Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip @ River Belle Terrace

Price: $10.00

When: January 25, 2018, 11:45 AM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Not recommended

It’s been a while since our last visit to Adventureland’s River Belle Terrace. Our last trip was right after the restaurant rebooted its menu. Today, we’re here for lunch.

We start with the Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip.

The dish arrives, and seems like a solid, table-pleasing appetizer. There’s a single, square, white dish, holding two large pieces of pretzel (each featuring oversize chunks of salt), a side of hot mustard, four celery sticks (stacked log-cabin style), and a medium-sized oval dish of cheese dip. It’s attractive, and artfully arranged.

We get to work.

The pretzels are up first. They’re … a touch stale. Pretty dry. These feel like they’ve been left out overnight. And the salt doesn’t really help with the flavor.

Time for Plan B: dip it. So I do. And, again, it’s still stale, but this time covered in a slather of very, very mild cheese sauce.

The sauce is, in fact, very disappointing. It’s shallow. It tastes like lukewarm “stadium cheese,” with a slight undercurrent of something else. There’s also an absurd amount of dip, relative to the amount of (stale) pretzel you get.

The celery is fine. Fresh, crisp. Good stuff. Dipping the celery into the cheese dip is actually a nicer experience than eating pretzel+cheese, as you get the contrast of the mild creamy cheese and the hard crisp celery. But there’s just four sticks. That’s not going to carry the dish.

Finally, the sweet-hot mustard is good … but I seriously can’t figure out why it’s here. (Why do you need two dipping sauces?). It feels oddly gratuitous, like there’s a concept the dish was going for, and didn’t hit.

This dish has promise and curb appeal. Unfortunately, it lacks flavor, freshness, or cohesion. Don’t bother with it.

Not recommended.