Friday, February 25, 2011

Tamarack in West Virginia

We discovered Tamarack during a web search for top places to visit in West Virginia. We were headed out on a road trip to tour the state and Tamarack was listed as a must-see in the southern city of Beckley.

Here's a description from their website: "Located in the center of the eastern United States, Beckley, West Virginia, is the home of Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. Tamarack welcomes half a million visitors annually as a one-stop shop for West Virginia culture, heritage, handcrafts, fine art, regional cuisine and music. Tamarack is how you will see and treasure West Virginia."

We expected to arrive at Tamarack around noon, so planned to eat lunch there. The website let us know that it was cafeteria style dining, but that the chefs were top-notch. When we arrived, we were ready for lunch before we looked around. Here's what we experienced:

My meal:
  • Collard Greens: perfectly flavored, cooked with bacon
  • Tangy Coleslaw: no mayo in this - plenty of oil, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and green pepper
  • Dirty Rice: red rice with bits of hamburger, sausage, peppers, and corn
  • Green Beans: cooked southern-style, meaning much softer than we eat them up north, and boiled with a bit of bacon or ham. Mighty tasty.
Daughter's meal: 
  • Hunter Chicken: nicely roasted chicken with a chunky tomato and pepper sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes: how can you make mashed potatoes better than they already are? Somehow, Tamarack chefs did - these were the best we've ever tasted, and as smooth and creamy as you can imagine.
  • Creamy Coleslaw: this is the more traditional version, and the sauce was absolute perfection.
Tamarack was such an unexpected culinary pleasure. I highly recommend it to anyone who is heading to southern West Virginia. We perused the many shops after lunch, and I was thrilled to find a new cookbook for my collection: Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine.

Tamarack on Urbanspoon


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