|Photo by jimmywayne, reproduced here under a creative commons license|
Dillsboro, NC is a quiet town beside Highway 441 just north of the Georgia border. I was persuaded to stop at the Dillsboro Smokehouse by the recommendation of several friends, and intrigued to find that they had been listed at #3 in National Geographic Traveler's book "The 10 Best Of Everything" back in 2006. The building sits right beside the main road through town. It's worn front porch, stone walls and tin roof are exactly what might come to mind when you picture a rustic mountain restaurant. The same atmosphere prevails inside, with it's wood floors and tables, and walls covered in license plates, business cards and other assorted memorabilia.
I just wanted a quick lunch, so I ordered a pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and sweet tea. While waiting, I read the writeups on the outside wall, which though most were a few years old, offered hope of a good meal. In a few minutes, I had my order in my hand and was on my way. Frankly, I was shocked. The chopped pork in my sandwich was cold, gristly and bland. I couldn't find a hint of their famous hickory smoke anywhere. On the plus side, the sweet potato fries and tea were good by comparison.
Obviously something has changed here in the last few years for them to take such a downhill turn. I can only guess that their management has decided to take some shortcuts in the kitchen and hope enough new tourists will stop by to keep them going. The sad thing is the great character of the building would have made it an awesome place if the food was up to par.
FOOD RATING: 2 OF 5OVERALL RATING: 3 OF 5