“People will travel anywhere for good food—it’s crazy.”—Rene Redzepi
“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”–Mary Davis
It had been a beautiful evening for a drive through the mountains of West of Virginia—clear, bright evening sun with billowy, cotton-fluff clouds overlaid on a canvas of brilliant blue. Exiting I-64 to the main road leading to downtown Lewisburg, John, my husband, and I took in the sights of the bustling commercial area radiating outward from the downtown. Turning right, and driving along the main road running through the heart of town, numbers of people meandered along the town’s walks enjoying the pleasant weather.
It was a beautiful evening with herds of deer along the country road home.
We continued driving, moving away from the town and towards the country. Along our route, expansive farms mixed with residential areas in a patch quilt fashion seemed to unroll around us. Dust blew up around our car as we left the asphalt road making our way towards CB Ranch, where we would be staying for the weekend. Cattle swished tails; round bails of hay lay in fields, ready to be gathered for storage; and herds of deer were out for their evening meal. It was going to be a good weekend.
Once situated and settled in our bedroom suite at CB Ranch, we readied ourselves for dinner in town. Since we had stayed in Lewisburg in November of 2018, we already knew where we wanted to head to for dinner: The Asylum. This local eatery, located in downtown Lewisburg, describes its offerings as upscale comfort food served with craft beers and spirits in a laid back atmosphere. The Asylum has multiple TVs, a gas fireplace, numerous sitting areas, including multiple deck levels, and a full bar area. John and I recalled the great food and excellent service we experienced on our previous visit as it met his love for great meat-centered meals, and my love of plant based, gluten free food. (I have celiac disease and prefer to eat vegetarian.)
The Asylum did NOT disappoint. We began our meal with drinks and an appetizer of House Fried Potato Chips served up sizzling siracha style. These tasty little crisps of goodness were loaded with flavor and just enough heat to be spicy without over whelming the taste buds. John then chose the Pork BBQ sandwich. This sandwich was loaded with pulled pork and a side of coleslaw. I have to admit, despite the fact I am not a big meat eater, his pork smelled wonderful!
Meanwhile, I actually ordered an appetizer for my dinner: Hummus and Pita Platter, but without pita. Instead, they served me extra veggie sticks. Talk about creamy and crunchy goodness with just a hint of garlic all rolled into one scrumptious meal! Yummy for the tummy. Additionally, our service was once more attentive, affable, and always at the ready to ensure John and I had an enjoyable meal experience.
Saturday ended up being Del Sol Cantina and Grille day regarding food and beverages. Described by Google as a “comfy Mexican place” with both indoor and patio seating, John and I found their menu to offer an eclectic, fresh twist on Mexican fare. John ended up in Del Sol at noon because it was the one location willing to put on The Ohio State football game, with one caveat—when the WVU game started, the large screen TVs would be switched over to that game. Thus, John was only able to see the first half of the OSU game. Fortunately for John, the OSU game quickly became an easy win, and also allowed him time to enjoy his lunch: Del Sol’s version of the classic BLT sandwich served with chips and salsa. While John watched the game, I used the time to trek about the town, sip and savor some coffee from the Wild Bean, a downtown local coffee and sandwich shop; however, I did join John at Del Sol for an afternoon margarita treat.
While John watched the OSU football game at Del Sol, I enjoyed walking around Lewisburg and taking a coffee break at The Wild Bean–check out the painted sign on the bathroom door of The Wild Bean!
Later, that evening, John and I return to Del Sol for dinner. At Del Sol, if you want to start with tortilla chips (with free refills) you get to pick two dips—not just one. Therefore, we chose both salsa and queso. So, so, good! Then, John decided to order homemade fried fish tacos, while I enjoyed vegetarian fajitas—Del Sol style—served with a large plate of freshly made black beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, and tortillas—which I gave to John (although I could have ordered corn tortillas). Then, I placed all of the veggies over the rice, beans, and guacamole (I removed the sour cream.), and I ate as one big plate of veggie heaven! Our service during both lunch and dinner was on-point and friendly.
Sunday was set aside for hiking the Greenbrier River Trail. While eating at Del Sol the previous night, the bartender/waiter recommended that we start our hike at the Anthony Trailhead, a few miles outside of Lewisburg. He said it was pretty area that is often underrated. However, before making our way to Anthony, we decided to fortify ourselves for the hike with breakfast. Thus, we made our way to Retro Donuts and More, which serves both breakfast and lunch. Set up like a 50’s style diner, John enjoyed a cream filled donut alongside a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich served on a donut bun. Meanwhile, I enjoyed a latte while I noshed on a granola, fruit, and yogurt parfait. Fortified with deliciousness, we ultimately hiked a six miles along the beautiful, peaceful trail as the Greenbrier River meandered beside us most miles.
Retro Donuts and more before the hike!
At the Anthony Trailhead, parking lot, and boat ramp area.
Views from boat ramp and bridge above it at the Anthony Trailhead.
Views along the Greenbrier River Trail.
More of the beautiful scenery from the Greenbrier River Trail
Peaceful signs and sounds from the Greenbrier River Trail
We thoroughly enjoyed the sensory experience of the Greenbrier Trail.
After a long day of hiking, we cleaned up, and once more headed into Lewisburg for our final meal of the trip at Hill and Holler Pizza. John and I had highly anticipated this dinner—John for their hand-tossed wood fired pizza; and I was eager to dive into the homemade gluten free crust pizza. Plus, we both loved their salads—Cesar for John; and I love their crispy fresh garden salad. Here, though, is where the proverbial wrench was thrown. While our salads were still fresh and plentiful, my beloved gluten free crust no longer appeared house made, but rather pre-fab, pre-made, and not-so-good anymore. It was beautiful with all the veggie delights that I enjoy, but the crust was no better than frozen I can buy at the grocery store. After eating one piece, I chose to settle for eating the toppings, and left the over-priced crust behind. Don’t get me wrong, I understand I have to pay more for a gluten free crust, but this crust was not the same as it had been in November of 2018. Furthermore, they seemed understaffed for the busy crowd they had in attendance on that Labor Day Sunday; thus, leaving us with poor, inattentive service. Indeed, we were both disappointed.
Hill and Holler Pizza was a bit of a heart breaker this visit. John’s pizza was still delicious, but the gluten-free crust was not what it used to be. Still, the salads were fresh and tasty!
Despite this slight displeasure, John and I would still highly recommend the Lewisburg area as a great weekend getaway—even if you just want to go for the food! There are plenty of sights to see, places to dine, friendly shops and boutiques, surrounded by the beautiful mountains and land of West Virginia. It’s a short, easy drive from the Tri-State area, and as the fall officially ushers in this week, it’s a great place to visit for an autumnal retreat!