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Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times
The Farmhouse Restaurant
Charlie Whitescarver| Special to the Roanoke Times
Farmhouse Pork Chops
Thursday, April 26, 2012
A farmhouse built in Christiansburg in the 1800s opened in 1963 as The Farmhouse Restaurant .
Many people in the New River Valley can recall special dinners, parties and get-togethers in one of the oldest continuously operating restaurants in the area.
The restaurant now includes a caboose, a lounge, more dining areas and a 250-seat banquet room, so it offers a diversity of seating choices accessible through a labyrinth of hallways decorated with antique farm tools and firearms. First-time visitors will linger in the hallways and marvel at the collection of curiosities.
During our visits, we were impressed with the knowledge and level of service offered by our waiters. They had nothing on their minds but our enjoyment of the meal and this high level of attention was a highlight.
The menu features appetizers, salads, charcoal steaks, prime rib, ribs and chops, chicken, seafood, pasta, children’s specials and desserts, so everyone can find something they enjoy. Entrees are served with two sides. The Farmhouse has long been famous for its prime rib and for its appetizer onion rings ($6.25), which are legendary for their size. On our first visit, we decided to start with these big rings of onion, hand-breaded and stacked high. Sadly, ours were not crispy at all and were underseasoned.
The rib-eye steak ($24.95) was ordered medium-rare with Manhattan clam chowder and a vegetable medley. Bearnaise sauce was offered on the side at an additional charge. Although the steak was so generously portioned that it couldn’t be finished in one sitting, part of it was medium rare and other areas were medium-well or well done. The bearnaise sauce was flavorless and had a gluey consistency, and when we pointed this out to our ever-attentive server, it was taken off the tab.
We also ordered the half-rack of baby-back ribs ($15.95), which could have been more moist and tender. Also, the barbecue sauce lacked zing.
Our first visit was redeemed by our guest’s tasty fried shrimp entree ($14.95), served with excellent french fries. The seafood Newberg, a combination of shrimp and scallops cooked in lobster cream sauce with a cracker crumb topping, was also delicious. The seafood was cooked perfectly, and the surrounding sauce was a sturdy complement to the tasty morsels.
The desserts delighted our guest and us as we shared a superb chocolate and caramel cheesecake ($4.95), Reese’s peanut butter pie ($5.50), and hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream ($4.95).
On our second visit, we ordered the bacon-wrapped scallops ($8.95), which looked inviting. But the saltiness of the bacon paired with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese overpowered the delicate scallops.
For entrees, we decided on a regular-cut prime rib ($24.95) and twin pork chops ($17.95). The prime rib lived up to its name and reputation. The twin pork chops were thick-cut and tender. Again, the portion was so generous that we had enough to take home and enjoy the next day. The side dish of spiced apples had the right amount of sweetness and seasoning to complement the pork.
Even with a few misses from the kitchen, the level of service kept our visits lively and paced just right for an evening with friends and family. It’s clear that hospitality still reigns at The Farmhouse.
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