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“Surprisingly good for an area with limited choices...”

The River Restaurant & Lounge
Ranked #3 of 6 Restaurants in El Portal
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed July 14, 2014

We ate dinner at The River our first night in El Portal. Given the location and the limited choices, our expectations were low. The place isn't much to look at from the outside. The inside isn't much better. The restaurant has a deck though, and it was nice eating outside overlooking the river. The bar areas is nice enough, and the bartender made a perfect martini. The waiter, Gavin, was excellent. Bread was really good and served with butter. The restaurant has a decent soup and salad bar. The steak, which came with mashed potatoes and vegetables, was tender and well-prepared but a little lacking in flavor. The BBQ chicken, which also came with mashed potatoes and vegetables, was very good. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by The River.

1  Thank Carillon226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 - 143 of 267 reviews

Reviewed July 7, 2014

We were there this past weekend where the place can get busy. The food was okay...the salad and soup bar was a nice feature. But our waiter was a little overwhelmed, and often forgot things that we ended up asking everyone else around for things. And he never really came around to check on us.

What got me the most, however, was the host. As we were waiting, another waiter came out to him showing him 2 entrees of diners who were leaving as their entrees were not edible. Even the waiter told the host how the beef was over cooked, and the rice was soggy (the dish was beef teriyaki). The chef even told the waiter to take it off the specials for the rest of the night). However, the host made the waiter charge the diners the cost of the salad and soup bar (which come complimentary with entrees) just because they ate while waiting for their entrees.

Clearly, this host needs to be trained more on hospitality, especially this day in age where everyone can report everything they see (like this post). If the food is so inedible that the staff and chef even agree it can't be eaten, the diners should NEVER be charged for something they never anticipated nor did maliciously (eat at the complimentary salad bar while waiting for their food). I was appalled when I heard this host tell the waiter to charge the diners...clearly his bosses haven't updated him on the ways of modern restaurant hospitality.

Hope they all get their acts together and provide better service.

1  Thank alwaysbetraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

We stayed two nights in El Portal and there are not a lot of choices. I was alittle skeptical about the prices when I saw the menu. I ordered the steak and it was very good. I have to say our waiter was the best I ever had, went back a second night and he remembered us and what we had the night before, so ask for Gavin and you won't be disappointed. Only bad thing to say is there aren't a lot of choices for small children. Would definitely eat here again.

1  Thank WildHaireHiking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014

At the West enterance of Yosemite in El Portal is The River restaurant. The reason to dine there is the wonderful back patio overlooking the Merced river !!! Salad bar with every meal. Reasonalble prices compared to being in the park. Friendly staff. This place is a winner.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RJ B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

My husband and I have stayed at Yosemite View Lodge in the past and knew that there was no other alternative apart from the pizza place on site. We ate at the River Restaurant on the previous occasion and it was "alright", however, this time we thought the food had improved and it wasn't bad value for money. My only criticism was the fact that we were unable to book a table so had to wait in the bar for about 45 - 50 mins before we were seated in the restaurant. I think this was just a ploy to spend money in the bar as the restaurant was only half full.

Thank Ev52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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