Sunday, November 19, 2006

Feature on Food: The Town House Grill

Like many of you, the reader, I am rather fond of fine culinary creations, particularly those served up by independent, ma & pap type eateries. When I am traveling on trips that require overnight accommodations, I’ll stay in a glorified cardboard box in order to be able to eat at one of the city’s finer dining establishments and not break the bank (so long as the cardboard box at least has a bed and shower). Back home, I’m always looking for a new recipe to try or a new restaurant to test. Unfortunately, I live in a growing college town where the restaurants are either those that you would find around any strip mall development across the county or ones that smell of old cigarettes and Lysol from the bar crowd the night before. With that typed, there are a handful of restaurants in the region that I long for a return visit. One such place is the Town House Grill in Chilhowie, Virginia. I believe it to be the best place to pleasure your taste buds west of Roanoke in the Commonwealth.

Located next to the hardware store and across the street from an old typewriter repair shop, the restaurant is in an old store front. The interior has been remodeled for the relaxing upscale dining experience but the ceiling still showcases the hammered tin tiles that you can find in most buildings constructed prior to the invention of the gypsum board dropped ceiling. The tables are new but have been retrofitted with a 3”+ band of flat copper, hammered and welded to wrap the edges of the wood, giving it a elegant but rustic look. As for the food, the menu relies heavily on seafood creations. A Hillbilly would normally need to travel to the low country to find crab cakes as nice as the ones served up at the Town House. Most places that serve crab cakes usually give you more cake than crab. Not so here. (as you can tell, I like this dish). Dinner entrées also feature beef, pork and poultry but I admit that I have stuck with the crab when I hit the restaurant during dinner hours (but I’ve sampled a little of everything from my family members’ plates, it’s all yummy). For lunch, I recommend the Sicilian, (Italian sausage, sautéed red peppers and yellow onions, marinara sauce, melted smoked provolone cheese, and basil aioli on a toasted garlic bread) if you decide on something other than seafood. After eating lunch or dinner, I generally don’t do dessert unless it looks it’s too nice to pass up. Try any of the items that they are offering on the day of your visit.

It’s not everyday in Appalachia that a professionally trained chef opens an eatery in a small town, especially one that isn’t even the county seat. The Town House Grill has made a name for itself by being consistently excellent with their service and their food. The local community appreciates this and appears willing to throw their patronage behind something different than the Applebees and Ruby Tuesdays of today’s Interstate society.


Eric Drummond Smith said...

Amen Mikey. To quote OJ Simpson when I saw him in Westminister Cathedral: This place, this place is GREAT.

Our Goblin Market said...

I can vouch for that one too. I must go there when I am in town this week. The crab sounds great. Anyone want to come along?

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