Ann, you are very kind, thank you. Maybe you can help me find the right stops on my annual July trip to central WI.
To all my new Roadfood friends, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the road, hope you enjoyed the day and your feast.
THANKSGIVING DINNER Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC
Maybe not strictly roadfood, but a favorite for us. A little background--for several years we have taken our vacation over Thanksgiving with the goal of a special Thanksgiving dinner. Our history is as follows:
2000 Colonial Williamsburg, Kings Arms Tavern (peanut soup and American heritage)
2001 Charleston SC, 82 Queen (She Crab Soup in a Courtyard)
2002 Maui, Hawaii, Old Lahaina Luau (special 10th anniversary trip)
2003 Savannah GA, The Pink House (overrated, but in a fascinating historic district)
2004 Asheville NC, Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore (outstanding)
2005 Vail CO, Cascade Resort (expensive, pretentious, my misguided attempt
to live above myself at a four star resort)
So after last year we wanted to be more comfortable and try to duplicate a previous success. Some have said in other websites the restaurants at the Biltmore are bland and overpriced. I do not know about the others or their regular menus, but the Deerpark buffet is one of our all time favorite places. The setting is beautiful, especially decorated for Christmas, and they also have dinner/tour combos during the Christmas season. Apparently Thanksgiving is big at the Biltmore and it is hard to get in without reservations well in advance, but for us it was worth it.
There are separate serving tables for salad, soup, cold seafood appetizers, bread, a carving station, sides, kids selections including chicken wings and cookies, and of course dessert. At $34.95 ea it was not cheap but worth it for a special occasion. We find the quality of everything excellent (often a problem for buffets) and will keep individual descriptions brief. We also will add that the staffing is the best we have ever seen to keep the food areas fresh, clean, and restocked (also a buffet problem IMO).
We started with salad, crab claws, jumbo shrimp, and oysters on the half shell. The crab/corn chowder was excellent, and the bread table must have been 12 feet long, with at least 10 kinds of bread and rolls (and naturally, butter in the foil pack). The turkey was the juciest we have ever had (sorry Mom) and the prime rib looked great, but we did not get far enough to sample it. There was also sliced lamb, grilled salmon, ham, and a variety of sides that were all delicious.
So we came to the time to decide, another helping or save room for extra dessert? A terribly hard decision but we chose--dessert. The desserts were over the top, starting with red velvet cake (best I ever had) two kinds of chocolate tortes, a terrific pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling, and little cheesecakes. But the topper of them all was the best pumpkin pie ever--a pumpkin cream pie with a whole layer of whipped cream and a cream-infused pumpkin filling over a homemade crust. Absoultely outstanding, and the whipped cream was a homemade semi-sweet type that was the best I ever had. I wish I could have spooned some over the pecan pie also there, but we just couldn't make it. It is now almost seven hours after and I just wish we could go back for more, the only problem with dining out on Thanksgiving.
So again, Happy Thanksgiving to all and best wishes. Hope to see you tomorrow from the Moose Cafe, Todd