My family and I visit the Boone/Banner Elk area several times a year and have eaten at Zuzda before and really enjoyed the food. This year, for my 40th birthday, I chose to return here for dinner with my husband and son. We made a reservation and when we arrived were seated promptly and then it all went downhill. It took over 5 minutes for anyone to even come to the table to greet us. Then once our server finally showed up and took our drink order it took another 10 minutes just to get our drinks delivered. Actually it took 10 minutes to get my drink delivered and my husband was told that the beer he ordered was out of stock. It then took another 5 minutes to get his beer. I spent many years working as both a server and bartender and nothing bothers me more than having to wait to be greeted or get a drink. So now my poor husband has been sitting at the table for 20 minutes with nothing to drink. Despite the inner voice telling me we should just leave, we wait another 5-10 minutes for the server to return to the table to take our order. Because it is small plates we order several items. When the food comes it is tasty and we finish everything and then realize that one dish was never delivered. We waited with dirty plates at the table for about 10 minutes and are ready to get the check when the server appears with our last dish. At that point I was so done with the entire experience that I wasn't even hungry and so I let my husband finish the dish and we left.
As foodies, my huband and I really look for the complete experience in a restaurant. Although the food here is good, the service is TERRIBLE and the atmosphere is lacking (dark and outdated). In an area driven by tourism this restaurant really could have potential, but some serious changes would be required. If the owners of this restaurant care about feedback and improving the customers' experience they would be paying close attention to the reviews on Trip Advisor, as I'm not the first person to complain about these things.
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