Thursday, April 15, 2010
Mountain Harbor Inn, Dandridge, TN - Our Lake Retreat
We wanted to get out of town for a couple days, not go far from Asheville, be able to relax and read a book and of course find some good food. After a little searching on-line we found the Mountain Harbor Inn in Dandridge, TN. They were offering a discount and my wife couldn’t pass booking us in the Elvis – Love me Tender Suite!
Dandridge is a cute little town on the banks of Douglas Lake, which was created when the Douglas Dam was built in 1942-43. The lake is formed from the French Broad River and its tributaries – the Nolichucky and Pigeon rivers. It’s huge, extending 43 miles with 28,420 acres of water surface and 513 miles of shoreline. Dandridge is the second oldest settlement in Tennessee and is named after Martha (Dandridge) Washington. It is close to all the attractions of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park making it convenient if you are interested in getting away from this great little hideaway town.
Mountain Harbor Inn is a wonderful, newly renovated Inn on Douglas Lake that is styled after the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. BedandBreakfast.com have rated the Inn with a Diamond Rating – the highest such rating that a B&B can achieve and the only one awarded with this honor in Tennessee. From the moment we arrived on property, you truly felt appreciated from a genuine staff that was very gracious and inviting. Bill Inmon, the owner, prepares breakfast for everyone each morning made available in the beautiful dining room.
For dinner on our first night, we took the local recommended Smoky’s Steak & BBQ, in downtown Dandridge. The green tomato pie was highly recommended as well. Since alcohol is not available at Smoky’s but they do allow BYOB, we stopped by the grocery store and picked up a little beer to carry in with us. We weren’t terribly hungry after having a late lunch so we ordered light and shared. I ordered some ribs with sides of green tomato pie and sweet potato chips. Kinah order sides of mac & cheese and green beans. The server brought by a basket of bread while we waited for our order to arrive – delicious rolls and mini cornbread pones.
The food presentation is very much home style comfort food. The ribs were a bit overcooked and a little too much hickory smoke for my taste, but I polished them off anyway. The green tomato pie was served in a small bowl and not as flavorful as I had anticipated. The sweet potato chips were served with honey on the side and brown sugar sprinkled on them, they were great. The mac & cheese was almost like boxed, but the green beans had been cooked with pork and were fantastic. Seating available inside and out, the ambiance was nice with a country feel.
The following day we spent around the Inn reading, boating (sunset cruise is offered daily, but since it rained the prior evening an 11am cruise was offered) and relaxing. Toward evening we decided that we wanted to try another favorite local spot for dinner, Angelos at the Point. Unfortunately it was on the opposite side of the lake and the bridge in Dandridge was closed for repair (reopened the Monday following our trip). April, the wonderful staff member who first greeted us, came up with a plan for us though. It did include a brilliant piece of up selling on her part, but we bought hook, line and sinker!
We rented one of the Inn’s boats and took that to Angelos which sits on the lake with a dock in front of it. How handy for us! We decided to have a little adventure on the water. Pretending like I’ve handled a boat recently (it might have been a few decades since my last experience) we signed the waiver and paid the bill. We had a great time boating to dinner and back – yes, I gave Kinah some time at the wheel also!
Angelos offered steaks and seafood with some chicken and pasta dishes on the menu as well. Skip, our server, told us that the Chef ordered the beef and seafood and did his own butchering on property. Today we both had a light lunch and were hungry. The 14 oz ribeye was the choice for both of us. We ordered salad to precede the steak and both received huge bowls that we didn’t quite finish. We wanted to leave room for the main course. The steak arrived, both cooked perfectly, and they were magnificent.
Dessert both nights was at the Inn. Candlelight dessert is offered to all each night. The choices were chocolate cake, cheesecake with choice of sauces, lemon cake and pound cake with strawberries. All were brilliant choices since they were fresh with someone putting some love into them. Save room for these each night!
Dandridge and Mountain Harbor Inn is a great retreat location. I highly recommend the trip and it will not take you long to get there and relax.