The Pretty Penny (Hillsboro)

It’s been a while since I discussed a new restaurant, but this past weekend Missy and I took a fun little weekend trip to the Greenbrier Valley.  As part of the trip, we made our way to Watoga State Park for the first time.  On the drive back, we stopped by a little place on the 101 List — the Pretty Penny.

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You can’t miss it in Hillsboro; it sits in what looks like a converted general store on the east side of Rte. 219.  The inside is big and they host bluegrass acts most Friday nights on a makeshift stage at the far end of the restaurant.

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You can see the old shelves on the side of the room.  The inside is pretty spartan and there is a bit of a musty smell that you get in old buildings, so if you need the cleanliness of a modern chain you might have issues with the Pretty Penny.  But, it’s in your best interest if you don’t have those issues because the food is really good.

Missy and I grabbed lunch.  The Penny prides itself on “Locally Grown Cuisine;” you can’t miss the references on their website:  We started with their “stinky fries,” which are french fries tossed in fresh garlic oil.

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The fries were fairly standard, and the only thing that tasted that way, but what made them work was that they were tossed while nice and hot in a garlic oil that let you taste the garlic in every bite.  Not quite as good as being tossed in fresh pressed garlic, but a lot better than garlic salt we’ve gotten in other places.

I went with the special of chicken and biscuits.  I imagined home made biscuits covered in creamed chicken.  What I got was much better:

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It was more like a chicken pot pie.  The biscuit top was crunchy and delicious, the fillling had big chunks of real chicken that was obviously roasted and cut up on the premises and a collection of vegetables (carrots, peas, potatoes, and lima beans).  A little more filling that what I expected, but very good.

Missy wanted a burger, but saw they had pulled barbeque on the menu.  Her lunch choice was pretty predictable after that.

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She loved it.  The barbeque had a nice smokey flavor and she said the homemade chips were really good.  One thing about both lunches is that you get your money’s worth, for about $7 we were full.  In fact, the whole meal cost us about $20 + tip.  For the quantity and quality, it was very fair.

Is it unique?

The menu may not be unique, but the quality was.  This was a very good place in an unexpected location and everything is locally grown.  And that doesn’t even take into account the local bluegrass.  It’s about 30 minutes north of Lewisburg, so it may be a bit of a haul from there (especially when you consider the options in Lewisburg), but it is definitely worth a stop if you are on your way up 219 to Snowshoe.

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