For Valentine's weekend The Girl and I met up with another couple Mr. Heed (See also: So I Married an Axe Murder) and Mrs. Plan. We loaded up in the service loaner LR4 and took a trip to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Food wasn't the main concern, as our actual Valentine's dinner was at IHOP, but one dining experience stood out during the weekend. That would be our stop at Cedric's Tavern at the Antler Hill Village. Back in December our friends stopped there and had a great meal. We thought we would give it a shot.
The first thing you must know about dining at Cedric's is that it is on the estate, therefore you must already have purchased an admission ticket. Located next to the Winery, Cedric's is named after George Vanderbilt's beloved St. Bernard. The restaurant itself is decorated as a modern hunting lodge/pub. Overall it is a pleasant enough place to relax after fighting the crowds at the house.
The girls arrived first, as Mr. Heed and I were busy tearing through the mud at the Land Rover Driving Experience. The first people seated, our two lovely ladies had a hard time getting their drinks, finally asking another server for their teas. While going through the menu, Mrs. Plan noticed that the sandwich she so enjoyed on their December visit was missing. When she inquired about the sandwich to the waiter, his rather snotty reply was that they were now on their winter menu. Remember folks, December was removed from winter.
Mr. Heed and I arrived just as the ladies were finishing up the White Cheddar Pimento Cheese ($7). Served with crispy pretzel chips, the pimento has a nutty flavor that may not be what I think of as pimento cheese, but it still is rather satisfying. After trying the cheese my attention was stolen by the house made pickles. These are true sours, with a bite that is very satisfying.
Picking mains, Mrs. Plan took another order of Pimento Cheese. Mr. Heed choose the Fish & Chips with fries and tartar sauce ($17). The pale ale batter was beautiful, and the fish were perfectly cooked. In the tartar sauce, however, was a surprise. Hidden below was a dark circle that looked like a burnt piece of potato. We will get back to that in a second.
I choose the Crispy Salmon Fillet served over baby potatoes, savoy cabbage, with fresh cream and dill ($23). While my fish was cooked wonderfully mid-rare, it was totally lacking seasoning and barely warm. Even spooning the dill cream over the fish for more flavor I honestly feel I would have been better off ordering the Salmon at Ruby Tuesday.
The Girl went with the Stuffed Boneless Chicken Breast with Gruyere, shaved country ham, garlic, and served with creamy mushroom risotto ($20). The chicken was fairly moist, and the skin very crisp, but yet again the temperature left a lot to be desired. About the time Mr. Heed noticed his large black disc, The Girl noticed the very large bone in her boneless chicken breast. The Waiter, true to form, was no where to be seen. Eventually, I got the attention of the manager.
First thing she addressed was the mystery disc. Turns out that is a secret ingredient called sun dried tomato. How it got into the tartar sauce, she had no idea. Turning our attention to the bone-in boneless chicken, she informed us that it was an airline breast of chicken. I responded that first, on the menu, it was listed as boneless. Second, an airline breast has the first joint of the wing, not the drum, wing, and breast plate. Third, it was advertised as BONELESS. She then acknowledged that yes, indeed, the chicken breast was improperly broken down.
I have spent enough time working in Food and Beverage that I rarely make a fuss, and when I do complain I try to be constructive. This experience, at these prices, will guarantee that I will never dine here again. When the check came, we were informed our dinner was taken care of. No it wasn't, our bill was. Next trip to Biltmore, I will dine at the beautiful Golden Arches across the street.
Overall: 7 out of 25 Though our friends enjoyed their last visit nothing here will ever get me back in the door
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