Lunch at The Chophouse at LaPrade’s on Lake Burton
Saturday, July 8, 2017, was too beautiful a day to stay indoors. The chance of thunderstorms near Lake Burton caused me to leave my motorcycle in the garage and go for a ride in my car. After wending and winding down Lake Rabun Road, I kept going until I stopped for lunch at the Chophouse at LaPrade’s on Lake Burton.
It never crossed my mind that I should have adjusted my expectations before I ordered a tasty steak.
The hike up the narrow winding staircase was a bit treacherous, but nothing unexpected for an old guy in dark sunglasses with bifocals. About halfway up, I took them off instead of twirling down to my death. Young people will think that’s stupid. If you wear bifocals, you’ll understand. If you’re skeered, take the elevator.
Once up on the scenic second floor, where I have been before several times, my eyes quickly grew accustomed to the magnificent view of the cozy harbor, boat docks, the hills and the beautiful blend of clouds and sunshine above the idyllic location.
Everyone was fun — even as we laughed about bifocals and old folks, like me. I requested and was courteously given a table by the front railing. The best view on the best day.
My server, Rebecca, I believe, was terrific. Just the right blend of fun and knowledge of the menu.
It took a while but we decided — after she described three or four other options — that I wanted the steak on a roll.
With the optional fancy potato slices that were simply scrumptious, please.
My favorite restaurant in all my travels is a little place on San Francisco Bay in the town of Tiburon called Sam’s Anchor Cafe — or just “Sam’s” to the regulars.
After your first visit, you’ll never forget that you MUST defend yourself and your food from the dang seagulls.
Just as soon as you say, “Hey, Martha! Look at them there seagulls!” the flying rats will be off with your french fries, your glitzy key chain or anything shiny.
That’s just part of the deal. No, you don’t get a refund. No, you can’t shoot the critters.
You just have to expect that battling seagulls is normal. Or, stay home.
Before I snagged the best dang table in the place at LaPrade’s, I was offered a seat in an inside location. I declined. I chose to sit outside. Where flies live.
When my very well presented and perfectly cooked steak was pleasantly placed in front of me, I didn’t expect flies to come around. I should have. You should too. Or stay home and nuke popcorn.
As you may know, I show up at restaurants. I order and pay like everyone else. I leave a tip.
Then, I write about my experience … believing you will receive similar service and food. My meal, soda pop and a tip came to $30. That’s a lot of money in my world, but this was a special treat in a special spot: The Chophouse at LaPrade’s on Lake Burton!
Was it worth the money? Well, yes and no. The food, service, location and warm breeze were priceless. Then, lunch kind of went to the dogs.
Don’t get me wrong. I like dogs — especially the few border collies I have loved over the years. I like people who like dogs.
What I didn’t expect — and didn’t like, frankly — was for a pleasant gentleman and his quite well-behaved dog to sit next to me in a restaurant that you have to either take an elevator or climb a spiral staircase to enter.
The dog and owner posed no threat. They were just out having a good time. So was I.
Now, you might see this VERY differently. You might have gone over to the hot hound and said: “Who’s a good dog? Who’s a pretty dog? Who’s a good dog!” While scratching his ears.
Me? I was more interested in my $30 steak lunch than a dog.
I asked a couple of friends to give me their perspectives. You’ll love two of them:
- Looks like the dog was better behaved than a lot of kids.
- I drove from North Carolina to Ohio with my kids and dog. It would have been wonderful to be able to enjoy a nice meal with them all.
You cannot please all the people all the time. You will never please me in your restaurant with somebody’s dog at my feet. That might be your idea of The Lake Life. It just isn’t mine.
Would I happily return to Sam’s and the dueling seagulls? Yup.
Would I happily return to The Chophouse at LaPrade’s on Lake Burton? Probably.
At the very least, I wish them well and I hope you’ll know what to expect when you dive into a steak at one of the most gorgeous spots in North Georgia.