Tuesday, May 17, 2011
J. ARTHUR’S RESTAURANT, MAGGIE VALLEY, NC
Maggie Valley is just a stone’s throw from Waynesville. Named after one of the daughters of the first postmaster, this small mountain village on the fringe of the Great Smoky Mountains is the stereotypical off-the-beaten-path town with a white-knuckle hold on yesterday, trying desperately to not look forward. J. Arthur’s is considered by locals to be “upscale.” It was packed on Mother’s Day, but we were taken in on time for our 6:30 PM reservations.
The dining room is unpretentious but adequate. Tables are spaced comfortably apart and acoustics are fairly good. Service here is also fairly good. We ate with our son, who drove an hour from Hot Springs to join us. Although our meal was adequate, none of us raved. I had the fresh local trout, but then learned that all the restaurants serve “fresh local trout,” because trout farms abound in the area. Bummer. And I thought someone was really catching this fish. Not only were they not being hook-and-line caught, they were also being fed pellets and antibiotics instead of feasting on their own diet of water insects and smaller fish.
I can’t say anything really bad about this restaurant, but I also can’t say anything tremendously good. It’s just okay. As we left, I was handed a long-stemmed rose (as were all the mothers that day). Nice touch.
We started off Mother’s Day with a delayed lunch that was disappointing, then spent hours trying to find a restaurant open for Mother’s Day that would take reservations. We were hoping that our Monday would turn out better. It was to be in Asheville. To be continued…..