Having been to Drake in previous years, and having found the food very good, we returned to a warm welcome and a delightful server. The heirloom tomato salad and macaroni & cheese (both starters) were excellent. Fried chicken was very good. There ended the positive food experience: The hamburger- clearly superior and tasteful meat-was smothered in an avalanche of cheese (sauce???) that looked as if it came from a cheez whiz can rather than from fresh Tillamook. The burger was almost entirely hidden and the cheese flow was an appetite suppressant just to look at it and the sauce was cold. The net effect was to soak the untoasted hamburger bun into a dish-rag like sodden mess. The finishing effect was that the burger was barely warm. The attending fries were over salted, limp and cold. We asked for fresh fries--happily accommodated--whose salt content made them inedible. This was the WORST burger and fries I have ever had- hands down.
The signature shrimp and grits dish was luke warm, a genuine tragedy. The shrimp were obviously fresh and the grits were pillow-fluffy but the absence of heat (as if the meal had been sitting too long, though the restaurant wasn't crowded) was discouraging and detracted from the positive experiences we hoped for.
And the pork schnitzel was also not hot.
A final point: We greatly praised the salads and our wonderful server passed this message on to the manager. Given the quiet of the restaurant, it would have served him well from a customer-centric standpoint to stop by the table personally to thank us for coming and wish us bon appetit. Nothing!
The experience was emotionally, gustatorily, and sensorily a gravely disappointing experience and left us feeling as cold about Drake as the food served to us.