The Poky Dot is a long-standing Fairmont hang-out, from their website they’ve been in business for over 50 years. Even though Fairmount is close to the heart of the Italian-American community in West Virginia, the Poky Dot has more of a classic diner menu: hamburgers, sandwiches, homestyle dinners and the like. It also serves huge, and I do mean huge, desserts.
The interior is bright and vibrant, frankly a little too much so. The walls and the menu are cluttered with cartoon figures in bright primary colors. The website has a little race car that drives by and reviews the tabs on the website, every single time you click to a new page. It’s like the entire place is screaming “ARE YOU HAVING FUN?” It’s not my style, but I have family who would love it, and I got the sense that the style was honestly arrived at by the owners and not the result of focus testing in Chino, California (“Our surveys show 78% of diners in non-coastal states like cartoons. And race cars.”)
I ordered the pot roast, which is about as traditional a homestyle meal as you can get:
At $11, the meal wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t overly expensive either. Some of the internet complaints about their prices seem overdone to me. And it was fine, if not particularly memorable. I mean, what was the last ground-breaking development on the pot roast front? Adding carrots? Dessert was peanut butter pie and it was very sweet and gigantic:
Showing the entire plate messes up the perspective, but while the pie was tasty it was impossible for one person to finish. Just the latest example of the impact the Cheesecake Factory has had on desserts in this country; you can’t finish a meal with a small sampling of something sweet, you have to overpower the meal and make the diner feel stuffed and uncomfortable. Of course, at $6 it should be almost as big as my meal.
Actually, the plate sums up my feelings about the Poky Dot. The decorations and message on the plate are cute, but I really didn’t need them. And I’m sure they are SOP and not because of my magnetic personality. It’s not wrong, and it may work for some people, but it feels like it is trying too hard to be different and FUN. I also get the sense that my mom would love it to death for whatever that’s worth. There is nothing wrong with the Poky Dot, and if you are in the mood to split a dessert, it’s worth a visit. But I wouldn’t go out of my way.
Is it unique?
Not really. I will accept that it is a Fairmont institution, but the menu is very traditional. The look is the only thing that is unusual and it just doesn’t work for me. But if you like the look of the colorful plates in my photos, the Dot is on Rte. 250 south of town (1111 Fairmont Avenue).