5 must-try, but blink-and-you-missed-it seasonal eats

One of the great things about local dining in West Virginia is that food is seasonal.

Of course, that means you can only get them while they’re fresh. Hurry and read this list, and then get out to try these great seasonal foods. They won’t last long!

1. Holl’s Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (Charleston and Vienna)

Nothing tastes more like early summer than fresh, juicy strawberries. If you want to combine the fresh fruitiness of strawberries with the finest gourmet Swiss chocolate, look no further than Holl’s Swiss Chocolatier, a West Virginia institution based in Vienna, with a shop in Charleston, too.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are one of this chocolatier’s specialities. But they are only available from April to July, when strawberries are freshest.

Not only are they only available for a limited time, but Holl’s recommends that you eat the delicious sweets ASAP! They tend to get soggy if you don’t eat them within a day. Get ‘em now!

2. Jim’s Strawberry Pie Week (Huntington)

Yes, more strawberries! We love strawberries!

Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House is open year-round, but the place really gets hopping during Strawberry Pie Week. For more than 3 decades, the restaurant has had special fresh strawberry pie slices for only 1 week of the year, beginning the Tuesday after Mother’s Day in May.

It’s a big deal, and lines stretch out the door and around the block. The numbers are staggering: thousands of strawberries, around 1,000 pies, and between 10,000 and 13,000 slices served in the course of a week. The chefs actually begin prepping from-scratch pie crusts 2 months ahead of time.

And the pie quality? Top-notch— a thin, flaky and non-soggy crust, a filling that has minimal syrupy jelly and maximum fresh baked strawberries, and homemade whipped cream to top it all off, literally.

3. Lent Fish Friday’s at the Secret Sandwich Society (Fayetteville)

Sometimes things are offered for a limited time not because of seasonal freshness, but because of tradition. This is the case for Fish Fridays at Secret Sandwich Society.

For 3 years now, this gourmet, from-scratch basement restaurant has been churning out amazing fried fish sandwiches during Lent in February and March, when Catholics traditionally go without meat.

Like all of SSS’s food, their fish sandwiches are excellent. They take white, buttermilk-soaked pollack filets, bread them, fry them and then serve them with a fresh homemade caper tartar sauce.

You’re not giving anything up for Lent by eating these, but unfortunately you’ll have to wait until the next one to get them!

4. Yann’s Hot Dogs (Fairmont)

Not gonna lie, Yann’s Hot Dogs is a polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it kind of place. There are only 3 kinds of hot dogs (chili, no onions, and plain), the chili sauce is incredibly spicy, and Mr. Yann will yell at you if you ask for ketchup!

Despite dozens of Yelp reviews from off-put customers, Yann’s has a very loyal following. But you’d better hurry and get to Fairmont early if you want to check it out for yourself: he makes a set amount of hot dogs every day, and when they’re gone, he closes up shop.

5. Ramp It Up (Everywhere in West Virginia)

Ramps are an amazing West Virginia delicacy– the green, bulbed plants taste like a cross between onions and garlic.

In the spring, locals across the state head out to their secret ramp spots to harvest and eat them on, well, just about anything. Ramp soup, ramp dip, ramp burgers— if you can make it with chives or green onions, you can make it with ramps.

Restaurants across the Mountain State jump on the ramp craze in April and May. Bluegrass Kitchen in Charleston serves ramps with steak, salmon and even quiche. Drive through enough small Mountain State towns this time of year, and you’ll probably even catch a community ramp feast at a local park or church.

Which of these seasonal favorites do you wait all year for?

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This post was last updated on July 24, 2020