One of the new additions to the 101 list is The Greenhouse of Teays Valley. It’s hard to claim Magellan status and not try a place like out, especially when it is just down the street.
Like Dish Café, this place is easy to miss. It’s part of a fairly boring looking strip mall about halfway between Teays Valley and Hurricane. and shares a door with its neighbor Mayberry’s Ice Cream (must be branch of the St. Albans’ location). When you walk in, the first thing you see is a store for Weber grills and local food products. But go a little further and you will find a small bistro in the back with about 40-50 seats. The décor isn’t much; the room is clean but generic and darkly lit, plus the high ceiling removes any intimacy. The menu is traditional for a nicer WV restaurant (burgers, salads, entrees like pork loin and meatloaf).
The first time I visited, I was told they had a prime rib special (it was a Saturday). I was hungry so I went with the 12 oz. cut. As I talked to my server, I mentioned it was my first time there (it’s probably obvious when you walk in and don’t know to start walking to the back). So, she let me try samples of their two soups: a tomato bisque and a classic potato. The potato soup was hearty, but my favorite was the tomato bisque that had far more cream than I want to contemplate. My next time in, I ordered a cup (which looked more like a bowl):
This is not a light soup, but it had a sharp tomato flavor. Still, both are worth ordering.
As I said, I went with the prime rib, along with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
The prime rib was good: it wasn’t overcooked and the rub gave a nice contrast to the beef flavor. It wasn’t the best prime rib I’ve ever had, but it was solid. The potatoes were homemade mashed redskins, but without much flavor (even for mashed potatoes) and more warm-ish than hot. The sprouts, however, were awesome. They were grilled to have a nutty sweet flavor and topped with a balsamic glaze. Highly recommended. I passed on dessert, but in addition to a few house made items, they sell Lil Bit of Heaven Cupcakes.
I went back a few weeks later for a sandwich, specifically the “gourmet loose meat” which is not something that is served often around here. What I got resembled a sloppy joe:
They say the loose meat is seasoned with chop house sauce. That is a steak sauce with a lot of red bell pepper. Despite my aversion to bell pepper, the sandwich was pretty good. The chips were kind of a disappointment (I should have gotten fries).
The entrees I’ve had were good, if not exceptional. The soup and sprouts were very good. I probably need to try the steak and maybe the mac n’ cheese.
The service has always been friendly, if busy. They serve wine and beer (decent selection of beer, but nothing huge). Overall, the Greenhouse is a nice place with good food, but it is only unique because of the location in the back of a grill store. It’s definitely worthy of a visit if you live in Putnam County or are in the neighborhood. If you live in Charleston or Huntington, it can be a interesting road trip, but you will drive past places that are at least as good to get to it.
If you want to go, they are located at 3554 Teays Valley Road. Check out the menu ahead of time here: http://thegreenhouseteaysvalley.com/