Ah, The Grove Park. Ahh, Asheville. I could never tire of talking about this place. Today I’ll talk a little about the food. I don’t usually review food on this blog, but I feel like it contributed to the overall experience of the resort and it definitely contributed to the cost, so it’s worth mentioning.
Room service dinner
I’ll start with the restful night at the resort in the Main Inn, which I discussed in detail yesterday. We started with room service, which I thought was pretty good, but not wonderful. Jeff ordered a club sandwich and fries, and the fries were cold by the time they got there. He also got a wedge salad which he said was good. I had a salad as well, with spinach and walnuts and bacon – it was delicious. My main meal was salmon over white cheddar grits, and it was very good, but the bread that came with it was dry and tasted old. We split a brownie/peanut butter sundae, which was ok but nothing to write home about. And Jeff ordered 2 mojitos – they called back to say they didn’t have mint but they had a very good mix. Since it was the Grove Park Inn, he took their word for it – but it was not a “very good mix.” It was a mojito from a mix like you’d get from anywhere – which was not great. At $140 for the meal, it was nothing to rave about – I expected better, honestly. Jeff orders room service a lot and said cold French fries and such are kinda what you get. Also in their defense, the power was flickering at this point so I’m guessing they didn’t use the elevator – probably a pain to get to us, hence the coldish food.
After that we just relaxed in the room. Around 10:30, the power went out due to the snow storm, which was pretty crazy but I didn’t see the ghost so all is well! It was a good excuse to turn in early, anyway.
The next morning, after purchasing our spa day passes (which I will talk about tomorrow) we headed to the Blue Ridge Dining Room. They had an amazing breakfast buffet, complete with an omelet station and cheese blintzes and cinnamon French toast and all kinds of fruits and potatoes and eggs and cereal and juice and oatmeal and … I could go on and on but you get the point. At $50 for both of us, it wasn’t cheap but it was delicious.
After all that, there wasn’t much of a need for lunch, but we had a snack at the spa cafe after relaxing for a few hours. We ordered a $10 fruit and cheese plate to split, and the “fruit” consisted of about 3 grapes cut in half. The cheese was good, but overall I wasn’t terribly impressed. Jeff also got a bowl of soup, which I believe he enjoyed. It was nice to be able to sit around in our robes and eat, as the cafe is attached to the spa, but it took quite a while to get service and we didn’t order that much.
For dinner we headed back to the Blue Ridge Dining Room (there are a few restaurants at the resort, and we thought of trying the Sunset Terrace but the outside area was closed so we decided to save that for another trip, and we didn’t bring nice enough attire for Horizons – that’s a suit and tie kind of place.)
Our waiter was extremely pleasant, and we found out through conversation he’s from Chester, which for those of you who don’t know, is within 45 minutes of Charlotte. I’m fairly familiar with it as it was one of our coverage areas when I worked at The Herald. I ordered their evening special – goat cheese ravioli with spinach and chicken and tomatoes. It was delicious. Jeff ordered a steak and we got the same bread room service brought, but this time it was not dry and cold – much, much better. I highly recommend taking the elevator down to the restaurants vs. ordering up in the room. It made a world of difference.
Overall, I think the best part about the food here is the variety – instead of one restaurant like most hotels have, there are 3 major restaurants and a few bars and cafes that also serve food. The downside to staying Sunday and Monday nights is the dueling piano bar is closed, as well as some of the other bars (in particular, the Magnolia Room has a yummy cheese fondue that we missed out on.) I say skip the room service unless you want to order cold food, make sure you hit the breakfast buffet for sure, and don’t expect to be too impressed by the spa cafe.
Speaking of, coming tomorrow: So what exactly is a day at the spa, anyway?