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Caroline's Dining on the River
Ranked #19 of 38 Restaurants in Apalachicola
Price range: US$8 - US$26
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Loved the french toast and ham, fresh squeezed oj was awesome, biscuits were wonderful, coffee was good. Service was good, friendly and quick. We were there when the hotel that is connected to Caroline's was booked, it was a busy time of year and there was still no wait or problem with service.

1  Thank Labrandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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352 - 356 of 694 reviews

Reviewed 20 July 2014

Caroline's was on my list of "must go to" restaurants after reading reviews. What a huge disappointment it was. First, the hostess was rude and clearly not happy we even walked in. We asked for a table outside, she was again not happy with this. We ordered drinks and she brought them. My husband asked if they had Oysters Rockefeller, since he stopped in a couple of days earlier and was under the impression they served them, but were not on the menu. Her answer was, she doesn't normally work the lunch shift, just brunch, so she didn't know. Like we needed to know that, right? Do your job............so he said, then do me a favor and find out. She finally came back to say, no, they didn't offer them and he must have asked at the restaurant next door. He said no, he had come here in person to ask, but fine. We all ordered, then we waited and waited...........I almost thought maybe we should just leave, this is not a good sign. Miss Annoyed came and refilled our drinks after we asked another waitress to please tell her. Then, we never saw her again and the other waitress was taking care of us, assured us our food was on it's way. It did finally come, and it was certainly not worth the wait. And so you can see how long it took, the party that walked in right ahead of us had appetizers, their meals and left.....just when our lousy food arrived! We had no setups so we waited with our food getting cold. My daughter ordered from the kids menu, half the entree was missing and the buttered bowties were actually boiled, plain fettucine, laying in a bunch of water. My grouper was grilled and in several pieces. Not very tasty and couldn't compare to the the other area restaurants. My niece ordered fried grouper, same thing, it came in several pieces instead of one large piece. My husband said the oysters he ordered were lukewarm and the other person in our party said theirs was just ok. The second waitress was very nice and we let her know my daughter did not want the bland pasta that was not as described on the menu. She said they had changed the pasta, but not on the menus. She replaced with an order of fries along with the salad that was supposed to come with it at no charge. We did not complain about the rest, but did ask if she would get the whole tip or have to share with the original waitress. She said she was gone and we told her how rude she was. She told us she had been upset because she was supposed to go home, but because they were short staffed, reluctantly agreed to stay. Our second waitress was very good, but the whole experience was very bad and we won't go back on our next visit. Want great food? Go to the Owl Cafe or Boss Seafood, all right in that area. Don't waste your time and money here.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Deborah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

We did have a large party(11), but the service was quite slow. The restaurant did not appear overly busy and there were several empty tables. It took over an hour to get our meals. The food was generally acceptable, but pricey for the amount of food. If you are by the window the view is lovely.

Thank DarkChocolateFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We had breakfast 3 mornings during our stay at River Inn. The food was good but not superior. The view can't be beat. Service was good, not excellent.

Thank clh575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We came upon Apalachicola on one of our 3000 mile road trips which took in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. It was on our route and we stopped as it looked really pleasant and quaint with a hometown feel. I've reviewed our hotel separately (which was excellent).
We went out for a walk to look for somewhere equally nice to eat and eventually settled on Caroline's as it was in a lovely location on the quay overlooking the river and had a great looking menu.
We were seated quickly and the restaurant offered the choice of sitting inside or out on the deck area. We chose inside and the restaurant was busy but by no means full.
We ordered drinks and a starter which arrived quickly and were fine. I had ordered the grilled fish platter for my main course and my wife ordered the Scallops.
This, sadly was where it all went wrong.
We became aware that there was a problem with food arriving and people were waiting, and waiting... ordinarily I like a break between courses but the serving staff were still seating arrivals regularly which obviously compounded the problem. I can only assume that the kitchen was short staffed which was the reason for the delay but when it took around an hour and a half before our main course turned up and, in the meantime, people had come in, waited and then decided to leave without seeing any food, it was getting a bit poor. To keep on allowing people to come in and order was a mistake in my opinion and led to very poor service for those already waiting.
The food eventually arrived, it wasn't cheap (my course was $32 on its own with my wife's $26) the food was so highly seasoned that it was practically inedible. My platter looked burned in places and very poorly presented for a restaurant that gives the impression of being of a reasonably high class venue.
The Grouper fish on my plate tasted like someone had killed it by force feeding it pepper until it gave up the ghost! My wife's Scallops were so salty it was like they had been rolled in salt before being plated up.
When the waitress came over and asked if everything was alright, I started to tell her that I wasn't really that impressed (being a Brit I'm sure you know just how bad something has to be before we'll actually complain!) and she pretty much walked off without letting me say why it wasn't ok at all.
When she came back over she said she had taken the drinks off the bill as compensation (all of 1 diet coke and a glass of white wine with a value of around $5) and that was it.
I paid, gave no tip (the only time I've ever done that in the many years I've visited or lived in the US) and left to find somewhere to get a drink to wash the taste of 'fish a la poivre' out of my mouth and to rehydrate my wife who was going into salt induced shock.
I do have to say this was probably an anomaly for the place but the response to what was going on shouldn't have been to continue to pack people in, fail to serve them in a reasonable time, then feed them frankly disgusting (and expensive) food, before not listening to their response to the question THEY asked and showing very little customer service recovery.
All in all, thanks for the free diet coke but I would have preferred to have fish that wasn't so blooming salty that I needed to drink it to survive!
There are several other restaurants nearby and, if this is indicative of the service and product then I doubt it will still be in business by the time anyone reading this gets to Apalachicola to see.
Fortunately, The River House in Savannah was the complete opposite of this experience which I've also reviewed...yes its about 1000 miles away but worth the drive!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Jon326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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