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“Inconsistent, sad to say.”

Charles Street Dinner House
Ranked #1 of 43 Restaurants in Mariposa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed July 19, 2013

I really don't like to write negatively of a local business. I would LOVE to rave unequivocally about a local restaurant and to be perfectly honest, we've had some fine meals at Charles Street. But had a pretty bad experience at lunch this week while entertaining visitors. Nothing worse than having to apologize to the in-laws after taking them out to a restaurant we had praised and selected for their lunch meal. That said: our party of five arrived at 12 noon. There were only three tables occupied and at least two waitresses to attend to the dining room. Even so, the initial order-taking was very slow. We eventually were able to place our order, and the waitress went on her way, returning soon after to let me know that even though I had ordered fish and chips, they were all out of "chips" (fries.) Despite the fact I saw other diners eating french fries. But they had apparently JUST run out (again, this was a weekday at noon) and I was given the options of substituting fish and <soup> or <salad> or (at my own query) the house waffle fries/chips. Fish and salad? Fish and soup? When I was in the mood for the fish and CHIPS that was on the menu? Well...I opted for the house waffle fries/chips. We ordered a VERY simple burger for my son - with very clear, very simple instructions as his preferences are for basic, bare food. But then, the wait began - and we weren't served until 45 minutes after arriving. Well, SOME of us were served at that time: the waitress brought out only three of our five meals, and had blown it on my son's burger order, with fried onions added and melted into the cheese - he doesn't like onions at all. We tried to scrape them off and salvage the remains, but it wasn't what we had specifically ordered. My fish and "fries" was really bizarre: the "fish" weren't recognizable as such either by appearance or taste: they resembled three stubby little cigars. Literally. Extremely meager size and the bits of fish inside the batter tubes was nearly indistinguishable and tasteless. But it wasn't until at least five minutes later that my wife and mother-in-law received their food. After already waiting so long for our food to be delivered, we then sat there and waited until the entire table was served. And again - there were only THREE other tables and it did not seem as though there was a deficit of staff on hand. For those of we who had the house waffle fries, they were overcooked to the point of being darkly brittle, and greasy to an extreme. And I hate to make even slight light of the situation, but in the words of the old vaudeville punchline, "....and such small portions!" I had had it at that point and firmly told the waitress our complaints and disappointments, and that we were locals. She apologized and left....and that was about it. Matter of fact, we didn't receive refills of iced tea or any other attempt to check on us after that point, after all the food was finally delivered, with errors made on the orders and all. I felt badly for my in-laws, who were visiting from out of the immediate area....and also felt badly that we had told them Charles Street was a fine restaurant, only to have my wife and myself made out to be fools or liars. The check arrived and NO adjustment had been made on any aspect of the tab, but I paid without complaint, leaving a healthy tip for the waitress, and we left. However, and again, we are locals: we will not be returning any time soon. We've had many fine meals there since its re-opening but this particular lunch left such a bad taste in our mouths (literally) that we won't consider dining at Charles Street. CONSISTENCY is paramount in a restaurant - but it's clear they're having problems delivering the goods...and I don't want to take a chance that we'll dine there on another bad day - especially when entertaining family/visitors.

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Thank MaestroLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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497 - 501 of 940 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2013

All I wanted after a day in yosemite was steak and potatoes. This place served it up. Nice plate, diverse menu, something for everyone. A bit pricey but all things considered just what I wanted. Plenty of food, great staff, friendly, a relaxing night.

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1  Thank Kevin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We arrived late and it was 4th of July (national day!) and the restaurant was about the only one open in the city - so it was busy but still the hostess was very welcoming and friendly and signed us up for 25 minutes later - when we arrived 5 minutes early the table was just about ready. We had a lovely time; the atmosphere is just great; "outdated" interior and decorations but in a cool and cosy way so that it just adds lots of warmth and personality. The service was great, and the food was very okay indeed (maybe a bit to the expensive side, but all in all it was totally worth it). I would warmly recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting Mariposa and looking for a unique restaurant!

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1  Thank CecilieCPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We were in the other night on our trip to Yosemite. We stopped in for a late dinner. I had the seafood pasta special, which the waitress recommended, and forgot to mention was $30!

My husband had a steak. It was cooked correctly, however he wasn't impressed with the flavor.

The ambiance is lacking. The 1970's décor is terrible, and the wine they served us was hot. We were disappointed to say the least, especially after reading such great reviews.

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Thank Linsey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Arrived late after a long journey, food amazing, staff are lovely, friendly, funny and polite, ambiance is very nice and relaxing. Would recommend this to everyone.

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1  Thank Bradley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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