Category: North Carolina

Denny’s, 101 Wintergreen Drive, Lumberton, NC

We stopped for a late night (around 10pm) dinner at Denny’s in Lumberton on Saturday, July 23. We were seated quickly, and had our menus and drinks almost right away. Three of our four-member party ordered the new and improved buttermilk pancakes, while I opted for the biscuits and gravy (which, for some odd reason, is NOT on the menu).

Our food was delivered a bit later, and dropped off quickly. The waiter who brought it (not our original server) handed out the plates and left so fast we didn’t even have time to mention that we had no silverware, there was no butter for the pancakes, and our drinks needed refilling. No one stopped by to see if everything was acceptable, and when we were finally able to flag someone down, we received the silverware, drinks (without ice) and NO butter. By the time we were able to find someone to bring butter for the one person who really wanted it, everyone else was almost done eating. The pancake eaters said that the advertised-as-fluffier buttermilk pancakes were good, and possibly a bit “fluffier” than the original version. I thought that the biscuits and gravy entree was quite tasty, as always.

Despite the poor service, we took a chance and ordered dessert…BIG mistake. The child in our party wanted the special milkshake advertised on the children’s menu,  but was told that they were using old menus (apparently from the Christmas season) and that some of the items were no longer available (including, of course, what he wanted to order). He chose something else instead, but was very disappointed. We also ordered the family-sized sundae, which was billed as four scoops of ice cream with caramel sauce, nuts, and whipped cream, on a bed of hot fudge. The sundae was delivered without any hot fudge at all. Once again, we had to track down a server for help. Eventually, once we were half-finished with the dessert, someone brought us a small dish of regular chocolate syrup. This is NOT in any way the same as a sundae served on a bed of hot fudge. I was quite surprised that the manager did not intervene and offer to make it right by bringing us a new, properly-prepared sundae. By that point, however, we were too tired to bother.

At no point in our visit did anyone actually apologize for the poor service. Our primary server mentioned that they were “swamped”, although the restaurant did not look very crowded. Of course, perhaps even that small a number of diners was more than is typical for 10pm on a Saturday. Still, swamped or not, the service should have been better. Knowing that there was an issue of too many customers/too few staff, a manager should have been making the rounds to insure that everyone was satisfied, and taken steps to make things right whenever possible. I left with the impression that nobody at the location actually cared about the poor service. Obviously nobody cared that the staff was forced to use outdated menus with offerings that were no longer available. Overall, very disappointing.

So, in spite of some pretty good food, I am forced to give Denny’s #7330 of Lumberton only 2.5 out of 5 cheesy singles.

 

Red Roof Inn, 1902 Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville, NC

My family and I spent the night of 7/15/16 at the Red Roof Inn at 1902 Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville, NC. My first overwhelming impression upon entering the room was the incredible HEAT. Now, I understand that it tends to be warm in NC during July, and that the hotel management would not want to run the AC at full blast in an empty room. However, the AC should not be turned off completely so that the room heats up like a sauna. Knowing guests would be arriving, surely someone could have turned the unit on to a balmy setting of 80 or 85 degrees?

In any case, it was entirely too hot to remain in the room, so we cranked up the AC and went out to dinner. By the time we returned, it was slightly cooler, but still uncomfortably hot in the room. I could only stand to remain inside at all by sitting right beside the AC unit, with the air blowing in my face. By around 4am, the room had cooled enough to be tolerable (although still too hot) for those sleeping in the bed furthest from the air conditioner. Even with the door left open, the bathroom never cooled off enough to be pleasant. The AC did seem to be working fine, as cold air was coming out of the unit. However, it was obviously inadequate to cool the entire room on short notice. Also, it was incredibly loud. As cutting it off was NOT an option, nobody slept well that night. Depending on the time, we were either too hot to sleep (and kept awake by the loud AC unit) or moderately comfortable and able to doze off (while being regularly awakened by the loud AC unit).

On the positive side, housekeeping had done a very impressive job. I didn’t notice any part of the room that wasn’t thoroughly cleaned, the room smelled fresh, and the beds were made with the tightest hospital edges and corners I’ve ever seen in a hotel. The shower was also quite good…the water pressure was strong enough, and once the water temperature was set to where I wanted it, it stayed there for the duration of of the shower. As mentioned previously, however, it was entirely too hot in the bathroom to even dress in there after getting out of the shower.

On another negative note,  the toilet clogged up. When we called the front desk, we were told that our only option was to walk down to the desk, get a plunger, come back to the hot bathroom in the hot hotel room, unclog the toilet ourselves, then trek back to the front desk to return the plunger. Very poor customer service!

Also, the mini-fridge in the room did not have any sort of temperature control. We put some just-purchased fresh fruit in the fridge (to protect it from the heat) and woke up to find it frozen. We had to throw it away.

Honestly,  I wish I could give this Red Roof Inn a better review, as I imagine not all rooms were as bad as ours. The two smaller incidents (toilet and fridge) would not have been nearly so bothersome if not for the heat problem. Unfortunately, because of the unbearably hot room combined with the loud yet inadequate AC unit, I am forced to rate my experience as:

2 out of 5 provolone wedges (and the management should give the Housekeeping Team a HUGE thank you, as without their efforts, the hotel would be looking at 1 wedge (or maybe less….)

 

 

 

 

 

Ruby Tuesday, 1936 Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville, NC

I had dinner at the Fayetteville, NC Ruby Tuesday on 7/15/16. Overall, my experience was excellent. Our server, Christian, was exceptional. He was polite and friendly, greeting us shortly after we sat down, and taking care of everything we needed with speed and a smile. He was talkative enough to be personable, without being over-the-top (a rare quality in a server). I honestly can’t say enough good things about him. Excellent service!

The food was good also. I personally had a chicken entree, which was very tasty despite a bit of gristle along one edge. My first side was fresh green beans, made even better by their proximity to the delicious sauce from the chicken. I opted for the salad bar as my second side, and was very pleased. There were four types/mixes of fresh greens to choose from, as well as plenty of toppings, two cheeses, wonderful fresh croutons, and lots of salad dressing choices. My one suggestion would be more lite/low-calorie dressing options, but all-in-all, a most excellent salad bar experience.

Other members of my party ordered a different chicken entree (with lots of cheese, which looked wonderful) and a burger/fries combo (which I sampled, and look forward to ordering in the future).

The temperature in the restaurant was perfect, every staff member I saw was friendly, and I highly recommend this location.

Five out of five cheddar slices!