Mrs. Rowes has been serving made from scratch goodness in the Shenandoah valley since 1947. It was a little out of my way (it was 30 minutes from where I was staying in Harrisonburg, VA), but I am so glad that I made the trip. The made from scratch, home cooked southern specialties make one of the best restaurants in Staunton VA.
While the Original Mrs Rowe is no longer with us, the restaurant is still owned and run by members of the Rowe family.
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I got the distinct impression from the restaurant’s reputation and its no-nonsense ambiance that it would almost be insulting of me to ask the waitress what was home made on the menu. Instead, I asked what her favorites were, and I got a long litany of ideas.
The waitresses all seemed to have that warm touch of southern hospitality and treated each table like I would treat my own family.
The rolls came first. They were pleasantly soft and chewy with a hint of yeasty sweetness. Quite obviously homemade.
I tried the spoon bread, which is a southern specialty. It was like soft cornbread. The waitress said that it was sort of an acquired taste. It was not for me, but you should definitely try it for yourself.
We don’t see collards served on very many restaurant menus in Minnesota, so when picking through the extensive list of homemade sides, I put the collards at the top. They were salty and had little bits of ham hiding in each bite. The cooked greens melted in my mouth. They had a “down home”, earthy sort of taste (but in a good way).
The crab cakes were next. They had a nice firmness to them, and did not just fall apart on my plate like some that I have tried in the past. Inside the nicely browned exterior were nice sized pieces of firm crab meat. They were perfectly browned on the outside but soft and yielding on the inside (in my opinion, just the way a crab cake should be!)
I was stuffed by the end, so I chose a piece of lemon meringue pie from their extensive list (I am sure that all of there desserts are also homemade) to take with me back to the hotel.
If you are ever in the vicinity and want to eat at what is truly one of the best restaurants in Staunton VA, head towards Mrs; Rowes (I was there for dinner, but I have heard that they serve a great breakfast, too!) I do not think you will be disappointed.