River Place on the Clinch

Hello, and welcome back to Down Home Food. Hope everyone is okay after last weekend’s storm. I thought that my little dog and I were about to wind up in Kansas for a while, but thank God we made it through!

On Monday of this week, I finally got to drive over to Hancock County to eat at River Place on the Clinch. It was some adventure to just get there with the current road closures. I was fairly certain that I knew how to get there, but I downloaded driving directions off of the internet. I’ve heard other horror stories of directions people have gotten this way, and now I have one too. All I have to say is, “Has anyone else been on Mt. Valley Road?” I didn’t think I needed to take it, but I did. Now I’m dying to take my brother on that road when he comes home in October.

Other than that little mishap, the drive over and back home was wonderful. A drive to Hancock County is good for the body and soul. In my case, it was also good for the stomach. More about that later.

Every time I go to Sneedville, many memories come to my mind. I think of the times when I was a child and occasionally went “across the mountain.” I usually wound up with motion sickness, and was throwing up somewhere. I am my mother’s daughter, and remember her stories of the same problem as a child. We didn’t own a car, so riding in one (especially on a curvy road) usually wound up with one or more persons throwing up.

Also, I always remember that beautiful old house that was near Compromise Church. I knew that it had burned, but this was my first trip seeing the charred remains. It was sad seeing the old house gone. I was always so fascinated with that beautiful old house. It always looked so out of place.

Other thoughts that I’m always reminded of is that move my grandparents made from Hancock County in the early 1900s. I still can’t imagine how rugged that trip was in a horse-drawn wagon. If it’s that big a deal in a car, what it must have been for them is almost unimaginable.

I also passed by the two houses next to the Rural Health building where Roy Mathis and his parents, Harvey & Dorcas Mathis lived. Roy was my mother’s first cousin. Dorcas was my grandmother’s sister. I recall visiting them several times as a child. Dorcas was another fine country cook. I remember Harvey taking some of us kids fishing on a pond on his land. Those are such good memories.

Now back to the reason for my trip. I FINALLY arrived at my destination after traversing Mt. Valley Road. I went in and was immediately seated in the small quaint country dining room. I’ll admit that I was surprised at how small it was, but I loved the old tables they have. The country decor is right down my alley.

After taking a look at the menu, I saw they had a daily special. I was told the special that day was a pork chop with corn, green bens and coleslaw. That’s what I ordered. I was immediately served.

I had a boneless chop with cream-style corn, green beans, coleslaw and a homemade biscuit. The food was very good, but my only complaint is it was more room temperature instead of hot. I did eat almost everything on the plate. The corn was especially good. I also received a piece of cake with my meal. It was a yellow cake with a whipped topping and chocolate peanut butter candy on top. It was quite delicious. The price for my complete meal including drink and dessert was just over $10.00 including taxes. Service was excellent and portions were plentiful. The food was well cooked and well seasoned. It just needed to be warmer.

I had been planning a trip to this business for many weeks and kept being rained out. I wanted to try their catfish on Saturday. I still plan on going back for that.

Another option offered at River Place is their Bluegrass music on Saturday night. That’s right down my alley too. I’d love to go back for that.

River Place on the Clinch is owned by Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation & Development Council. This is a nonprofit organization. In addition to the restaurant, there is a store, equipment rental (kayaking, canoeing, tubing, fishing gear and cabin rental).

River Place offers a delicious looking breakfast menu as well as a variety of burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches, all at very reasonable prices. You can also get soup beans and cornbread. Also on the menu and in the store are homemade cakes and pies.

River Place is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday and Saturday they are open from 7 a.m. — 6 p.m. Sunday hours are 9 a.m. — 6 p.m. For hours on holidays, give them a call.

They are located at 2788 Highway 70 in Kyles Ford.

Please give this establishment a try. I have every intention of going back and sampling the catfish!! Maybe we’ll see each other there. Just don’t go on Mt. Valley Road ... lol!

July 4th is here, and I have a request. Remember your friends and neighbors who may be pet owners when you decide to shoot firecrackers. Most animals have extremely sensitive hearing, and can be very sensitive to the noise. Please give them a break!!

(PUB. NOTE: Readers may contact Elizabeth by email at mammawcas@gmail.com.)