September 9, 2014
Anniversary Dinner at The Peddler Steakhouse
My rating: 2 of 5 spoons
My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary with a short getaway in Gatlinburg, TN (which, along with another trip for a family reunion, is why I haven't posted in a few weeks!). We honeymooned there and hadn't been back since, so it seemed a good fit for a long weekend. We rented a cabin for the weekend and planned to have a nice dinner Friday night to celebrate. We were told by many people that we HAD to go to The Peddler. They don't take reservations, but you can call ahead to lessen your wait time. We called ahead and requested a table on the creek. We arrived a little early (they don't start seating people until 5:00pm) and were seated quickly. I found it interesting that the person that seated us walked past many nice creek-side tables to place us at one in the corner with probably the worst view of all the creek-side tables, but decided not to worry about it. The wait staff were very nice, and arrived to take our order quickly. One man takes all the orders, and he shows up at your table with a slab of rib-eye and a slab of NT strip steak that he will cut to order, or you can order off the menu. We were told to go hungry and expect to take food home as there is a nice salad bar, and meal portions are very large. I have been in the mood for seafood lately, so I ordered the combo plate with the Fresh Fried Trout and Stuffed Shrimp (hand battered fried shrimp stuffed with seasoned crab meat, covered with a creamy seafood sauce) and the Grilled Vegetable Skewer as a side. My husband went with the combo plate with an 8-oz Rib-Eye Steak and the Stuffed Shrimp as well, with Sweet Potato Casserole as his side.
The salad bar was very nice with mixed salad greens or iceberg lettuce (which was very nice as I don't care for iceberg lettuce and that is what is on your average salad bar) and quite the array of ingredients. All your classics were there from carrots and tomatoes to chopped ham and boiled eggs, but they also included anchovies, smoked mussels, chickpeas, sprouts, etc.
When we returned to our table, they had brought bread to the table which was quite good. We settled into our salads, but before long our entrees showed up. Hmm. That was not what I was expecting. One small piece of trout and 3 shrimp when you're told to expect a LOT of food is somewhat disconcerting. I was now very glad I had got a large salad, as I would need it to take care of my hunger pains! The trout was--interesting. The flavor was very uneven. One bite would taste like it had NO seasoning--not even salt--and the next bite would be nice. The crab stuffing was amazing!! I could have just eaten a bowl of it and been satisfied! The shrimp, however, was overcooked, so once you ate past the stuffed part, the upper area was on the rubbery side. The grilled vegetables were completely bare and very bland. If they'd had a little drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt, they would have been greatly improved!
Over all, the service to this point was good (though they mixed up our food putting my veggies on his plate and his sweet potatoes on mine), the food somewhat mixed and the atmosphere nice, but paying the bill started a mess. We had a VISA gift card we wanted to use for part of it, and then put the rest on our debit card. The card had nearly $70 on it, but our server said she could only get it to run through at $55. Not a problem, we said we'd put the rest and the tip on our debit card. I checked the card when we got home and saw that they'd put the $11.00 tip on the gift card as well, but when I checked our bank account, it showed just the remaining amount of the bill, so that was fine--or so we thought. Nearly a week later my husband was doing a routine check of our bank account and saw that they put the tip on our debit card, too, giving themselves a $22 tip!!!
If you're heading to Gatlinburg and want a great steak, this might be the place for you. However, I was not impressed over all, and with the double tip, I don't expect to ever return.