Ron Says ~
Ok, this was the last place I ate while here in Harper’s Ferry.
The event, as I shall call it, began about an hour after Susan finished up her business affairs, and we had been here since taking pictures of the Scenic Historic Section of Harper’s Ferry.
Susan realized that she had not been deleting photos from her memory card and that it was now full and wouldn’t save any more pictures. We decided that it would be best to go eat as we both were also beginning to get a bit hungry. Plus sitting down would better allow Susan to perform her Carpel Tunnel Olympics (aka deleting over 150 photos one by one).
I chose this place, much to my dismay, as it will remain on my permanent record card of miserable picks. But look at the picture… historic nature of the building, it’s an Inn also (B&B), serves food. I’m thinking I’ve had great food at nearly every Bed & Breakfast I stayed at. (but this was lunch and those were breakfasts, I should have reminded myself). Plus they had some beer.
Well we arrive, and choose to sit in the rock garden in the rear of the building. This was the highlight of the “event”. The rock garden patio is carved out of the cliff, with six or seven iron tables, varying between seating two or four people. Plus it’s elevated into two sections. I should also say it was a very cool spot and this was a relief as the November temperatures were getting warm and I feel I was over dressed. So again a welcome break.
It didn’t take long to realize that there was only one server working the entire place. Susan thinks this is a commendable quality for our server, that he’s having to do all this. I try to reason that there was only like one couple inside, and two tables in the front and one of those I think was leaving. In the back with us, was about four tables seated. That’s a total of seven tables this guy is handling.
After viewing the menu, Susan says that she would be ok bailing and going across the street. “Stay the course”, I say. I should have been shot then.
The menu wasn’t all that inspiring. I would say the originators simply took their favorite bar’s menu and “embellished” the descriptions. (You know smiliar to how you did your resume in trying to find a job). I don’t take notes, but there was nothing on here that I remember. Sandwiches, appetizers, two soups, about three entrees. Beers were $3.95 for a bottle, and $4.00 for a draft. I chose draft and a Shenendoha Ale from a regional brewery. (Ok I was feeling a little under the weather from the previous eve’s gambling festivities, and I did consume a Sprite prior to ordering this Ale. But we don’t need to get bogged down in details)
I order the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries special. $11.99. What I was expecting was a nice sandwich, maybe some gourmet lettuce, thick slab of chicken (Hey remember that Chicken dish at the Outback ~ Alice Springs Chicken I think it’s $11.99). Fries - I expected to be fresh cut maybe, or some gourmet type of thing. What I got was something different.
Quite a bit, but instead of describing it to you, I will tell you how to duplicate the meal.
Go get a Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich and some Arby’s Fries. That’s right. I’m serious. It was that bad. The Ale was good, but the food was not. One piece of tomato, one ring of onion, a piece of lettuce and such a small piece of chicken, I think it was extruded from the egg prematurely.
It totally sucked. This is taking tourist trap to the Disney Level, but without the mouse. I can’t even imagine what one would do if staying at the Inn? This was terrible.
The bun was some crazy type of bun, kind of hard. I think it was good but just not what I prefer, the chicken was over cooked. It did have the grilled flavor, but that’s about the only positive you can say. If it had been left any longer on the grill it would have dried out enough to become jerky.
While I’m talking about the grilling… I noticed no outside grill, and there was no smell of grilled items of any sort as we walked throught the halway separating the kitchen area from the inside dining room. This leads me to suspect that this was a frozen grilled chicken breast… similiar to those found at Sam’s. But I don’t know and it’s pure speculation on my part. Nevertheless, because I don’t know, causes me to think even less of the place.
Our bill was outrageous for what we got. Susan ended up with a meal one could have received from Captian D’s, like six pieces of fried breaded shrimp, and more of the curly fries. I’m serious it was bad.
However this was a great prelude to the dinner we had in Buckhannon at C.J. Maggies later that day. (insert sarcasm)
This place deserves No Fork. The service was slow, maybe the guy has an excuse, but that’s not my concern. The food was edible, but no way in hell was it worth the price. I alluded to Disneyish prices above, but that’s being unfair …. TO THE MOUSE. I think Mickey would be ashamed to charge what we where charged at this place. It was just bad fast food.
By this time, I suppose I had been worn down by two weeks of tourism. My expectations had been lowered due to the quality of food we had been receiving for the price we were forced to pay.
That day I was hungry, hot, and upset that I had filled my memory card. In a strange turn of events, I deferred to Ron to choose the restaurant in the historic section of Harper’s Ferry. We were on foot, so he had to pick a place out of about 4 that were open. (Apparantly this is a seasonal destination and several places were closed.)
Obviously looking around for a place with a “Bud” sign, Ron chooses this Pub. Directly across the street, there was another eatery (Secret Six Tavern) with a sign out front announcing a fish and chips special for about $8. That sounded good. I knew I was probably going to get crap food here in the land of school field trips, so a deep-fried piece of fish with deep-fried fries would be a safe choice. Hoping fish was on the menu at the Pub and not wanting to take responsibility for the subpar, overpriced meal I was sure we were about to receive at either location, I agreed to Ron’s choice.
The menu had about 10 things on it. Almost half of those were salads, which I do not consider to be a viable entree, so that left even fewer choices. No fish. The only thing close to fish was a fried shrimp basket on the appetizer list for $8.99. Yikes! I bet that wouldn’t come with fries, either. Nothing else was even remotely appealing to me save the grilled chicken sandwich Ron was considering but that thing was priced at $11.99.
I don’t do this very often, but at that point I suggested we bail.
But Ron just sat there. I inquired about the shrimp to our understandably frazzled, yet still friendly, waiter. I was correct, no fries with that… but I can add them for the special price of $10.99 total. I placed the order.
My beer was cold, but overpriced at $3.95 for a bottle of Michelob Ultra. I had finished deleting the necessary photos from my camera by the time the plates arrived.
Interlude to defend the Captain: Ron stated that I could get this same type of food at Captain D’s. I like Captain D’s and it is on our regular rotation for work lunches. I love their fish and the little nuggets of fried fat that dot the black plastic divided plate. Captain D’s serves a similar fried shrimp, but they have sauces to go with it and I like the orange marmalade-y one. Captain D’s also serves non-fried seafood items and they have a wide range of sides available. Oh yeah, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper! I believe Captain D’s is far superior to the Pub and should not be associated with it in this way. Besides, haven’t you heard that Captain D’s is just as good as Red Lobster???
My entire meal came out of bags of frozen items and were prepared in the deep-fryer. That’s exactly what I was going for. Not because it’s great food… no. It’s a defense mechanism. You know how the hedgehog will roll up into a prickly ball to avoid being eaten by a predator? Well, I order food that’s almost impossible to screw up when in a dangerous culinary canondrum.
My food was hot and crispy. The fries were actually quite tasty and very Arby’s-like, as Ron mentioned. My meal filled me up and gave me the carbohydrates I needed to hike up 524 stone steps to Jefferson Rock and the cemetary beyond it.
The price, however, gave me diaper rash.
Considering all aspects of this meal and the limited menu, ONE FORK. When in Harper’s Ferry, go to the Cannonball instead. And then stop at one of two dozen places geared at those school children to get an ice cream!The Town’s Inn Pub & Eatery 179 High Street Harper’s Ferry, WV 877-489-2447