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Thursday, March 05, 2015


Log Cabin--Elkton, Virginia
Log Cabin, Elkton, Virginia
Back in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (do you know that bluegrass tune?), we had a wonderful week enjoying the fall colors in what is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Capitulating to our penchant for barbecue, we tried a new restaurant, Log Cabin at 11672 Spotswood Trail, Elkton, Virginia just down the road from the Massanutten Resort.

Log Cabin--Elkton, Virginia
Where it looks like a log cabin, it really is one!
The original restaurant used this 200 year old cabin, but as business
expanded, the restaurant had to too.
Log Cabin is an unpretentious restaurant whose initial attraction for me was the fact that the main part of the building is actually a 200 year old log cabin.  The dining room is built around that main section, and when you sit there, it does not take much to imagine eating similar foods sometime in history.  I like that.  Of course, I would be using entirely different dinnerware; Log Cabin is strictly Styrofoam and plastic.  That’s the main complaint you’ll find in looking at reviews.  Who cares about throwaways if the food is good?  And it was!

Log Cabin--Elkton, Virginia
This is a fried pickle.
It's breaded and fried.
The pickle stays crispy while the breading adds additional flavor.
It's really good!
On the menu was a southern favorite none of us northerners had tried before—fried pickles.  We had to order them.  Superb!!!  And different!!!  They really look like zucchini sticks when they are served with a dipping sauce of ranch dressing, but they are crisp and crunchy and very delicious.  If you ever see fried pickles on the menu, give them a try. 

The chicken tenders my cousin Rita ordered were delicious, she said.  When she saw fries being delivered to another table, she couldn’t resist the temptation and changed her side of potato salad to fries!  Loved them. 

My cousin Bill had barbecued chicken.  When he was about halfway through and thought he was full, he offered the rest to any one who wanted it.  We were all satisfied with our dinners, and by the time we were all done, Bill had polished off the rest of his too.  Guess that speaks for itself.

I ordered a dinner plate of half a rack of ribs.  I wish I had taken a video, because this was fall-of-the-bone meat.  They use a dry rub that is just seasoned enough to help bring out the incredibly good taste of this deliciously soft, smoked, meat.  These, arguably, could be the best ribs I ever tasted, the softest ribs I’ve ever had, and the only ones I’ve ever actually had to eat with a knife and fork (although I’m not even sure a knife was necessary all the time because of the tenderness).

My sides were macaroni and cheese and hush puppies.  The mac and cheese was lovely and creamy—very cheesy—and the hush puppies were crisp and delicious. 

Rob, true to form, ordered the Sampler Dinner Plate which included a quarter rack of ribs and your choice of pulled pork. 

Here’s a nice aspect of Log Cabin.  Their pork is smoked over hickory for 12 hours and then smothered in one of two sauces made fresh in-house daily.  The first is a red, tomato-based sauce, and the second is a vinegar and spice sauce called North Carolina or Eastern North Carolina.  It has a tangy, spicy taste.

Rob asked the waiter to split his pork into two sections so he could sample both.  No problem.  His sides were baked beans and hush puppies.

The pork was flavorful and tangy and really nicely cooked. The regular pulled pork sauce was tomato-y and just enough to satisfy.  Rob did use Cholula sauce, but he adds this to just about everything! It’s a staple in our house unless he’s using his homemade chili sauce.  There was a very distinct difference between that pork and the North Carolina pork which was new to all of us (so of course we all tasted it), and you could really taste the zippy tang.  I won’t say which we liked more because if you should ever have an opportunity to have a taste, go for it. 

The baked beans were rather ordinary, but he, too, liked the hush puppies.

Want to know why there are no photos?  We dug right in, and I just forgot!  By the time I remembered, it was too late.  It was that good!

We spent the day driving around the Shenandoah Valley and up and over the mountains to Charlottesville enjoying the beautiful fall colors and the history of James Madison’s Montpelier.  Coming home to the Log Cabin made a perfect ending to the day.
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