Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ryan's Grill, Buffet, and Bakery

Ryan Grill, Buffet, and Bakery is a large chain of buffets across the South. The furthest north on the East Coast are restaurants in south central Pennsylvania. This is my favorite of the buffet chains that I have dined at. This evening we had dinner at the Ryan's in Fredericksburg, VA. It was the same as my experiences have been in Ryan's in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, and other locations in Virginia.

Dinner is priced at $8.39 and soft drinks are extra at $1.39. Soft drinks are unlimited and may be changed to coffee at desert. What sets this chain apart is the charbroil grill. Steaks are served to order and there is also smoked sausage and pork cooking on the grill. Next to the grill is a carving station with beef, ribs, pork barbecue, and fajitas. There are three soups, a taco bar with fried and steamed tortillas, as well as nachos. There are several varieties of pizza. There are two salad bars with assorted greens and toppings along with prepared salads, apple cob salad, homemade tuna salad, and others .There is an assortment of fresh fruit. There are two entree and vegetable tables with fried and broiled chicken, two kinds of mashed potatoes, and assortment of vegetables, a variety of entrees including chicken pot pie, spaghetti and meat sauce, and several others. The deserts are on a large u-shaped server with fresh baked cakes, cookies, hot and cold deserts, puddings, four flavors of ice cream and sundae fixings. Food is southern-style and the fried chicken is as good or better than some I have had in restaurants in the South that specialize in home cooked fried chicken.

Beverages are served to you by your server and how well this works depends upon your server. We have usually had attentive servers and the beverages where refilled regularly and the dishes where picked up quickly.

The decor is wood and metal - more masculine than the "dainty" decor of Old Country Buffet. (The decor at OBC appeals more to my wife than Ryan's. I don't notice much as the food is the area of focus here.)

The food is good. My steak was cooked just right - I like it rare on the inside and crisp on the outside. It was not tough and it did not need steak sauce to give it flavor. When you sit at your table your server comes over and offers you rolls. These are very good and hot - but be warned as they are drenched in butter, which makes them so good.

You pay as you enter and order your drinks then. The cashier will ask if you would like to place your tip on the charge card and if you say yes you will be handed back the cash to put on your table. This is great if you want to keep your expenses on your charge card or don't want to be concerned at all about cash. When you get to your table your server will check your receipt to learn your drink order.

There are three special nights - Tuesday is catfish, Saturday is barbecue, and Wednesday caters to kids. Most of the usual menu is available on those nights as well. Prices do vary by night. At one time these restaurants were closed on Mondays but that no longer seems to be the case, but you may want to call just to make sure before you visit. There is a link to the chain's website at the side of this page.

As you can tell - I like Ryan's. There are none where I live and I have traveled out of my way when traveling to visit a Ryan's.


Anonymous said...

Ryan's Buffet in Michigan City, IN is a disgrace to your company. The food is digusting, when there is food on the buffet. The workers don't seem to get the idea on how to fill the buffet, even at the 5:00 pm dinner hour. NO roast beef, only dried up celery & carrots, NO green beans, 4 pieces of fried chicken, 2 spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and something that looked like dried up fish filets sitting on top of rice. What a shame when the restaurant first opened it WAS pretty good. It has just gone down hill since then. The workers, including the manager, just want to "pass the buck" on to someone else as to why the poor conditions exist. You certainly need to check up on this store, it's an embarassment to your compamny.

barb said...

we have just gotten back from a rayn's resturant in mishawaka ind. store number 2168. I totaly agree, our experiance at ryan's was not a good one. we got our plates and sat there for a good 15 min. before we were offered bread. we were still waiting for our drinks at this time and after taking a bite of my dry roastbeef and my husband and daughter taking a bite of thier dry overcooked steak nobody at our table could say forget the bread were all choking here we need water. my husband and i spit our extremly dry meat into a napkin and my husband asked for a manager,well a manager did come out only to adress the young girl who was cutting the meat to get our drinks while he watched the meat table. the nice young girl (who was not our waitress)got us our drinks and went back to cutting meat. the manager who apparently felt no need to come to our table even after being asked to do so went back into the kitchen area or somewhere back there. about 5 min. later the manager appeared in the dinningroom again to talk to a young man who was filling out an application.we decided that the real food was not worth eating so we went straight for the deserts. my daughter made herself an icecream cone i wanted peach cobble alamode.yummy huh?? well one would think so. i'm not sure about in ryan's world but in the world we live in icecream does melt..at ryans our icecream did not melt nor did it fill very cold. so i made a comment to our waitress (oh yes we finally got one those after the girl and the manager had to trade jobs for a second. to bad they didn't change jobs for the rest of our meal)anyway the waitress checked out the icecream cone setting in the plate that would just not melt and on hot peach cobbler it should have been half milk by then(we all know thats what makes it taste so good)the waitress got a small bowl and took a small tast and said "i think this is whipped cream" she then took a tast to the manager who finally came to our table to tell us that it is indeed ice cream. we showed him that his icecream was still not melting. he told us that he got a new machien and it did not push the icecream down like other machien this one keeps it fluffy and baybe some air got into the machien so it made the same old icecream whipped icecream.(still i wasn't buyin it icecream is icecream no matter how you make it it MELTS)So i then ask the manager were you aware the we had to wait 15 min. after getting our food and setting down in your less than half filled resturant to get something to drink. he said yes i was and im sorry for that. he then said have a good night and walked away from our table (with the icecream cone still on the plate not melting.)my daughter came home and ate a bowl of cereal. some how I agree that capn crunch would have been a better and more reasonable choice then packing up the family to out to ryans for dinner. talk about poor customer service, shame on you Ryan's for allowing this to happen to godd hungry customers.
barb in niles michigan

Robert A said...

Wow! My experiences at Ryans have never been like that - though with the take over and the OCB attitude that I have heard is sadly being introduced in Ryans Restaurants, I guess I should not be surprised.

Generally, you can get your steak cooked to your liking at Ryans - they usually cut a piece and show it to you to make sure that it is the way you want it done.

And yes, ice cream should melt!

That is 0 for 2 at Ryans in the Mid-west. They have been better than this in the South.