Vinegary hot sauce? Fermented? Garlicky? Ultra-spicy? There’s a right answer.
American | $
Just inside the George Washington National Forrest on Rt. 250 West of Staunton, VA is a wonderful little restaurant known as White’s Wayside. Open since the late 1920s this quaint little gem probably seats no more that 25. We arrived around 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and had to wait a bit.
The sweet tea was perfect. Not overly sweet, just how you would imagine it was served when they first opened in 1929.
For starters we went with the pimento cheese on thin sliced toasted bread. My wife and I both agree, hands down the best pimento cheese we have had. The combination of cheese, Dukes Mayo, and pimentos was perfect. Don’t skip this dish.
I had hoped for a Roast Beef Sandwich but a power problem earlier in the week kept them from offering it the day we visited. I went with a Bacon Cheeseburger that comes with their signature WhiteWay Bread and some pinto beans cooked with bacon they call Brown Beans. The beans were great and the cheeseburger sourced from 2 local farms in the county was good.
My wife chose the House-made Chicken Salad Sandwich and loved it. She can crave tomatoes and the ones here were perfect. The fries are hand cut and seasoned nicely.
For dessert we both had a slice of their awesome peanut butter pie. It looks deceptively like a banana pudding pie because of it’s light color, but you quickly find the great peanut butter crunch between the creamy top and thin crust.
The décor was unique. The wait staff was super friendly and attentive. The noise level was next to nothing and the food arrived without delay. Visiting Whites Wayside makes you think about what travel must have been like before the interstates and chain restaurants. A time when everyone traveling ate in small family owned restaurants turning out wholesome fresh food like you were at a table in their dinning room.
One of the things you notice while waiting is the owner’s commitment to the environment and sustainable agriculture. The back of the menu lists local farms and businesses supplying the bulk of their ingredients. There is an impressive array of solar panels next to the restaurant, and they have there own bee colony visible from a display in the checkout area. A trip to White’s Wayside reminds you that farm-to-table didn’t start with a bunch of celebrity chefs in New York or LA, White’s Wayside and their neighbor farms have been practicing it for decades.
I know most of my readers who may be heading to Staunton have their cars pointed at The Shack or Zynodoa. Have that dinner both places are amazing, but treat yourself and stay over night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel then head out in the morning for breakfast or lunch at White’s Wayside. You won’t be disappointed.
A note for travelers from the north, don’t trust your GPS. Google Maps, in an effort to find us the quickest route, took us down a single lane dirt road for 2 miles. Your best bet is to take 81 to Staunton and pick up Rt. 250 West from there.
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