Dillard House

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

How well we remember our first breakfast at the Dillard House: vast platters of hot cinnamon rolls and classic southern biscuits, homemade jellies and local honey, vivid-flavored country ham and sausage, grits, red-eye gravy, and soft fried apples.

We were reminded of how much we miss this bigger-than-life place by a short review and a couple of pictures sent to us by our Georgia friend Charles Ammons, who went their for supper. He said, and I quote:

“Wow!!

“When your server greets you and explains that there is no menu at The Dillard House, you can expect a dining experience that differs from any other that you may have ever encountered.

“Twenty three bowls (by my wide eyed count!) filled with meats, breads, and vegetables are brought out simultaneously and placed on your table. The food is well prepared if perhaps a little bland for my taste. This is easily remedied with the selection of hot sauces available from the wait staff. The fried chicken, however, is a Southern stand out! Tender and juicy with a light batter it rivals what Grandma used to make for Sunday dinner after church!

“If this is not enough, your meal is made complete by fresh homemade fruit cobbler du jour served warm topped with vanilla ice cream!!

“The quality of the food and service from the attentive staff, as well as the beautiful mountain vistas that you see from your window seat, make this an incredible value at the $16 price.

“Co-workers of mine tell that the breakfast is even better! Maybe next time…”

Directions & Hours

9am - 5pm
  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

What To Eat

Local Garden Vegetables

DISH

Dillard House Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Dillard House?

5 Responses to “Dillard House”

Barbara Tobin

January 12th, 2009

We were traveling through Dillard in early December 2008 and decided to stay overnight at the famed Dillard House and also have dinner at their highly recommended restaurant. The location was absolutely lovely, the rooms were very nice and comfortable, but the restaurant was probably one of the worst we have visited in a long time.

We complained to a supervisor about the overcooked, lukewarm food and was told the cook was new, the food was left over from lunch and it would be tossed. The second offering was not any better. The vegetables were shriveled and the casseroles and meat were dried out and hard, as were the rolls and muffins. I could have seriously hurt someone with the corn muffins; they were like rocks.

The manager, Anthony, was not available or on the premises but we were told he would contact us the following day. He did not try to contact us and we called three times before we were able to reach him. His response: when we came back through Dillard he would comp our food.

We will not be returning nor could we recommend this establishment. I’m happy to have this opportunity to let folks know that the Dillard House Restaurant is very overrated. Maybe at one time it offered better fare but no longer. We thought maybe we visited at an off time but looking at the reviews of the restaurant we aren’t the only disappointed travelers.

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Jennifer Bradley

August 23rd, 2008

Dillard House used to be an institution, and a fine one at that. I don’t know if they have too many family members on the payroll or what… but it has gone downhill. A lot of people say they love this place; I bet they are the all-you-can-eat crowd. It has become quantity over quality. This could be a great restaurant. They still have the recipes, and with quality over quantity (they’d probably have to charge more, and do away with all-you-can-eat) it would be a great showcase for local fresh produce and “antique” mountain cuisine.

Dillard House has over-expanded, and the service leaves much to be desired. They use paper tablecloths on warped tables; yuck! There is no way I am going to wait hours for a table here when, frankly, the new Chick-fil-A in town has better chicken as of late. I am a frequent visitor to the area, having family, property, and academic connections to the area. I am not a once-in-a-while tourist and frankly I don’t eat that much, but what I eat I want to be good, whether it’s good country cooking, barbeque, or fine French cuisine. I have good childhood memories of Dillard House, but like most of the local institutions it too is “gone with the wind.”

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Mike Wronski

August 18th, 2008

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.

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Al & Janet Bowen

June 20th, 2008

Several Roadfood.com members visited the Dillard House early in August 2006. We found the description written a couple of years ago by Michael Stern to be spot-on. We enjoyed a dinner and the next day’s breakfast and both lived up to the great review written earlier.

The dinner vegetables are all garden-grown locally. We loved the butternut squash and asparagus as well as the fresh melons and tomatoes. Dinner meats were as described, with the sliced beef coming from a rib roast and quite tender. The breakfast was also great. Grits, redeye gravy, country ham and bacon, and some wonderful sausages made this a morning to remember.

Our servers were quick to remind us of the “take it with you” rules, which encourage you to take a box of leftovers with you when you leave. We snacked on ham bits and fried pies all the way across Tennessee after leaving Dillard!

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Tom Burkett

April 2nd, 2008

Our family of six, some picky eaters, pulled into Dillard at dinnertime and found the menu to be to everyone’s liking. The food was fresh, delicious, varied, hot, and in astonishing quantity: five meats, eight or nine vegetables, several salads, four breads, and more than enough dessert offerings.

Especially good were the acorn squash souffle and creamed cabbage. The dishes of food kept coming; one more and they’d have had to stack it on top of something else. The warm strawberry cobbler at the end of the meal could not have been more perfect: not too tart, not too sweet, and not too much.

We ate until we could eat no more, then carried out enough for another full dinner the following evening. The bill, with tip, for six of us, was $150.

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