Stokeridge Tavern - Casual RestaurantFood ★★☆ ☆ ☆ Ambiance ★★★★☆ Service ★☆ ☆ ☆☆ Creativity ★★★☆☆ Value ★★☆ ☆ ☆meal for 2 $20-35 plus drinksFull bar
I have visited StokeRidge Tavern and Grill many times as I had high expectations for this pub-style restaurant located in Stokesdale, NC.
The interior is professionally designed and well maintained, it has the atmosphere of a potentially great pub. Upon entering you see a popular bar (and sometimes quite crowded) with nice, modern, clean decor of wood type floors, tables antique gas pumps and pictures of local interest. All good signs that this could be a great little pup if the food can live up to the looks. However, the food and service have been a disappointment.
They have put more effort into naming the food after local elements of the Stokesdale area and not as much into the recipe and execution of the recipes. The most consistent things on the menu are the burgers, sandwiches, and the wings. Everything else is a gamble. Occasionally the steaks are good, but typically they are subpar, tough and overcooked. The Salads with grill chicken taste as if they used the pre-cooked pasta that is vacuum packed and the chicken is not even reheated. The sweet potato fries are almost always soggy and fries is something a pub should have perfected. Frequently the food comes out cold and soggy. Basically, the food is of the caliber of a high school cook and not a professional chef. If StokeRidge Tavern can ever fix this and get the food prepared right, this could be a great little neighborhood pub.
Service at StokeRidge Tavern is almost always in a disarray. One server will take your drink order, another comes up and asks what we want to drink and sometimes no drinks appear. Sometimes the servers don't know who has our table and other server/management errors. And they almost always ask if you are done, want dessert or present a check while someone is still eating, the fatal flaw.
The low of the low was about a year ago when 2 bar patrons (this is a pub/bar and it can get crowded on nights) got into a fist fight outside the restaurant and several of the servers went outside to watch instead of calling the police. This was a new low of an unprofessionally managed restaurant.
I tried the StokeRidge Tavern's Ribs on this visit.
The ribs had the flavor of pre-cooked and packaged ribs with the warmed-over flavors that are typical of packaged precooked meat that has been refrigerated after cooking. Warmed over flavors is something that some people are more sensitive to. I happen to be one of these people. The best way to describe this is a slightly rancid and stale flavor that sits in your mouth after taking a bite. This is caused by free iron (from the hemoglobin) speeding up oxidation of the fats. I find MANY restaurants that have this issue with ribs. Ribs require long cooking times, so these are frequently cooked ahead and put under refrigeration. Many restaurants will buy precooked ribs and they reheat them and put sauce on them. The onion petals were also a premade frozen item that was lacking seasoning. The best thing on this plate was the Mac and Cheese. I am not a mac and cheese guy, but StokeRidge Taverns mac and cheese was pretty good.
The definition of insanity, going back to the same restaurant and expecting different results...... They really need to take a long hard look at their food and service as it is consistently not good.