Food Traveler Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 51

Good Eats! Appetite for the Appalachian Trail & OTHER MOUNTAIN GETAWAYS If you’ve ever hiked the Appalachian Trail, then you know how it feels to be hungry, sweaty, and tired, only to find a bag of half-crushed Ramen in your pack for dinner. Opt out of the campfire setting for a night at The Homeplace, in Catawba, Virginia. The Homeplace is said to be the best restaurant on the entire trail by almost all who hike it. The Homeplace is known for its sit-down buffet style menu that makes you feel as though you’re having a meal with family. Large tables are covered with china dishes and serving spoons, and the dinner menu is always 3 meats and various sides, with a fruit cobbler for dessert. Upon arrival, there is almost always a brief wait for a seat. When you finally sit down and prop your jacket on the back of your chair, you will be greeted by friendly servers that are all too happy to bring you whatever drink you desire. Once the meal comes, you’ll pass around the platters of fried chicken, roast beef, and country ham. The sides usually include several types of vegetables, from corn and green beans, to pinto beans and mashed potatoes, along with freshly-made biscuits and a housemade specialty slaw. All who are hungry are welcome, from those who arrive directly from the trail still covered in dirt, to families dressed up for the evening. The portions are all-you-caneat, but the meal is presented so well and the dishes are so filling, that you most likely won’t be able to have a second helping. This unique service and delicious dinner is all served up for less than $20, and the atmosphere itself is breathtaking. FoodTraveler l Winter 2016 49