Restaurant: The Poky Dot
Address: 1111 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont, WV 26554
What We Ate: Chicken Wrap, Jalepeño Burger, Doughnut Specialty Shake
If you’ve logged on to Facebook for even 30 seconds over the last several months, you’ve more than likely been pulled into the time-sucking trap of colossal food videos featuring creations like Black Tap’s $15 milkshakes piled high with frosting, doughnuts, whipped cream and sprinkles– every time the video graces my timeline, I contemplate how I can justify driving nine hours from Athens to New York City for just a milkshake.
Luckily, the two-hour trek to The Poky Dot in Fairmont, West Virginia, makes for a manageable day trip. When I saw a friend post a picture of a similarly-portioned heap of whipped cream and candy spewing over a chocolatey milkshake, I checked the location that she tagged and knew at once that The Poky Dot was about to become my new favorite restaurant.
While Demari and I arrived shortly before 5 p.m., the whimsical restaurant was already packed with hungry locals who, like us, were in search of classic diner favorites with an Insta-worthy twist.
The diner, which opened in 1951, is home to true-to-era classics like burgers, fries and all-day breakfast. Although part of me wanted to order one of everything on the menu, I knew I had to save room for dessert.
If you’re craving a meal that goes beyond pot roast and mashed potatoes, The Poky Dot also boasts a menu that’s every bit as creative as its star-spangled carpet and neon vinyl booths.
The specials menu changes up on a daily basis and has featured everything from s’mores pancakes to cheeseburgers with mac ‘n cheese buns.
One of the restaurant’s more famous over-the-top menu items is the He-Man Breakfast, a monstrous meal served on a garbage can lid that earned the title of Food Network Magazine’s best breakfast in West Virginia. If you can stomach the four eggs, four strips of bacon, two sausage links, two sausage patties, four pancakes, two biscuits with sausage gravy, home fries, toast and a slice of ham, you earn a Poky Dot tee shirt (and some pretty solid bragging rights).
If you have a sweet tooth that’s just as big as your appetite, The Poky Dot is the place to satisfy it.
Behold, the $9 Humongous Banana Split whose nine scoops of ice cream weigh in at nine pounds, appropriately earning it the nickname of The 9×9.
As tempting as this real-life Goofy Goober ice cream tower was, Demari and I were on a mission to taste test one of their famous specialty shakes. After debating between the cookie, doughnut, candy and s’mores options, we ultimately settled on the Doughnut Specialty Shake: Five doughnuts, four cherries, whipped cream, frosting and sprinkles all stacked on a thick vanilla milkshake.
Yes, you read that correctly:
“These came out about a year ago and they’re getting bigger by the week,” said Alyssa Caputo, The Poky Dot’s general manager. “We’re selling hundreds– sometimes hundreds by the day!”
While their monthly shake flavors like birthday cake (January), red velvet (February) and this month’s spin off of a classic Shamrock Shake encourage customers to come back for more, Caputo attributes these shakes’ popularity to social media.
“People are eating with their camera,” she said, referring to the hundreds of photos that customers share of their mouthwatering meals. “On Friday and Saturday nights, we’re the red carpet of restaurants because all you see are cameras flashing!”
Of course, I couldn’t travel all this way to order a milkshake that’s larger than my head without snapping a photo or two (or ten…) to commemorate the experience.
The verdict? It tasted even better than it looked, although I must confess that even with the two of us tag-teaming the shake, we still couldn’t savor it all in its entirety.
“We use whipped topping here like schools use glue,” Caputo laughed as Demari and I slurped our shake.
Between the abundance of sprinkles and the lively atmosphere, The Poky Dot is the perfect restaurant to channel your inner kid– even the colorful exterior pays homage to the old elementary school crayon box.
If you ever find yourself in West Virginia on an empty stomach, do yourself a favor and stop by The Poky Dot– just do me a favor and bring back a milkshake in a to-go cup for me!