If you order the sundae at the Poky Dot in Fairmont, people are going to stare at you.
“We can break this up,” the waitress told me. “We can do just one flavor or just do the single scoop.”
“This is a one-time only kind of thing,” I said. “Let’s do the whole thing.”
Three waitresses assembled a three-scoop ice cream sundae with syrups, whipped cream and nuts that looked like something taken out of a Dr. Seuss book.
When the thing arrived at my table, all eyes were on me. Everyone wanted to see if I could finish the thing.
Of course I couldn’t, but I put a pretty good dent in it.
I’d come to Fairmont, in Marion County, specifically to eat at the Poky Dot, a restaurant where the healthiest option on the menu is a glass of ice water. You don’t go to the Poky Dot if you’re watching your weight. You come to the Poky Dot when you want to defy the Surgeon General. It is wonderful.
They even put French fries on their salads.
While in Fairmont, I discovered The Joe, a tiny coffee shop that turned out to be bigger on the inside than on the outside.
Barista and artist Chloe Barber told me that before Stone Tower Joe had been a coffee shop, it had been an alley between two buildings.
The owner built a small storefront and then opened a wall into one of the other buildings. The effect was fun, and the coffee shop had an artsy, underground feel to it.
I got a cup of coffee and a tip about a mural at Palatine Park.
The city has a plan to put up a new mural every year. Last year, Chloe and some of her friends painted a mural at the park.
“I designed it,” she said. “Go see.”
Palatine Park is a cute, riverside venue with a splash park for the kids and a grassy amphitheater for summertime concerts.
I found Chloe’s mural and also a marker for piano player Johnnie Johnson. Johnnie is a Fairmont native who played in Chuck Berry’s band and was maybe part of the inspiration for Berry’s anthem, “Johnny B. Goode.”
I finished my visit to Marion County with a trip to Mountain Dragon Mazery, where I took a short tour of the facility with owner Ruthann Smith and sampled West Virginia made honey mead.
Mead is a kind of wine made with honey that’s been around for a few thousand years and is maybe best known as the drink of choice for choosy Vikings.
Mountain Dragon Mazery’s meads were toward the drier side of wines, but I liked it well enough.
I bought a bottle to go.
Other places to eat
- Muriale’s Italian Kitchen
- Country Club Bakery
- Yann’s Hot Dogs (Fairmont)
- one museum (Fairmont)
- W.Va. Raptor Rehabilitation Center (Fairmont)
- etts’ Fort State Park