, West Virginia
September 16, 2005
Pavement of mixed brick shapes and colors is nice, and street lights resemble old
gaslamps with hanging flower baskets. Philip’s Restaurant didn’t need renovation and
looks much the same as it did the last time I was here. Within the same block are two of
my favorite Clarksburg restaurants. Julio’s is a rather dark cafe across from the old brick
train depot, and I like their food, too. But, Philip’s has something Julio’s doesn’t
have--this wonderful outdoor space.
It’s a perfect September afternoon. I choose a large table in the shady far corner and
watch the gardeners at work while I review my notes from Waldomore.
I remember entertainment here in other summers, but forget to ask if there is any tonight.
The food is Italian, but entertainment is usually acoustic guitars playing old Bob Dylan
tunes and the like. It’s a place where perfect laid-back summer evenings happen.
My waitress is pretty and pleasant, and I recognize her from a previous year. Service and
food are outstanding, but the menu isn’t as varied as I would like it. Pasta selections
range from white sauce dishes with chicken to red-sauce lasagna and stuffed rigatoni.
There are also steaks and a few seafood dishes, but those are limited. I want a hoagie and
can choose from six meats, including Italian sausage and chicken. I order a cheesesteak
and realize that they are served almost everywhere here in this city of Italian restaurateurs. It’s delicious with an abundance of sweet red peppers and
Before I leave, I look inside to see if the diningroom and cafe are still the same. Yep!
Philip’s is a conglomeration of three dining venues grouped around one kitchen. In the
corner cafe, one can dine or order take-out. The family’s sauces and salad dressings are
displayed in jars beside the register for convenient shopping. In the more formal
diningroom, traditional Italian decor isn’t exactly gauche, but pushes the limit without
The block deserves a walk. At the opposite end is the train depot, where one can
sometimes find some ethnic festivity. I look up at the buildings and see that elaborate
cornices are spruced up, in keeping with urban renewal. One little scene presents a bit of
antithesis, and I do a double-take.
Who would imagine a charming laundromat with leaded glass?
This block with wide streets and plenty of parking is all a visitor needs to see of Glen Elk
to be convinced that charm is everywhere.
From journal The State Born of the Civil War, Part II: Clarksburg