I am from a nearby town and took my parents there for dinner when they came to visit. The menu was typical southern food, and a little overpriced, but it was good. Our waiter was, well, a weirdo!! He had this strange smile and giggled every time we asked for anything. He did not bring my toddler any utensils until I asked. They were out of several things we ordered. When we finally managed to place our order, it took forever to get our food. Every request on our part was met with not a yes or no, but just the odd giggle of our server. He was so peculiar! He forgot several things and dropped a glass of water on the floor right at my feet---as he was cleaning it up, he was giggling to himself the whole time! CREEEEPY!
I have some suggestions for the Inn, since it appears the owner reads these reviews. Owners, you have a perfect opportunity to get loads of business in your restaurant from locals, especially people from the west of you. There are lots of college professors and professional transplants who would LOVE to eat gourmet meals without going all the way to Asheville! We'd LOVE to have an amazing place to take our friends and family from out of town, and you literally have the monopoly of that niche here in the far western NC region. Even Waynesville has been a disappointment as far as nicer dining goes. I promise you that whatever you invest in your restaurant will be returned tenfold by locals who are dieing for a classier place to eat. Lets start with service: I KNOW it can be hard to find folks who have "people skills" here in the mountains. But if you looked for servers at the colleges, WCU and SCC have lots of students who need jobs, you'd get some smart hardworking folks who might be a little more cultured or have some serving experience. SCC has hospitality and culinary schools, so there is no excuse. Seriously, our server seemed like he just crawled out of a cave! How about an expanded menu? A few more entrees and sides, and continued attention to locally produced food would be great! How about remodeling the interior to make it a little less shabby and a little more chic? You could still maintain the historic inn feel but make it a little more comfortable with fresh wallpaper and updated lighting. That goes for the lobby too. I have seen beautiful antique furniture, but lots of yours looks like flea market finds. Your grounds have amazing potential, but look sooo run down!! Get some landscapers in to plant a flower garden to play up your outdoor eating area! Have an outdoor sculpture contest and accept entries from the thousands of local artists to create original works of art for your new garden--that would literally cost you nothing, and maybe the winning artist could get a giftcard for free meals or something. SCC and WCU even have art departments, with hundreds of art students who would love to sell you some artwork, to paint some murals, or make the place better looking in general. Make a little trail through the garden for people to stroll after dinner, and add some secret swings in hidden bushy enclaves for children and adults to enjoy. Grow some of your own herbs and incorporate them into your menus. Again, I am a local and I want to like Balsam Mountain Restaurant better, but you guys have to try a little harder. You have so much potential and so much to work with.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Read, rest, ramble and romp at the Balsam Mountain Inn! Nestled among lofty Smoky Mountain peaks just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Balsam Mountain Inn was completed in 1908 to serve the highest railway depot in the east. Restored in 1991, the inn now welcomes travelers with 50 cheerful rooms, rocker-filled porches, a fine library and gracious dining. Plump pillows and soft comforters inspire pleasant dreams! In December, 2011, the Inn came once again to be owned by Merrily Teasley, the innkeeper who restored the structure two decades ago. An experienced rescuer of wonderful buildings, Teasley bought the derelict inn in 1990, and her certified rehabilitation effort helped the inn – already on the National Historic Register – experience a rebirth. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant Hotel Balsam
- Balsam Mountain Inn And Restaurant