Va. bed and breakfast named one of best in North America

January 27, 2003|By Tim Allen | Tim Allen,THE WINCHESTER STAR

WINCHESTER, Va. -- At most bed and breakfasts, the bed comes before the breakfast.

But after eating one of Rhoda Kriz's "feed an army" breakfasts at Long Hill Bed and Breakfast, many guests feel the need to return to one of the Kriz's acclaimed mattresses for a little more R&R.

"We get a lot of people who say they ate too much," said Rhoda Kriz, as she prepared a world-class breakfast for four guests and her friends who were lucky enough to get an invitation recently.

George and Rhoda Kriz, owners of Long Hill B&B on Apple Pie Ridge Road near James Wood High School, have received accolades from their guests ever since they started preparing the extravagant morning meals two years ago.

Now the accolades are coming from international publications, as well.

Long Hill was nominated by enough guests to be included in Arrington's Bed & Breakfast Journal as one of the top 15 B&Bs with the "Best Breakfast" in North America.

For anyone who has stayed with the Krizes for a night or two, the nomination will come as a no surprise.

"This food is amazing. This is equal or better than any other B&B we've stayed at," said Jenny Holsinger, who said she and her husband, Steve, often stay at B&Bs when they want to get away from the bustle of life in Sterling, Va.

One of the things a group of recent guests at Long Hill appreciated was the ability to get seconds.

"Most places just serve you a plate and that's it," said Steve Holsinger. "Here, they serve it family style where you can get whatever you want."

And Rhoda cooks enough to satisfy the most robust appetites.

Few take breakfast as far as Rhoda, serving it in multiple courses much like dinner in a fine restaurant.

She starts with a course of fresh fruit including raspberries grown right outside the house and topped with yogurt and homemade granola.

Rhoda isn't quite ready to give out the entire secret of her granola recipe, but she said it consists of bran cereal, nuts, brown sugar, butter, and coconut.

While Rhoda's busy finishing up the main course, George brings the food to the table, refills drinks, and takes away plates from the table.

The aroma from the kitchen as George opens the door to remove the first course lets those at the table know breakfast is just getting started.

Fruit and yogurt, while scrumptious, just don't compare to the next course of country ham, sausage, potato bake, spinach loaves, and a delectable French toast dish with apples and caramel.

Looking at all the food it seems impossible that seven people will put a dent in it, but surprisingly, the Krizes have very few leftovers to munch on the rest of the day.

Rhoda said she starts preparing breakfast two hours before serving guests about 8:30 or 9 a.m. George and she eat a smaller breakfast when they first get up, she added.

The most compliments Rhoda said she receives are for her spinach loaves -- a quiche-like dish of spinach, onions, homemade croutons, and butter with a small piece of bacon on top.

However, the French toast also is popular.

The final course is a simple, but effective small dish of lime sherbet.

Rhoda has five basic menus, but several of the items are interchangeable.

There are some items Rhoda doesn't fix anymore, George said, but she may discover a new recipe and slowly get it into the mix.

"I get the recipes from a lot of different books. You usually find similar versions, and then I might take all four varieties and put in my own addition and create my own variety," Rhoda said.

No matter what the variety, Rhoda gets rave reviews from previous guests.

Looking through the comment books the Krizes provide for guests in their rooms, you find phrases such as:

"Food good enough for a king," "I need a larger wardrobe" and "I wish I had worn my elastic-waist pants."

The couple keeps track of who stays at Long Hill and enter the guests and information about them in a computer database.

"I'll write down what I served them so that if they ever come back and say, `I want to have what we ate last time,' I can look it up and fix it," Rhoda said.

The meals at Long Hill come with more than just food. Visitors also get to learn more about the area and the Kriz home.

George will talk about his bird feeders and his plans for the garden. He also asks guests if they have any plans for the day in town and gives some tips on things to do in the area.

"We believe in three things here: good rest, good food, and making you feel like family," George said.

Guests Anton Schaeffer and Meghan King surely got all three as they returned to their room for a nap.

Who says bed comes before breakfast?

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