The Savory Thyme Cafe

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3.4
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28 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The Holiday Thyme buffet is located in the North Carolina Arboretum which is apart of the Winter Lights Celebration. **Please Note: Price of admission to the Arboretum is NOT included with the Holiday Thyme Buffet. You must have an admission ticket to the Winter Lights Celebration, which can be purchased through www.ncarboretum.org, in order to access the restaurant.
What 28 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.4based on all time ratings
3.1
food
4.2
service
3.3
ambience
3.1
value
Noise · Quiet
53% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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R
Western NC
17 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

I understand this was a buffet.......but another diner and I decided saying the food was “ok” was generous. Horrible food!

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I expected more variety in buffet. nly 1 meat options. Not worth the money!

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B
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 2

The dinner buffet was a nice Christmas treat for myself and kids. The food quality did not dissapoint and the food presentation was nicely done. My only negative was I found the seating area lacking and the space confined, neighboring conversations made me feel intrusive due to limited floor space. Would definitely not let that minor detail stop me from enjoying another delicious meal served here.

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RP
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

Portable tables were cramped, people in line right beside our table, had to move table to avoid elbows into our dining area, poor selection on salad bar, large open trash can to the immediate right of salad bar, mediocre food quality, only one person to both check in and check out, $21 + tax and 18% gratuity a poor value, next time we see the Winter Lights (we plan to return) we will dine elsewhere. However, the service was excellent as well as the Cabernet wine.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 1

We went on christmas day and for the price, I paid, I was expecting it to be nice...it was not.

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JW
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Maybe because it was a Christmas buffet but the food was overcooked and bad except for the cheesecake and the cider which was great. No salt and pepper on the table or designated waiter or waitress and not very inspired...no sauces or spice...jist really bad.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Christmas experience. I would recommend this experience to anyone wanting the adventure of the arboretum on Christmas and the enjoyment of a carefree meal.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

This was a first time visit and was the Christmas Buffet $28 pp. They should have been very ashamed of what they served. The carving station had a hunk of grey/brown meat. They called it ham. The chicken was dry and covered in soggy shake n bake. Did not try the pasta but didn't look any more appetizing. Some salad, stale dinner role with ice cold butter that you could not spread and reheated bag veg that was previously frozen. Mashed potatoes while cold, were quite tasty. I was looking forward to something special for Christmas Eve night, however, was very disappointed and let down. Mind you I have never eaten from the every day fare at this cafe. This experience did not prompt me to attempt it.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food not worth the price of the meal. This was a very basic buffet with limited choices at a gourmet price.

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R
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were very disappointed. After a long wait in line in order to get to the entrance gate, we were told that we also needed tickets for the "Lights" and, that those tickets were sold out. We were then given a phone number to call and were assured that we could purchase tickets by phone and then continue on to dinner.
As you might guess, no one answered the phone and we were literally left out in the cold. And, also left with unanswered questions. The website did not make it clear that we needed to buy additional tickets, not to mention, make the purchase online prior to attending. Nor were there any considerations for those of us who did not have those tickets.
This kind of snafu is indicative of a poorly organized event; something I would not expect from the Arboretum. Why weren't all tickets, admission and dinner, ordered and paid for online at the time the reservation was made? Why wasn't the website set up in a clear and user-friendly fashion?
We can't wait to not attend this dinner, the "Lights", and will certainly reconsider our several visits to the Arboretum each year.

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OT
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

We booked for the holiday buffet on Xmas Eve. Food was cold, bland and very disappointing. I’m not a picky eater but left most of my dinner uneaten. The gluhwein was warm and tasty but everything else was forgettable and very overpriced.

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LA
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We went for Winter Lights. What a great time of the year to go. The food was pretty good...but it wasn't bad. The staff was wonderful, very friendly and attentive. We loved the ambiance.

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J
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

This was not worth the money paid for. We were there for the winter lights holiday dinner. It was a buffet dinner. The staff were very very nice however upon check out we had to wait for the manager to come and check us out and also he had a difficult time using the cash register in order to process our payment. The food was very much mediocre. This was not worth the amount of money that we paid. Quite honestly, I would return to the winter lights this was excellent however the dinner I would prefer to get somewhere else.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came from Virginia to see the lights and ate at the café.....we were very pleased. The whole evening was very special for my family especially my little grandson. The food excellent and the whole staff were very nice. Thanks so much.

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ST
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family were all together to see the Winter Lights at the Arboretum. Being able to go to dinner right on the property was perfect. The holiday buffet was delicious. The service was friendly and spot on.

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OT
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The Winter Lights buffet was way overpriced. Next time we will eat in the Cafe and enjoy live music.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Food just ok. Staff very friendly and accommodating. A little pricey for what you got.

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E
Raleigh
23 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The Holiday Lights buffet dinner was very good, and the staff were extremely friendly!

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OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 1

Food was terrible and expensive. Would not recommend.

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CB
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The main course buffet food was great and went well with the holiday theme of Winter Lights. The wine our server suggested was equally pleasing. My favorite part of the meal was the pecan pie. There definitely is room for improvement in training staff: our server forgot our beverages and the kids' mac n' cheese several times. Ambience should definitely be enhanced, particularly for the Winter Lights dinner. There was no music to begin with, and the decor was bare. I think that for the price, just a tad bit more effort could be required of the the crew and the overall effect of the event. We would consider coming back every year for the holidays, as long as these suggestions are taken into consideration.

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SH
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

We attended the buffet meal during Winter Lights with friends from out of town. The food on the buffet had been there for some time and was cold. We had 7:30 reservations and it looked like some of the food had been there since five, with little left. The “salad” was just greens, though I did dig one cucumber and one cherry tomato out of the bottom of the serving bowl. None of us ate even half of one plate. The dessert not at all appealing, though the children ate the store bought chocolate chip cookies. For $22 each for the adults and $12 for the children, our meal came to $87. An amazing waste.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was an embarrassment evening for my wife and I. We invited friends from out of town to enjoy a dinner and the lights. The meal was terrible food, the seating was so tight you couldn't walk around to get to the buffet. What made it the worst was the setting. Off in an alcove overcrowded, and no ambiance. The guy working there reached across our plate of food to retreive empty things and touched our plates numerous times. I would never go back there. If it was just my wife, we would have legged. But we had company with us. They were gracious but did say it was nice lights, but let's go have dinner somewhere else.

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BB
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2017
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 3

The cafe was cozy and relaxing. We chose to have dinner at The Savory Cafe because we were attending The Winter Light display. The food was OK, the rolls were very hard and we felt that the price was exorbitant ( over $20.00 per person) for what was served and the lack of quality of the food. The person who seated us and the wait staff were very attentive, courteous and pleasant. We were disappointed in our dining experience, did not meet expectations.

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g
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to the Winter Light buffet...it was simple and delicious, the atmosphere was great, the service excellent, and the art that adorned the walls in and outside the cafe outstanding.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The meal was delicious, service was good, atmosphere was nice. Not overly loud or raucous. Overall a nice experience and good value. We will definitely consider again next holiday season.

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f
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were on vacation and wanted to see the holiday lights [ very exceptional ] and Aldo wanted to stay and eat. Food was good nothing special Roast beef cubes in gravy and mashed potatoes was tasty. My husband didn't like the looks of the chicken casserole said to runny, I did try it and it did tast good. Polenta with mushrooms was very good. Had brownies and gingerbread cake one plate said cream cheese frosting and the other plate said cream cheese icing. They both tasted the same, good. You could buy wine a generous pour for an extra fee. We did enjoy ourself

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and plentiful!!
We paired dinner with a Winter Lights garden tour. Wonderful evening.

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

This was a special Arboretum Holiday Lighting event. The upstairs facility was not a restaurant but more of a conference room. It was buffet style with small beef cubes and veggies. There was wine for sale was was reasonably priced. It is not fine dining but was acceptable for the price.

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