My guest blogger today is FCEtier, photographer and published author. He and his wife had dinner at the Mount Pisgah Inn and wrote this review of their restaurant.
“Remember sir, this is Mount Pisgah — and that’s the promised land!” That’s the answer I was expecting when I asked our veteran server, “Mr. Bill”, “What are those buildings in the distance? Is that a town?”
Alas, it turned out to be Hendersonville, NC. We strongly suspect that lifelong (and/or loyal) residents may in fact feel that their favored town is the promised land. It didn’t look too bad after a couple of drinks as we awaited our (near) mile high dinner. A few clouds lingered after a front had passed through earlier in the day. We missed a thunderstorm that had promised to add some excitement to the Carolina blue skies just west of Cold Mountain.
Due to local ordinances, The Pisgah Inn can only offer beer and wine from their bar. There are no offerings on draft and the bottled beer is served with a cold (very cold) glass. I had domestic and my wife had a pale ale brewed in Asheville, NC.
Our server delivered a second round of hot rolls that proved much more tasty, soft, and pleasing than the first. My wife passed on an appetizer and I enjoyed the rolls with tomato basil soup. Crab cakes and pork chops at 5,000 feet with a killer view combine for a unique dining experience.
The soup was creamy (not too thin) and tart with chunks of tomato, seasoned perfectly and settled easily on my palate as a nice prelude to the pork. While my wife, “Miss Bob”, enjoyed her crab cakes, I sliced into a thick pork chop that was served over a bed of rice and accompanied by apple chutney. Grilled to perfection and “melt-in-your-mouth” tender, the chop is a great reason for a return visit. (It’s a regular item on the menu.) The sweetness of the apples balanced the flavor of the pork evenly.
We shared an order of crème brulee which turned out to be a bit thin although no disappointment at all as far as flavor. The coffee was fresh and hot — stronger than most served here in the mountains and reminded me how much I miss Louisiana’s Community Coffee.
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 408.6P.O.Box 749
Waynesville, NC 28786
As we enjoyed the view, my wife remarked that the succeeding layers of mountains reminded her of the ocean and it’s waves. For a moment, we shared a reverie of the Gulf Coast and times we enjoyed in our beach house in Gulfport.
After dinner we visited the observation deck for a few photos and the gift shop where local artists are featured. We were shocked to discover no “FCEtier” prints for sale there, but you never know. Here’s a popular FCEtier print taken just a few hundred yards from the restaurant. I call it, “Pisgah Steps.” It can be found HERE, in the “Travel” portfolio.
Enjoy this excerpt from The Tourist Killer, Chapter One where I visit this great restaurant:
The third man had shaken hands with destiny in the crush of a crowded reception and would never see the shooter again. The next morning, he was carried from the hotel in a body bag and, by dying, had given birth to memories and questions that haunted the shooter even now while entering the restaurant at the Mount Pisgah Inn. It was a favorite, and her preference was well known to the Clearing House.
“Yes, my usual table, please,” Claudia said, and the hostess led the way.
Claudia Barry’s favorite table was near the middle group of windows and presented diners with a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains from above many of them. Her chance to savor the view was short-lived. Her favorite server, “Mr. Joe,” arrived, holding a glass filled with ice and liquor. It had a mint sprig on top.