Friday, August 13, 2010

New Changes at Yoders

I have written several times about Yoders Restauant - the buffet located in a supermarket in New Holland, Pennsylvania in Lancaster County. On a recent visit there were a few pleasant surprises - a few new additions. Before I tell you about these, I will give you a brief rundown on this buffet - my "second" most favorite buffet to go to.

As I say, Yoders is located in a supermarket building. It is off in a wing of its own connected to Yoder's Supermarket. It shares this area of the building with two gift shops and large banquet catering rooms that are an extension of the restaurant. Yoders Restaurant offers both menu and buffet dining. Look here for Yoders and you will see pricing, etc.

Don't go to Yoders expecting eletgance in decor. The dining room is filled with hard, but comfortable booths similar to those found in family restaurants or even some fast food restaurants. The main dining room seats four at the most at a table but there is another dining room to the rear that accommodates more at a table - so have no concern if you look in and wonder where your family of six is going to sit. The rear of the dining room is the buffet area. There are several hot and cold double sided buffet servers, a grill at the back, and two buffet servers on each side wall.

On this particular Saturday night the feature was Surf and Turf - and this is the same on Friday nights. Now, don't equate surf with lobster - there is no lobster to be found here but there is some very good seafood - and nice steaks grilled to order on a flame grill. The soups went along with the theme too - vegetable beef and "Krab Supreme" which was very large pieces of the "fake" crab meat in a cream of broccoli soup. It was rather good - different, but good!

The only complaint that I can say about this particular meal was that some of the portions that were given at the grill and even on the buffet were too large. NOW, this is A GOOD THING - but I would have been happier leaving more room in my stomach for trying more. The steak - which they call Marinated Steak - was a whole steak - not a cut off piece or a small cube of meat. The steak had a slightly sweet and seasoned taste which was very good. I took a piece of fried cod fish from the buffet and the pieces were large pieces of fish. The taste was excellent and I guess I could have cut into one in the serving tray and taken less but I hate to do that. My wife asked for turkey at the carving station and was given several substantial slices. BUT I would rather the servings are large than too small - as so often is the case at some buffets.

Now for the changes -

The most impressive change is an expansion of the dessert area. Still within the same space, there is an increase in cakes and also the addition of a sundae bar. Built onto the wall are cylinders that dispense sundae toppings - sprinkles, nuts, etc. along with a variety of syrups.

There are now two large screen televisions hanging down at each side of the carving area/grill. This is not for watching shows but electronically displays the specials on the grill and carvings. Very nicely done! Easy to change and I have not seen this anywhere else. The screens blend in well and do not distract you sitting in the dining room eating.

At the middle of the grill area they have placed a new buffet server. This replaces a small serving module that had been in this area previously. The new server has both hot and cold - condiments, hot mushrooms and hot onions for the steak, sauces, and on this night - steamed, spiced shrimp. This small double sided buffet server divides the grill/carving area and compliments it well with items that go along with what is served there.

The last change we did not notice until we were dining for awhile. There has always been a wall length buffet server along the left wall at the back with the soups and breads. For as long as we have been coming here, I never noticed the far area at the other end used to serve anything. On this night my wife was a bit disappointed that her favorite dish here on the buffet was missing - baked oatmeal. It is generally served every night but it was not on the buffet servers with the entrees and side dishes - which is where it always has been. Almost at the end of the meal she was walking past that far end of the wall buffet server and glanced in - and there was the baked oatmeal. Not only that but there was also baked oatmeal with fruit and other similar dishes. So this area is now being used and if you go make sure to look to see what may be there. Now, I wish I could say that this made my wife happy as she loves their baked oatmeal but she said that it was different - not the same consistency and texture as usual, and a slightly different taste. So she told me she wished that she had not found it or it had really been missing because it just was not the same. Maybe a different person in the kitchen made it - maybe it was a one time difference... I will encourage her to try a small bit of it again the next time just to see. I was happy to try a slice of something called Funny Cake - this is a cake in a pie shell - yellow cake with swirls of a dark chocolate syrup-like mixture of chocolate (not sure how to describe it because it is not filling and it is not syrup). What it is is good and this is the first time that I have seen it here or any buffet. It is not commonly found and is specific to one German region of Pennsylvania not in Lancaster County. I have had it at festivals - but never at a buffet. This one was not the best that I have had but it was good and a delightful surprise.

There is a website for Yoders listed at the side of this article. The restaurant is located at Yoder's Supermarket or perhaps, more properly, Yoder's Country Market, Route 23, New Holland, Pennsylvania. The phone number is (717) 354-4748. Yoders is open from Monday to Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner until 8 pm. It is also now open on Sunday morning/early afternoon for Sunday Brunch.

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