Our trip to Helvetia was quite an adventure! Candee, Debbie, and I had been sightseeing in the southern part of West Virginia and had been up and down more dirt, gravel, and partially paved roads than you could possibly imagine, but those roads couldn’t compare to the route our GPS tried to send us on for our trip to Helvetia! At one point it tried to take us up a narrow gravel road that seemed to climb forever. I think it was meant for logging trucks and upon that realization, we decided to abandon technology and instead relied on the directions from local people. Their directions still took us over a mountain, but at least the road was wider than a goat path! Even though the roads were pretty rough the scenery was breathtaking!

Yes, we arrived...finally!


Just as we pulled into town it started to rain, and I don’t mean a little bit of rain either! It poured! We were forced to make a mad-dash from the car to the front porch where we were greeted warmly by one of the waitresses at the Hütte Restaurant.

German/Swiss Restaurant~ Hütte means little hut

The little town of Helvetia was settled in the mid 1800’s by German and Swiss settlers who came to the United States during the civil war.

Oh, I love cheese!

The Swiss immigrants brought with them their cheese making traditions/recipes from their homeland, and before long, Helvetia Cheese became well known and highly sought after.

I wonder what these signs all mean?







By 1874, ninety German and Swiss families, 380 people in all, lived and worked in Helvetia.









This is where Polly got to sit while we were eating--cozy!



The Hütte Restaurant, owned and operated by Eleanor Mailoux for more than 40 years, serves traditional German/Swiss food. Debbie and Candee each started off with a cup of homemade soup…Candee tried the Split-pea and Debbie had Helvetia Cheese Soup. Yum! For dinner they both had bratwurst, which is made locally and served with homemade bread, warm applesauce, and sauerkraut. They also ordered a plate of Helvetia Cheese. Candee said it was as soft as butter and delicious! I must say that I agree!

Doesn't this look great?







The restaurant is decorated with Swiss/German and American antiques, and can be best described as quaint and comfortable.

In 2008, Andrew Zimmern, of Travel Channel’s Bizzarre Foods fame, visited the Hütte Restaurant and feasted on “Fire Roasted Deer” which was stuffed with vegetables and roasted in hot coals overnight.

Andrew Zimmern filmed his show here! I wish I was around that day!

Perfect Scene!

Window flower boxes are often seen on Swiss and German homes.

The Beekeeper Inn B & B sits right across the street from the restaurant

Do you know what Haus means?

This is where Helvetia Cheese is made, but we were told that the shop was temporarily closed down because the building had some sort of structural damage. The cheese, referred to as “Helvetia Gold” is made from whole milk and aged for 60 days before it is sold. Oh, I almost forgot….Haus means house!

We had a great time in Helvetia!

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7 Responses to “Polly #3 Dines at the Hütte Restaurant in Helvetia, West Virginia”

  1. As soon as I started to read this, I remembered reading about it about a year ago in Wonderful West Virginia Magazine. It was a really good article and I remember reading that they don’t take credit cards. It said in the article that if you don’t have enough cash to cover the bill, they will give you a copy of it and ask that you mail them the money when you’re able to. The best part was that they’ve never had a problem with getting paid. I thought it was a great article in the magazine and I really enjoyed reading your information also and seeing your pictures. I think I’m going to have to put it on my to do list.

  2. Hi Clair~
    That’s true…I’m very used to paying with a credit card when I go out to eat, but once there I realized that they only accepted cash or checks. The waitress told me not to worry and that they would let me send the payment to them as soon as I returned home. She also said it happens all the time, because most people use credit cards when they go out to eat now. I was amazed! I don’t think there are too many places left in this world that would let you do that! As it turned out, Debbie had enough cash for both of us, and I just paid her later.

    Thanks for your comment!
    Candee (and Polly #3)

  3. Travel Channel Fan
    August 4th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I bet Andrew Zimmern would love your Fly Pizza post! Polly, if it looks good, eat it!

  4. Andrew Zimmern is great! I think I’d prefer the bratwurst to the “fire roasted deer stuffed with vegetables,” but that’s why we have Andrew–to eat the weird stuff!!!

  5. I think fire-roasted deer sounds good!

  6. Ditto on the fire-roasted deer! You can buy brats anywhere.

  7. Great information! Thanks!