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It's all homemade at Hometown Restaurant in Peterstown

PETERSTOWN, W.Va. -- Everything's homemade at Linda Fox's restaurant -- even the croutons. What else would you expect from a place named Hometown Restaurant?

"It's like Grandma's house here -- that's what I call it," Fox said of the food she's served daily for 28 years.

She means that literally. She began cooking at age 5 at her grandmother's house in Greenbrier County.

"I've always cooked," said Fox, who most days is in the restaurant tucked in a small shopping mall along U.S. 219. "Then I go home and cook for my husband."

On a wintry March day, a small buffet offered a salad bar, meatloaf, chicken livers, brown beans, corn bread salad, mixed greens, red parsley potatoes and peach cobbler -- for $7.99.

On Mondays, the buffet is half-price for senior citizens.

There were other specials listed on the chalkboard: hot turkey plate, country steak, hot roast beef, country ham -- all with two sides -- and for just $5.

Breakfast is served all day. The rolls are homemade. Leftover rolls turn into croutons, day-old bread goes into stuffing, and any made-from-scratch biscuits not eaten will send up as bread pudding topped with vanilla sauce.

Twice a week, six or eight cream pies are baked, along with pound, banana-split and other types of cakes.

Hometown Restaurant sells its rolls and baked goods for takeout. For the holidays, Fox estimates, the eatery may bake 50 pumpkin pies. Cream pies sell for $6.99, and the No. 1-selling cake, Chocolate Sour Cream, costs $15.

In the town of 653 residents, Fox and her longtime staff have catered many weddings, family reunions, anniversary and shower parties. Her cook, Mary Gore, started with Fox nearly three decades ago. Her daughter-in-law, Pam Fox, cooks and waits tables and grandson Jacob Fox is waiter.

Her best customer has to be artist Pete Ballard, who lives nearby and eats every meal there. "He's a real asset to Peterstown," said Fox.

Ballard takes visiting guests to Hometown Restaurant and two years ago gave himself an after-hours 80th birthday party there. He likes their banana bread so much (ordering 28 loaves each year as Christmas gifts) that he requested loaves as placeholders for his party.

In good weather, Fox said customers drive from Hinton, Beckley, Union, Princeton and Lewisburg to dine at Hometown.

Ballard grumbled, "During the State Fair, there are so many people stopping en route to Lewisburg, you practically have to make reservations."

Hometown Restaurant, 141 Market St., Peterstown; call 304-753-4788.

Reach Rosalie Earle at earle@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.


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