I arrived in Raliegh/Durham airport and entered my GPS for my hotel, and after about 30 minutes of cutting people off while trying to understand my GPS saying “Stay Left and don’t try to take that exit ‘stupid’” I arrived at the hotel.
After checking in, I asked the front desk if the restaurant next to our hotel was any good. The desk agent suggested – yes its really good and they will give you 10% off if you show them your room key. I figured – why heck that doesn’t sound that bad – I’ll give it a try.
I normally veer away from chain restaurants – and for me – O’Charley’s could have been fine dining – for all I knew it’s a name I wasn’t familiar with – as such I began the adventure. I was warmly greeted by a rotund man with white hair, and when asked how many, “just me sir” and I was immediately seated at a table for 4 while guests of 2 and 3 were still waiting in the waiting area.
I was recieved by Robert my waiter – I ordered water, a salad and a rib eye steak. Robert said he would be back with some warm rolls. About 10 minutes later my water showed from Robert – and then a different waiter came out and delivered my warm rolls – the new guy said – I could tell Robert that he forgot the rolls. I figured there was some differences between these two guys, but since being new here I didn’t really want to understand it and just wanted to eat.
Robert, 2 or 3 minute later showed up with my salad and that’s right – warm rolls. So there I was 1 guy at a table for 4 with two orders of rolls. The salad was over dressed with dressing, however the croutons were really good, but as indicated were largely overshadowed by this thick dressing. I ate about 1/3 of the salad as, have I mentioned there was a little salad with my dressing?
Then my steak arrived. I ordered the rib eye steak medium with rice pilaf. The steak glistened with juices, and the grill marks looked excellent. I was about to dig in with my steak knife and fork – I took my first bite and blah. They didn’t even season the steak. I was so disappointing. It was so anticipated by Robert – ‘this is my favorite thing here’. So I salt the steak, and the steak starts to taste like something.
I bite into the rice pilaf – and its on the far edge of good. The pilaf is past al dente – and as such didn’t provide a great contrast vs. the steak. The steak was cooked to my desired doneness – however, the lack of seasoning that the diner was forced to do “provide your own seasoning” isn’t on the menu.
I did take notice o the diners at the establishment. There were families and a lot of older patrons, there were not a lot of couples, or foodies. I then realized, I might be in a chain restaurant.
I slowly walked back to the Hampton Inn, keyed into my room and called my wife to wish her my love before I turned out the lights for the hard day, and a equally disappointing dinner.
101 Ashville Avenue
Cary, NC 27511