Farm Town Restaurant Not Using Local Ingredients?

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I grew up in the small farm town of Nokesville, VA.  Whenever we visit family that still lives in the area, we notice a lot of changes.  It’s no longer the small town of my childhood.  Growing up, we’d travel to the next town if there was anything that we needed.  Now, my family has a five minute drive stores and restaurants.  A new restaurant, Chuck Wagon, recently opened and my family was raving about it.  So we decided to try them out.

Chuck Wagon – My Review:
I think the concept of the restaurant is great; it’s just want this town needed.  I even noticed they’re open late on Friday nights to cater to the high school football games.  How great is that?  I wish I had a hang out spot like this when I was growing up!

As much as I was impressed with the idea, I was not impressed with the food.  I found myself annoyed they weren’t using locally farmed produce or meat in their menu.   This restaurant is located in the heart of farm town and should be supporting local farms by offering local selections on their menu.  Why not use local produce?

This got me thinking – who’s a local farmer in the Nokesville area?  Who’s local meat and produce should they be using?  When I think of Nokesville, I think of the Croushorn name and their family farm.   Erik Croushorn is a 5th generation local farmer.  He grew up in that area and graduated from Brentsville District High.  In 2004, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education. After college, he taught Horticulture and was the FFA advisor for five years at the local high school.  He’s also an active member of the Farm Bureau Young Farmers.  In both 2008 and 2009, Erik was the Northern Region Winner of the Young Farmer’s Excellence in Agriculture, making him a state finalist both years.  In my mind, this is a restaurant and food relationship made in heaven.

If you’re in the greated Nokesville area, I encourage you to check out Chuck Wagon.  Try it for yourself, and, if you feel as passionate as I do about this subject, help me by suggesting to the owner of  this possible relationship.  Let’s support our local farmers and help their business grow.

The next time you order a BLT, ask yourself, would I rather eat farmed fresh tomato or nasty wholesale one that has been chemically gassed?  Would you rather eat fresh, quality bacon or a low grade factory produced and chemically loaded bacon?

Leave you suggestions below and share share share!

Croushorn Farms

Chuck Wagon Restaurant

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  1. Kelly says:

    Hi Tinsleyyy!

  2. Chuck Wagon Eater says:

    As a friend of the owners, I’m pretty sure they use farm produce and meat when possible. Did you get a chance to talk to the owner while you were there? They got into the restauant business to make money and when they limit themselves to ONLY using farm fresh produce, they have to significantly reduce their menu – they can’t serve fresh BLT’s year round as tomatoes aren’t going to be fresh in the winter – same with other menu items. There are going to be sacrifices and since the restaurant wasn’t opened with the mission to ONLY use farm fresh produce and meat, I think the fact that they are using a majority of it is great!

  3. DeeDee says:

    After reading this posting, I decided to go and try Chuck Wagon out for myself. I have to say, I agree with the blogger. The place was cute and the food wasn’t bad by any means, however certainly did get the “taste” of Nokesville. If they support the local farmers, they sure show no sign of it on their menu. The “Chuck Wagon Eater” reader states that they only use farm fresh produce. Well, you could go to Costco and get bulk meats and produce. Those items still come from an actual farm. I think the bloggers point was to encourage them to use a LOCAL farmer (or farmers) for their menu and advertise them.

    On a further note – summer is coming to a close but it is still tomato season, so if I order a BLT, I want to see a locally produced tomato on that sandwich.

  4. Chuck Wagon Eater says:

    I never said they only use farm fresh produce – I said they use it as often as possible. The blogger does encourage the owner to use only farm fresh produce and meats (which by the way – all the pork used in the restaurant comes from Wilson Farms in Nokesville) and I was simply reminding the blogger that the owners did not open Chuck Wagon with the mission to make farm fresh meals nor did they advertise that they were doing such – they are in the restaurant business to make money and if they only used farm fresh produce they would not be able to sustain a profit.

  5. Brittany Gelles says:

    Hey, Tinsley – my parents actually own the Chuck Wagon. I know they appreciate your visit/feedback, and glad to hear that your family “raves” about it =).

    To clear up a few things – while it would be awesome if they could use everything local, it would be really difficult to do (and impossible in Winter months, for obvious reasons). Their mission when they went into it was to create “down home” style food, with a good atmosphere, and I think they’ve done a good job of that. They do use high quality, fresh food, and some of it is local. They’ve purchased produce from a few of the farms in the area, multiple times. One of my moms’ favorite things is a turkey club with lots of fresh tomato =) They do buy some of their meats (and all of their sausage) from Wilson’s, which is right down the road in Catlett. They do what they can to have very high quality, great-tasting food, while still being able to maintain the restaurant. Opening/running that place was/is crazy expensive, haha.

    They (as well as myself) love lots of homegrown, fresh produce, so they do what they can to have it as much as possible. They even have a little garden at their farm =). They can’t list this on the menu, however, because it isn’t always local produce – only sometimes, when it’s possible.

    The restaurant is ever-evolving to meet the needs of customers, and they do their very best to make everyone happy and be an asset to the community. Bill (my stepdad) has always had a dream of restaurant ownership (ever since I can remember). He’s put so much work and time into that place – you wouldn’t believe! They do always welcome feedback, and appreciate every person that comes in the door. Hopefully, if you decide to visit again, it’ll be on a day where you get a nice, fresh tomato picked off the vine from the farm next door =)

  6. Amanda says:

    Tinsley, where is this restaurant? I live in Manassas, not far from Nokesville and I’ve never heard of it. I’d be willing to try it if I can find it!

    P.S. Tomatoes makes me gag so I don’t care one way or the other about that, and probably couldn’t tell the difference between any local produce or “chemically loaded” produce. I eat it b/c I’m hungry! ;) Good article though!

  7. Tinsley says:

    Hi Amanda: Do you know where the old Southern States was in Nokesville? Next to the railroad tracks? That is where Chuck Wagon is. In regards to the tomatoes, I am actually allergic. However, I love them so much. Every once in a while, I have to given in. To me, there is nothing like a sweet juicy tomato with some salt, pepper and drizzle of olive oil.

    Thanks for the comment, let me know what you think when you check Chuck Wagon out!

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