Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Baby, let’s stop at this exit! They got one of them exotic Mexican restaurant dealies here!*

with 6 comments

So I spent last weekend around Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It was lovely, quiet, much-needed away-from-the-city time, spent exploring the mountains, staring at the river, eating pulled barbeque at a place called “Hi Neighbor,” and going to antique malls (yes, it is possible that I am 67). I’ve been putting off posting about it, however, because I’ve been looking for this map I’d picked up. It was a map of the area and cities surrounding Interstate 81 from West Virginia to Roanoke, Va. Sadly, I have been unable to find said map, so you’re just gonna have to take my word about it.

This map didn’t go in much for noting attractions or hotels or anything of that sort. It was a pretty run-of-the-mill map, you know? In the key, there were about 6 symbols denoting things of interest along the Interstate – rest stops, national parks, state parks, caverns. What makes this map remarkable, however, was the last key item – a small Mexican flag symbol, denoting “Mexican restaurant this exit.”

Apparently, Mexican restaurants are so novel and exciting in Virginia that they must be highlighted on tourist maps as attractions on par with national parks.

Here are two other noteworthy things about this part of Virginia:

1) It is brimming with mega-churches.
2) It is even more full of very old-school roadside motels. Like, one or two per small town. They all seemed to be open and functioning still, so it would seem they all attract enough guests to stay in business. But who? Who do they attact? It is very mysterious.

I wish I had photographic evidence of this, but I do not. You are probably beginning to doubt that I was even in Virginia this weekend. To prove it, here is a picture of some trees:
Shenandoah Valley, river, trees, mountains

* I am allowed to make fun of Virginia because I am from Ohio. I believe it is an International Law that you can make fun of places of equal or lesser hillbilly value than your own birth place with impunity, and Virginia more or less = Ohio. I get a free pass at West Virginia, too, because most of my relatives are from Kentucky.


Written by Elizabeth

February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Food

Tagged with , , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Shhhh… we must keep this land of pizza parlours, Mexican cantinas, and smoker-friendly wood paneled diners a super secret.


    February 21, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  2. Also, you need to change the sub-name of this blog to: Adventures with Asterisks.


    February 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm

  3. There is no such thing as over-using the asterick. (p.s. is the plural really “astericks?” I thought it was astercises. But — no, as soon as I type that, I realize that doesn’t make any sense.


    February 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm

  4. I thought the singular was asterisk


    February 22, 2008 at 12:19 am

  5. I’m sad that the wikipedia article doesn’t mention Kurt Vonnegut’s asshole…


    February 22, 2008 at 12:26 am

  6. I must not be very hip, because I have no idea what one has to do with the other, Joe.


    February 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

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