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 What happened to Mrs. Rowe's?

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ghcornwell

  • Total Posts: 48
  • Joined: 10/23/2006
  • Location: Washington, DC
What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Tue, 04/10/07 5:08 PM (permalink)
I noticed Mrs. Rowe's in Staunton, VA, a longtime Roadfood staple, isn't on the site anymore. It's in my latest copy of the book, but not on here.

Any particular reason? I've been there a dozen times, but not in the past couple years. Has it gone downhill? That'd be a shame, I loved that place.
 
#1
    buffetbuster

    RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Tue, 04/10/07 5:18 PM (permalink)
    ghcornwell-
    It has been a while since I have been there myself, but several people on here have said it hasn't been the same since Mrs. Rowe herself passed away several years back.
     
    #2
      MandalayVA

      • Total Posts: 367
      • Joined: 11/6/2004
      • Location: Richmond, VA
      RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Tue, 04/10/07 6:26 PM (permalink)
      There was a thread (last year?) about the decline of Mrs. Rowe's. I was there two years ago, then I had an opportunity to go again in January, and it was awful. I regret that I never got to go while Mrs. Rowe was still alive.
       
      #3
        Voyageur

        RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/11/07 8:50 AM (permalink)
        How sad.

        Was there only once, but loved Mrs. Rowe's, as well as the Virginia House in nearby Lexington, which no longer appears in Roadfood.
         
        #4
          ghcornwell

          • Total Posts: 48
          • Joined: 10/23/2006
          • Location: Washington, DC
          RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/11/07 4:29 PM (permalink)
          Damn. I was worried about that. Can anyone recommend another place nearby? We're heading down tomorrow from Front Royal down on 81 through Staunton, then cutting east to Beckley, WV.
           
          #5
            Greymo

            • Total Posts: 3663
            • Joined: 11/30/2005
            • Location: Marriottsville, MD
            RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/11/07 4:54 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by ghcornwell

            Damn. I was worried about that. Can anyone recommend another place nearby? We're heading down tomorrow from Front Royal down on 81 through Staunton, then cutting east to Beckley, WV.



            Breakfast is still great there.............Six of us each had a great meal. Lunch and dinner is another mattter
             
            #6
              Southern Fried

              • Total Posts: 63
              • Joined: 7/3/2005
              • Location: Bremen, GA
              RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/11/07 6:20 PM (permalink)
              I don’t believe that Mrs. Rowe's has ever been listed on this web site. A restaurant only gets listed here after the Sterns make a current visit and take photos. It is obvious from looking at the number of reviews for Virginia that the Sterns have not made any prolonged Roadfood trips there lately.

              So I don’t believe that you can draw any conclusions about Mrs. Rowe's based on the fact that it is not currently listed. I am sure that the next time the Sterns make a trip to Virginia, they will make a decision as to whether or not they still consider Mrs. Rowe's to be worthy of Roadfood.

              I used to love the chocolate macaroons from the bakery of Mrs. Rowe's, but I have not been there in years.
               
              #7
                Louis

                • Total Posts: 713
                • Joined: 4/28/2003
                • Location: Henderson, KY
                RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Thu, 04/12/07 12:37 AM (permalink)
                Between Front Royal and Staunton is New Market, and there you will find the Southern Kitchen. My personal favorite item there is the peanut soup. You won't find this in too many places. I have tried it several times, and I find that I must have a bowl every time I stop by. I am surprised that more restaurants don't offer it. Country ham is pretty good in this part of the state. Try that along with the peanut soup. Here's a review and some pictures:

                http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=427
                 
                #8
                  jmckee

                  • Total Posts: 1172
                  • Joined: 11/26/2001
                  • Location: Batavia, OH
                  RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Thu, 04/12/07 10:31 AM (permalink)
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by MandalayVA

                  There was a thread (last year?) about the decline of Mrs. Rowe's. I was there two years ago, then I had an opportunity to go again in January, and it was awful. I regret that I never got to go while Mrs. Rowe was still alive.


                  I was one of the people who posted about the decline. It still makes me sad to think about How It Was compared to How It Became.
                   
                  #9
                    Louis

                    • Total Posts: 713
                    • Joined: 4/28/2003
                    • Location: Henderson, KY
                    RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Thu, 04/12/07 7:20 PM (permalink)
                    I wonder if the current owners are aware of the restaurant's decline? Or care? It seems as if the current owners were ready to put in new rules of enforced mediocrity as soon Mrs. Rowe died.
                     
                    #10
                      mlinkinhoker

                      • Total Posts: 183
                      • Joined: 9/13/2005
                      • Location: Brentwood (Nashville, TN
                      • Roadfood Insider
                      RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Thu, 04/12/07 9:59 PM (permalink)
                      Without telling him why, I deliberately routed us WAY out of our way on our vacation last summer just to hit Mrs. Rowe's. It was a huge disappointment. We were there for lunch and I only picked at the food. The pies were the most edible part of the whole meal and they were only what I could describe as fair. The Virginia peanuts from next door and King's Family Vineyards that we found between there and Charlottesville by accident were the best part of our day.
                       
                      #11
                        MandalayVA

                        • Total Posts: 367
                        • Joined: 11/6/2004
                        • Location: Richmond, VA
                        RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Fri, 04/13/07 7:19 AM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by Southern Fried

                        I don�t believe that Mrs. Rowe's has ever been listed on this web site. A restaurant only gets listed here after the Sterns make a current visit and take photos. It is obvious from looking at the number of reviews for Virginia that the Sterns have not made any prolonged Roadfood trips there lately.

                        So I don�t believe that you can draw any conclusions about Mrs. Rowe's based on the fact that it is not currently listed. I am sure that the next time the Sterns make a trip to Virginia, they will make a decision as to whether or not they still consider Mrs. Rowe's to be worthy of Roadfood.

                        I used to love the chocolate macaroons from the bakery of Mrs. Rowe's, but I have not been there in years.


                        Mrs. Rowe's was listed on Roadfood.com, but Michael took down the review after the thread about its decline.
                         
                        #12
                          buffetbuster

                          RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Fri, 04/13/07 7:25 AM (permalink)
                          MandalayVA is correct. It was reviewed here on Roadfod at one time, but after quite a bit of negative feedback of the food now served, Michael took it down.
                           
                          #13
                            Southern Fried

                            • Total Posts: 63
                            • Joined: 7/3/2005
                            • Location: Bremen, GA
                            RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Fri, 04/13/07 11:59 AM (permalink)
                            I stand corrected.

                            I did find the old review online and here its is:

                            http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=175
                             
                            #14
                              dadetigl

                              • Total Posts: 116
                              • Joined: 3/12/2006
                              • Location: Dade City, FL
                              RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Fri, 04/13/07 9:15 PM (permalink)
                              We ate at Mrs. Rowes about 2 years ago on our 3 week Virginia driving trip. Roadfood recommended it. The parking lot was full but the food was awful. It made Cracker Barrel seem like upscale dining. We did have 2 dinners at the Mill Street Grill in Staunton that were very good. Have also heard that Wright's Dairy is good but we were short on time.

                              Mrs. Rowes is a perfect example of why review dates should be included with the reviews.
                               
                              #15
                                Fieldthistle

                                • Total Posts: 1948
                                • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                • Location: Hinton, VA
                                RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Sat, 04/14/07 6:18 AM (permalink)
                                Hello All,
                                I think I wrote about this on another thread.
                                The heirs took over. They even bought another place
                                in Mt. Crawford, Va., about 15 miles or more from Staunton,
                                and made that place awful. The place they bought in Mt. Crawford
                                was Ever's, which was a wonderful family, homestyle cooking place.
                                Locally, we have recognized that it's quality and standards have
                                fallen. The heirs have now messed up 2 places.
                                I am sure that the heirs are trying...but sometimes people want
                                profit over heritage and quality.
                                And sometimes they just want to create their own way to make their image.
                                I don't know and don't want to judge their motives, but both places have
                                lost local faith.
                                Take Care,
                                Fieldthistle
                                 
                                #16
                                  jmckee

                                  • Total Posts: 1172
                                  • Joined: 11/26/2001
                                  • Location: Batavia, OH
                                  RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Sat, 04/14/07 6:47 PM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by Fieldthistle

                                  Hello All,
                                  I think I wrote about this on another thread.
                                  The heirs took over. They even bought another place
                                  in Mt. Crawford, Va., about 15 miles or more from Staunton,
                                  and made that place awful. The place they bought in Mt. Crawford
                                  was Ever's, which was a wonderful family, homestyle cooking place.
                                  Locally, we have recognized that it's quality and standards have
                                  fallen. The heirs have now messed up 2 places.
                                  I am sure that the heirs are trying...but sometimes people want
                                  profit over heritage and quality.
                                  And sometimes they just want to create their own way to make their image.
                                  I don't know and don't want to judge their motives, but both places have
                                  lost local faith.
                                  Take Care,
                                  Fieldthistle


                                  I think Fieldthistle hit the nail on the head. "Profit over heritage or quality."

                                  Mrs. Rowe built a thriving business over attention to detail and good cooking; her heirs have decided that higher profit was necessary by cutting corners. Maybe it wasn't an explicit decision, but an implicit one.

                                  The end result is the same. Sadly.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    pmrkr2

                                    • Total Posts: 319
                                    • Joined: 6/28/2005
                                    • Location: new york city, NY
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Sat, 04/14/07 7:19 PM (permalink)
                                    i also wrote about the decline and fall of mrs. rowe's in that thread (matter of fact i may have started it). all i know is i dragged my girlfriend and her son an hour and a half out of our way and made them wait a good two hours past when they wanted to eat so that they could share the experience and well let's just say my usual stalwart roadfood credibility took a major hit that night. i would have to agree that after the passing of mrs. rowe greed got the better of her heirs. won't be the first or last time. on a more upbeat note if you get up towards harrisonburg stop in at the bbq ranch for some great bbq and some real nice folks.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Fieldthistle

                                      • Total Posts: 1948
                                      • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                      • Location: Hinton, VA
                                      RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Sun, 04/15/07 5:32 AM (permalink)
                                      Hello All,
                                      I give a big AMEN to pmkr2's recommendation of the BBQ-Ranch just outside of Harrisonburg, Va..
                                      You can drive up and get served in your car or go inside for a great meal.
                                      Take Care,
                                      Fieldthistle
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ghcornwell

                                        • Total Posts: 48
                                        • Joined: 10/23/2006
                                        • Location: Washington, DC
                                        RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Mon, 04/16/07 5:08 PM (permalink)
                                        Just a quick update -

                                        Called my dad before I hit the road and he said Mrs. Rowe's was still good last time there (late December), so I decided to give it a try. Had the 1/2 fried chicken with mashed potatoes and baked tomatoes. Potatoes were a little too processed, and the dinner rolls weren't much to speak of, but the chicken was still excellent and I liked the baked tomatoes as well. On top of that, the cookies there are still wonderful.

                                        I'm happy to say I still recommend Mrs. Rowe's, even if its not quite what it used to be.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          SarahT

                                          • Total Posts: 12
                                          • Joined: 4/17/2007
                                          • Location: Washington, DC
                                          RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Tue, 04/17/07 4:30 PM (permalink)
                                          We went to Rowe's a few weeks ago and had quite a nice meal. We used to go when we lived in Charlottesville 15 years ago. I stuck to the fried chicken with mustard greens and followed with pie and was very satisfied. Daughter had fried catfish and a giant pecan roll. We went back through on our return trip (Asheville to DC) and picked up frozen greens, chickent pot pie, and baked apples. All were good. I'd go back again. We did notice a Five Guys on the road into Staunton -- a great DC area burger chain.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            molliebryan

                                            • Total Posts: 2
                                            • Joined: 4/18/2007
                                            • Location: waynesboro, VA
                                            RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/18/07 12:17 PM (permalink)
                                            I found this thread interesting. I am the author of the Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley, recently published by Ten Speed Press. I am sorry to see so many of you had a less than good experience at the restaurant. I can assure you that it's not because Mrs. Rowe has passed away--she had been in ill-health off and on for several years and her son had been in charge way before she died. (Though she was always as active as she could be in its operations.) I've been in the kitchen, studied their food, and can tell you it's all being done the same way as when Mrs. Rowe was "in charge." Restaurants and cooks have bad days and perhaps the restaurant was having an off day when you visited. I also know that if you mentioned your experiences to the owner the day you were there, he would have investigated and made it right for you. I am not a member of the family, nor am I in league with the restaurant. I am a journalist and approached the book in this manner. I do urge you to give the place another try.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Fieldthistle

                                              • Total Posts: 1948
                                              • Joined: 7/30/2005
                                              • Location: Hinton, VA
                                              RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/18/07 1:20 PM (permalink)
                                              Hello All,
                                              Molliebryan, as a lifelong resident of the Shenandoah Valley of Va., (except for 6 years in Alabama) I would be
                                              interested in reading your book.
                                              My experiences and the experiences of locals that I trust have created a negative image of Mrs. Rowe's in my mind.
                                              It is hard to to come to this forum and say something negative or good, because people are trusting your words and reputation.
                                              Something did happen that made us feel the way we feel. But nothing stays the same. Good can lose some of
                                              it's goodness, and bad can gain some goodness. I am glad to give Mrs. Rowe's another try.
                                              I don't know when you wrote your book. My experiences and those of my friends were in the 2004-2006 years, and
                                              at their properties in Staunton and their new one in Mt. Crawford.
                                              It is not my desire, ever, to be negative. I just don't want to waste my money, or others by my advice based on my past
                                              experiences, but am too darn poor to keep wasting my money repeating mistakes.
                                              I see some good comments by ghcornwell and SarahT. Maybe things have changed.
                                              So I await others to visit Mrs. Rowe's before I return.
                                              Journey on Pilgrims.
                                              Take Care,
                                              Fieldthistle
                                               
                                              #23
                                                molliebryan

                                                • Total Posts: 2
                                                • Joined: 4/18/2007
                                                • Location: waynesboro, VA
                                                RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 04/18/07 2:12 PM (permalink)
                                                Dear Fieldthistle,
                                                Yes--you'd find the book interesting. It's full of local history. Great archival photos, as well.
                                                I appreciate your point of view. You're right--things do change. And in today's business climate, they have to change somewhat in order to compete and survive. But Mrs. Rowe's has been pretty consistent for 60 years. Their 60th anniversary is this year. That is pretty amazing.
                                                It's good to know you're going to keep an open mind about it. (I will, too.) I do hope you pick up the book--it's at the restaurants. You can also get in at other major booksellers--or pick it up at the library. I know the Waynesboro library has a copy.
                                                Cheers!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  i95

                                                  • Total Posts: 2500
                                                  • Joined: 7/14/2003
                                                  • Location: Sin City, VA
                                                  Re:What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Tue, 08/16/11 8:04 PM (permalink)
                                                    

                                                   

                                                  Adding my two-cents here (albeit four years later) as I stopped by Staunton, Virginia's Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant last night (and after dining at the two-and-a-half-mile-away Wright's Dairy Rite). While I didn't have dinner, I did pick-up a made-on-premises apple pie for the family. Succinctly, the pie was FANTASTIC -- light, flaky, buttery crust cradling seemingly fresh and not over-spiced apples. I wish I had picked-up two.
                                                   
                                                  Next time!
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Route 11

                                                    • Total Posts: 752
                                                    • Joined: 5/28/2003
                                                    • Location: Howardsville, VA
                                                    RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 08/17/11 12:11 PM (permalink)
                                                    Lunch and Dinner at the Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg is a good bet. It's on 11 just north of town. Kind of hippy dippy but good.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      buffetbuster

                                                      RE: What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 08/17/11 2:44 PM (permalink)
                                                      i95-
                                                      Thanks for that very important pie update.  The last few times driving the I-81 corridor, we have skipped Mrs. Rowe's because of all the bad word of mouth we have been hearing.  That won't happen again! 
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        i95

                                                        • Total Posts: 2500
                                                        • Joined: 7/14/2003
                                                        • Location: Sin City, VA
                                                        Re:What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 08/17/11 3:25 PM (permalink)
                                                         

                                                        You're welcome, Pieman!

                                                         

                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          NascarDad

                                                          Re:What happened to Mrs. Rowe's? Wed, 08/17/11 6:27 PM (permalink)
                                                          i95


                                                            

                                                           

                                                          Adding my two-cents here (albeit four years later) as I stopped by Staunton, Virginia's Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant last night (and after dining at the two-and-a-half-mile-away Wright's Dairy Rite). While I didn't have dinner, I did pick-up a made-on-premises apple pie for the family. Succinctly, the pie was FANTASTIC -- light, flaky, buttery crust cradling seemingly fresh and not over-spiced apples. I wish I had picked-up two.

                                                          Next time!


                                                          Hmmm sounds like a trip might be worth it.  So hard to find decent pie these days.
                                                           
                                                          #29
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