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Another Great Find Here In The Valley

By Staff | Sep 2, 2009

As many of you have read, we’re always looking for a new place to visit, eat, or another road lesser traveled.

We found this great restaurant in downtown Wheeling. All we knew was it was located near the fish market and it at least used to serve good food.

We did know a little more than that. Elise McIntire’s mother had been there many years ago. That bit of history did intrigue us too. Her mother was a registered nurse who decided during the War II to join the Nurses Corp and was sent to a military hospital in Alaska. Quite an adventure for a young girl, especially back then. It was there she met a young soldier who later was to become Elise’s father, George McIntire. They were married in 1943. All the other nurses stationed at that hospital married military men.

It was here that Elise’s mother met George Saseen, who was from West Virginia.

After the war George retuned to West Virginia. He along with his brother, Louis, started the Saseen Restaurant in 1946.

On our way up river, we wondered what the restaurant would be like. From the outside, one could tell it was in one of the old buildings in Wheeling. Upon entering, we looked around and saw what could have been a restaurant in the early 50’s or before. It seemed nothing had changed from its opening. In the first room was an old time bar, complete with bar stools and booths that gave the appearance of those I had seen in my own youth. The walls had many old historical pictures hanging of the area. We were seated up in the dinning room area. It was obvious it was just as it had been many years ago. It had the old tin ceiling, painted white, those that kind of date themselves. We had heard it had not changed much since opening in 1946. And those rumors were certainly true.

In my opinion, the food was some of the best I’ve ever eaten. I started my meal out with a wonderful Greek salad, laden with Feta cheese, and a wonderful salad dressing. Crab cakes rank very high on my list of favorite foods. As soon as I saw them on the menu, I knew that was going to be my choice on the long menu. Since I lived in the Chesapeake Bay area, I’ve had some of the best crab cakes.

When my Greek Salad arrived I saw that it was huge. After I tasted my salad, I knew it was outstanding. Then my dinner arrived with two huge crab cakes, and a baked potato. Most crab cakes I had eaten, other than the ones in the Bay Area, are small, mixed with so many other ingredients, one could hardly taste the crab, but not these two huge cakes. If the crab meat had been mixed with other ingredients, one could certainly not tell it. What a great surprise. Needless to say, I kinda ignored my potato and ate every bit of the two huge crab cakes. They definitely suited my palette.

The price was also incredible for the meal. It was less than $10, and I even had a wonderful desert.

Louis’ son, Mark, was working the day we had our adventure. It was not until we had had our mid-afternoon lunch that we talked with Mark. He was a delight to visit with about the historic restaurant and his family.

Elise had heard of it when her mother, years after the war, had organized a reunion of the nurses she had served with in Alaska. The reunion took place in this very restaurant, probably in the 80’s.

What a delight it must have been for Elise, knowing her mother had walked on these very floors, and perhaps could had eaten in the very area we did.

I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting great food, at a very reasonable price, in a very old area of Wheeling. I know this will not be the only time I visit the Saseen Restaurant, 2149 Market