Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pete's Park -n- Eat

Heading to the Northeast from C-ville often takes one on Route 29 at least as far as Interstate 66. The largest town along this road is Culpeper but pulling that far off the Seminole Trail to find food isn't the best option when trying to make good time. As an alternative to the fast food chains lining the four-lane byway, Pete's Park-n-eat in Opal, Virginia offers the same items as the McDonald's across the street, burgers, fries, and shakes, as they were meant to be served.The fries were fryer crisp, the best part of the road snack. The burger was a thin wafer of bland meat substance that left a bad taste afterward. Waiting longer than at a fast-food restaurant creates anticipation, but the burger was a real disappointment. The milkshakes are much better than the chemical ooze McDonald's dispenses. The selection at Pete's is amazing, from pizza and subs to shrimp baskets and burgers. Plus, there are some overgrown little-shop-of-horrors tropical plants standing watch inside the fifty year old building. With all this character, it's worth stopping once, but there are enough other options to and from Charlottesville to keep me hunting for the perfect food stop on James Madison Highway. Bavarian Chef? Madison Pig 'N Steak? Next time.

Pete's Park-N-Eat
Intersection of 29 and 17
10088 James Madison Highway, Bealeton
phone (540) 439-8928


Tony Z said...

I lived in Cville for 2 years and traveled to DC monthly for my commute. Every time I get on HWY 29 I think of PPNE. Its a shrine for my buddies who live there.

Its the shake (like you mentioned)that is the difference maker.

Derick said...

Apparently, you never tried a chili dog there. I agree, the burgers leave something to be desired, but as nasty as they can be, I almost always get a "spaceburger" when I swing through. If you ever make it back, grab a chili dog (or 5) with cheese, onions, and mustard. I first did this about 20 years ago on a trip to Clark Brothers (the shooting range about a mile away) with my father and I can NOT pass by Pete's without stopping for at least one dog, no matter what my mood or my hunger level. My chili dog recipe has evolved over the years to eclipse the quality of Pete's, but I'll never forget how amazing they were as a kid. Hope you make it back there sometime soon!

Anonymous said...

Pete's has a small but serviceable restroom. Across the highway is Sheetz gas station and convenience store with an awesome restroom. When you are driving through Opal, VA where 17 joins 15/29, you have your choice:

You can p** at Sheetz or you can sh** at Petes.