Scenic Drives: Sailing the Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Parkway, Tennessee & North Carolina

by Samantha Adler

Food for Thought: Christa's Country Corner

Newland, North Carolina

by Samantha Adler

I had taken the Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to Tennessee to meet Cassia in the Smokies. The scenic route is one of my favorites with misty mountain views, lush wooded landscapes and loads of wild flowers. However, the nature of the windy mountain road added about two hours to my trip (sorry Cassia!) and didn’t offer much in terms of lunch options.

The Parkway boasts a few country restaurants and eateries amongst its vast forests. These are few and far inbetween and are mainly tourist sites like Little Switzerland, a pitstop filled with restaurants and shops imitating a Swiss mountain town. But, just off the parkway on Highway 181 in North Carolina, lies Christa’s Country Corner. The perfect stop for a quick, delicious lunch.

Christa’s resembles a small log cabin on the side of the highway; humble and warm. This pitstop serves as both a country store and deli. Before turning off the parkway, I had read raving reviews about their yeast buns and daily BBQ specials. Unfortunately, it was a bit too late in the day for the yeast buns. So I got a pimento cheese sandwich on a freshly baked potato bun.

It ruined pimento cheese sandwiches for me. For the rest of my road trip through the south, no other sandwich came close to the mouthwatering one at Christa’s. It’s a combo made in sandwich heaven. The cheese is perfectly salty, creamy and full of flavor, while the bun is light, toasty and a little sweet. I’m drooling while I write about it.

The store also has a variety of local sodas, jams, candies and other food goods to accompany a tasty sandwich. The staff was extremely warm and helpful, eagerly offering  sandwich suggestions and asking about my trip. They gave me my first dose of southern hospitality.

Christa’s Country Corner is the perfect stop for a cheap, delectable, best-sandwich-of-your-life lunch break!