To see a full-size version of the map above, click here.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's game day in Morgantown, but you didn't get to the stadium in time to tailgate. Now you're hungry. You inch your way out of post-game traffic and start looking for a good place to eat not too far off Interstate 79 on the way back to Charleston.
You're looking for the kind of place where the locals go. I did your homework for you and asked some current or former north central West Virginians for recommendations. I'm sure there are other good places, but here's what my sources said.
I hope you're in the mood for Italian food. The Fairmont/Bridgeport/Clarksburg area, which makes up the majority of the dining options, includes a significant Italian population. Many of them seem to be in the restaurant business.
First stop: Fairmont. Muriale's Restaurant comes immediately to mind as a perennial favorite for Italian cuisine, and with good reason -- namely Aunt Mary's lasagna and grandmother Isabelle's red sauce. A huge dining area accommodates a game-day crowd. Just off the interstate exit at the Middletown mall is Colasessano's, another popular place. They're famous for their oversized pepperoni buns, stuffed or not, with your choice meat sauce, cheese and/or Italian peppers, and then toasted.
Fair warning regarding pepperoni rolls: A sure way to stir up trouble with Fairmont or Clarksburg residents is to say you prefer the pepperoni rolls made elsewhere. Pepperoni roll loyalties run strong. In Fairmont, Country Club Bakers, takeout only, is rumored to be the originator of West Virginia pepperoni rolls. Clarksburg claims Tamaro's and D'Annunzios, both also takeout only.
Wherever you get them, wait for a fresh batch to emerge from the oven. There is nothing like a warm, soft 'roni roll. If you're picking them up on game day, it's worth your while to call ahead and reserve them. Mountaineer tailgaters tend to wipe out the supply.
Also in Fairmont, try McAteer's near Fairmont State University, Say-Boy's, Dutchman's Daughter and Mom's Place for country cooking. Grab a West Virginia hot dog at Woody's. Much of C.J. Maggie's food has a TexMex flavor, while The Poky Dot specializes in diner food.
Farther down the interstate are Clarksburg and Bridgeport. As in Fairmont, Italian restaurants reign, with names like Minard's, Oliverio's and Julio's, but don't overlook French and Mediterranean cuisine at the acclaimed Provence Market in Bridgeport.
If your rumbling stomach allows you as far the Roanoke exit, Stonewall Resort offers dining with a view of the lake or golf course. At the Weston exit, discover Thyme Bistro.
Drive a bit farther to the Sutton exit for a Southern Italian meal at Café Cimino or stop by P.J. Berry's for dinner only on Saturdays. Travel a few miles into Gassaway and try the Red Rooster's steaks or lasagna.
Restaurants below are listed by city in alphabetical, not preferential, order. Check the hours closely as some aren't open on Saturdays, but would work for the occasional weekday game.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.
207 Jefferson St., Fairmont.
Wood-fired pizzas, salads, sandwiches and Tex Mex entrees. Also in Buckhannon and Elkins.
Hours: Lunch and dinner seven days a week
Call: 304-366-2000 or visit www.cj-maggies.com
Middletown Mall or 506 Pennsylvania Ave., Fairmont
Another Fairmont favorite, Colasessano's serves its hoagies, burgers and sandwiches on their homemade buns. It also has salads and pizza, but the stuffed pepperoni rolls are a must-try. It also has a Morgantown location.
Hours: Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday at mall. Closed Sunday. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday at other location
Call 304-363-9713 or visit www.colasessanos.com
2795 Whitehall Blvd., Fairmont
Home-style food in quaint, country setting. Country-fried steak, fried chicken and ham steak share menu space with hoagies, soups, salads and desserts.
Hours: Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday; Closed Sunday
Call 304-367-1064 or visit: www.dutchmansdaughter.com
1316 Locust Ave., Fairmont
Family restaurant serves hearty breakfasts, sandwiches and diner food. Open for breakfast and lunch only.
Hours: 7a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Call 304-366-3158 or visit www.mcateersfairmont.com
501 Hoult Road, Fairmont
Old-time neighborhood spot well known for home cooking, especially home fries, biscuits and gravy and filling daily specials.
Hours: Breakfast and lunch Sunday; Breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday to Thursday; 24 hours Friday and Saturday
1742 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont
The Muriale brothers founded this Fairmont institution more than 40 years ago. The lasagna, eggplant Parmesan and meatballs are especially noteworthy. Extensive menu also features pizzas, paninis, hoagies, salads, and chicken, seafood and beef entrees.
Hours: Lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Call 304-363-3190 or visit www.murialesrestaurant.com
1111 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont
Huge menu of bar food, sandwiches, wraps, salads and country cooking served in an oldies atmosphere. Save room for a banana split.
Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Call 304-366-3271 or visit www.thepokydot.com
905 Country Club Road, Fairmont
Specializing in steaks, seafood and roasted chicken with homemade pies and sticky buns.
Open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Call 304-366-7252 or visit www.sayboyrestaurant.com
801 Morgantown Ave., Fairmont
Woody's hot dog chili and slaw received an almost perfect rating on The West Virginia Hot Dog Blog. This classic hot dog joint serves all the fixings of a classic state hot dog: creamy slaw, chili-like sauce, chopped onions and mustard.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
PEPPERONI ROLLS ONLY
1211 Country Club Road, Fairmont
Bakery specializing in pepperoni rolls.
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Closed Wednesday and Sunday.
1909 Williams Ave., Clarksburg
Specializing in Italian bread, D'Annunzio's has been baking bread in its North View location for 85 years.
Hours: 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday. 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Closed Tuesday and Sunday
411 North 4th St., Clarksburg
They've been baking bread at this Glen Elk bakery since 1914.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Closed Tuesday and Saturday.
501 Baltimore Ave., Clarksburg