Paul Holland, a friend of ours, is manager of the Danville Golf Club. Before taking the Danville, Virginia, job, Paul had worked for almost a decade as a part-time waiter (see last photograph below) at the beloved old Christiansburg, Virginia, eatery, the Farmhouse. He seemed an ideal choice to ask for advice about what to order when my husband Henry and I attended Henry's Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets D Squadron Class of 1969 reunion at the Farmhouse.
Paul highly recommended the Prime Rib ($21.95 for 12oz., or for a bit more you can order the 16oz. “King Cut”). He used to tell customers, “For over 40 years we have served only the ‘Prime 109,’ slow roasted, on the bone, for 14 hours, nightly. What we serve tonight literally went into the oven [here] last night as we were leaving. [It's] very tender, very juicy beef. You will not find a better dish in this part of the state [southwest Virginia].”
The last time we were at the Farmhouse (see article), Henry had eaten Prime Rib, and I'm not a huge beef fan, if I have other choices, so we selected two of the other entrees which Paul had recommended.
Henry selected the Linguini with Meat Sauce ($11.75), which Paul had told us, via e-mail, was “…Incredibly good….” He had added, “I don't know why. [Since the Farmhouse certainly doesn't make any claims about being Italian.] It's just really good, and lots of it.” He was right. It was a big serving. Henry really liked it, though he thought, knowing my tastes, that I would have found it a touch too sweet and a tad too oily. Henry was impressed with the texture of the pasta — neither under- nor over-cooked. I forgot to ask to sample his dinner because I was busy enjoying my Broiled Salmon with Dill Butter (on the side). Paul had promised that that dish “is always a safe bet.” Actually it was even better than that — it was delicious.
Henry and I both ordered the House Salad. It was fresh-tasting, and the blue cheese dressing was outstanding — some of the best I've ever had in a restaurant. (It has always been one of the best things at the Farmhouse. We loved it in our college days, too.)
David Leinwand, former Farmhouse owner, peeks in on our happy crew.
Paul also suggested the chargrilled steaks and the burgers. The Strip Loin is $21.95; the Boneless Sirloin $18.95, and the Ribeye $21.95.
Paul said the dessert to get was the Chocolate Chess Pie/Sundae ($4.25), “served warm with vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce.” Henry was too full of pasta to want dessert. I was so involved in talking (you know how reunions are) that I didn't even notice when the waitress came around to take dessert orders, so I missed my chance. (I'm sure I could have ordered late, but I just kept talking instead.)
Our waitress Erin did an excellent job serving our long table which virtually filled the Caboose. One of the highlights of the evening was when the former owner of the restaurant, David Leinwand, stopped by to chat briefly. Lienwand had operated the eatery for 26 years, prior to its sale in 2002. As he left, he told us, “As I used to always say, ‘Get loose in the Caboose!’”
Erin efficiently delivers the salads.
The House Salad, with blue cheese dressing on the side.
Prime Rib, King Cut.
The Ribeye Steak.
Linguini with Meat Sauce.
Broiled Salmon with Dill Butter (on the side).
In a photo (ca. 1996) provided by the Farmhouse, Paul Holland (see above text) is serving. Farmhouse manager Barbara Wade is seated at left.
Copyright © 2005–2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.