Area offers a plethora of great food options

The year is nearing its half-way mark and most mountain people are moving about in all outdoor directions. The early summer’s rich color bids for photographer attentions, fishing boats are buzzing by on Interstate lanes and families are preparing their favorite patio meal — barbecue.

This entree has taken over the summer menus and it seems we can find it almost everywhere we go. The Almost Heaven Barbecue Bash is planned for June l6-l7 in Weston on the former Weston State Hospital grounds beginning at 11 a.m. each day until almost dark.

This spacious venue will have no trouble with parking and many more foods and activities are planned for this year’s event, Bash organizer Jody Light said. She was quick to mention that this is a sanctioned activity and her committee is expecting more than 60 teams to register for the competition.

Visitors to this food frenzy can sample servings for a small fee and get their fill of lunchtime and supper vittles. Accompanying this event will be a new competition, the Almost Heaven Chili Challenge between area fire departments, with 10 expected to enter. These cooked dishes may be sampled, as well. Additionally, several food vendors will find their way to Weston with loaded potatoes, roasted corn, homemade ice cream, funnel cakes and more. Who would want to miss all this eating activity?

Side trips available for area visitors include a Haunted House venture at the old hospital each day from 11 a.m. to l0 p.m. Ticket information can be obtained at 304-269-5070. Visitors can swim at the Lewis County Park’s Deluxe Pool at the Buckhannon side of town behind Wendy’s on Route 33 East, and take downtown Weston excursions to the sensational West Virginia Museum of American Glass with its expansive and excellent qualities or shop at the very large antique mall Roshelle’s right in the heart of Main Street.

Of course, other county attractions of outside swimming, boating, golfing and fishing are found at Stonewall Resort, 15 minutes from town at I-79’s Roanoke exit, while Jackson’s Mill’s historical district is usually open with a gift shop and a fish/turtle pond, where feed is available for youngsters to give the animals a bite of nourishment, too.

Since barbecue has broadened its appeal, we have several nice area restaurants serving this flavorful and hearty dish.

The Hickory House, located three miles out of Weston on Route 19 North at the intersection to Jackson’s Mill, has delicious pulled pork, chicken and rib dinners, complete with choices of sweet potato fries with a honey dip, baked beans, cinnamon apples and tasty coleslaw, among others. One never worries about getting filled up at this spot. The service is friendly and it is getting a good reputation for excellence among eateries in Central West Virginia. Its new event center for larger group dinners sits just across the road.

If we broaden our circle for barbecue specialties, we would need to include Smoke on the Water, a couple miles before the Route 33 entrance to Elkins from Harman. The full parking lot says it all as their pulled-pork sandwich and side dishes are special. A complete menu is offered with ribs, shrimp and chicken wings all done with barbecue flair.

Another Elkins spot that features barbecue done well is the l863 Grille, which has a very tasty brisket that is sometimes served chopped with side dishes. One might add their onion rings and its special dressing that always pleases.

Glenville’s Smoke House BBQ at 10 N. Lewis Street offers southern pit-style smoked barbecue. No doubt it will see lots of business during the West Virginia Folk Festival beginning June 15.

We cannot talk about rotisseries without thinking in mid-June of our dads and what a special day presents itself to remember our fathers, who usually get the honor at home of cleaning the grille, keeping a stock of charcoal handy, lighting the coals and being responsible for getting everyone’s barbecue meal done just right while inhaling fumes, absorbing eye irritations and getting plain sweaty from standing over the heat. Sometimes the grill gets too loaded with fuel, catches on fire and has to be thrown off the porch. Dad gets this accomplished, too.

Dads are always special because they come to the rescue. Some event takes place where early teaching may not have been effective and mistakes can happen. The family usually looks to dad to get everything back in balance. We appreciate what fathers mean to the family.

If you still have your dad well and able, make a nice picnic lunch for him in mid-June and let him know he is appreciated. Or, tell him you will take him out for the usual barbecue treat he is used to fixing. If your dad has left this world, try doing something nice for the person that took his place in your life and let them know how much they are valued.

We all need to remember the adults who have done so much for us. They deserve respect, patience, and loyalty. Many have lived by the motto, “You never waste a minute when you spend it on a child.” And when children are blessed to have an adult in their lives who feels this way, a tribute to them each year is only in accordance with the nice deeds this life can provide. It is not a duty, but a pleasure. Celebrate with barbecue — celebrate Dad!