Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV

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buffetbuster
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2006/12/28 16:24:38 (permalink)

Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV

After seeing the glowing review from Jane & Michael about Hocutt's, I took the 1 1/2 hour drive from the north Pittsburgh suburbs down to Moundsville. Actually, I have done it twice in the last month. I had to see if it was just as amazingly good the second time as it was the first time. And it was! This place is a real Roadfood gem.

The setting itself is a little bizarre, considering it sits right next to the now closed West Virginia State Penitentiary (still open for tours, though). The building is very old and used to be a dairy. The place is mostly decorated with Hot Wheels toy cars. The atmosphere is pure Roadfood.

But the reason you drive this far is for the food and it is fantastic! The hushpuppies, which come with every meal are out of this world. I have never been a hushpuppy fan, but I could eat these all day. They are very crunchy on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. They come with butter, but for an extra quarter each, you can also get molasses butter or honey butter. I highly recommend dipping the hushpuppies into the honey butter.

Two other items I have had here that are as good as I have had anywhere are the creamy homemade cole slaw and the tangy Brunswick stew. For the main entrees, my friends and I have sampled the pulled pork bbq (Travis is originally from Raleigh, so expect eastern NC style), baby back ribs, catfish and the country ham. All of these have been well above average. The one item in which I didn't particularly like was the mac & cheese, which is spicy. I can tell you that both of my friends really liked it, though.

For dessert, they carry Velvet ice cream, a brand I had never heard of before. But, I tried a scoop of the peppermint stick and it was delicious.

Another reason to go to Hocutt's is to meet the owner and cook Travis Hocutt himself. On both visits, he took time out to come chat with us and he is an extremely interesting guy, who has led quite a life. Among the many topics we discussed the last time I was there is that he used to play piano in a backup band for Percy Sledge. Moundsville is lucky to have him.

Obviously, word about this place has started to get around. He now has a guest book which he asked us to sign and earlier that day he had visitors from Los Angeles. The day before, people from Minnesota stopped in. Needless to say, he credits Jane & Michael for this.

One bit of warning before you go. You HAVE to call ahead to make sure that they will be open. The first time I called, they said they would be closed for a couple of weeks to do festivals and some renovations. And as I was leaving the second time, he said he was going to close for a little while in the middle of the afternoon, since he had to run to the store to buy ingredients for the hushpuppies.

So, anyone in the Wheeling area or driving between Pittsburgh and Columbus, this place is well worth the stop and is no more than 15 minutes straight south off of I-470.

#1

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    MikeS.
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2006/12/29 00:20:23 (permalink)
    Good to know, we plan on going to the prison's haunted ghost tour and this would be a great stop along with that.

    MikeS.
    #2
    tkitna
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2006/12/29 23:31:20 (permalink)
    I live about 30 minutes from Moundsville and i've yet to try this place. My mind is made up though,,i'll be going there Tuesday.
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2006/12/30 18:04:09 (permalink)
    tkitna-
    The hours are typically from 10am - 10pm Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Monday. But this is the type of place that can close on a moment's notice if Travis has to go to the store. So please make sure you call ahead.

    If you do get to meet Travis, you should mention that you heard about the place through Roadfood. He will undoubtedly want you to sign his guestbook. He has Jane & Michael's review from here printed out and laminated and enjoys showing it to people.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
    #4
    tkitna
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2006/12/30 23:05:15 (permalink)
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll definately make a call first.
    #5
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/04/15 18:52:38 (permalink)
    I stopped in at Hocutt's this afternoon and Travis Hocutt informed me that they will be moving very soon. The new location will be out on busy Rte. 2, where there is much more traffic. Hopefully, this will bring more business to this wonderful little place.

    The new address:

    Hocutt's
    1724 Wheeling Avenue
    Glen Dale, WV

    They hope to be in the new location by May 1st.

    By the way, the food, especially the hushpuppies, were just as good as previous visits. And Travis even pulled out his keyboard and sang a song (which he wrote) for us!
    #6
    rlhamilton
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/06/26 22:56:18 (permalink)
    We stopped by Hocutt's today. We really liked the hush puppies and pulled pork. We also had fried soft shell crabs, which was listed on the board as a special. They were also excellent.

    We were at the location next to the prison. The waitress told us that the new location was open. From what she said, I got the impression that they were planning to keep both locations open.

    On our way back towards Wheeling, we saw the new location on the east side of Rte 2. It's closer to I470, looks inviting, and should be easier to find, but it doesn't have a prison next door:).
    #7
    Duesy
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/06/26 23:06:23 (permalink)
    Never been to Hocutt's, but if you go, the prison tour is outstanding and not to be missed. Even if you have to drive over from Route 2.

    (I do plan to visit them soon, tho )
    #8
    tkitna
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/06/27 00:42:52 (permalink)
    I'm embarrassed to say that I still havent made it down to Hocutts and I only live 30 minutes away. Yes, i'm an idiot.
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/06/27 08:44:37 (permalink)
    rlhamilton-
    First of all, welcome to Roadfood!

    I appreciate the update on Hocutt's and I am glad your experience was a good one. When Travis told me he was moving out onto Hwy. 2, I assumed that meant he would be closing the one next to the state prison. Hopefully, this is a sign that business is going well.

    It has been a couple months since I have been there, so I will have to run down there next week to check out the new digs.
    #10
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/05 09:56:19 (permalink)
    My buddy Mike and I drove down to Hocutt's on Tuesday night. It was my first visit to the new location, which is on the high traffic area of Rte. 2 in Glen Dale. We drove right past at first, since they don't have a big sign up yet and they are back further from the road than the other buildings. But Travis Hocutt told me they will have a new sign up shortly. For now though, if you are looking for it, they are between a pizza shop and a Chinese buffet place.

    Anyway, the new place doesn't have nearly the charm and atmosphere as the old location next to the prison. But the good news is that business is doing great. Travis told me "they are getting slammed". I was a little worried, since all my visits to the old place, we were the only ones there. This time, 3/4 of the tables were full. And people are still coming from far away to eat there. I was talking to a guy who is from Seattle and heard Jane & Michael talk about the place on The Splendid Table.

    Mike and I went through two orders of the hushpuppies (with honey butter), which are still spectacular. And the Brunswick stew is as good as I have had anywhere. Mike is a very picky and unadventurous eater and he ended up ordering two Southern dogs, which come with slaw, chili, ketchup, mustard and onion. He loved them and I just might order those on my next visit.

    By the way, as glad as I am that business has picked up, the bad thing was that Travis didn't have nearly as much time to chat and asking him to play a song for us was out of the question, even though he does have his keyboards set up in the corner.

    I should mention that the old location is shut down permanently, but Travis is going to keep it and use it as the base for his catering business. He did try to keep them both open as restaurants for a while, but it became too difficult.
    #11
    sodawater43
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/05 20:51:39 (permalink)
    We will be in Wheeling next weekend and expect to eat at Hocutt's. Have been to Moundsville many times to eat at Mitchells. Can't wait to try Hocutt's. Will give a report upon our return.
    #12
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/06 09:55:32 (permalink)
    sodawater43-
    I am looking forward to hearing the report of your visit to Hocutt's. Hopefully, it will be as good as mine have been.

    I do suggest that you still call ahead of time to make sure they are open. I heard talk of several fairs and such coming up in which Travis will be doing the catering, so they might be closed at times you would think they surely would be open.

    Right now, the phone number, which will stay the same, is still connected to the old place, but that is supposed to change very shortly.
    #13
    Robearjr
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/07 22:17:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Duesy

    Never been to Hocutt's, but if you go, the prison tour is outstanding and not to be missed. Even if you have to drive over from Route 2.

    (I do plan to visit them soon, tho )


    My wife and I did the prison tour a few years ago. I still can't believe the State allows people to walk around a prison at night. We fell asleep in the lobby and woke up four hours after everyone left. Luckily there was a guy still on the grounds, or we would have been stuck in the prison for three days.


    At the time the prison tour provided a pizza and soda, or pop as they say out there, dinner. The pizza wasn't anything to remember, so it sounds like it would be better to stop at Hocutt's first.

    Before we went to the prison tour, we ate at some microbrew in downtown wheeling. I think it was in the artisian center or the transportation center. I remember I had their take on the Pittsburgh Primani Bros. sandwich. It really wasn't that great. Maybe the real deal at Primani Brothers is great, but I found the Italian cold cut and french fry sandwich to be well....a cold cut sandwich with cold fries in the middle.
    #14
    tkitna
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/10 02:38:01 (permalink)
    That was the River City Ale Works (in which i've never been impressed with)Robearjr. Anyways, i'm pretty sure that their take on the Primanti sandwich was no worse than the original in Pittsburgh. Their horrible and I cant believe people make such a fuss over them. Oh well.
    #15
    sodawater43
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/07/10 07:26:54 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster, Hope Hocutts is open this weekend. We will be in Wheling Friday thru Wednesday. On Saturday morning breakfast will be at Schleps( what a great name) on I-70 in Ohio near the Jamboree in The Hills. Great breakfast with farm fresh sausage, bacon and Texas toast.
    #16
    Goerniego
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/08/04 16:17:55 (permalink)
    After hearing about Hocutt's on the Roadfood site, I visited there earlier this week at their new location. It was Very Good! I am glad I saw it on here. Thanks
    #17
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/08/04 18:21:57 (permalink)
    Goerniego-
    Welcome to Roadfood!

    Please share more about your visit. What did you have to eat? Did you get to talk to Travis the owner?
    #18
    Goerniego
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/08/05 13:18:58 (permalink)
    I tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich and it was EXCELLENT! I didn't get to see Travis but I was only there a few minutes since that was how long it took for them to get my togo order. I live 2 hours away and I am planning on taking my family up there just for their food. Yes, It is that good!
    #19
    sodawater43
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/08/06 22:05:01 (permalink)
    Went to Hocutt's on July 14th. The BBQ was outstanding. Travis and his family are great(heard his life story) and the hush puppies with the molasses butter was to die for. Our friends that we stay with in Wheeling were a little put off by the sanitary conditions but still enjoyed the BBQ. Breakfast at Schlepps was great as usual.
    #20
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/08/10 14:07:31 (permalink)
    My buddy Mike enjoyed our previous visit last month to Hocutt's so much that he has been bugging me to go back. So we made the 1 1/2 hour drive down again on Wednesday. And I have to tell you, I had my best meal there yet.

    Since Travis Hocutt also owned a seafood restaurant back in North Carolina, I decided to try something that swims this time. I was hoping for the soft shell crab, but it wasn't on the menu. Travis explained to me that it was out of season. So, instead I ordered the large (12 piece.... the small has six pieces) fried shrimp. I can't begin to tell you how good this dish was. They were lightly coated and the shrimp themselves somehow tasted so fresh. Along with O'Steen's in Florida, it is one of the two best fried shrimp I have ever had. Even though Brunswick Stew wasn't listed as a side, they were more than happy to get me some.

    Mike ordered three Southern dogs, which come topped with chili, ketchup, mustard, onion and cole slaw. Not being an adventurous eater, Mike told them to hold the cole slaw. Noticing how good they looked, I ordered a dog for myself, with the cole slaw. It was outstanding! The chili had more of a sweet taste rather than a spicy taste and blended perfectly with Travis' excellent homemade cole slaw. I highly recommend anyone going to Hocutt's to get a dog as a side dish.

    I am beginning to think that there is nothing that this place doesn't do well!

    Since we got there after most of the crowd had left, Travis had plenty of time to chat. He showed us the three very positive write ups in local newspapers. He also showed us his guestbook and has recently had visitors from Norway, New Zealand and the Philippines. He also said he is doing ten times the amount of business since he moved to the new location. Good for him!
    #21
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/09/22 07:57:40 (permalink)
    My cousin Mark and I are headed to Cincy this weekend and since he has never been to Hocutt's, we stopped in on the way past. The place was rather quiet. When we walked in, Travis was sitting at one of the tables playing chess with a friend.

    Since my last meal there was so amazing, I duplicated it with the fried shrimp, Southern dog, Brunswick stew and of course, lots of hushpuppies. Mark ordered the same and thoroughly enjoyed everything he had.

    Travis told me a great story. Obviously, the word of his success and the deliciousness of his hushpuppies has gotten around. Anyway, he hired this girl and on her first day, she spent most of the time in the kitchen badgering Travis on how he makes his hushpuppies. Travis is understandably secretive about this and told her nothing. She never came back after that day. Just a short time later, Travis and his family went to eat at another local restaurant that just opened and that same young girl was working there!

    Who would have believed corporate espionage coming to Moundsville! We might have to call this Hushpuppygate!

    I should mention that Hocutt's no longer carries ice cream.
    #22
    karldarlaross
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/10/24 19:08:14 (permalink)


    My husband and I had noticed this lil' bbq/seafood shop many times as we drove to Wheeling. Today, we decided to stop and try it. As soon as we went in we were greeted by such a nice guy (Travis). We stood there looking over the menu board and the written menu they had. I was very skeptical..just the thought of alligator, catfish, oysters, turtle soup sounded awful to me. Im whispering to my hubby lets just go to Taco Bell...well I am so glad hubby talked me into to staying. We ended up getting the alligator and fried oysters (which Ive never ate an oyster before)the hushpuppies and slaw and fried green tomatoes. This was the BEST food I have ever ate. We will definatly go there again. We enjoyed not only the EXCELLENT food but loved the down home atmosphere and the fact that the Travis talked and told stories and was extremely friendly. There were 2 other men eating there also at the time we were and it was like sitting with family, talking about how good the food was listning to stories about Travis resturaunt (Hushpuppygate). I cant wait to have to see the Dr. in Wheeling again just to get to eat their food. We have already told a few ppl about Hocutts and will continut to spread the word about the great food and good ppl that own Hocutts.
    #23
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2007/10/25 10:46:47 (permalink)
    karldarlaross-
    Welcome to Roadfood! I am so glad that you decided to stay and eat at Hocutt's. I have not been adventurous enough to try the alligator or other unusual items that they offer, so I give you kudos for that. Please continue to spread the word....this place deserves to do well.

    As soon as I get over the flu, I am going to drive down and eat there again.
    #24
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/02/07 08:15:07 (permalink)
    This is truly unfair!!! My buddy Mike and I talked about possibly driving down to Hocutt's last night for dinner, but he had to back out because his mother is sick, which is certainly understandable. But, it really got me craving those wonderful hushpuppies and slaw dogs.

    And then I have to wake up and see that Hocutt's is the restaurant of the day and I have to look at a photo of their excellent ribs on the homepage all day. Definitely unfair!!!

    That's it.....I am going down there next week no matter what.

    tkitna-
    I'm not sure what day yet, but I hope you will be able to join me/us.
    #25
    tkitna
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/02/10 01:06:32 (permalink)
    Let me know what day its going to be and it might be possible although this week is a mess. I've been downright idiotic for not going yet.
    #26
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/02/10 08:55:52 (permalink)
    tkitna-
    I will send you an email on Tuesday letting you know what day we are going to go. I hope you can make it!
    #27
    breezinby
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/04/15 13:51:23 (permalink)
    Hocutt's has closed their restaurants in Moundsville and Glendale and have moved to a 240-seat building on National Road in Bridgeport, OH (15 minutes from their old locations - across the Ohio River from Wheeling) as of 4/11/08. Can't wait to try it out. Have heard fantastic reviews.
    #28
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/04/15 14:34:06 (permalink)
    Whaaaaat?!? Well, that would certainly explain why I haven't been able to get a hold of anyone when I have called lately! I am very curious about this and I am going to try and make it there as soon as I can. No doubt, the food will be just as good!

    Thank you to breezinby for the info. And welcome to Roadfood!
    #29
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Hocutt's/Moundsville, WV 2008/04/15 14:45:54 (permalink)
    Okay, I just got off the phone with Travis Hocutt. They have indeed moved. Here is the new address according to the man himself:

    Hocutt's
    56080 National Road
    Bridgeport, OH
    740-633-2710

    If possible, I might sneak down there tonight.
    #30
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