Mayberry’s (St. Albans)

I sometimes forget to do reviews for the places here in the Kanawha Valley where I’ve eaten many times. The classic example is The Grill, an unassuming diner on Charleston’s westside that turns out great lunch fare day after day. Then again, it’s not like they are hurting for business; any advertising of the place and we may not be able to get in at lunch.

Anyway, one of the 101 places here in the Charleston area that I’ve visited several times — though I’m not a regular — is Mayberry’s in St. Albans. The restaurant is located in what looks like an old Ponderosa steakhouse in the parking lot of the St. Albans Mall and alongside U.S. Rte. 60. The theme is pretty easy to guess: the 50’s/60’s with a lot of pictures from the set of the Andy Griffith Show.

The food is the classic WV home cookin’ restaurant food. Sandwiches such as the bbq, burgers (though the pork chop sandwich is unusual in this area), classic entrees like meatloaf, country-fried steak, and brown bean with cornbread. They do have corn fritters as an appetizer that are really good (I need to get a photo to add). There is also an ice cream parlor for dessert.

My most recent visit involved the country fried steak:

new pictures 007

The steak was tender and the gravy pretty good. The green beans weren’t anything special (but they were good enough to finish). The new potatoes were a first and they were basically boiled potatoes with black pepper; I think I’m going back to the mashed for my next visit.

In sum, a good hearty meal, just like always. Plus, the meal cost me around $10 depending on the size of the tip, so it’s a good value.

Is it unique?

Can I say no and still be friends? As I said, every meal I’ve had there has been good and inexpensive and I will go there again and no doubt get a tasty meal for around $10. If you have a family or are living on a budget, it is nice to count on that. But, unique?

The “yesteryear” style is, frankly, over done. I understand the message you are conveying, but every city of any size in this state has one or more places with this theme. The menu is the same as you would find in a Shoney’s or a Bob Evans (though its better here). Here in the Kanawha Valley, I can think of Mayberry, Diehl’s, Harding’s, the Smoke House, Twin Falls, and the Happy Days cafe that are all doing roughly the same thing and doing it well (and I certainly missed places). To me, Diehl’s is the best of the bunch, but you could have another favorite and I wouldn’t say you were wrong. But, with that list, I don’t know how you call Mayberry’s unique.

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