Saturday was me and ConnieLou’s 28th anniversary and our first anniversary as empty nesters. Most years we’ve kept things simple and just exchanged gifts and went out somewhere for supper. This year we decided to get out of the house and go do something different. We batted around a few different ideas but finally settled on taking a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway from Blue Ridge, Georgia to McCaysville, Georgia/Copperhill, Tennessee and back. I bought tickets for the afternoon trip so we would have time to have lunch somewhere in Blue Ridge then spend some time piddlin’ around town before it was time to board the train…or so we thought.

During the drive up, ConnieLou did some internet searching for a restaurant for lunch. We finally narrowed it down to a place called Christy Lee’s Courtyard Grille. I dropped ConnieLou off across the street from the restaurant and went to find a place to park…not an easy task on a beautiful fall morning in Blue Ridge.

Once at the restaurant we stepped up to the hostess’ stand. Shortly a girl came out and asked us how many there were in our party. We told her two and without any acknowledgement, she picked up a few menus and a wine list and headed toward the door. When she turned and looked at us I told ConnieLou “I think we’re supposed to follow her.” No ‘please follow me’, no ‘please come this way’, not even a curt ‘follow me’…nothing…just walked to the door and assumed we’d be hot on her tail. It sort of set the tone for the rest of our experience with Christy Lee’s.

Once seated we waited on our server…and we waited, and waited and then waited a little more. Once our server finally visited us we placed our drink orders and also ordered our entrée’s…which I think threw her for a little bit of a loop but hey, we had a train to catch.

ConnieLou ordered the Angus Burger and fries. The burger was described as ‘a half-pound angus burger with spring mix, tomato and onions’. I ordered the Prime Rib Sliders and fries. The prime rib sliders were described as ‘house favorite slow roasted prime rib, mozzarella and au jus’. Our drinks arrived shortly then we waited, and waited and waited a while longer before our orders arrived. Had the restaurant been crowded, I might have been able to understand the wait, but the lunch rush had passed and there were more empty tables than occupied tables.  ConnieLou mentioned that there was a sign on the wall outside that stated “This is NOT a fast food restaurant.” Apparently they meant it and were going to milk it for all it was worth.

Our food (finally) arrived. The ‘spring mix’ on ConnieLou’s burger turned out to be a small mountain of arugula lettuce. My sliders turned out to be two smallish rolls, split down the top with a small amount of overcooked prime rib covered with melted mozzarella in each. Worth the $13.99 they were charging for it? Nope. So how was it? Mine wasn’t great but wasn’t flat out bad. ConnieLou said her burger was pretty good. She gave me a bite and I have to agree. And the fries…frozen, not fresh cut. Somehow I expected that.

So how did Christy Lee’s fare on the Thumbs Scale? They earned a grand total of one thumb out of a possible four. ConnieLou gave them a thumb because her burger was actually pretty good. Between the fries, the wait and being generally unimpressed with my overpriced meal, I really couldn’t find a good reason to give them a thumb or even a partial thumb. Fortunately I didn’t decide things were bad enough to get into thumbs down territory. We haven’t had terribly good luck with the trendy restaurants in Blue Ridge. Maybe we should just stick with the barbeque joints out on the edge of town.