MONETA, Va. – As the weather heats up, a lot of us are going to the lakes. The food, especially near Smith Mountain Lake, is a selling point too. That’s why we visited a joint that’s been there for nearly two decades. The Blackwater Cafe has been in Moneta since the mid-2000s.
It “...makes it difficult to go to work when you’re behind a boat,” said owner John Gordon.
While that may be difficult, the secret to the restaurant’s longevity is really quite simple.
“We try to keep the same, basic things. Good food, quality service, and make it a place that we would want to come to,” said Gordon.
It’s a place that a lot of us would like to go to, simply because they offer a little bit of everything. We got to see the swift, but careful, process that gets crab cakes and steaks out the door in large quantities. In addition to that, they serve certified Angus beef, fresh fish, pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce, pork chops, grouper, BBQ and burgers.
Even with a diverse menu, Gordon has a knack for taking young folks and converting them into all-stars.
“Whether it’s a family recipe, whether it’s an idea, whether it’s something they were reading a magazine and got inspiration.”
The current all-star of the kitchen is Becca Meyers, who says her passion for cooking runs deeper than just her time with The Blackwater Cafe.
“Growing up, I was always in the kitchen cooking and dreaming to be a chef.”
Her dream is now a reality. Now, she’s satisfying sweet teeth with a chocolate chip cookie recipe that dates back a few decades.
“I took my grandmother’s recipe. She’s 95. She gave it to me when I was 10.”
This popular spot is adapting to the times by offering delivery. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m., with specials that are to die for! Thursday nights are Prime Rib and Baked Potato night. Friday is all about Smoked Ribs. Lastly, on Saturday, they offer a great deal on fresh Grouper.