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.
at 12:36 AM