Eat Well at Eatwell
Actually, I think most people in Roanoke have never heard of it. Most that drive by it probably don’t even know it’s a restaurant with regular hours. It’s the epitome of a dive.
Eatwell Chili Shop is located in the southeast section of Roanoke on Jamison Avenue in a small building. It has a small patch of gravel that I guess is considered the parking lot that can probably fit about four cars - this is fine because the restaurant isn’t any bigger. When you walk in the door, there is a counter and small kitchen on your right and two small tables on the left. I’d guess full capacity for the entire restaurant is about 12 people.
For those familiar with Roanoke restaurants, I’d compare the layout and atmosphere to Texas Tavern. The menu is on a board on the wall and it’s a place that you can tell is full of character and stories. We went for lunch on a Saturday and it looked and sounded like all the other folks eating there were “regulars” who didn’t even need to order.
The kitchen is handled by a woman who knew everyone by name and spent her time chatting with all of us as she cooked.
The chili again reminded me of Texas Tavern. For those who say Texas Tavern has the best chili, this is a good thing. For me, I thought it lacked flavor and had too many beans. It did have a little more meat and spice than what you get at Texas Tavern (that’s not saying much) but I did have to add a generous amount of salt and pepper.
The prices at the Eatwell Chili Shop are a throwback. Most things are no more than $3.00 and it’s very easy to get a meal for under $5.00. I think my bowl of chili was $1.75 and my cheeseburger was $2.85.
I know Eatwell Chili Shop isn’t a place for everyone. It’s not ideal for a business meeting or special occasion, but it’s the type of restaurant a foodie is always willing to try. If seeing a hair on your plate or finding a bug in drink freaks you out, I suggest moving on.
But if you’re up for a true adventure at a blue collar place that is full of locals, Eatwell Chili Shop is exactly what you’re looking for.
Eatwell Chili Shop
904 Jamison Avenue SE, Roanoke, VA 24013
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