Junction of Gowensville

All-You-Can-Eat | Buffet | Diner | Small Town Café
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

Gowensville is a quiet community just south of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the North Carolina border. Where the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway crosses Route 14 is the Junction of Gowensville, a favorite meet-and-eat place for local citizens as well as visitors to this pretty part of the Southeast.

Service is buffet-style: pay one price, fill a plate, and find find a table. Once seated, customers are entertained by a model train that runs on an overhead track around the dining area.

The cuisine is downhome Dixie, which means plenty of pork products on the Friday & Saturday breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch: glazed ham with pineapples, hickory-smoked bacon, sausage patties, bologna, liver mush, and fried fatback. Buttermilk biscuits are swell, especially when slathered with house-made apple butter or strawberry butter.

Fried chicken stars on the buffet at lunch and dinner. It’s outstanding fried chicken, encased in thick, convoluted crust that is seasoned to coax maximum flavor from the moist meat within. In addition to chicken, each day’s array has another entree, such as meat loaf on Tuesday, pork chops Wednesday, BBQ Saturday, and pot roast Sunday. Check the Junction website to see the exact daily rotation. Side dishes vary by day, also; among the southern-kitchen classics are fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese pie, collard greens, creamed corn, fried okra, and broccoli casserole. There always are strips of fried fatback to munch.

Note the hours of operation: lunch every day; breakfast only on Friday and Saturday; dinner Thursday through Saturday.

Thanks to Kevin Igoe for leading me here.

What to Eat
Junction of Gowensville, Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken
Must-Try
Fried chicken is all about savory, crunchy, seasoned crust.
Junction of Gowensville, Peach Cobbler
Peach Cobbler
Peach cobbler's pastry outshines its fruit.
Junction of Gowensville, Oreo Cake
Oreo Cake
Oreo cake isn't much more than sweet.
Directions and Hours
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Rural Seed

    Columbus, North Carolina

    Billing its fare as “wholesome, familiar food,” the Rural Seed is a 3-meal-a-day town cafe where everything is a cut above. Breakfast is noteworthy.

  • Harvest House

    Landrum, South Carolina

    Expect the unexpected at Harvest House, where even familiar dishes are served with a twist. Don’t miss the fried green tomato tower. Burgers are grand.

  • Caro-Mi Dining Room

    Tryon, North Carolina

    On the banks of the Pacolet River in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills, Caro-Mi is a dreamy destination for old-time Dixie comfort food.

  • Village Bakery

    Flat Rock, North Carolina

    In an adorable enclave of good eats and clever shopping called Little Rainbow Row, Village Bakery is a brick-oven gem for breads, breakfast, and pizza.

  • Openroad Coffee & Tea

    Columbus, North Carolina

    Openroad is a high-minded coffee roaster with fabulous artisan pastries, from-scratch breakfast biscuits, smoothies, tea, and, of course, superb coffee.

  • Honey and Salt

    Flat Rock, North Carolina

    At this enthusiastic breakfast & brunch spot in the Blue Ridge foothills, the motto is “Well-Built Food,” It’s brilliantly designed, too. And delicious.