Dillard House was recommend by many of our new neighbors after we moved to the Atlanta area. We decided to give it a shot while on a rafting trip near Dillard, GA. The atmosphere of the restaurant and surrounding facilities (inn, stables, petting zoo) was very nice. There was even live banjo music outside in the waiting area.
Unfortunately the food was not what we would have expected based on the reviews here and from our neighbors. They were very accurate about the quantity. It is an "all you can eat" family-style dining place, but for the price, the quality of the food was sub-par. I wouldn't rank most of it any better than you could get at a Cracker Barrel (in some cases I think Cracker Barrel has them beat). At the time of our visit the adult meal was $21, young adult was $16, and the kids were $11, which led to a very disappointing $100 meal.
The variety of foods was great and the selection was what I would expect for Southern-style family food, but overall the taste and quality was low to average. A few notably great items were the squash souffle and the fried chicken. The rest consisted of very overcooked vegetables (green beans and lima beans), some of the saltiest ham I have ever experienced, and corn bread that was bitter. The fried catfish was average as was the country-fried steak, although my expectation was country-fried steak with white-flour-based gravy as opposed to the brown gravy used at the Dillard house.
I would recommend a visit to Dillard House if you are looking for sheer quantity of food and not quality. There are a number of other local Dillard restaurants that will deliver a much better value and experience. I really wanted to give this place a better review because they have the makings of a fantastic experience. The grounds are beautiful, and so are the views of the mountains. I can only guess that at some point the food was great and that they have been resting on their laurels instead of maintaining the excellence that many claim they have.
"Here's a look at what was left after six hungry people went to work on a Dillard House dinner."
"The lunch menu at Dillard House. The roster changes constantly through meal time as some dishes are added and some are eaten up. This can provide a sort of tantalizing torture if you are waiting for a seat (as you will do on a busy weekend) and hoping that, for instance, Brunswick stew remains on the menu when it comes your turn to eat. (Charles Ammons photo)"
"Not just a place to eat, Dillard House also is an inn, cottages, and motel, plus a stable offering rides on horseback or in a carriage. (Charles Ammons photo)"