What does it say about my taste in food when I enjoy eating at converted “filling stations”? When we discovered Tasty’s, a hamburger joint in Fernandina Beach located in a one time gas station, I thought it to be an anomaly, but maybe not.
On a recent trip to Bryson City, North Carolina I found myself not only eating in another of these converted spaces, but enjoying it just as much. The Filling Station Deli serves soups, salads, and sandwiches with creative filling station inspired names like The Regular, The Premium, No-Lead, Fill’er Up, and Ethyl (that’s a term I hadn’t heard in years). We ordered the N.C. Ham Melt and fries and made our way to one of the half dozen tables.
Delicious! The only word to describe the food. With lots of variety on the menu including sweets, The Filling Station will not disappoint.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for The Jarrett House in Dillsboro, a restaurant that’s been a favorite for nearly 40 years. Don’t get me wrong, the food was not bad, but it also was not up to the standards of past visits.
The replacement of the antique furniture in the parlor which serves as a waiting room signaled the changes we would encounter in the dining experience as well. In the past, meals were served family style with bowls of biscuits, slaw, potatoes, green beans, apples, and tomatoes or beets refilled through out the meal. Now, diners order two of the side dishes with their meal. The fried chicken and chicken and dumplings did not disappoint, but I guess it’s just as well the side dishes were limited. No one wanted extra of the rather bland vegetables.
Bland potatoes and vinegary beans…
Small portions for $12.95
Highlight of the meal.
Is this really vinegar pie?
We decided to finish our meal with the vinegar pie we’ve come to love, but this was by far the biggest disappointment of all. The dessert looked like a slice of cake instead of the custard pie we expected. After a couple of bites, we quit trying to make it something it was not. When asked if we wanted to box the left over pie for later, we declined and told the waitress it wasn’t what we expected. She asked if it was dry, a complaint she’d heard from other diners, and then removed the charges from our bill.
I’m sad to say The Jarrett House is no longer a must. In fact, I doubt we’ll return. Instead, we’ll head up the road and grab something at The Filling Station.