|The Canaan Valley does not have the number or
variety of restaurants of an area like Petoskey. But there is good eating
here, and enough variety for a stay of several nights.
If you’re staying at either the Canaan Valley or Windwood Lodges, you need venture no further than down the hall.
Canaan Valley’s Aspen Room is a traditional hotel dining room, but we found the prices reasonable and menu excellent. We have always found the food here among the best in West Virginia. Ask for a window table if possible. The views out across the forests, mountains and wetlands of Canaan Valley are superb. During the day, you can see Otter Creek Wilderness and Fernow Experimental Forest on the horizon and the western part of the state park in the foreground. An advantage of skiing hard all day in the cold is you have room for the great desserts the local ladies whip up. Breakfasts here are the best in the valley.
|The restaurant at Windwood Lodge is much smaller and more
intimate, with only a dozen tables, but the quality of food is equal. Windwood’s
chefs rotate the menu, so on a given day you only have certain choices,
but whatever they fix is great. Their window faces eastward, so you can
eat here and watch the skiers coming down the slopes. Windwood counters
its more limited selection with larger portions.
If you have a youth group consider Big John’s out along Route 32. A sort of upscale fast food restaurant, Big John’s specializes in pizza and hoagies. It offers video games and table games while model trains run around the walls. Ducks and geese cavort on a pond out back.
The Golden Anchor hangs high on the Southerrn rim of the valley. You’ll see it on your left as you drive north on the way in. This seafood restaurant is housed in a renovated barn. Large windows look out over the mountains.
| For groups of 15 or so, a private dining room
can be reserved, but if you have a busload of teenagers, you probably ought
to go on down to Big John’s or Canaan Valley. This would be a good
second stop for a couple staying at Windwood or Canaan.
We told you to get to Timberline early and beat the crowd. But if you’re one of those people who like to sleep late, try Deerfield Village Resort, just off Route 32 on Cortland Road, which is also the way back to Windwood. Deerfield serves breakfast until mid afternoon, then starts on dinner. Lots of brass and glass and sports mementos. The food’s pretty good, too.
If you’re in the valley for several days and want a funky little break, look up the White Grass Café, in the lodge of White Grass Cross Country Ski Resort. They serve vegetarian and fish items, fine soups and ciders. Atmosphere includes a pot bellied stove and gravel floor. Bring your camera. This is guaranteed to be the most unusual restaurant of your trip. Or your year.
If you’re staying in Davis, consider The Sawmill, in the Best Western Alpine Lodge. You’ll remember their buckwheat pancakes most, but you’ll also remember feeling like you wandered back into 1955. The food --- and the prices --- haven’t changed since then. Neither has the décor.