Quinet’s Court (New Martinsville)

Quinet’s is one of a small handful of West Virginia restaurants to be written up in Jan and Michael Stern’s Roadfood blog.  http://roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/4125/quinets-court.  And no wonder, this place is a Wetzel County, no Ohio Valley, institution.  It’s one of the places that has to be listed in any compilation of special West Virginia restaurants, or you aren’t even trying.

Quinet’s is across from the Courthouse (217 Main Street) in downtown New Martinsville, where I think it has been for nearly 75 years.  If you are driving along Rte. 2 you can’t miss the billboards with the late Mr. Quinet’s picture beaming at you.  Here is the picture from just behind the resaurant (plenty of parking there), in case you weren’t sure you are in the right place.

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I’ve heard a rumor that Quinet’s has a menu, but all I’ve ever gotten there is the smorgasboard (buffet doesn’t really do it justice).  As you walk into the surprisingly large interior, the first thing you see (other than the pictures of Wetzel County lumanaries) is gigantic stack of clean white plates of mixed origin.  There were dozens of designs among those plate, the key is find one whose size matches your apetite.

The next thing you see are the bars of hot food — at least four.  Plus a salad bar.  And a cold bar or two for desserts.  Plus a pie counter.  And a cookie shelf.  And a chocolate fountain.  Seriously, it’s insane.  And virtually everything is delicious.  The story is that they have been assembling the best receipies from the Ohio Valley for over half a century.  On my last trip, here was my first plate of food (before eating):

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That includes some very flavorful baked steak (if very baked), creamy mashed potatoes that were about perfect, fabulous broccoli salad, ribs with kraut (must be a WV thing, but these were good), sweet carrots, and a pair of ideal swedish meatballs.  All deserved seconds, but I had new stuff to try:

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The Mac n’ cheese was creamy and perfect, the noodles (honest, that’s all they were called) were what some places would call chicken and dumplings, the green beans were good, the baked chicken fell off the bone and the hoppin’ john had a nice kick.  The only disappointment was the barbq, which was too sweet for me.

Plate three was just to taste the fried chicken (great), hamloaf (nice pineapple flavor) and cole slaw (Missy, you would consider it perfect).  There were at least two dozen items I didn’t even taste, but I had to leave room for a slice of banana cream pie.  {Disclosure:  I failed badly at leaving room.}  I think the whole thing set me back $12-$13, plus drink and tip.  If you don’t get your monies worth at Quinet’s, you have only yourself to blame.  Missy and I are both fans of Barista’s just down the street and their insanely good baristaburger (made with ginger?!?), but if you are looking for more variety, you should stop here.

Quinet’s appears to be relying on their facebook page as their internet presence:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quinets-Court-Restaurant/279405394320

Is it unique?

Buffets aren’t unique, but this is simply the gold standard of buffets.  You can get your fill on just the dozen or so veggies that are available.  You can go to town on any one of the fabulous entrees.  You can try to eat your weight in pie (not recommended).   But you should try it out.

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