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Sparta NC - a culinary desert?

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Hello fellow 'hounders - we're heading to Sparta for a property buy this weekend, previous trips have shown nada/zero in quality food. Can you help? Promise to report results. Thanks!

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  1. Ok, we found a jewel in the rough - River Rock Grill in downtown Sparta, maybe 2 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance. Craving steak, the hotelier suggested this and called for us. A winner for food quality with excellent filets and a very awesome crab cake special. We are Florida folks and know our cakes, and these were outstanding - very little filling and lots sweet crab and no veg mixed in. Nice to see the 'standard' sides were yellow and green squash with red bell pep and not a fried accompaniment. Twice baked potatoes were excellent as well, as was the micro brew and wine selection. Low-key place with a pretty vast bar-ish menu, but you can't go wrong with the specials as Coach told us!

    2 Replies
    1. re: cflynn

      Thanks for the report! River Rock must be fairly new...last time I was in Sparta I couldn't find anything worthwhile. It seems like every small mountain town in NC is getting a quality restaurant these days, which is a great development.

      1. re: carolinadawg

        We were just in Sparta and if you're ever back in Sparta looking for a quick bite rather than a dining experience check out the Mexican place at the far left of the Lowe's Food strip mall. It's called Mexicana something-or-other. It was started by Mexicans for the Mexican Christmas tree workers in the area but is now owned and operated by a Spanish guy using the same recipes. Anyway, the fresh salsa was excellent and we enjoyed the tacos. The tacos pastor were especially good. They have beer and pool tables in the back.