Quirky Eats in Marion County

large plate of breakfast food

Marion County could be considered a quirk in and of itself. It’s where north meets south, it’s Italy in Appalachia, it’s all combinations of odd pairings. Needless to say, it has some quirky aspects to it. And by aspects, I mean food. And by quirky, I mean things that some people would call kinda’ cute and kinda’ weird.

We’ve listed some examples to demonstrate the point:

The food at D.J.’s Diner is straight outta the ‘50s. The food itself may be tame, but the names are groovin’. (And I don’t just mean it’s Groovin’ Garden Burger and fries.) I’m talking about the Richie Valens, a grilled steak salad with french fries and tons of other toppings; and the Mickey Mouse, a turkey club stacked with meat and bacon on three pieces of Texas toast.

If you’re more of a morning person, try the Grease Lighting Breakfast (eggs, home fries, toast, and sausage) and On Blueberry Hill (a Belgian waffle with berries and cream).

Some might call hot dogs topped with rich tangy coleslaw as little quirky but that’s just what you’ll find at Woody’s Restaurant. Quirky dogs as well as pepperoni rolls, and pork BBQ sandwiches all served with a touch of nostalgia. The restaurant is so nostalgic that it was featured in the 2019 Feast of the Seven Fishes Movie.

In this day and age, it’s extremely difficult to start a meal without a nice appetizer. And those quirky hor d’oeuvres are hard to find. That’s not the case here in Marion. The Copper House Grill serves the cutest, albeit weirdest, Jack Mac Bites. That’s macaroni in a creamy pepper jack cheese served in beer batter with spicy ranch. I don’t know if that’s quirky or just delicious.

But the quirkiness (aka deliciousness) doesn’t end with the first course at Copper House. You like bread bowls? Of course you do. How about a burger? I’m hearing an emphatic yes. Well, then today is your lucky day. The Bella Burger is a specialty bread bowl made of a half pound of burger, two cheese sticks, onion rings, french fries – wait, I’m not done – a fried egg, bacon, marinara sauce, mozzarella – there’s still more – Habanero jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickle, and onion. (Now, I’m finished.) Enjoy the extreme amount of Marion’s quirkiness.

Maybe this next one is completely normal, but being in Marion, I doubt that. The Joe is famous for their coffee and beer, but I think that should change. The quirkiness ensues with the one and only Blackberry Jamwich. It’s turkey, provolone and spinach – sounds normal so far – and blackberry jam – there it is!

To continue on the sweet quirks of the county, let’s head to Dairy Creme Corner. It’s famous for their avalanches. Famous! It’s delicious ice cream mixed with things like Butter Fingers or Oreos or fruits. Not so quirky, right? One word. Pop-Tart. DCC (as the locals call it) refuses the hackneyed, the trite, the overdone. They’re combining your favorite breakfasts with your favorite dessert.

Some may even find our beloved pepperoni roll a bit quirky. These savory treats consist of soft bread rolls filled with pepperoni sticks or slices and have deep roots in the region’s coal-mining history. You’ll find some of our favorite recipes at Country Club Bakery and Colasessano’s.

Last but not least: The Poky Dot might be quirkiest of the quirkiest. Let me explain. Breakfast is served in a trash can lid, milkshakes sometimes have sparklers in them and ice cream is served in unicorns. If the previous explanation wasn’t clear enough, I’ll get specific. The Poky Dot serves the He-Man Breakfast Challenge: a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy and more served in a trash can lid and meant to be devoured in 45 minutes. And the sparklers? Each month, the Poky Dot creates a new, massive milkshake to celebrate things like Independence Day (hence, the sparkler), Christmas, the teacher strike and so on. And the unicorns? Just a quirky way to serve quirky food.

Buon Appe-quirky!

What do you think is Marion’s quirkiest dish?