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Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC

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A neighbor thought I'd be impressed by the Grove Park Inn so we went and I treated. I will not be going back there again for the food. It was EXTREMELY overpriced. My crab cake sandwich with "remoulade" sauce was really a tiny bit of tarter sauce. The sandwich and a tiny bit of iceberg lettuce and a tasteless looking mealy slice of tomato. It came on a toasted hamburger bun and half of the plate was covered with greasy potato chips. If there wasn't lemon served with the water which I used to squeeze over the crab, the crab would have been completely tasteless. There was no salt on the table and both the crab and the potato chips needed salt. The price tag was $19. The view was gorgeous but NOT worth the price of the lunch. Go for a drink but NOT the food.

I also live an hour and a half away in SC where there are lots of restaurants but extremely few worth writing home about but MANY chains and lots of overpriced mediocre restaurants with bland food. This place in Asheville had equally unimpressive food.

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  1. Also, visitors/diners need to be aware that GPI has now imposed a $10 parking fee from now through early January. That's regular parking spots, not valet or the garage (those fees are higher). And yes, it applies to everyone including people coming to dine at the restaurants. It is designed to "reduce the volume of people" coming to see the gingerbread house display. Apparently, the guests of the inn were getting annoyed by the masses that showed up for the gingerbread houses. I get that, but it seems like there could be a better way to handle this.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Scirocco

      Well yesterday they weren't charging anything to park. I dropped off a friend who wasn't very mobile at the door and then parked the car in the lot.

      I think charging for parking unless they refund it back to you if you eat there is a bad move. The food is nowhere NEAR good enough to warrant paying the prices they charge for the food AND $10 for parking.

      Additionally they want all your personal info before they seat you. Then they almost didn't let us sit where we wanted (and the porch where we ate was m ore than half empty).

      I think the $10 charge for parking is really a bad marketing move -- unless it was going to include something like hot cider and cookies per carload of people. Come on it is Christmas and people are supposed to have the spirit of giving.

      1. re: Emilybh

        What do you mean they wanted your personal info? What possible difference could that make?

        I live almost within sight of the Inn and they haven't been neighborhood friendly in many many years.

        1. re: Leepa

          They wanted your name zip code and address. I'm glad the lady I was with gave hers. They entered it into the computer and this was all BEFORE you were seated. I thought it was a BIT MUCH. It wasn't like we had reservations and they needed to match up names or something. We just walked in and the place was more than half empty and yet we STILL needed to provide info for them to store in their computer. Needless to say for a mediocre over-priced restaurant to do this, to brand new prospective customers. They need to realize, it is a TURN OFF!

          1. re: Emilybh

            That's ridiculous. This is when I give fake names, etc.

            1. re: Leepa

              That is a good idea.

            2. re: Emilybh

              Do you think they would have refused to seat you if you said you didn't want to give them the info? This is just strange.

              1. re: Leepa

                I don't know but I wont be going back soon. It probably had something to do with the fact that if you were staying there they probably wanted your room number to add the bill to your room tab. I think what would have been more appropriate, would have been to stop asking questions once she learned we weren't staying there.

        2. re: Scirocco

          Sorry, I had the date wrong, the parking fee starts on Monday (the 19th), so run up there now if you want to park for free!! :)

          http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbc...

          if that link won't load try this one:
          http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/nov/16...

          1. re: Scirocco

            I certainly didn't pay for parking and wouldn't pay now that I know what it is like.

        3. About 2 years ago, 8 of us went to the GPI for drinks prior to an early reservation. Of course, the parking was free, but we had a long walk from the cars to the Inn and that's the only "complaint" I had. Great table, wonderful view, young-attractive-friendly waitress, sturdy drinks, and the prices seemed to be just a tad higher than at the bottom of the hill. So, with a very nice 2 martini buzz, we departed to make our reservation at The Admiral. A fantastic evening, but I sure as hell would NOT have paid $10 to park.

          1 Reply
          1. re: grampart

            GPI has a view...unfortunately, that is about it. I know they have undergone some changes lately but turning people off by asking personal info is not a good approach.

          2. I haven't recently eaten at the GPI, but just this week a friend of mine commented to me that when dining there last week that his chicken breast sandwich was inedible, almost. How does one mess up a chicken breast sandwich!?! I'm real sad about this demise...

            1. To the OP, sorry you had a back experience at the GPI. I wish you had posted about it before you went--I think most anyone familiar with the Asheville food scene would have told you to go there for drinks, but go somewhere else for food. There are many great restaurants in Asheville, but it's too bad the GPI's food just doesn't live up to expectations. Other than the food, it's a fantastic property. The views are amazing and the ambiance is unmatched. I stay there for business from time to time, but I always skip the restaurants unless I'm forced to eat there for schmoozing purposes. I've found that the food isn't bad, but it's not stellar by any means--and the prices make this weakness even more glaring. I really wish they'd upgrade the food so it is as spectacular as the property itself.

              2 Replies
              1. re: arbyunc

                Thanks. I wished I had joined and posted here before heading up to Asheville too. The view was nice but not worth paying $50 to see and leaving the place starving. The lady that came with me ate every morsel of her turkey and brie sandwich (which in my days of eating rich food daily I probably would have ordered instead) and some of my greasy undersalted chips . So she was happy. What I really should have done was just ordered the mixed green salad appetizer for $9 instead of paying $19 for a lousy crab cake sandwich . At least it would have filled me up more if they gave you more than three bites worth) and would have been more nutritious.

                1. re: Emilybh

                  Yeah, DH & I went a few years ago and will NEVER go back. Overpriced and overrated. We left 2 days early, drove into Atlanta and stayed at the Ritz in Buckhead. Much better experience overall.

              2. so sad to see all of these bad reports of the GPI. Lots of staff and policy changes since their sale earlier this year. Hopefully things will be back on track soon.