Casual Dining reviews

Pavilion Restaurant has been serving homestyle eats since 1984. The menu is a blend of Italian and American dishes with a sprinkle of familiar Greek dishes all in a laid-back family-friendly atmosphere.

Located next door to the Town and Country Meat Produce Market in a little strip mall, there is plenty of parking in the lot. The restaurant is easily accessible from both Interstate 85 and Holden Road. The facade is inviting, with planters filled with manicured bushes and flowering plants. Benches flank the entrance as a perfect place to wait for a table or to rest after filling up on good eats.

Lunch is a busy, bustling affair where tables fill up quickly and the air is bubbling with conversation and the quiet din of dining. Most of the lunch specials come with a side salad, bread and iced tea. The salad dressings are fresh and made in-house. If the small ramekins aren’t enough, order a pint or two to take home. The ranch and Italian dressings are some of the best in town and worth the drive for these simple condiments.

The rotating daily specials and sides keep the menu fresh and interesting. Over 15 sides are available each day, including lima beans, turnip greens, fresh cucumber salad, sliced peaches, potato salad, fried green beans, and macaroni and cheese.

The service is fast, perfunctory and incredibly cordial. Your beverages get filled without you noticing, and everyone you encounter from the host to the cashier is smiling. The friendly atmosphere is one of the more pleasant aspects of visiting Pavilion. The food seems to be a bonus after the display of high levels of hospitality.

Dinner is no less busy than lunch, but the pace is a little slower, and the full bar is put through its paces throughout the evening. Families with children in tow, couples, solo diners and everyone in between will be able to find a place and something they will enjoy.

All of the baked pastas come with a melted blanket of cheese on top that sends the flavor and comfort food level of the meal sky-high. The lasagna is the best bet on the menu. Thick sheets of pasta are layered with ricotta, Parmesan and provolone cheeses, and ground beef, covered in a robust and meaty tomato sauce. Served with a shredded lettuce salad and a slice of thick, hot buttered toast, it is dishes like this that will keep you coming back time and time again.

The dinner platters range from Greek-style broiled and crab-stuffed tilapia to marinated and seared rib-eyes, chops and sliced leg of lamb. Greek-style here seems to mean marinated in oil, lemon, garlic, herbs and spices. Steaks are cooked to order and come to the table juicy, sizzling and ready to eat.

For patrons wishing to keep their meals light, senior and children’s menus offer pared down versions of main entrees.

Pavilion is ready to make your family a part of theirs with exemplary customer service, hospitality and a host of well-prepared, classic dishes.

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Casual Dining features local restaurants for diners on a budget. It appears the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Contact Nikki Miller-Ka at nicolettemiller.ka@gmail.com.

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