The panhandles of the state of West Virginia are the most obvious geographically and socioeconomically different areas of the state. To me, the Eastern panhandle seems to reflect the outer Washington D.C. area of Maryland and Virginia rather than the still rather diverse rest of the state. That reflection is also in the areas cuisine.
Near Charles Town, WV (not to be confused with the state’s capitol, Charleston) less than 10 miles from the Virginia border is John’s Family Restaurant. We kept noticing it always seemed busy (often a sign of a good place to eat). Finally, on one of our trips, we decided to stop for an early lunch.
We were greeted by an eclectic, yet homey decor and friendly staff. There was also a sign recommending their cream of crab soup. I’m very glad I listened to the sign because it was wonderful! Seriously, wonderful! It was as good as any(and better than some) I have had along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. (I must admit that as a western West Virginia girl, it is odd to recommend the crab soup in a WV restaurant, but I have to keep reminding myself it really is not far from the Chesapeake Bay).
My daughter decided on the broccoli and cheese omelet. It looked and smelled wonderful. She really liked it, too.
I did not photograph my husband’s meal. I don’t remember what he ate. I just remember him looking sad and envious as I ate my cream of crab soup because his milk allergy prevented him from having any 🙁
Although we have only been at John’s for lunch, I discovered that my in-laws stop almost every time they travel through the area. They even time their trip to be able to eat there for either breakfast or diner.
If your looking for the latest, trendy cuisine, this is not the place. If you want good food in a family-friendly atmosphere at reasonable prices, I think you might enjoy John’s.