Monday, May 16, 2011
MOTHER’S DAY IN WAYNESVILLE, NC.
(Above photo is at the bottom of our son’s driveway in Hot Springs.)
Last October, our visit to Waynesville was a huge success as far as eating was concerned. We ate at Chef's Table and Bogart's and had great meals at both. We even found a nearby diner, Clyde’s, that provided us grease-free eggs for our morning breakfasts. So we looked forward to another culinary feast as we left our grandniece’s graduation in Charleston and headed northwest. We forgot that we were traveling on Mother’s Day.
We knew the trip was starting off wrong when we had trouble finding a lunch place. Instead of stopping near Henderson, NC, for a lunch at Fudd Rucker’s, we opted to find something better. As we neared Asheville, we remembered a great deli we had lunched at several years ago and hoped our GPS could help us find it. We were stabbing in the dark at names but picked one, and set out. The deli we were headed for must have been bulldozed. Our GPS told us to turn in to a construction site.
Not to be dismayed, we instead turned in to the “award-winning” Moose Cafe, affiliated with the Asheville Farmer’s Market. How bad could that be? Amid a long line of waiting people, we were seated quickly because we were the only twosome. One look at the menu and the platters being eaten by dining customers convinced us we were in the wrong place.
Continuing on to Waynesville, we thought we might get a bite to eat at Clyde’s, the diner that gave us such good breakfasts last year. But it was Mother’s Day. Everyone seemed to have the same idea. At 1:30 pm, when we arrived, the line was out the door, and not a table was available. We spotted two seats at the counter and decided to sit there. Customers were feasting on the same kind of fare that was at the Moose Cafe, meat and potatoes, grits, overcooked veggies. The prime rib was being boiled in a large pot and then sliced. We asked for a cheeseburger, but only 1/2-lb. burgers were available. So we asked if we could split one. “That’ll be a $3.00 charge,” we were told. “Okay, charge us $3.00, neither one of us can eat a 1/2-lb. cheeseburger,” I replied. I was beginning to get a nagging feeling that maybe this trip would not be as successful as the first, especially after my first bite of cheeseburger.
Our favorite restaurant, Chef’s Table, was closed Sunday and Monday, the only two days we would be in Waynesville. Before we left New Bern, Plan B was going into effect. My research had pointed me to the Pisgah Inn. High up on a 5400-foot mountain, the inn/resort was open 7 days a week and boasted beautiful views and great food. Reviews online were good, too. But when I called, I found that reservations were not accepted. When we got to Waynesville, some further checking revealed a few more facts: (1) We would need to line up starting at 4PM for a 5PM opening. (2) There was no guarantee that we would get one of the ten window tables in the 40-table dining room. (3) The place is insanely popular and people are always lined up to get in. (4) It was Mother’s Day and the lunch crowd not yet served would be spilling over to the the dinner crowd.
This trip was not going as expected. We were now on Plan C. The lady at our motel recommended J. Arthur’s Restaurant in Maggie Valley. “It’s a bit upscale, but the dress is casual,” she insisted. Reservations were being accepted, and a quick drive by convinced us it could be a good choice.
To be continued….