front Royal where the wines are decent, the tasting fees aren't exorbitant, and people won't frown on a couple of 4-year-olds entertaining themselves (hopefully relatively unobtrusively) while their moms partake in wine. Scenic vistas a definite plus!

Glen Manor is worth a detour - write Jeff White (and note his chat) and let him know you're coming: If there's a better Sauvignon Blanc made in America, I haven't had it. 

Although I haven't been to Element in several years, and know almost nothing about it now, it (along with the closed Apartment 2G, which was merged into Element on Main) was *easily* the best restaurant in Front Royal at the beginning of this decade (I've been there numerous times).

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10 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Glen Manor is worth a detour - write Jeff White (and note his chat) and let him know you're coming: If there's a better Sauvignon Blanc made in America, I haven't had it. 

Although I haven't been to Element in several years, and know almost nothing about it now, it (along with the closed Apartment 2G, which was merged into Element on Main) was *easily* the best restaurant in Front Royal at the beginning of this decade (I've been there numerous times).

Thank you! Maybe we'll try Glen Manor and/or Element. A friend gave me a bottle of Glen Manor's sauvignon blanc for my birthday and I can't wait to drink it!

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