The only reason I didn't give this 1 star is for old time's sake. This was by far my favorite restaurant for several years. Really great old-school place, rural but elegant, played the old standards, a lot of retro but still great entrees, many prepared tableside. It started going downhill just after 9/11. That was 12 years ago and it has been slipping ever downward since then. The chef, or chefs, left and the owner now does all the cooking (NOTE: My last visit to Cascade Lodge was in April or May of this year so maybe that has changed.) When the owner is the only chef, it's usually a big problem. She has cut corners in every way. The once-glorious menu of beef wellington for two, pecan duck with ice cream (sounds weird but they used ice cream instead of heavy cream for the sauce -- sooooo good) and other specialty items is gone. That's too much trouble and isn't profitable enough. The menu keeps shrinking and the entrees are those which can be found pretty much anywhere. The trout is about the only thing you can feel safe ordering. The cuts of beef are simply awful. I don't know if she buys the meats from Giant but they are tough and gristly at best. My friend ordered duck that tasted old. We ordered coffee and immediately saw mold float to the top. I know the cups were clean. The waiter realized the carafe he poured the coffee into had been sitting on a shelf for a while, hadn't been washed properly and thus the mold had grown in it. The owner wouldn't comp us though, because we had a groupon. I am not saying this to drive them out of business. They're doing a good job of that themselves. On the contrary, I would be thrilled to see Cascade Lodge regain its former glory. I beg the owner: Please call Chef Ramsey and get on his Kitchen Nightmares show. He can turn Cascade Lodge around and give you the help you need. Short of that, can you just hire a chef and start buying good protein? Frederick's Meats at Q-Mart is fantastic. I don't mind Cold Duck but old duck is another story!
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