So last week, I drove down to North Carolina to see family for a few days. A long, long drive. Luckily, I had my son, Spencer, with me to keep me company (“how much longer?”) At one point, desparate for caffeine, I pulled over at a rest stop in West Virginia, a place called Tamarack. It was a strange rest stop that I remembered from prior trips. There was a truly unusual looking building in which local artists sold their goods (see below).
The building looks like something out of one of the bad Star Wars movies. Anyhow, as I stumbled towards my coffee, I remembered that there was some type of eatery in the back of this building, completely unnoticeable from the outside. Happy to have a break from the driving, my son and I walked in to grab some grub. And what we discovered was just the type of simple, southern-style cooking I love: everything is homemade, nothing is particularly healthy, and it’s all good. Fried chicken, cheese grits, trout, creamed corn, BBQ meats, collard greens….well, you get the idea. I knew we had stumbled on a gold mine when I noticed that most of the patrons were locals, not highway travelers. It’s all served cafeteria-style with friendly service from real people (not scripted service from robots).
All of which is to say that next time you are travelling down I-77 in West Virginia, and you see some strange signs for the Tamarack exit (Exit #45) featuring work by local artists, GO FORTH AND EAT! You won’t regret it.