West Virginia Your Way

Things to do in West Virginia!

The Triple Decker Burger Challenge

My brother-in-law is a hamburger connoisseur who is so serious about his favorite food that they vacation around burger places they find on the Food Network.  A few years ago, when our niece got married, they had to leave the wedding early in order to visit a burger place in South Carolina they had heard about.  They’ve also visited hamburger joints in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and many more places too numerous to remember.  So before coming to West Virginia, they visited www.WVyourWay.com and planned some places for me to take them.

Under Restaurants they chose the keywords “Bar-B-Que, Burgers, Casual-Fine Dining, Family, Home Style Cooking and Steaks.”  They then narrowed their search to the New River/Greenbrier Valley and hit the search button under the map.  The first result they saw was the Mason Jar Restaurant in White Sulphur Springs.  (By the way, the Mason Jar also have the keyword Catering, but my sister wasn’t needing a caterer on her visit.)

Inside the Mason Jar Restaurant

My sister’s family arrived over the weekend and off to the Mason Jar we dashed.  When we got there I told Jeff, my brother-in-law, about the burger challenge where if you eat their entire Triple Decker Burger they’ll give you a free dessert.  It was on!

My wife tried to warn Jeff not to eat too much food before the burger got there because of the size of the Triple Decker, but Jeff had already seen the salad bar with the potato salad and macaroni salad, and it was too late.  I tried to warn him also since I had already taken the challenge and struggled to eat the entire burger.  I’m no small man at 6′, 1″ and 225, but compared to Jeff I guess I am.  That night we watched Jeff down a heaping plate of potato salad, macaroni salad and all the other parts of a salad.  Then he enjoyed a few of the fried green tomatoes and fried pickles we ordered as an appetizer.  Next came the Triple Decker Burger and it’s side of potato chips.  Jeff ate the entire burger and chips before I was able to finish even half of my burger!  Of course, the extra time enabled him to munch on some of his daughters fries, but who is counting?

After the meal Jeff said that was the best burger he ever ate.  Coming from him, that was high praise indeed!  Of course, it helps that the Mason Jar Restaurant has chefs with over 70 years of 5-Star restaurant experience.  The little secret is you can enjoy meals from Greenbrier Chefs at the Mason Jar Restaurant at great prices.  The restaurant even caters, and all I told you about was the burger.  I didn’t even mention the brisket which is so big they should make a challenge to eat the entire slice of meat.  Or was it two slices?  Yep, it was that big!

Go to www.WVyourWay.com and click on the keywords in bold above to find the Mason Jar Restaurant and see all the other kinds of delicious meals they serve.  And while you’re there, you can even buy a hillbilly wine glass!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Jeff did win the challenge and a free dessert which he gave to my sister.  After all, he was almost full and didn’t want to stuff himself.

Jeff, my brother-in-law

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Restaurant Row in Sutton

Something is happening in Sutton, West Virginia!

A few years ago I visited Sutton and came across a town similar to many downtowns all across America.  Empty storefronts, dust-covered windows and a feeling a despair as a once vibrant downtown was crumbling before the eyes of people who remembered the busier days.

There are reasons for the decline of downtown areas, and I’m sure there are good reasons for the decline of downtown Sutton.  However, this is not about decline, but it’s about a resurrection of a small West Virginia community!

This summer I returned to Sutton and was surprised by what I saw.  The people were redefining their downtown and there was a sense of excitement in the air.  Al Surgei, owner of Summit Media, called the road between Flatwoods and Sutton, “restaurant row.”  He then went on to name five restaurants along that road: Café Cimino, The Town Market, p.j. berry’s, The Century Restaurant and Stancatti’s.  So I visited these restaurants in the order of coming off the interstate at Flatwoods.

You can visit them online too at www.WVyourWay.com.  At the end of each paragraph about a restaurant is the category it can be found in on our Information Engine.  Feel free to browse the site to find what you are searching for.

The first restaurant you’ll come to is Stancattis.  It recently returned to the original owner who is restoring it to the way it used to be.  You will see it on your right after you leave the cluster which has become Flatwoods.

Drive on toward Sutton and when you reach the “Y” you will see The Century Inn Restaurant sitting on your right.  This is the local homestyle restaurant if you’re wanting a taste of the more traditional West Virginia cooking.  The make their breads, pies and other desserts freshCentury Inn Restaurant at the "Y" daily.  Actually, they make nearly everything from scratch and it’s really quite good.  The also have a small gift shop where you can buy local jewelry, candles and other such items. [Restaurants – > Breakfast All Day – > Family – > Home-Style Cooking – > Take Out] [Tourism – > Candles – > Gift Shop]

p.j. berry’s is on the opposite side of the square and it’s located in the old department store bearing the name of Mr. Berry.  Yes, it’s spelled all lower case, so no need to correct me on that one.  This is the newest restaurant in Sutton and it reminds me of a place like the restaurant bar in the old TV show “Cheers.”  However, the emphasis is on restaurant and not the bar. 

Interior photo in p.j. berry's restaurant

The food is also very good and the prices aren’t too bad either.  There is even a section set aside for crafters, which is very nice.  They also serve locally brewed micro beer, which I hear is very good.  I don’t drink beer, so I’ll take their word for it.  [Restaurants – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Micro Brewed Beer – > Sports Bar/Grill]

The Town Market is located on the corner of courthouse square, and it offers some excellent food as well.  The thing I enjoyed most about the restaurant was the menu, though.  That might sound funny, but the names of the sandwiches was quite entertaining and humorous.  The food was delicious and the kind a cut above the ordinary.  The food is grown on their own local farm, so it doesn’t get any fresher.  [Restaurants – > Breakfast – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Family]

Cafe Cimino could be called the anchor  for Sutton and the revitalization of the town seems to be built on the success of this excellent restaurant.  There have been many write-ups in various magazines and newspapers around the state and elsewhere that testify of the high quality of food being served.    When I visited, I looked at it as a trip back in time.  The restaurant is part of the country inn where you can also stay in luxury as part of the lodging facilities.  The difference between a Bed & Breakfast and an Inn is the restaurant that comes with an inn.  In days of yore, inns were required to not only provide a place of rest, but also a place of refreshment and a good meal.

The Cafe Cimino Country Inn

The Inn is located in a late 1800’s mansion built P.J. Berry, a business man of wealth in the area.  The food is a mediterranean/Italian style and the service is done with flair and class.  This is the type of restaurant for special occasions, or when you want a delicious meal and wonderful ambiance.  They also have Mountain Made Products for those interested in taking home a unique West Virginia made product.  [Lodging – > Bed & Breakfast] [Restaurants – > Casual-Fine Dining] [Tourism – > Historic Homes]

So next time you’re passing by Sutton, take a little bit of time to try one of their fine restaurants and discover the other gems in this renewed town.  I will write more about the rest of the town and attractions in the area soon, so come back to check it out.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Other Dining in Greenbrier County

Greenbrier County, home of The Greenbrier Resort, has some very good restaurants.  Most people know about the fine restaurants in Lewisburg; however, there are restaurants in other parts of the county that might suit your taste as well.  So I’m going to give you a sampling of those restaurants as found on www.WVyourWay.com by searching under the “Restaurant” heading and the categories: Casual/Fine Dining, Family and Homestyle Cooking.

The Mason Jar Restaurant in White Sulphur Springs has a variety of steaks and seafood that is prepared by some of the best chefs in the business.  They have a very nice buffet and the atmosphere is casual/fine dining, but it’s not so stuffy that you can’t laugh out loud with your friends.   [Casual-Fine Dining – > Catering – > Family]

Food and Friends in Lewisburg is the same restaurant that was featured on the Food Network some time back because of their delicious meals.  The breads, served in a clay pot that looks like it should have a plant growing in it, are some of the best breads that go very nicely with the meal.  The whoe experiance of dining is top knotch from the time you enter the restaurant until you leave.  [Casual-Fine Dining – > Seafood – > Steaks]

Rudy’s Corner Grill located off US 219 in downtown Ronceverte is another great place to eat while in the area.  If you are looking for a more down home setting where the locals like to eat, you’ve found the right place.  Their buffet will have you going back again and the waitresses will make you feel as if you’re a neighbor.  [Buffet – > Catering – > Family]

The Dairy Delite Restaurant in Rupert is another homestyle restaurant where you can experiance not only local dining, but the friendliness of the local people as well.  This isn’t just a place to find ice-cream, because they have a full menu of your favorite meals.  Hamburgers are made from 100% ground chuck and their desserts are made fresh. In season they have ramp dinners, fresh catfish and pig roasts.   They’ll even give you a free cookie if you mention you found out about them through WVyourWay!  [Catering – > Country Cooking – > Family]

The Spare Time Sports Bar & Grill is located in the bowling alley north of Lewisburg on US 219 and they serve some very nice meals which you can enjoy while watching your favorite teams on their many TV screens.  Their grille serves the number one burgers, wings and quesadillas in the valley.  [Casual-Fine Dining – > Sports Bar/Grill – > Music]

The Gables Restaurant in Hines, which is between Rupert and Rainelle on US 60, offers dining in a soothing atmosphere for those wanting to enjoy a delicious meal.  Their Bolivian coffee is roasted fresh daily and you can enjoy breakfast items any time of the day. Their menu includes a variety of casual foods from hot dogs and hamburgers to ribs, Rotisserie chicken, crab cakes, fried green tomato sandwiches, fried chicken and steaks and seafood. [Breakfast All Day – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Coffee]

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants | , , , , , | 7 Comments