My husband, daughter, and I were in town for a Duke football game and thought it would be great to go back to the Angus Barn. I grew up in NC, have been there many times for special occasions (including dinner with our parents the weekend my husband and I got married), and am well aware of its storied history. We had reservations for 8:00 on a Friday night. We got there a few minutes early and it was packed. The hostess found our reservation and then with barely a word handed us a buzzer. Huh? We headed up to the bar--no seating. One of the employees wearing some sort of earpiece/microphone greeted us and casually said it would probably be about 9:30 before we were seated for dinner. I asked "Really? We had an 8 o'clock reservation." He then said "oh no, it won't be that long if you have reservations." Not a good sign.
We headed back downstairs and were able to buy some cocktails. There was also cheese and crackers in that area of the restaurant--thankfully. Also very fortunately there was a kids' area and treasure chest, so my very hungry daughter was distracted for a moment. We were considering leaving, but around 8:25 our buzzer "buzzed" and we were taken to a table.
After several minutes, our server showed up. We wanted more time to review the wine list, so we simply asked for waters and a lemonade for my daughter. She disappeared--for quite some time. She came back a bit later with the lemonade and more cheese and crackers, also some olives, but no water. She informed us that she'd be bringing out some complimentary ribs because of our long wait, and we asked for some water again.
As we waited, we noticed that many tables had the "complimentary ribs". More time passed--still no water. By this time, we had made our dinner selections. The waitress came out with the ribs--we informed her of our wine selection and I thought it best to go ahead and get our dinner order in. We reminded her again about the waters. We took a few bites of the ribs, which were average. Finally a young man brought water--it was almost 9 o'clock and we were parched. We sat there a while longer, wondering if wine, bread, or salads would come. Finally, after no one showed up, we decided to leave, having wasted over an hour of our lives. The waitress never showed up again.
I thought about giving the Angus Barn an overall rating of one star instead of two, but as we didn't eat their food, I didn't think that would be fair. What a disappointing experience at a once great restaurant.