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“Marginal at Best”
Review of C W Cowling's Restaurant - CLOSED

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C W Cowling's Restaurant
Restaurant details
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Tried this place a decade ago and then more recently when asked by associates to join them. Food is OK only if you have low expectations.

Thank cjdotheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (14)
Traveller rating
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8 - 12 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2013

I am surprised at the earlier reviews that state the restaurant was getting a remodel a couple of years ago because you certainly can't tell. I hate to think of what it looked like BEFORE the remodel. It is dark, dingy and dirty. Wallpaper was dirty, booths were dusty, dirt all over the carpet and looked like it hadn't been vacuumed all day.
I was expecting more of a seafood or home cooking style restaurant but the menu was all over the place. Mexican food like fajitas and taco salad as well as seafood, burgers. Weird. Plus there's a bar--also dark and dingy.
The server was very competent and pleasant. The low marks are not a comment on the service.
The food was not good. I ordered the half order of scallops (fried) with mashed potatoes and green beans. The scallops were adequate. Green beans were tasty enough. The mashed potatoes were terrible. Not warm, obviously not fresh, and dry. Ick. There were two hushpuppies and one was inedible....rock hard. Literally. Could not bite through it.
My husband ordered the chef's salad. Kinda hard to ruin a chef's salad. They didn't have any low or no fat options for dressing.
Total cost was around $25-$28 with tip I think. Not worth it.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tammy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

Service was fine. Staff was nice. We always stopped here on the way home from VA BEACH. The BBQ is not the same as it was maybe 5 years ago? Not sure what was different, but it is not the same.

Thank Diane721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2012

My family and I decided to give Cowling's another try on a Friday night. After hearing from several people that at times the incompetence of the kitchen staff was making customers leave, I decided to wait awhile before coming back.
I didn't wait long enough.
Now the dining room is mostly unchanged, as the fake plants still hang from the ceiling after 23 years, and are seriously in need of removal. Much of the pictures and other items along the walls remain also, though they have price tags on them which looks pretty tacky. The ceiling looks brand new again thanks to a coat of paint, albeit it's a dark tan, but it's a good start.
Upon being seated, we were greeted by three employees, and for awhile we weren't sure who our actual server was. Once settled in, our server appeared and took our order. That was at 8:25pm.
It shouldn't take too long to get two loaded baked potatoes, an order of fajita tacos and a chicken sandwich with broccoli.
It really shouldn't.
But, 35 minutes later, yes...at 9pm, the food arrived. It's not like the restaurant was busy, either. There were only 3 or 4 other tables in the entire restaurant, and one of them was Cowling's own head chef, off duty and with family of course.
Three of my party did order soup to start, the vegetable beef which was delicious. Once the food came, I found the broccoli not up to par. Parts of it were tough, and other parts were chewy, with dark marks on the stems of one piece suggesting it was overcooked. There was no offer of butter or butter sauce to add some flavor.
The baked potatoes were cooked properly, but our order of the fajita tacos had to be fixed because the tortillas were ripped apart when making the sandwich in such a way that part of them was ripped thin. This made the ingredients inside constantly try to get away. Overall, my family member said the fajitas were good but lacking something to truly make them stand out. Our server said that the cooking staff doesn't know what they are doing sometimes, which explained quite a bit. While not a good idea for a server to be so honest from a business perspective, I did appreciate her honesty. It confirmed what I suspected. We did get refills on our drinks reasonably quickly, though it took the hostess one time to get them.
We opted not for dessert. Our meal was $50, including nearly $10 for three soups, one chicken sandwich at about $9.49, fajita tacos at about $9 and two potatoes and toppings for about $9.
Given the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen, the wait time to get simple meals, and general carelessness in the attitude of some staff, I think I'll wait a while longer to try Cowling's again, if it's still in business.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DaveL73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2012

They are getting ready to remodel as they really need new carpet etc. place had dirty walls and unfinished booths stuck out in the room. Carpet was dirty, strings near door and needed to be vaccuumed. However, food was good and service good. When they remodel it should be better atmosphere.

Thank JLDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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