Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kalaloch Lodge

Obviously, I've not been blogging very much. I like having the blog, it's a great reference for us, both the recipes and restaurants, but I feel my interests shifting. Not that I don't want to cook/try new recipes or try new restaurants, just maybe not always take photos and write about it. I was looking at my drafts folder and discovered I never finished writing about our Seattle vacation last October.
The last 2 days of vacation were spent driving from Seattle to Olympic National Park. It's an enormous park. It would be a very long day to drive from Seattle, drive through the entire park, and return to Seattle in one day. Maybe impossible. Maybe not if you're young & energetic but we're no longer young and not as energetic as we once were! So we decided to stay overnight and chose to stay at Kalaloch Lodge. Happily, they have a restaurant, so we wouldn't have to find a grocery store, or a cooler, or starve.

So I'm not sure how I feel about this place. It was the first time I'd ever stayed at a National Park lodge/hotel. It's situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which is fabulous. It would have been more fabulous if it hadn't been so rainy and windy and cold. As for accessible lodging, there are 2 wheelchair accessible cabins. When we first entered our cabin, I was hit my a very strong smell of industrial strength, lemon scented cleaner. My allergies acted up within seconds and I felt stuffy & nauseous. I couldn't wait to get out & go for a walk and started wondering how the heck I was going to be able to sleep.

It's a pretty big cabin. Kitchen, which we didn't need for just one night. Sitting area with wood burning fireplace, but we didn't light a fire because by the time we got back to our cabin after dinner, it was pretty much time for bed since we were getting up early the next day. Bedroom with two full (or maybe queen) beds. A large bathroom that looked like it hadn't been updated since the 1960's and that also was incredibly dimly lit. It was, honestly, kind of creepy. We discovered that the cabin floors were pretty dirty when SP's white socks turned dark gray. But for a night, it was manageable.

We had dinner at their Creekside Restaurant. We tried to take a walk before dinner but the rain & wind defeated us so we went to the lobby/gift shop area and sat in front of a fantastic, giant fireplace, drying out and warming up.

We were seated right away, but not at a table with a view of the ocean, so that was a bummer. I remember it took a really long time for our server to come take our drink order. In fact, service all night was really, really slow. That's why even though we were seated at 5:30, we didn't get back to our cabin until around 8 pm.
We started with Washington Cheese Plate: goat cheese, a Beecher’s cheese, and a cheese I don't remember other than that I didn't like it at all, honey, a berry-like sauce, and nuts. It was OK. I found it disappointing for what it cost.
SP had soup - I think this was a split pea soup. He liked it.
I had Clam Chowder. I didn't like it at all. I cannot pinpoint why other than it just tasted off to me. SP ate some of it and thought it was OK but that it was definitely not as good as the other clam chowders we'd had on vacation.
For his meal, SP chose fish, I think it was halibut. It came with potatoes and vegetables. He said the fish was good. But it was such a tiny portion of fish. An insulting, absurdly small size of fish given the cost and what we've been served/paid at other restaurants around the country.
I didn't want an entree so I order an appetizer: Pulled Pork Tater Tots (pulled pork, BBQ sauce, hollandaise, chives). I didn't much like this, either. The tater tots didn't taste homemade, the sauce was too sticky sweet for me, and the pork was dry and chewy. Very disappointing.

The entire dinner experience was disappointing to us. The lack of a seat with a view (which might have been because there were steps down inside but there was an outside side door to the lower area). The incredibly slow service. The very pricey food (which, yes, isolated area, hard/expensive to get food delivered) versus the quality/quantity of what was on our plates. The best part of the meal was the hot tea.

Even worse, when we got back to the cabin, my stomach was immediately upset and I spent a very long time in the bathroom before just going to bed. Definitely not a romantic cabin experience.

The next day, SP went to breakfast to use our free breakfast vouchers. I stayed in the cabin, afraid to eat. He was gone a long time (slow service again) and he said his order, when he was served, was wrong, but he didn't say anything because we needed to set off early. He used our other voucher to bring me back a bagel, cream cheese, and bacon, I slowly munched on that food in the car for the next 5-6 hours, praying I wouldn't get an upset stomach again.

So, I'm not much of a fan of Kalaloch Lodge and their restaurant. The employees were very nice ad friendly and helpful. It's a beautiful area. But restaurant service was way too slow and the food was expensive for the quality/quantity.

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