Thursday, October 20, 2011

weekend adventures: the apple house

the apple house
It's that time of year when everyone is going crazy for apples - apple picking, apple cider, apple pie... And if you're in search of apples, it's a very good time of year to live in Virginia. Did you know that the Shenandoah Valley is the historic heart of the U.S. apple industry? (Whatever that means...) Anyway, Virginia is a good place to get apples.

I wanted to get in on this apple frenzy, and my initial plan was to go to a u-pick orchard, but when I was researching apple picking, I came across a place called The Apple House in Linden, Virginia. According to Yelp, this place has the best apple butter donuts on the east coast. Imagine a record scratching as I read that last part. Apple Butter Donuts?!?! Get in my belly!

I think I may have mentioned how much I love donuts before. And a few years ago, Larry and I drove out to a farm in Maryland for the sole purpose of tasting their famous apple cider donuts. Ever since then I've been obsessed with finding apple cider donuts each Fall (they're rather hard to come by). I'm not sure how an apple butter donut compares to an apple cider donut, but I knew I was about to find out.

Notice how quickly I had trashed the idea of picking fresh fruit and replaced it with the opportunity to stuff my face with deep fried dough? Yeah, yeah, but I also knew that we'd be heading west and straight into apple country in pursuit of the donuts, so I figured we could just find an apple farm along the way.
the apple house
It took about an hour to get to The Apple House. From the website, I thought it would be a sleepy little place along a country road, but the parking lot was packed. And also - THE PARKING LOT SMELLED LIKE DONUTS. Oh man, the torture continued when you stepped out of the car, smelled the cinnamon-sugar perfuming the autumn air, and noticed a smorgasbord of apparatuses for delivering culinary delights: a soft-serve ice cream stand, a BBQ smoker, and a kettle corn truck. This place was not messing around! Oink oink!
pig smoker
the apple house
But our first priority was the donuts. We went into The Apple House which housed a weird mix of taxidermy, ahem...kountry krafts, and oddly, Vera Bradley bags.
the apple house
the apple house
the apple house
the apple house
We ordered a dozen* apple butter donuts and a jumbo pulled pork BBQ sandwich to share. (We even split the pickle. But not the cole slaw - that went in the trash.)
the apple house
apple butter donuts
Oh man. All of it was so delicious. The donuts were cakey and piping hot and the BBQ was spicy and tender and messy. Delicious.

Despite the fact that my stomach was quite full, there was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity for soft-serve ice cream. Let the face stuffing continue! (And after that, my stomach really did hurt. Probably should've gotten the kid's cone instead...)
soft serve!
That was one of the most sinfully delicious days I've had in recent history. Kountry krafts aside, I highly recommend this place and can't wait to come back...I'm pretty sure I can twist my mom's arm into coming with me for the ice cream alone!

So long, Apple House - I'll be back soon!
the apple house

P.S. Mmmmmmm!
apple butter donuts
*I should clarify that we did not eat all twelve donuts while we were there (come on, do you think I'm that big of a pig?!) - we took them home with us for breakfast the next day, and they were still good at room temperature.


Sarah Rosemary said...

Yum! Those donuts look amazing! What a cool place. There are so many awesome places in Virginia to visit :)

Karin said...

Wow, that Apple House has come a long way, we used to stop there on the way to JMU to visit my bro back in the early 90s...back then it was mainly a gas station and tiny gift shop/snack shop. I TOTALLY want to go now! Those donuts look so sinfully good! I hear that Carter Mountain orchard in Charlottesville has good apple cider donuts...though I've never had one myself. :(

Lauren Margaret said...

Ah this is awesome! We ride past The Apple House *all* the time - 55 is one of our favorite roads out to the mountains and our friends' cabins. Unfortunately, we've never actually stopped in! Now that I've seen your pictures, I absolutely must go.

And keep in mind that if you ever need someone to tag along with you, I am so down :)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Karin - Charlottesville would be a great place to visit in the fall - I'll have to check out that orchard!

Lauren - Funny that you mentioned that - there were a lot of motorcycles in The Apple House parking lot. You definitely have to stop and fill up your bellies next time you ride through there!

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Oh my gosh, how have I not heard of this place? Definitely have to hit it one of these next few weekends. Thanks :)