50 of America's Best Diners

To pay tribute to the classic American diner, Extra Crispy compiled a list, not of the 50 best diners ranked, but a great diner from each state in the Union. You could easily argue with their choices, because the definition of a “diner” is hard to pin down (you know one when you see it), and chains were excluded. What’s left are people’s opinions on what makes a great diner: hearty food, friendly service, decent prices, and memories. West Virginia’s entry is the Hometown Restaurant in Peterstown.

Peterstown, West Virginia (population 650), which is about a stone’s throw from the Virginia border and right smack in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, has one seriously tasty claim to fame, and that’s Hometown Restaurant. Linda Fox, who opened Hometown nearly 31 years ago, makes nearly everything from scratch, from her signature biscuits and gravy to one of West Virginia’s finest creations: a big bowl of pinto beans topped with chow chow relish served with a wedge of crumbly cornbread. (We don’t call West Virginia “Almost Heaven” for nothing.)

Breakfast is a testament to true soul-satisfying mountain cooking and it’s served all day. Country ham, grits, fried potatoes, and biscuits are always on the menu, as are three different kinds of pan-seared steak to go with your eggs: rib-eye, crispy fried steak, or chopped steak. For something different, get the fried apples over a biscuit, a sweet and savory delicacy that pairs especially well with salty bacon or country ham. Be sure to grab one of Linda’s homemade whole coconut cream pies on your way out (she makes eight different cream pies twice a week), which boast the tallest meringue I’ve ever seen. —Kendra Bailey Morris, author of The Southern Slow Cooker

Check out the list and let us know which ones you’ve been to, and whether they are really that good.

(Image credit: Matt Sharp)

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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