Friday, June 4, 2010
It's truly amazing how someone, like my wife and I, could drive 4 1/2 hours just to eat a meal but we have done just that. Shatley Springs is located in Crumpler, NC which is only a few minutes from West Jefferson. It stays so very busy during the summer months and serves the best food family style and you leave knowing you have been fed like a king. They have found the secret to doing something exceptional and doing it again day after day. However, it really isn't just the food that draws us, it's the experience. There is a wide front porch with a long row of comfortable rocking chairs where you can rock and listen to usually a gospel group singing for their meals. So you sit there enjoying the breeze, the singing, the company and the thought that you are in the mountains all at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that. A little more about how it all came to be. Many years ago Mr. Shatley was in the area suffering from a number of illnesses, it was very hot and he was in need of some kind of relief. He happened on a spring and decided to refresh himself with the cool water and noticed later that he was feeling better so he went back and used the water all over and before long he was feeling great. That same spring is still in use and on the left side of the building there is a recessed area you can walk down a couple of steps and the spring is running out of a pipe 24/7 where you can fill water containers at no charge to carry home. They even sell gallon size jugs in the restaurant office if you don't have any available. Today there are little cottages down the left side of the property that you can rent, a trout pond that is stocked to have fun fishing and a gift store with lots of must have items. People arrive by the bus loads and I am sure many are repeat customers that make the pilgrimage as often as possible. The restaurant is noted for one thing that has just about vanished from this area and that is "Red Eye Gravy". For those of you who may not know what this wonderful substance is, it is gravy made from cooking country ham with coffee added and is simply wonderful on a home made biscuit or in grits. The last time I was there the nice waitress even put me some in a carry out container that I enjoyed as long as I could when I got back to the flatlands. They usually close just before Thanksgiving for the winter and reopens on April 15th. Hope to see you there soon.