Friday, October 4, 2019
Began the day in: Snowshoe WV
Ended the day in: Huntington WV
Helvetia, West Virginia.
Founded by Swiss immigrants in the mid-1800s, Helvetia is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. To get there, our GPS took us on a route that involved driving on a gravel road through the Kumbrabow State Forest for over half an hour. When we turned onto the uniquely-named Turkey Bone Road, I knew things were going to be interesting.
Due to the area’s isolation, Helvetia has largely maintained its Swiss traditions. Despite a population of only 59 people, the town boasts a number of businesses including a cheese shop, a bed and breakfast, and Swiss restaurant called the Hütte.
The Hütte, specifically, is what lured us to this charming little town. When Greg told us about a restaurant serving authentic Swiss food in the middle of a remote West Virginia mountain valley, we knew we had to go.
The town had a festive feel to it when we arrived to Helvetia on Friday. The West Virginia Homegrown Harvest Festival was scheduled to kick off later that day and the residents were setting up for the event. If we had more time I would have loved to stay for the festival, but alas it was not meant to be.
When we entered the Hütte restaurant, I knew we were in for an experience. We were ushered to our own private dining room that was packed with old books, antique photos, and a pump organ that looked just like the one at my grandma’s house.
According to the menu, “The Hütte is not just another restaurant – rather, its an emotional happening”. From hearty sandwiches and soups to homemade Swiss cheese and sausage, the restaurant did not disappoint. We each ordered a different dish so we could try as much of the menu as possible. Everything was delicious, but we agreed the bratwurst was our favorite dish on the menu. Well, maybe with the exception of the peach cobbler.
At the end of the meal, Greg dipped a cube of Swiss cheese into his cheese soup. He sat back for a moment with an intense expression on his face, sighed contentedly, and then pronounced that he’d just had an emotional happening.
So there you have it, folks. Helvetia is the place to go should you want to experience an emotional happening for yourself.