Living in this area for many years, we had always heard about Mountain Lake and its fantastic brunch offered on Sundays. Finally, we decided it was time to give it a try and we made reservations.
We were seated at our table in front of a window with a nice view. Our waitress came in a few minutes, introduced herself, and took our drink orders, and then invited us over to the buffett to get ourselves something to eat. Immediately we noticed that most of the wait staff had food stains all over their shirts. Most of the food was good or very good with the exception of the prime rib which was overcooked and dry. The desserts, of which there were 3 to choose from, were still frozen when served. No bread was offered although we did see bread being brought to a couple of tables. Several of the glasses and flatwear at our table had spots and stains still on them, most likely water spots. Also, and this is particularly important to me, I like my food hot. Many of the dishes were kept uncovered with a bunson burner underneath, but on a cool day with no lid on the food heat was quickly lost I guess, and the food was "warm."
I guess with the reputation Mountain Lake has, at least in this area, we were expecting more. Spending a few minutes wiping down glasses and inspecting flatwear while making sure your waitstaff was cleanly attired would have greatly improved our dining experience. As for the food, most of it was good or very good, but prime rib can be tricky to prepare. However, I do think hot bread should be brought to the table immediately. The surroundings are beautiful. The people were very nice. The service was good. The food disappointing. It's the little things that can make or break a dining experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The newly renovated historic Mountain Lake Lodge features 43 Rooms in Main Stone Lodge, 16 in Chestnut Lodge, 9 Mountain Homes in Blueberry Ridge, 8 historic rustic cabins and 9 Front Lawn Cottages on 2,600 acres of preserved mountaintop property owned by the Mary Moody Northen Endowment. Mountain Lake Conservancy, a non-profit organization founded in 1989, serves to protect the land and wildlife resources on the property for future generations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mountain Lake Pembroke
- Hotel Mountain Lake