Sick of restaurant chains? Like many, I’ve driven along Virginia’s Route 29 for years between Northern Virginia and Charlottesville and points south, eating at chains right on 29. But recently we found something seemingly hidden just off this main road.
Frequent Route 29 drivers are familiar with signs for the town ofRemington, but did you know that it’s only one mile off 29? Remington is nicely sleepy and small, loaded with history, and has an old-school family-run restaurant that will cure you of your “I’m sick of eating at chains” blues.
Remington sits just north of the Rappahannock River, and in fact the town was previously named “Rappahannock Station.” A lot of places north of the Rappahannock River feel distinctly “Northern Virginia-ish” – bedroom communities for the Washington, DC region. But not Remington. Previously known as Millview and then Bowensville, it became Rappahannock Station due to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad line that runs through town, north to Manassas and Alexandria.
That identity as a railroad town meant that what is now known as Remington played a part in numerous Civil War battles, including the First and Second Battles of Remington. The battles of Manassas/Bull Run happened in large part because of efforts by the Union and Confederacy to maintain or gain control of this railroad line.
Rappahannock Station was renamed Remington in 1890 at the request of the Post Office. Too many people were confusing Rappahannock with Tappahannock (an old town much further down the Rappahannock River, in the Tidewater region). Citizens gathered at the station to vote on a new name, and according to one account, Remington was chosen to honor a popular Southern Railway conductor: “Captain Remington.”
The Corner Deli Restaurant in Remington
But back to a common problem for travelers: Where to eat? From Route 29, turn east on Freemans Ford Road. Freemans Ford almost immediately turns into Main Street, which almost immediately intersects with Business Route 15 (James Madison Street). At the corner of Main and 15 is … The Corner Deli.
Don’t let the name fool you. While you can order Philly Style Hoagies, Sandwiches, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers from the counter to go, you can also sit and eat – it’s a restaurant. Breakfast is offered till 11:00 am. Specials are on the board. And I can vouch for the BBQ-and-cole-slaw sandwich.
Our little traveling party was in a hurry, but next time we’ll stop, grab a table, and eat inside. My companions enjoyed the roast beef sandwich and hot dog to go – simple, low-maintenance fare is what we needed during this Route 29 road trip. The dinner menu features fried chicken, shrimp, catfish, and a steak option.
We came at an unusual time for the owner/operators. My party was interested in the liverwurst and chicken salad sandwich, but items like that were unavailable simply because the nice owners were closing up shop for a week (imagine that at any corporate establishment) in order to visit family in way out West for a week. No sense in keeping food lying around when it’ll be inedible when you return from vacation!
Around Remington: Biking Trails
The area around Remington – amidst farmland but near the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west – was not a place I ever considered to go bike riding. But I guess I was wrong…
Drive a few seconds further east from the Corner Deli and you’ll get to the still-used railroad tracks (now Norfolk Southern), once belonging to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad of Civil War fame. Nearby is an outdoor, covered map showing bicycle trails in the area. There were a few – but faded in the sun – brochures showing four different bicycle
routes around the area. For example:
- Bicycle Route #1 – “Mountain View”: A 23.2-mile loop which explores the rolling countryside around the Rappahannock and Hazel Rivers.
- Bicycle Route #3 – “Bealeton Loop”: A 28-mile loop that travels through fields, farms, and settlements surrounding historic Elk Marsh and the Rappahannock River basin.
Unfortunately, I could not find any web pages about these bicycle trails. The brochures are there at the “downtown” kiosk, but may not be in the future. The Remington Community Partnership produced the brochures. Since their website appears to be down, you might try contacting the Town of Remington itself about these trails. I’ve included a few shots of the bicycle trail maps here.