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Delightful Dining

Springtime’s promise fulfilled in food

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell Grab & Go items are plentiful inside refrigerators that line the Fish Hawk Market’s wall.

ELKINS — April Fool’s Day has gained prominence this year, because the February and March weather patterns seem to have “flip-flopped” and the spring-like days that occurred in February ended with sinter fooling us all when snow filled the air during March’s first week of spring. Are we to believe the usual April 1 drama came early?

And speaking about the air, have residents in Buckhannon and Elkins been curious as to all the aromas filtering down their city streets? It is not the lilies, nor the tulips. It is not even the ramps. Upon investigation, the two discoveries made were rather new eateries that people will want to find, because the word “fresh” has taken on a new meaning and flavor abounds in both towns’ establishments.

Randolph Countians visiting Buckhannon need only find the Court House and go across Main Street to the busy Fish Hawk Market near the end of this block. A steady stream of customers keep the chairs filled as almost anything one would want is packaged and ready to go. Soups, salads, main dish selections and desserts can easily be seen and chosen from the large fridges commandeering one restaurant wall.

Just-baked pastries and dinner rolls cover the other shelves and could overwhelm one trying to choose exactly what they want. A sampling of the day’s baking was chocolate and graham cracker creme pies, carrot cake, blueberry and triple chocolate cheesecakes, seven-layer cookies, iced blueberry scones, assorted cupcakes, fruit salad and more.

Business has been so good, owners Dale Hawkins and Teresa Lipps are now preparing a 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. dinner selection for those who would just like to enjoy the shop’s decor, and it seems to be as successful as their usual 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. lunch that can always include a soup, half or whole specialty sandwichs or available salads.

Mama Mia’s owner Chef Bezadi always presents his winning smile at Elkins’ newest pizza parlor.

Likewise, Upshur Countians visiting Elkins from the main thoroughfare on Randolph Avenue can turn right at the Federal Building/Episcopal Church light and go three blocks, where detections of garlic will be had and the newest pizzeria, Mama Mia’s, will be in view to the right at a mid-block point.

First, I must tell you that this is much more than a pizza place. The five-page menu is, unquestionably, one of the most complete I have ever seen and shrimp, chicken, fish, veal and eggplant dinners are presented in several tasty Italian styles with desserts galore. The homemade bread one will get on the side is indescribably tasty and salads appear large, fresh and as if they picked the lettuce that very morning. Their ” Balsamic House” dressing is excellent.

If you are a booth fan, you will be most comfortable here. Booths dominate the seating and neatly surround two big screen televisions so you can pass a little time while Chef Bezadi gives careful attention to the meal’s presentation.

Also found in Rome, New York and Florida, this company has been in operation since 1980 and the owner/chef believed Elkins was an up-and-coming spot on the Eastern Metro’s edge and a good place in which to invest.

If you are a coffee drinker, the very large, rich cupful you will be given in this place will do a very good job of making you more alert as you leave to continue toward your next destination.

Soup, sandwich or salad lunches are popular choices for those dining within Fish Hawk Market’s noonday ambiance.

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. except Sunday, with an opening time of noon, pizza can be purchased by the slice with lunch specials available daily. “Dinner for Four” take-out service is also provided along with pick-up and free delivery in a limited area.

New businesses such as these are a good sign for the times. The kinds of fresh food they serve also reflect much of the thinking that is permeating through our food supplier ranks.

On the wall of the Fish Hawk Market are the words of Wendell Berry: “… the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

As we celebrate springtime, remember that we are each stewards of the land upon which we were given dominion. Like every child, we are to give our land care. For we must depend on both our soils and waters to support our future and provide for our survival.

As Easter is a symbol of hope, we count on people to make wise decisions about our prominent West Virginia agricultural ventures. Their wisdom and abilities to produce do affect our quality of life. Their commitment and the use of their physical resources are one of God’s blessings, for which we take time during this sacred season to be grateful and praise-filled. May you have joy and be spiritually renewed during this celebration of life, love and peace.

A couple will probably take some pizza home from Mama Mia’s this visit.

Fish Hawk Market Co-Owners Teresa Lipps and Dale Hawkins take an afternoon break from their baking and chef duties, respectively, to visit with customers.

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