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“Poor food, worse service.”

On the Veranda Restaurant
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Ranked #12 of 56 Restaurants in Highlands
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$24 - US$35
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Romantic, Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: US 64 West
Description: Fine dining serving Eclectic American Cuisine overlooking scenic lake Sequoyah in Highlands NC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

I have eaten at the Veranda now on three occasions. It was highly recommended and reviewed but my experience was worse with each visit. Why did I go back? I kept hoping my previous visit was just an off night.

Now most of the reviews here are about their brunch. Maybe that's all they know how to do well. My visits have all been for dinner. And honestly I won't ever go back after this last visit.

I have tried several different dinners which were very bland meals trying to be dressed up. The ingredients must bee good to start with. You can dress up a plate of garbage and expect the dressings to make it better. The results aren't good. Two of the three means I tried steak and had the worst cut, worse quality steaks I've ever had. On my second visit I tried another entree thinking it was just a bad night. My third visit showed the supposed professional cook / owner doesn't know a good cut of beef from bad.

Now onto the service. My first two visits were average though I find it off to sit down to a fully dressed table and all the dishes taken away to be replaced when the meal finally comes. It was just weird. This has happened on every visit. The service has been average though if you order wine they pay a little more attention to you. If you don't the service is much slower.

The last visit was extremely uncomfortable and if the last meal wasn't bad enough. One of the waiters was very overtly aggressive to the other staff and particularly the smallest of the waitresses. He even pushed the young girl into the corner to berate her, in view of most of the restaurant. I cannot say if it was deserved, it certainly didn't seem to be nor was it appropriate. I asked our server what was wrong and was told that's just the way the guy is. The management did nothing but ignore what was going on. It was distracting for not only me but visibly for the other guests as well. For such a highly rated restaurant I was troubled and offended. When a guest brought the matter to the hostess's attention (the owner/chef's wife) she huffed and blew it off only to swill another glass of wine. I personally regret I didn't make a stink as well but I was caught off guard and just sat dumbfounded as I saw this go on.

The atmosphere and reviews may fool. And, the reviews show the brunches are the ONLY thing worth coming here for. There aren't too many restaurants that can screw up a breakfast.

I gave this place several chances. I will not return and I cannot in good faith recommend On the Veranda to anyone. I have found so many better run restaurants with better food and more caring ownership and staff to visit in Highlands!

5  Thank Hank B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
highlandsconcierge, Manager at On the Veranda Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2014

I am the hostess (chef /owners wife), and in the past 5 years that I have worked at on the verandah, I have never had a glass of wine at the restaurant , or any alcoholic beverage for that matter. I do not even partake in wine tastings. So, for you to say that , " I huffed and blew off the matter, only to swill another glass of wine ," just proves to me that this is a false review from someone who is trying to sabotage the restaurant . This is very bad fiction on your part. Shame on you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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284 - 288 of 477 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

From the time we walked in we had a wonderful experience. The beautiful hostess flashed us a great big smile and escorted us to our table. What a great view! The restaurant is located on a lake and this is truly the best place in Highlands for ambiance. Our server was Dan and he is the man with a plan and a master of his craft. You should see this guy pour a beer! I let him know that while we weren't in a huge hurry we needed to be on our way to a wedding. He was totally on top of it. Our meals weren't rushed but the timing was impeccable. Speaking of the food! Awesomeness! I started with a chicken and corn chowder soup which was sublime. Excellent velvety thickness. Then I visited their fresh salad bar (twice I must admit). The cucumbers, tomatoes and cracklin' bread were delicious. I also liked the marinated mushrooms. I was putting the last forkful in my mouth when Dan brought out the main courses. I had the eggs gaucho. Fantastic!!! Eggs Benedict over prime rib. The beef and egg yolk married so happily together that I was savoring every morsel. From the food to the service to the atmosphere this is most certainly the go-to place in Highlands and I understand why it is ranked first on TA!

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1  Thank SweetTizzyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We've enjoyed dinner here but this was our first time for Sunday brunch, everything was lovely, from the view of the hummingbirds to the excellent meal. The flavors were so fresh, we left wishing we were still hungry and could have it all again immediately!

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Thank Jan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

While we didn't make Sunday brunch this time (which is an awesome experience) we did make it for dinner and as usual it was superb. The atmosphere here is very romantic and relaxing at the same time. The food and service are always top notch. They've been a go to restaurant in Highlands for many years for a good reason - because they always provide a wonderful dining experience.

Thank Jeannette D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We have enjoyed On the Veranda for 25 years. I believe the same family has operated it for most it not all of the time. We again enjoyed another very good dining experience last night. From the time we entered until leaving there is not one negative thing I can say. And of course the setting is the tops in the area. We often take visitors as we know the setting and food will impress.
Make reservations well in advance and always ask to sit on the veranda. You will not be disappointed.

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1  Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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