A Place Worth a Pretty Penny


This past weekend, I packed my camera and hit the road. My destination was Hillsboro—a tiny town in Pocahontas County that Pearl S. Buck put on the map by having the great fortune of being born there. It is also the place where Dr. Patch Adams (yes, the man made famous by Robin Williams' portrayal in the movie Patch Adams) is building the Gesundheit! Institute. But I was heading to this town of 240 people for one reason only—to eat. I had heard that an awesome restaurant in Hillsboro, called The Pretty Penny, owned by Blair Campbell, was bringing in droves of people.

For two years, I’ve promised myself that the next time I was in Hillsboro, I’d have to check it out. But, like many of West Virginia’s special treasures, it is off the beaten path—on Route 219, south of Marlinton. Despite my best efforts, my trips around the state didn’t take me through Hillsboro—so last Friday, I decided to enjoy the fall scenery and make Pretty Penny my destination. I’m not alone. Folks from all over the state and out of state are making this charming and laid back restaurant a destination for great casual food—a testimony to West Virginia’s thriving culinary tourism industry.

After sampling Stinky Fries, a to-die-for salad made from local greens topped with Blair’s Pear Gorgonzola Dressing; the Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup; and inhaling PJ’s Dip, a hot artichoke, spinach, and Parmesan concoction, I was already planning my return trip. With the beautiful Pearl S. Buck Birthplace, Watoga State Park, and Droop Mountain Battlefield right around the corner, it is a town worth visiting and revisiting.

Stay tuned for more about Pretty Penny when this charming restaurant is featured in Summer 2012 issue of WV LIVING.

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