One of the strangest facets of the 2012 101 List is that two of the places were on the same city block in downtown Beckley. It surprised me when the list came out, and is harder to explain now.
First, Mama Anne’s is the classic sandwich spot near a courthouse. There is probably one in every county of the state. Mama Anne’s is done in a ’60’s vibe and features the usual soup and sandwiches. It’s fine, but remarkably unremarkable. If you are in downtown Beckley, stop in for a good lunch. But Mama Anne’s is not worth getting off the turnpike and venturing to downtown Beckely.
In fairness, I’ve only had the baked goods from the Bake Shoppe, but they’ve been very good and not overly expensive. The lunches look good, but I’ve never gotten past the cookies, cakes and pastries — all of which have gotten rave reviews when shared.
Are they unique?
Not really. Mama Anne’s is one of those mysterious listings. It’s a perfectly fine lunch counter; I’d eat there over a fast food spot on Harper Road any day of the week. It’s just no different than any other lunch counter other than a few 60’s album covers on the walls. The Bake Shoppe is a closer call, but the number of good bakeries in this state is growing and this certainly isn’t as unique as the outstanding Lebanese Bakery in Wheeling (which isn’t listed).