When dining in any National Park system restaurant, one is always, unfortunately, a captive diner. That is, there is no competition nearby, and the contractors who provide food service to the parks (Xterra, Aramark, etc.) etc. take full advantage of the situation. In the “lodge” at Sol Doc in Olympia Nat’l Park, things are no different. The food is decent but overpriced, pretentious, and offered in an atmosphere no more compelling than that of a typical Denny’s. My wife and I recently dinner at Sol Doc, and upon entering we encountered a very casual dining room which led me to expect honest food at honest prices. Instead, we encountered a menu with mac n’ cheese at 6.50, nine dollar bruschetta, and a list of entres ranging from 18 dollar fish n chips to 33 dollar barbequed ribs. If you wanted a salad, tossed or Caesar, it was offered for 5 with the entre , instead of the 7 if offered alone. Now I have had Caesar salads worth 10-12 dollars, but this one was very mayo tasting as if the dressing came from a supermarket, the croutons were a dentist’s dream, there was not visible parmagiano, and forget about anchovies. At least, the Romaine was fresh and crisp.Given the mundane quality of the Caesar served to me, it should be free. My entre was the sirloin meatloaf at $21. It came wrapped in bacon as if masquerading as a filet could justify the price. The carrot and pea mix with it, however, was quite good, and the pile of mashed potatoes was tasty, though lumpy in spots My wife’s pork loin was good but again overpriced at $32. She also ordered the strawberry shortcake for dessert, which came in a large bowl with one small biscuit and two, maybe three, thinly sliced strawberries. The rest of the bowl was filled with whipped cream, making the dish look far larger than it was. The waiter was enthusiastic in pointing out the lavender sugar on top, but I did not notice any evident flavor. All in all the food was not bad, but when you end up paying $75 for what should be about $50 in an unremarkable atmosphere, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth (pun intended). The waitstaff appeared to be local college students trained by corporate to pretend they were working in New York. They referred to the food far too often in the future tense: “the chef is going to braise this fish in goat sweat . . .” (Not if I don’t order it) “The specials will be listed on the back page of the menu” Aren’t they there now? This was all topped off by the menu proclaiming “All food prepared by Chef Josh,” as if that was enough to identify our cook and let us know how lucky we were. If someone wants to put their name on a menu, it should include a last name and a culinary credential. “Josh” is the kid who cuts my lawn. The whole presentation and staff attitude was rather ridiculous, but I guess they have to do something to justify the overpricing. But though caught up in this theater of the absurd, the staff seemed to be nice kids and they were at least efficient
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.