Friday, July 20, 2012

Tuesday Night at Dutch-Way Family Restaurant, Gap, PA

It was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about my second trip to Dutch-Way Family Restaurant in Gap, Pennsylvania. I had an opportunity to return to Dutch Way Restaurant just a month after my recent visit that appeared here in June. This time I went on a Tuesday night and the special theme feature on Tuesday nights is Build Your Own Burger and Wings.

The night we went was the night before the Fourth of July and the restaurant was the busiest that I have seen it. We did not have to wait for a table but the dining rooms while not completely filled were full. As I have written about this restaurant before, this is a locals restaurant and not one that attracts tourists. The reason for this is its location as it is in one of the more distant eastern ends of Lancaster County. It impresses me more that locals would come out to this restaurant on the night before a holiday when this area is overfull of tourists. It is the locals that appreciate the restaurant in a way that makes them come here - and not as a place to eat chosen at random by tourists. I have often thought that I should not write about these hidden gems - as I do not want them to be overrun by tourists - but at the same time I want to share a great place with my readers - who, I hope know how to act when they come to a restaurant like this - and not act as the tourists often do.

Anyway. We were seated and in a few minutes our server came over with a big smile and a very friendly greeting and took our beverage order and noted that we were there for the buffet and not the menu offerings.

The price of the buffet for dinner is $10.99 on Tuesday nights. Unlimited beverage refills are $1.79. Right here we are beating OCB's prices. Prices do vary by night- Monday to Wednesday will be this same price. Thursday is Seafood Night and the price then is $18.99. Friday and Saturday are less than Thursday, but more than Monday to Wednesday.

As there has been, there were four soups. The choice this night included beef vegetable, chili, ham and bean, and stuffed pepper soup. I tried the ham and bean and my wife had the beef vegetable. My soup was full and flavorful. The beef vegetable soup was according to my wife, "very nice". (From my picky eater wife, this is a rave review.)

The salad bar was as extensive as it has been with much of the same choices. There are many local styled prepared salads and and an overwhelming selections of items to create a salad. They don't have just bacon bits or chopped bacon. They have large pieces of crumbled fried bacon!
I went over to the grill to check out the features - build your own burger and wings. There was a large crowd of people around the grill and two chefs behind doing their best to get out the orders - each person, of course, was ordering their burgers and wings the way they wanted them. This is a very popular feature theme! I decided that I would explore the hot buffet tables first and come back to the grill later on. There were four types of wings to choose - hot, mild, ranch, and honey mustard. You asked for as many and what ever combination you wanted. The burgers were being cooked and built to order. The toppings included any of these cheeses - American, Swiss, cheddar, and pepper jack. Then you could add bacon, sauteed mushrooms, friend onions, barbecue sauce, tomato, lettuce, and more. Then there were the condiments that were your basics plus raw onion. Any or all of this cooked to your liking, and then assembled on a large bun. The burgers were large and thick.

Over at the buffet servers there was a large variety of very interesting dishes. There was chicken and biscuits - a thick creamed chicken with bits of chicken pulverized in a dense cream sauce served over biscuits. There was Dutch meat loaf. There were ham balls in a not overly sweet pineapple sauce. There was an excellent pork and sauerkraut. There was something called porcupine meatballs. We wondered. This could not be porcupine - could it? No, it was beef mixed with rice. It was good. There was sauteed beef and vegetables which was later replaced with chicken and vegetables, but later still was back to beef and vegetables. There was a thin but tasty version of the local dish, Chicken Bot Boi (I have described what this is many times before). There was so much for a buffet that that I will just list what else there was - Henny Penny Fried Chicken, roast turkey in gravy, roast beef in gravy, zesty talapia, mashed potatoes, potato filling (wonderfully different here), carrots, string beans with bacon, mixed vegetables of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, herb roasted potatoes with peppers and onions, stewed tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, beets, and baked beans.

I tried a little of several things that I had not had before and enjoyed the chicken and biscuits very much. I enjoyed everything that I tried very much! This is my third time back to this buffet and I have not been disappointed yet.

Not long after seeing the crowd at the grill, the crowd thinned out and I went up and "built a burger". I had the chef put cheddar cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, and fried onions on a medium rare burger - and skipped the roll. Let me say this about build a burger - eat one large burgers like this and there is not much room for much else to eat. I would have been happier with a thinner burger only because there was so much more to eat with everything else on the buffet! I enjoyed the burger. I did not try the wings. I am not much for wings and was not looking for anything spicy. Many were eating the wings with looks of great enjoyment on their faces and lips - lots of licking of lips.

There were various breads to try - warm, crusty rolls, white rolls, wheat rolls, pumpkin bread, cornbread, blueberry bread, and cranberry bread. There were also assorted bread sticks.
With all of this can you fit in dessert too? There are plenty of desserts to end your meal with. There was shoo fly cake, shoo fly pie, molten lava chocolate and vanilla - a hot dessert that was later replaced with hot peach cobbler, apple cobbler, egg custard pie, fruit pies, layer cakes, corn bread in a cup, an extensive assortment of prepared desserts, fresh fruits, puddings, and more. There was one prepared dessert called "Broken Glass". It was a pudding with pieces of different color jelly candies that looked like pieces of glass!

And, just like on my last visit there were chocolate donuts cut in half. I cannot resist chocolate donuts and I indulged in just one half, but I really should not have, but what the heck.
So there you have another featured theme at Dutch Way Restaurant Buffet. As it has been each other time I have been here it was WONDERFUL!

There is something that you need to know about this restaurant - if it is a holiday it may be open only until about 1 pm or it will just be closed. It is also closed on Sundays - as are most local restaurants in this area.

I will be going back. I may be able to try another location of this buffet in the near future. There are two. I am sure it will be just as great. Perhaps it is too early to be thinking that Shady Maple - for me, at least, may have a rival. Dutch-Way is much smaller. It does not have anywhere near the selection. But, as far as value and my looking forward to the next time going back as soon as I am walking out the door of the restaurant - there is something very special here.

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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