Salado >Lodging > Stagecoach Inn
1 Main St, Salado, TX | Directions 7657130.946824 -97.536941
Way overrated. – My in-laws came in from Florida to visit us in Texas. We decided to drive two hours to eat lunch at the much touted Stagecoach Inn Restaurant. We were celebrating our wedding anniversaries and had been looking forward to this event for a long time!
We were disappointed.
(1) NO MENUS. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have no menus and, instead, require the waitress to recite a long list of menu options was foolish. People like to take their time to peruse the menu and to select what they want without having to ask a person who is clearly annoyed with them to repeat the list of items in $15 (plus something) group, or in one of the other two groups (one slightly less expensive, one more).
Not only is it difficult to know what the options are, it erases the ability of the members of your party to discuss the menu options because they have to depend on having great memories and, even more so, because they are being watched by a person who wants them to make a decision now.
(2) NO USUAL LUNCH MENU OPTIONS. While we would have preferred a menu that allowed us to choose a single item from their existing menu (e.g., a salad or an entre) and one that included sandwich options for the midday meal, we were told that if we wanted sandwiches or just one course we should have gone to a cafe. After a short, uncomfortable, observed discussion while the waitress stood almost glaring at us awaiting our decision, we decided to stay. Angst . . . we then needed to ask the waitress recite the menu options again and felt forced to make premature decisions because we didn't want her to have to continue reciting the options when we could not remember them! It was torturous.
(3) MEDIOCRE FOOD. We all enjoyed our salads. Though they were minimal and certainly not what one would expect from a fine restaurant, the ingredients were fresh and crisp. That was the best part of the meal. We ordered prime rib au jus, chicken fried steaks, and beef tips. The main course items were adequate, but not spectacular. We all agreed we had eaten better prepared versions at many other places. Then there were the side dishes. . . . All of the sides we got with our meals were TERRIBLE! My side, for example consisted of a very small vegetable medley composed mostly of corn with one piece of what I think was cauliflower in a small puddle of unseasoned hot water. The vegetables were extremely overcooked and mushy and were generally flavorless.
After we had eaten our main courses, the waitress removed our dishes and resumed her role as the talking menu. Given that our main courses had been disappointing, three of us decided independently (with no discussion) to forego dessert because our salad, main course, and side dish experience did not warrant paying another moderately high price for a mediocre dessert! The fourth person thought that the dessert was included in the price, but did not state this during our awkward, observed discussion. It wasn't until we looked at the reviews here that we were certain the desserts had been included in the price we paid for our meals. Maybe their desserts would have been their redeeming, crowning glory. Again, no menus is a very bad idea!
(4) OVERPRICED. Given the quality of what we got, we thought the restaurant was greatly overpriced. For example, Texas Roadhouse (a chain restaurant!) has tastier versions of prime rib, beef tips and chicken fried steak which come with two sides (instead of a salad and one terrible side) and cost just two thirds of what we paid for the more inferior versions at the Stagecoach Inn. (Of course, their meals don't come with the dessert that we did not know we paid for and didn't eat - thanks to the missing menus!)
ADVICE - Tour the shops in this quaint little town, stop into the restaurant and look at it (some of it has been nicely restored although some of the ceilings leave a lot to be desired), and then eat somewhere else!
Really quaint – I've been 3 times now... and I go because it's a novelty. It's quaint and fun to walk around the shops. The food in my opinion is over priced and not that great. However it's a neat idea and if you sit by the huge windows you get an awesome tree house feel. Everything is homemade that day and they recite the menu to you... which can be more of a pain I think... because I've had a waitress do it without prices so you have to ask the price of everything. The shops in the vicinity are fun to look through.
Affordable, huge portions of Western-style comfort food served by longtime waitresses of Salado's best-known hotel dining room. – The Scene
The restaurant has an old-fashioned atmosphere; the main dining room's many wood details include homey shelves and cupboards. Flowery wallpaper and curtains, landscape paintings and etched, frosted glass with stagecoach designs complete the mood. For intimate seating, choose the enclosed glass patio. Stagecoach's waitresses have worked here for decades; instead of paper menus, customers receive a memorized menu recitation.
Fixed-price dinners include choice of appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. Unusual appetizer tomato aspic has burgundy-colored gelatin with mayonnaise and caper garnishes. Satisfying tossed salad contains iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, chopped celery and creamy dressings such as Thousand Island with pickle chunks. Two recommended entrees are prime rib and grilled salmon. Moist, hearty prime rib comes with two well-spiced sauces, au jus and tangy horseradish. The fish, a generous, tender filet, is simply prepared: natural flavors shine. Sides include sweet squash soufflé with golden brown crust. Choose dense, luscious pecan pie for dessert.
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