PUBLISHED: TIMES-NEWS / SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2012
Old-fashioned caring, hard work pay off
Dearly beloved, I promised my readers back before Christmas that I would tell you about my favorite restaurant in all of Henderson County.
Mills River Restaurant, take a bow! Or at least the owners and staff, that is. I have eaten happily there for years and love the dining experience. No, it s not candle lights and gypsy fiddle players.
I ve always been suspicious of eatin joints where the place is so dark you have to use a GPS to find your fork. And no, I don t find it a unique thing to have my meat and shrimp thrown at me while I sit around a red-hot griddle and the cook is screaming Banzai! The grill makes me sweat, and the knife-juggling cook makes me nervous.
I m not crazy about cafeterias, either. I stood in long lines in the Marines to get my grub and figure I ve been there and done that.
No, I like a place where I walk in and am asked where I would like to sit. Once ensconced, I like a menu and enough time to mull over what to eat. I like a nice waitress. Pretty if possible, but friendly at least. My waitress does not have to laugh at my clever wit and jokes, but it helps with the tip later. My food must be prepared as if the cook actually does take pride in his calling. I like my food hot (if it is supposed to be) and cold (again, if it is supposed to be).
I want enough rations to know I have eaten, and I want it to taste good! Let the posh restaurants serve a sliver of meat and a couple of lonely taters with a side of a dry carrot curl. If people with more money than sense wish to be bilked by fancy froo-froo chow halls, I say let em.
I want to pay a good, sensible price. I don t expect cheap. (If I want to eat cheap, I stay home.) I partake of that deli-sliced, eight-day-old bologna and mayonnaise sandwich. Dessert is a chilled glass of vintage Alka-Seltzer.
Now, let me tell you, Mills River Restaurant passes every one of my requirements. The food is properly prepared, it is delicious, portions are large (I m a big eater, but I usually have to ask for a take-home box), and when I m done, I am billed a totally fair price. (Frankly, I don t see how they keep their prices as low as they are.)
More importantly, the quality isn t just high, it is consistent. When I order country-style steak with brown gravy, I know for a fact it is going to taste good every time I get it. The same with the roast pork special or the pot roast.
You know, I never should have written this column hungry ...
The reason I laud consistency is simple. One of my pet peeves is to brag on a restaurant to friends. Try the (whatever), and you ll thank me that you did. The next time I run into my friends, I mention to them that I haven t seen them in a while.
No, they reply. We ve been in the hospital with food poisoning.
You know how it is. Have you ever been embarrassed like that?
Another thing I don t understand is how these good folks maintain such a varied menu. If I want good fried fish, I get the Alaskan white fish. If I want a good steak done medium rare, I get it. You want Italian? They have it. Greek? If you like moussaka or pastitio, which is Greek lasagna, you ll get it. You want down-home country cooking? They have it!
I cannot vouch for everything on the menu simply because I have not tried everything. That is one of my New Year s resolutions. Yes, I m going to try everything the restaurant has to offer.
This restaurant was wonderfull. There was a variety of choices and they put way more than enough on each plate. The service was great and the food was excellent. I highly recommend them. They are also easy access for wheelchairs or walkers.
Excellent family run restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Regular menu features wide variety of meat and seafood dishes. Exceptional items include lasagna, lamb shanks, beef tips over rice, fried jumbo shrimp and roast chicken. Excellent burgers and club sandwiches as well. This reviewer and spouse normally dine there at least once a week for lunch and twice a week for dinner, and have done so for over eight years.
You must have the cheesecake and you must have the lasagna it is the best! This restaurant has been around for years and it is a casual laid back place that you can feed a family affordibly. Dont feel like driving into town or dressing up, try this place.
Greek traditional food scattered among traditional American fare with a nice salad/fruit/dessert bar - no ice cream. Large open restaurant, room in the front for the smokers that doesn't interfere with nonsmokers. Prices very reasonable, servings large. My husband likes the coffee, not too strong. On a main highway that gets traffic from 3 towns so does a really good business, especially on Sunday after church. Definitely try it.
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