Friday, June 29, 2012


It was last November when I first found Dutch-Way Family Restaurant located on the far end of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Like Yoders, this is another restaurant that is part of a supermarket. Also like Yoders, the restaurant is in the same building but separated by a hallway, and in this case, that hallway has a snack bar with some very tempting treats. But it is wise to pass the snack bar and keep going to the restaurant - in fact, just enter from the parking lot to the door for the restaurant.

This buffet is fancier than Yoders. There are tables and booths and a carpet on the floor. The dining room is divided in sections by low level walls and the buffet servers are at the rear of the room along with a large grill area.

This restaurant is well out of the tourist area and it is unlikely that you are going to encounter anything but locals here - though I must say that the night we were there a bus group was just leaving. Happily, we missed the bus group. There are also two banquet rooms that are off to the side of the buffet area. We were there on a Saturday night and the restaurant was only moderately busy. As I have noted, this is out of the tourist area. Like almost every other buffet restaurant in Lancaster County, Dutch-Way is closed on Sundays. Monday to Friday they are open from 6 am to 8:00 pm.

Dinner here varies by the night and we were there on a Saturday night. The price of the dinner buffet was $12.99. Unlimited soft drinks are an additional $1.39. Dinner price was two dollars more than it had been during the week in November.

The feature for Saturday night is Prime Rib and ham at the grill. Thursdays is seafood night. Tuesday is now make your own burgers at the grill and wings. In addition to the feature there are two hot buffet servers filled with entrees and side dishes. While this restaurant is larger than Yoders, it does not feature as many selections, but there is plenty here to choose from.

There are four soups and on this night these included chicken corn chowder, vegetable beef, chile, and chicken noodle. I tried the chicken corn chowder, as I have not had this before. It was full of potatoes and a thin white cream base with chicken and corn. It was tasty. My wife had the vegetable beef and she enjoyed it.

There is a very large salad bar here and you can make a tossed salad with a wide variety of toppings. There are also a number of local prepared salads and in addition there was a very excellent chicken salad. This chicken salad would have made a satisfying meal on its own. To top your salad there were small pieces of real fried bacon strips. Very different from the usual bacon on a salad bar. Everything was fresh.

Walking around the hot buffet servers I spotted a local dish that is different in Lancaster from how it is served in soul food restaurants - chicken and waffles. This is not fried chicken on top of a waffle. This is a creamed chicken put over waffles. I took this along with meat loaf on my first plate. The chicken and waffles was very tasty - but unlike others that I have had in this area - there were no chunks of chicken. The chicken was blended into the cream sauce. It made for a very tasty and interesting dish. The meatloaf was thick and rather than the usual ketchup that is put on top of meatloaf in many buffets this was covered in brown gravy. This is my wife's favorite type of meatloaf - and like everything else here - it was good. I also took a small spoon of potato filling - which I have described in articles about other buffets in this area. This one had a distinct potato taste and texture. It was like stuffing and mashed potatoes blended together into a unique dish. It delightfully surprised me when I put it into my mouth. I have had all different types of potato filling and not all have been the same. This one had a differently nice texture and taste.

Of course, there were a number of other dishes. There were ham balls in pineapple sauce - this is chopped ham made into meatballs - turkey in gravy, roast beef in gravy, Salisbury steak in brown gravy, seafood lasagna, pork and sauerkraut, Cajun haddock, and a very good fried chicken, in fact this was one of the better fried chickens that I have had and the sign called it "henny penny" fried chicken. I, later, looked up what henny penny fried chicken is. Henny Penny is the name of a company that makes chicken pressure friers. Similar to "broasting", the chicken is deep fried under pressure. I have had broasted chicken before. This was my first time having "Henny Penny" fried chicken.

There was supposed to be ham on the carving grill, there was only Prime Rib. Well, Prime Rib is not an only. I was cut a thick slice that was nicely cooked - a little medium rare and a little better done all on the same piece. Perhaps some who only like their beef one way or the other (as I usually do) would not like this, but I liked the contrast in tastes and textures. It was good.

Side dishes included mashed potatoes, carrots, macaroni and cheese - in a thick white cheese sauce, stewed tomatoes, mixed steamed vegetables, a mixed vegetables that was in a thick cream-like sauce, and there was string bean casserole - that was called green beans and bacon. The bacon was evident in taste and it was thick with cream sauce and covered in fried onion rings. This is very much like the popular Thanksgiving dish of creamed green bean casserole covered in fried onion rings, but much better. It was "kicked up a notch" as Emeril would say, but not spicy - kicked up a notch in taste and texture.

For the most part, this is local Amish and Mennonite country cooking. With this there are more worldly dishes mixed in so it is not all farm fare, but the blend is done well - and there is something for just about anyone.

There is a section near the soups that has an assortment of different breads. There was bread with cranberries swirled through, bread with blueberries, pumpkin bread and banana bread. There were also white and wheat rolls. On the hot buffet there were hot rolls. With the bread there were also half donuts covered in chocolate, coconut, and nuts. Dessert or bread? You decide.

There is a nice dessert bar here. In addition to those donuts, there were layer cakes including party cake, chocolate cake and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. There was an assortment of pies including sugar free pies - and then like all of the other buffets in Lancaster County there were the local prepared desserts - of which there was a very large selection. There was fresh fruit salad and grapes. Over on the hot buffet there was a tray of hot desserts in little foil cups. My wife tried one of these - a chocolate cake. She said that it was not really hot - it was warm - and it was nice. I, who should not eat dessert, could not resist one of the half donuts. It was very good - but then again, I really like donuts and I very rarely - if ever, any more, have them. There is also an ice cream sundae bar with soft serve ice cream. The ice cream looked really, really good - really creamy. I was tempted, but not after eating the donut - not to mention the chicken and waffles.

Service was very good. The young lady who was serving our table made sure the plates were taken away and kept offering and bringing refills of the drinks.

I have looked forward to coming back to Dutch-Way for a year and I was very happy that I went back and look forward now to the next visit. In fact, I keep thinking since this meal, that this has to become one of my regular dinners when in Lancaster County. I find it interesting that the restaurants that are the least presumptive stand out so highly. After all, this is a restaurant buffet in a supermarket- but it is one of the better buffets that I have been to.

As I did six months ago, I still highly recommend Dutch-Way Family Restaurant!

The Dutch-Way Family Restaurant is located at the Dutch-Way Farm Market Supermarket at 365 Gap Newport Pike (Route 41), Gap, Pennsylvania 17527. The buffet is served from 4 pm to 8 pm Monday to Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. This is about two and a half miles south of Route 30. There is a web site and that is linked at the side of this page. The phone number is 610-593-6080.

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