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Comfort food at its finest

February 22, 2004|by E.T. MOORE

HANCOCK - If you're hungry for a good portion of home-cooked food at a reasonable price, you may want to head on over Fairview Mountain to the western part of Washington County.

Small-town family restaurants often provide a respite from today's fast-paced, prepackaged world, and Weaver's Restaurant in Hancock certainly fills that expectation.

We drove there on a recent snowy Sunday, taking it easy partly because the roads were slippery but also so we could enjoy the view. The drive from Hagerstown is quite scenic.

It was just long enough to prepare our appetites for what was ahead.

We walked in and were greeted by the delectable smells of the restaurant's baked goods. There's a display case just inside the door featuring assorted breads, pies, doughnuts and other baked goods. Save enough room to try them on-site, or take some home for later.

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Weaver's is neat as a pin and probably the cleanest restaurant in the Tri-State area. The tasteful decor is flavored with a touch of country, which seems to fit perfectly.

We arrived at the tail end of the after-church crowd and did not have to wait for a table. I looked for a coat rack but was told there isn't one. I don't like to keep outer garments slung over the backs of our chairs while we eat. Anyone who has kids knows why.

I wished for a no-spill dinner as I opened the Sunday at Weaver's menu.

Our waitress patiently waited as we perused the selections. I decided on the roast beef dinner, and my companion tried the roast turkey.

We were surprised that the dinners, which cost $9.45 each, include stuffing, two vegetables and a trip to the salad bar. Many restaurants charge extra for a salad bar or allow it as a substitution.

The two children with us ordered the child's portion of chicken tenders, one with fries, the other with mashed potatoes. Applesauce rounded out their meals at a cost of $3.95 each.

There are adequate selections on the salad bar, and everything was crisp and fresh. Even though it was toward the end of lunchtime, the bar looked as if it hadn't been touched.

That's probably due to the efficient staff. Employees rarely seem idle. They were constantly straightening, cleaning or serving customers. Their efforts certainly pay off.

My only complaint about our server is that she could have been a little more frequent with the coffeepot. It was a cold day, and I wanted some warmth.

What she didn't deliver, the homemade rolls did. They are served piping hot.

Pull one apart and watch the butter melt as you spread it. The rich flavor chases away winter's chill.

This is comfort food at its finest.

The roast beef was moist and flavorful. I savored every bite and shared some with my companion. He was somewhat disappointed that his turkey wasn't the same. It was a little dry.

Our side dishes - mashed potatoes and lima beans - were only lightly seasoned, which was fine with us. The stuffing had just the right amount of sage in it, not too overpowering.

We spent $41.49 for the meal, the tip and a few doughnuts to take home for breakfast.

We were much too full for dessert, which was unfortunate, because the Caramel Apple Nut Pie looked so tempting. Perhaps we need to make a return trip just for dessert.

I'd return for dinner, too, if only to have another one of those warm, homemade rolls. Those really hit the spot.

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