Alto Appalachia

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Cherylmaxine
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2007/01/09 11:01:46 (permalink)

Alto Appalachia

It was great to read in the current issue of Gourmet about the little-known Italian food spots here in West Virginia. I was especially pleased to read that Wheeling's peculiar brand of pizza, DiCarlo's Original, was included. Thank you, Jane & Michael. But the best Italian to this Wheeling daughter is, however, Figaretti's. A family-owned bistro-type restaurant, Figaretti's best feature is it's award-winning sauce which can be purchased in all our local markets. My pantry only stocks this sauce. Figaretti's restaurant is at the I70 exit 2 exchange in Wheeling, WV. Highly recommended.
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    buffetbuster
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/01/09 11:56:33 (permalink)
    Cherylmaxine-
    Thanks for the tip! I will definitely pickup the latest Gourmet to read the article you mentioned. Wheeling is a very easy drive for me so I will have to check these places out. Considering how much I already like Coleman's Fish and Hocutt's BBQ in nearby Moundsville, Wheeling is turning out to be quite the Roadfood destination.
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/12 14:56:14 (permalink)
    I never realized until this past weekend just how good of an eating destination Clarksburg, WV is. I read that approximately 40% of the town is of Italian descent. As you drive around the town, you see Italian restaurants one right after the other. It looks like it would take a week to try them all.

    When I was eating in Julio's on Saturday, we started talking with the couple at the table next to us. They said that Julio's was the second best restaurant in Clarksburg, behind only a steak place called Wonderbar. Anybody familiar with this place?
    #3
    redtressed
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/12 22:36:43 (permalink)
    Cheryl......I've been trying to "eddyfy" these non -believers of the joys of ethnic foods in our area for years. Some of 'em think our only contribution to italian- influenced cuisine is the pepperoni roll, but there's soooooo much more, isn't there? We need to drag them to the Italian Heritage festivals. I kind of attribute our true to the old country preparation of foods to our tendency to have low population change overs and less Olive Garden like influences corrupting the recipes handed down over generations of WV families. Our ethnicity -food purity is one one instance that I think the old joke" West Virginia, Land of 1,000,000 people and ten surnames" could be considered complimentary.
    #4
    redtressed
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/12 22:43:23 (permalink)
    Buffettbuster.....I'm familiar with both Julio's and Wonderbar. Julio's is a wonderful place, and Wonderbar, for many years was the premier steakhouse in north Central WV. I haven't been there for years , however and can't vouch for it now. What really drew me to the place, was not the food , actually, but the atmosphere. Pure 50's jazz lounge ambience..........it wasn't hard to imagine the rat-pack hanging out there, even into the late 90's. The crowning glory was looking out the picture windows and seeing Clarksburg by night...in the perfect shape of a champagne glass, the lights teeming like bubbles. Too cool old skool....


    (I'm in Morgantown by the way)
    #5
    MikeS.
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 00:45:39 (permalink)
    Hey Redtressed, will ya let me know when 1 of the bigger Itialian festivals will be? I'd be interested in driving over to try it out.

    MikeS.
    #6
    MikeS.
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 00:47:51 (permalink)
    I've never heard this region called alto applachia. Anyone else heard this before?

    Cherylmaxine, thanks for posting this information. Welcome to Roadfood!

    MikeS.
    #7
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 07:55:40 (permalink)
    redtressed-
    Thanks for the reply about Wonderbar. It sounds like a really cool place. On one of these weekends coming up, I plan on going down to explore more of Clarksburg.

    I would also be very interested in checking out one of the Italian festivals, so please let us know if you hear anything.
    #8
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 08:23:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MikeS.

    I've never heard this region called alto applachia. Anyone else heard this before?

    Cherylmaxine, thanks for posting this information. Welcome to Roadfood!

    MikeS.


    Mike,
    I don't think "Alto Appalachia" is term you'd find on a map. I believe our editor made it up as the headline for the story.

    -- MS
    #9
    redtressed
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 10:18:59 (permalink)
    Mike and Buffett......tis easy to tell you the dates of the Clarksburg Heritage Festival. Just block off LAbor Day weekend. Been the same date since it's inception.



    http://www.wvihf.com/

    http://www.wvihf.com/events.cfm


    and for the Wheeling Italian Festival:

    http://www.italyfest.com/



    Enjoy!
    #10
    redtressed
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 10:31:24 (permalink)
    Mike and Michael,


    In the 50's, 60's and 70's, Alto Appalachia was a term coined by the Pittsburgh media and commonly used by the Washington DC and other media for an area that followed what is now 1-79 but then was old US 19, from Morgantown to Clarksburg in north Central West Virginia. A huge amount of Italian peoples settled in the narrow Monongahela River Valley of West Virginia, because of the glassmaking and coal industry. Originally , it was used to describe the plethora of Italian culture and foods along the rivervalley. Unfortunately, in the late 60's and 70's it was a term with a double edge on it, because it was then often used, incorrectly, for a surgence of Mafia -related activities in the area. The Wheeling-Weirton areas were included too in the ALto Appalachia designation because of the amount of Italian heritage around the steel and glass making industries there and it's proximity to Pittsburgh,


    And that's the rest of the story.......
    #11
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 10:35:01 (permalink)
    Hey, Red, you beat me to it.
    #12
    redtressed
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/13 10:57:23 (permalink)
    Oh Gawd............I sound like Hoffmudgeon now? Saints preserve us!
    #13
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/14 08:11:43 (permalink)
    redtressed-
    Thank you for the explanation of Alto Appalachia. I am from Pittsburgh and I have never heard that term before.
    #14
    MikeS.
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/16 00:50:48 (permalink)
    Do they serve purple Runzas here?

    MikeS.
    #15
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/20 00:12:32 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Auto Appalachia? Does this mean that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy... automatically?
    I'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain When I Come (To Get Me Some Pepperoni Rolls!), Ort. Carlton in Mountainless-But-Hilly Athens, Georgia.
    #16
    roossy90
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/20 02:32:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MikeS.

    Do they serve purple Runzas here?

    MikeS.

    Oh Lord!.....
    ()()
    #17
    MikeS.
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/02/20 06:19:33 (permalink)
    Roossy, isn't it almost anniversary time for the Purple Runza?
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/09/06 06:59:39 (permalink)
    It isn't Italian food, but a transplant from New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina set up shop in Clarksburg and is apparently doing well.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07245/813795-85.stm

    Yet another place in Clarksburg I want to try.
    #19
    rouxdog
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    RE: Alto Appalachia 2007/09/06 08:13:20 (permalink)
    Great article!
    #20
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