Griffith and Feil Soda Fountain and Pharmacy (Kenova)

While headed west recently, we decided to stop off at Griffith & Feil Soda Fountain (and Pharmacy) in Kenova, WV. We had visited here once before and it’s an easy exit off I-64.

The inside of the establishment is a combination soda fountain and pharmacy with seating for approximately 30. The tin ceiling is lovely and adds to the quaint, old-timey feel of the establishment, and there are many photos of the history of Kenova on the walls.

The menu consists of primarily sandwiches, salads and desserts. The WV Hot Dog Blog http://wvhotdogblog.blogspot.com/search?q=griffith gave high marks to the dogs here, so I (Missy) went with those and a side of onion rings.

hot dogs

The dogs are quality WV-styled with tasty chili, cool slaw and a steamed bun. The Hot Dog Blog knows what they are talking about.

The straws for their beverages are of an appropriate size, like the ones you get at McDonald’s – larger than most, allowing plenty of drink to gush down your gullet.
gf3

(WVMagellan: The straw thing is a Missy issue; I can’t explain it, I just accept it.)

I’ve gone with the burger (good) and decided to have the BBQ w/fries. The BBQ is classic WV-style pulled pork that’s been stewing in a tangy, but not too hot barbeque sauce. The Griffith and Feil version doesn’t break new ground, but it is comfortable and familiar. Nothing wrong with that. The fries are frozen krinkle-cut fries and are little more than a ketchup-delivery vehicle.

gf2

The real sandwich was less blurry.

The key is that this an old-fashioned soda fountain. With hand-made vanilla cokes and phosphates. And great ice cream sundaes. My advice is to skip the fries and get dessert; you’ll be happier.

Is it Unique?

The question I ask of all of the 101 Unique places to dine. Technically, no. There are other operational soda fountains in the state. But this could be the best example. The service is much friendlier than Trivillian’s in Charleston’s Kanawha City (Trivillian’s fries are vastly superior, however) and the food is better than at Patterson’s in Martinsburg (though G&F has nothing to match the genius of Patterson’s JoJo sundae — French Vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, peanut butter syrup, and marshmallow). It deserves a place on the list as a reminder of an earlier time that still serves good food. If you are in the neighborhood, you should give this place a try. Even if all you do is get a hand made soda.

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