Crazy but true: We’ve been here at our West Virginia corona cabin for a year now. And it has been great. A real respite from our hectic city lives. But the fact is, we don’t get out much. We are pretty isolated, and due to COVID, we have not gone to many restaurants, bars, or stores over the past year.
There is, of course, one exception. One place that we have dared to venture into — several times in fact. A place that we willingly drive 45 minutes to get to, and where we mask up, go inside around other people of admittedly unknown vaccination status, place an order to go, and pay and wait anywhere from 15-20 minutes for said order. And then, of course, we lather up in hand sanitizer that we keep in the car.
That special place is Farmer’s Daughter Market & Butcher in Capon Bridge.
Farmer’s Daughter is a small, family-owned store and butcher shop selling a limited inventory of locally sourced meat, produce, dry goods, dairy products, and assorted sundries. You won’t fill up your pantry with a stop at Farmer’s Daughter, but you could put together a simple meal, and the wine and beer selection is pretty good considering the store’s small footprint (they even have Shiner Bock sometimes, which warms my Texan heart to no end).
But what Farmer’s Daughter is famous for is their hamburgers, which the Washington Post describes as “world-class.” They are not wrong. These burgers are dry-aged, meaty poetry between two delicious brioche buns. We had our first Farmer’s Daughter burgers in April, to celebrate the two-week anniversary of our vaccine shots. We have been back every few weeks since.
In addition to a rotating selection of meats, including lamb bacon and some seriously kickass sausages, the Farmer’s Daughter butcher counter has a small, three-item menu of sandwiches prepared while you wait.
You can (and absolutely should) get the already mentioned House Burger, but they also have a really good Italian sub. But where things get really inventive and interesting is their special sandwich of the day. Recent special sandwiches include a tasso ham and pimento cheese with fried egg, beef bulgogi with kimchi, scallions, gochujang mayo, and beef and cheddar with caramelized onions and pickled jalapenos.
We usually order one specialty or Italian sub (wrapped to go) and two burgers, which eat right away, while still hot, at one of the outdoor tables on the side of the building. We have eaten those hamburgers at those tables on hot, sunny days and on spring-sprinkles-of-rain days. We’ve also eaten them right there in our parked car when the wind got too gusty, like that first time in April.
I remember that first trip: I was a little disappointed that they didn’t sell fries to go with the burgers. After that first burger, I realized, they don’t need them. These burgers don’t need any sides. We don’t even bother with a bag of Route 99 chips, which are sold at the shop. Each bite is the perfect mix of meaty, salty, tangy, creamy, vinegary, cheesy goodness and nothing could elevate their perfectness.
I sometimes toy with the idea of becoming vegetarian again, but Farmer’s Daughter burgers have made that impossible. Literally, every time we go (including this past Saturday), we each swear that it was an especially good burger that day. Because it always is.