When the 101 list was updated, I was quite surprised to see two restaurants listed for Lost River. Lost River, if you don’t know, is an unincorporated community in eastern Hardy County with a population of maybe a couple hundred people. As Missy described in her report on the Eastern Panhandle, Lost River is home to a suprisingly large artisan community and the drive on WV Rte. 259 is quite pretty. I also read about Guesthouse Lost River, which is an award-winning B&B that apparently has a great reputation in DC. So, I was interested in checking out the Lost River General Store and Cafe.
The cafe is in the old general store (circa 1898 and listed on the National Register of Historic Sites) right off Rte. 259.
It is also associated with a little B&B called the Inn at Lost River (which is different from the Guesthouse). The Store is now a place to buy artisan gifts and craft items; I found an intriguing wine-scented candle for a friend there. In the back there is a small sandwich/ice cream counter that serves cold sandwiches and paninis (when I was a kid, we called those cold and hot sandwiches. Ahhh, progress). And I do mean small as they only have 5-6 tables, plus a few picnic tables outside. They pride themselves on their bbq, but they were out when we stopped by on Labor Day. Instead, I ordered the Hardy County Egg sandwich, which turned out to be egg salad.
The egg salad tasted predominently of egg. I can hear those of you who don’t like egg salad ask: “what else is egg salad supposed to taste like, genius?” Well, it often tastes heavily of mayo, mustard, dill or some other herb or condiment. This egg salad contained big chunks of hard-boiled egg — you can see a chunk of actual egg yolk in the picture above. And the tomatoes looked and tasted like they were grown behind the store which is a very good thing.
Missy opted for the ham and cheese and she liked it a great deal:
Delicious, very crunchy Route 11 chips from just across the state line were provided with the sandwich and Missy opted for Sprite from a retro-glass bottle. I went with a Saranac Root Beer. Desserts are pastries baked at the nearby inn and ice cream, though we passed because we still had a bit of a drive ahead of us. In all, a very good lunch at about $10 a person.
Is it Unique?
I owe the Department of Commerce an apology, as this place is worthy of inlcusion on the 101 list. I’m not sure how far I would drive for one of these sandwiches and it is about a 20 minute drive from Corridor H to the LRGS, but it was nice place and a nice meal. I would definitely order stuff for a picnic lunch at Lost River State Park. I can imagine folks in Moorefield wouldn’t make the drive often, but it is worthy of a weekend visit. Check them out at www.thelostrivergeneralstore.com.