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 Mrs Rowes in the new RF book?

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TJ Jackson

  • Total Posts: 4484
  • Joined: 7/26/2003
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Mon, 04/14/08 11:27 PM (permalink)
My local food critic tells me that Mrs Rowes is listed in the new Roadfood book. I don't have the book, so I have no way of checking this myself......

Is this so?

It is my understanding that this eatery was removed from the website due to the large number of reader reports unanimously indicating that the place had gone waaaaaaaay downhill in recent why would it be kept in the print edition?

(If my info is wrong, sorry.....and feel free to simply delete this thread)

    • Total Posts: 3663
    • Joined: 11/30/2005
    • Location: Marriottsville, MD
    RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 04/15/08 8:00 AM (permalink)
    Ypu are correct. Mrs. Rowe's is in the book. I know that there have been complaints about this restaurant no longer being good. I have not had lunch there in years but I did have a terrific breakfast there last year; as good as anyone could possibly want. Ther service was excellent. I loved it that a pitcher of iced tea was put right on the table and kept full.

    I do not remember what everyone had but I do know that we were all very pleased. My half order of sausage gravy and biscuits was huge; first time that I could not finish this when I have ordered it. I guess that they must have off days but it certainly was terrific that morning.


      • Total Posts: 1102
      • Joined: 6/17/2007
      • Location: Baltimore, MD
      RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 04/15/08 7:00 PM (permalink)
      They might have a better staff working breakfast.

      I've always felt that moderately priced places often have better breakfasts from dinner. I speculate that the breakfast staff may be more responsible than the night shift. If you work breakfast, you have to be up early, so you eliminate the slackers through self-selection. Also, I would imagine the breakfast staff could be older, which could mean more experienced. It seems reasonable that older workers would prefer to work early rather than late.

      Now, at a more expensive restaurant, the money is made in the evenings, but that differential may not be as great at a place like Mrs. Rowe's.


        • Total Posts: 298
        • Joined: 5/15/2003
        • Location: Algonquin, IL
        RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 04/15/08 7:15 PM (permalink)
        Does the new book review old Roadfood finds or is it a rehash of establishments that they have visited over the years. Outside of guest reviewers there hasn't been a new restaurant of the day review for sometime. Makes me wonder if they are actively seeking new finds or just repackaging their old material.

          • Total Posts: 1
          • Joined: 7/20/2008
          • Location: McLean, VA
          RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 07/10/12 3:53 PM (permalink)
          We've gone to Ms. Rowe's for years during I-81 roadtrips.  For lunches, we haven't noticed the dramatic changes that others have talked about.  Maybe our standbys--fried chicken and pie--are the exception?  Our most recent visit was 6/24/12.

            RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 07/10/12 3:58 PM (permalink)
            Thanks for the information.  It has been several years since my last visit, but I would have no problem stopping in.  Especially if the pie is still good.
            Oh, and welcome to Roadfood!

              • Total Posts: 1172
              • Joined: 11/26/2001
              • Location: Batavia, OH
              RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Tue, 11/26/13 10:25 AM (permalink)
              I had posted some years ago that Mrs. Rowe's had fallen -- fallen far, and fallen hard. Chicken came out fast  -- obviously pre-cooked and microwaved. Sides had lost their savor. And much of our food was either tepid or even cold.
              My wife and I spent this last lovely weekend in Staunton and Roanoke, antique shopping and visiting Black Dog Salvage (of DIY "Salvage Dawgs" fame) and enjoying three fine productions at the Blackfriar's Playhouse of the American Shakespeare Center. After some discussion, we stopped in at Mrs. Rowe's just to see if it had returned to its former glory.
              It has not. But it is much, much better than it was our last visit.
              The sides are quite good, particularly the baked tomatoes and collard greens; the mac-&-cheese is a bit grainy and curdled-looking, although it's not the obvious industrial mix of our previous visit. The chicken is nice, although not as good as it was in Mildred Rowe's heyday. It still arrives a little too quickly for it to have been done the way it used to be: Breaded and fried to order. But it's obviously not precooked and nuked either. It's crisp and hot and nicely juicy. I suspect some "precooking" of some sort may be happening, and then the bird is finished to order.
              And I don't know why this bothered me on our last visit, but I'm quite pleased to note that "Chai Tea" has been removed from the menu. That struck me as being akin to a biker bar serving drinks with little umbrellas. I took that as a symbol of what was going wrong there.
              So if it was a Ten in its heyday, it was a low Three when we last visited. This weekend it was at least a high, high Six-approaching-Seven. Which means it's head and shoulders above other options in this world.

                RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Wed, 12/4/13 10:46 PM (permalink)
                Thanks so much for this post.  It is wonderful to read that things have gotten better.  I have fond memories of a great breakfast of pumpkin pancakes and wonderful baked goods over a decade ago. 
                  Poverty Pete

                  • Total Posts: 2266
                  • Joined: 8/16/2003
                  • Location: Nashville, TN
                  RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Wed, 12/4/13 11:15 PM (permalink)
                  I drive I-81 frequently.  I have dined at Mrs. Rowe's countless times in the past 35 years or so.  It's a place I can park a tractor-trailer, if it's not too busy.  I started noticing a decline about ten years ago, not at breakfast time, but dinners have become not worth the trouble of finding a parking spot.  I quit stopping there a couple of years ago.  I guess I could give it another chance.

                    RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Thu, 12/5/13 6:53 AM (permalink)
                    Hey PP, if you stop in, please report back.  I would be very curious to know what you think about it.

                      • Total Posts: 3705
                      • Joined: 6/24/2007
                      • Location: McKinney, TX
                      RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Thu, 12/5/13 8:39 AM (permalink)
                      My starter wife an I dined there often and very enjoyably back in the mid-'70's when we lived in Staunton.
                      Mrs. Rowe's business suffered a bit when liquor by the drink was allowed in the City of Staunton.  Mrs. Rowe's is located in the 'dry' County of Augusta which surrounds the City of Staunton, its 'county seat'.
                      When a Cracker Barrel opend up nearby ca. 1992 Mrs. Rowe's business really dropped off.  But, on our last visit there in 2002; it's volume had improved and it was still very good.
                      Staunton remains a wonderful place either to visit or, if you're lucky enough, to live!
                        ann peeples

                        • Total Posts: 8317
                        • Joined: 5/21/2006
                        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                        RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Thu, 12/5/13 9:00 AM (permalink)
                        Where is Mrs. Rowes?  Bob could park his truck there and give it a try......maybe his first report!

                          RE: Mrs Rowes in the new RF book? Thu, 12/5/13 9:12 AM (permalink)
                          Staunton, Virginia, right off I-81.
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