Sunday, September 20, 2009

Charly's at the Airport - Where the Boys Are

Many people will find it hard to believe that Williamburg has an actual airport much less a wonderful little lunch spot. If you need some proof before visiting, check out the book by John F. Purner, The $100 Hamburger: A Guide to Pilot's Favorite Fly-In Restaurants. Apparently Charly's is rated quite high (#5 I think). Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a hamburger on the menu though. If you can't locate this book, just jump into your vintage Cessna 150E and navigate to the small landing strip adjacent to James River. If you are stuck on the ground, the Williamsburg Jamestown Airport is off of Lake Powell Road just south of Route 199 and on your way to the Williamsburg Winery.

Charly's is basically a lunch counter with a soup, sandwich, and salad menu open during the week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a little longer on the weekend. It is a small place with a dozen tables virtually on the runway. You can even get closer to the action if you can snag one of the outdoor tables in nice weather. The sandwich bread is baked daily and you must order the dark brown Bavarian wheat. It's like eating chocolate cake and its goes fast so show up early otherwise you will end up with white or regular wheat.

On our visit we chose a sandwich-The Chandler-off the menu and the "special" ribeye on the Bavarian wheat. The Chandler turn out to be ok-nothing special-but the "special" was especially good. The lesson here is to be adventurous in ordering the daily special. The homemade sides and soups are also excellent choices.

Given its exotic location, you could ask who goes to Charly's? Well, a bunch of old guys seem to hang out there-those 70s year olds who love their planes. In addition, you see the Williamsburg power brokers: developers and chamber of commerce types. I have seen Navy pilots flying vintage World War II planes stop in as well as the "my other plane is a Ferrari" types with their latest girlfriend in tow.

Charly's would be a great treat for dads and their sons or daughters interested in dining with airplanes close up and personal. It was a treat for me to see my friend Hank get into the experience and share his knowledge of small plane aviation. Did you know that you can track any aircraft by their tail numbers on this website: Next time, I'm going to find out how far the pilots have flown for their lunch. Charly's is a perfect place to impress your friends and neighbors with your inside knowledge of the Williamsburg scene.

No comments:

Post a Comment