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“Great Views - Food Sub Par”

Simon's at the Columbia Gorge Hotel
Ranked #33 of 142 Restaurants in Hood River
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed September 16, 2013

The Columbia Gorge Hotel is an historical landmark. They have the ambience in their restaurant with inner seating, but the sun room (on the north side facing the Columbia River is the most used). But what a disappointment with the food quality and unorganized staff. We were told by a subservient waitress that one leader wants to seat everyone and isn't happy when other servers do some seating especially when backed up. His attitude is rough, isn't kind to his co-servers, doesn't smile, and has no emotional intelligence. He is a micromanager and clearly hasn't been properly trained. He doesn't welcome the guests. Rather than getting my coffee, he began setting another table.

We primarily ate breakfast there. On day 1 I had the chicken fried steak which likely was frozen and then deep fried. I didn't taste fresh. The toast was touted as being home made, but had a funny taste. On day 2, I ordered English muffins with an omelet and fruit, but got their same toast and potatoes with no fruit. Yesterday, I ordered oatmeal mush - could they screw up mush? Well, the mush was good, but the English muffin was floppy, untoasted on one side, and had that same bad taste on the other side. I realized that the toast was being done on the flat top that wasn't cleaned of old oils and grease for some time - hence the bad taste. I sent back the muffin. My bill was credited. The waitress said with eyes rolling that they don't even have a toaster in the kitchen. What??!! This is unacceptable. So I rate this restaurant very poor food quality, but high marks on ambiance and views of the Columbia River. Why can't they combine both. I bet Robert Irving of Food Network's Restaurant Impossible would have a disastrous time finding all the dirt in this kitchen. Likely the chef needs to be changed out for another one.

Be careful with this restaurant!! Enjoy the foods and the oatmeal which they haven't screwed up so far!

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Thank cliffwalters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 - 128 of 159 reviews

Reviewed September 5, 2013

I am a local, and I love this hotel's grounds. I always bring friends to check out the beautiful grounds and have a cocktail in the lounge. Everyone in town had high hopes when the new owners took over a couple years ago, but they have not managed to fix the restaurant. At least the brunch is awful.

The brunch is billed as a 7 course prix fixe for $28. To my experience courses are served in ... courses. We got a yogurt and berry parfait to start, which was nice. Then we were brought the next three courses on a three tiered tray all at the same time. Huh? (I recognized the trays as the high tea sandwich and pastry trays they used to use when the old owners had the place.) The scones and biscuits were fine. The "cheese plate" was such a joke I started laughing out loud when she brought it to us... it consisted of cubes of swiss, pepper jack and cheddar, like you'd find at a cheap reception right out of a Smart & Final bag. The bottom tray was a "seasonal fresh fruit" tray, which was some uninspired sliced up melon, no garnish, nothing. After that fiasco, our entrees arrived. I had ordered the steelhead hash. Hash means that the ingredients are hashed together, fried up nice and crispy. This consisted of some soggy home fries with a tiny steelhead filet sitting hidden under two fried eggs. My friend had the meat lover's omelette, which she described as fine.

The server was friendly enough, but she never cleared our used dishes and reeked of cigarettes and sweat. Hood River has such a terrible problem with good service. If your food sucks, at least invest in training your servers.

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Thank batgirlita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, and decided to eat at the restaurant instead of going back into town. I ordered the rib eye steak which was ok, nothing special, and my husband ordered the wild boar. His "wild boar" tasted like mutton, it was definately old lamb, not any kind of boar! My husband took 2 bites and left the rest. My husband let the waiter know that what was ordered was not served. The waiter said he was sorry, refilling our wine glasses stating that "this was on the house". The wine he poured into our glasses (which were half full) was not the wine we were drinking. When we explained this, he again states, "so sorry, I won't charge you for your intial glass of wine". By this time we were frustrated and disappointed, just needing to get out of there! While waiting for our check, the table behind us sent back their dinner, stating that the duck did not taste right. Bottom line, I would never go back. There are too many other excellent choices in Hood River to dine in, like the Celilo, which I highly recommend.

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Thank DreaBend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

I have always wanted to stop and eat at the Columbia Gorge Hotel and this past weekend we did. My first comment is that there is no signage telling you which door the restaurant is behind. We went in to the hotel lobby, the gal behind the desk didn't even look up, we continued on in and found the restaurant. I had no idea it was named Simon's, we didn't see anything with that name on it! We found a waitress who showed us to a table in the sunroom. It was not as musty smelling as the main room. Very nice surroundings and view. I listened to the waitress tell the table near us that customer's like the lobster salad and she recommended the monte cristo. When our own waitress finally arrived, I was waiting for her to tell us about any specials or at least what the soup of the day was, she finally asked if we had any questions and I had to inquire about those two things. Duh, Clam Chowder, it was Friday after all! I ordered the Lobster salad, my husband ordered the beef brisket sandwich. While waiting for the food to arrive we were noticing the wall and white woodwork beside our table which was splattered with what looked like pop or coffee and also looked to have been there awhile. I have a thing about clean restaurants and this one needed some attention. Food finally arrived and before she could even set it down I could smell fish. The "lobster" on my salad, 5 curled chunks, was not the claw meat as described on the menu. It was also not fresh and looked slightly slimy. I am a seafood lover and I know better than to eat anything that smells of fish. I pushed the lobster aside and tried to eat the salad. It was pretty good but my appetite was gone and when the waitress finally came back to check on us (the restaurant wasn't busy) I told her how fishy my lobster smelled and she offered to get me some more and then said she would bring a plate for me to put my smelly lobster on. Really. In all fairness to this restaurant, my husband enjoyed his brisket sandwich. When the bill came our waitress had deducted $4 off my salad. Needless to say, I won't be back.

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Thank bakercitymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We enjoyed our meal (brunch) there and the beutiful setting however even though we had a reservation we had a 20 minute wait and the service, while very friendly, quite slow. But again it was a very good meal.

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

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