I cannot believe this place, so far, has managed to escape TripAdvisor. It is indeed one of the nation's last remaining "country hamburger stands." Calling it a "hamburger stand" doesn't do it justice, though, because the menu is as varied as the day is long.
"Tastee Hut" (in a burg most people whiz by at about 80 mph: Stony Creek, Virginia), is the quintessential country hamburger stand. I first discovered it in the late 1970s, and have not missed a chance to stop there again. The quality of food hasn't changed one bit, and the menu hasn't changed -- only grown.
Before McDonald's and Burger King and Dairy Queen and the remaining host of "fast food" hamburger joints took over rural America, every little place seemed to have developed its own local version. They sold hamburgers and hotdogs, french fries and onion rings, milkshakes, soft-serve ice cream cones and such. Some offered fried chicken, shrimp baskets, pork chop sandwiches, bologna burgers, and often home cooked vegetables. They became institutions in their communities, and were responsive to the taste of the local consumer -- not the vast market at large.
Tastee Hut is one of those institutions. It exists in an area bereft of chain restaurants, providing Stony Creek's residents with both a gathering place -- and a place for them to meet the world. The prices are 'way better than 5-Guys, and the food is much better. The variety seems infinite: both traditional "hamburger stand" food," and "soul food" -- such as home-fried chicken (takes 30-40 minutes), mashed potatoes, greens, and sweet potatoes, etc. Everything I've ever tried has been excellent.
This trip, we were in a hurry, and didn't have time to wait for fried chicken. We "settled" for double cheeseburgers, fries and rings, and chocolate milkshakes. We were not disappointed. Remember, this is a country hamburger stand that has been in existence since at least 1970. It, fortunately, has not really "changed with the times." The onion rings were appropriately greasy, beer battered, and absolutely delicious. The crinkle-cut french fries were crisp on the outside and "fluffy" on the inside, just the way they should be. The cheeseburgers, loaded with just about everything, were very good. They did not have the texture of frozen beef patties (even if they might have been), the cheese tasted "real," and the sliced tomato, onion, and lettuce were fresh and crisp. The milkshakes, served in styrofoam cups, had plenty of "flavor," and were made with the same ice cream that they sell in cones and cups. The entire bill came to less than $15.
While we were waiting for our food, we had a chance to get to meet some of the locals who were all very friendly. It was a nice stop -- so different from the usual drive-thru or "go inside" experience one finds in the chains.
So, if you're "haulin' it" up and down I-95, look for this little place. It's about halfway between Petersburg and Emporia, Virginia, and offers better fare than its competitors in either place.
Stony Creek Tastee Hut
12420 Blue Star Highway
Stony Creek, VA 23882
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