Friday, July 19, 2013

Yoders Restaurant on a Wednesday Night

I thought I had been to Yoders Restaurant in New Holland, PA at least once on each night of the week, but we were in the area on a Wednesday and went to Yoders and discovered that when we got there it was Italian Night. We had not been there before for Italian Night so this was going to be an experience for an Italian that grew up in an all Italian family and was raised on fine Italian cooking.

As we went in I wondered just how much of the buffet would be Italian and how much would be the usual Pennsylvania Dutch fare that Yoders usually serves. We discovered that there was a very pleasant mix of the two. What this showed me and that  I can share with all of you is to not be put off by a "special" feature night and that generally there will be standards and non-themed dishes served along with the featured theme.

One would not know from the soups on this night or the majority of what was served from the grill that this was Italian Night. The soup selections were Cream of Celery and Chicken Corn Noodle. The chicken corn noodle was both our choice and it was very good. It was loaded with noodles and corn in a light stock with pieces of chicken. I tend to like a thicker chicken corn soup but this was very good and it did have pieces of hard boiled egg in the soup which is traditional in this area for chicken corn soup. 

The salad bar was the same as always. It had its usual great selection of a variety of lettuces, toppings, dressings (including creamy Caesar), and prepared salads. 

The grill was featuring Smoked Brisket, Cajun Catfish, Potato Cakes, Corn Fritters, and in keeping with the theme - Chicken Parmigiana. I tried the Smoked Brisket and the Chicken Parmigiana. The brisket was a little dry and I should have put some barbecue sauce on top which was available. The Chicken Parm was a little unusual from what you would get at an Italian restaurant in that the chicken was not fried, but broiled and then put without breading on the flatiron grill with cheese and tomato sauce put on top. This was then covered with a lid and steamed to melt it all together. It was tasty but not what I had expected - but that was OK because it was good.

It was when we went up to the hot buffet servers that we saw that this was Italian Night but the Italian dishes were intermixed with Pennsylvania Dutch and American dishes. There was a very good assortment and this included Lasagna, Fettucini with Red Clam Sauce, Italian Sausage and Peppers, Eggplant Parmigiana and Pizza in the Italian selections and Hamballs in Pineapple sauce, Ham in Gravy, Prime Rib, Baked Chicken, Broasted Chicken, Baked Haddock. Chicken Hot Wings (Buffalo Wings), Nachos with hot, melted cheese and toppings, aTaco Bar and a Potato Bar. The side dishes included Corn, Steamed Mixed Fresh Vegetables, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Green beans, Mashed Potatoes, Potato Filling, Macaroni and Cheese, Stewed Tomatoes, Brown Butter Noodles and
Brussels Sprouts. 

The Lasagna was good. The Fettucini in Red Clam Sauce was interesting. There were not obvious clams in the sauce. I suspect that they were blended well in with the tomatoes which were chunked. It was very nicely seasoned and it tasted very good. I was quite delightfully surprised. The Italian Sausage and Peppers brought me back several times for more. These were not served in a tomato sauce but rather as grilled or baked sausages with peppers and onions around them. The Hamballs were very good and not overly sweet. The Prime Rib was a big surprise as in the pan it just looked like thin slices of Roast Beef in a thin gravy. But when I ate this it was definitely Prime Rib  - very tender and good! I very much enjoyed it!

We were quite happy with the selections. My picky eater wife found plenty of things to enjoy. Over on the counter where the breads are there were hot trays of baked oatmeal and baked oatmeal with blueberries. I tried the baked oatmeal with blueberries and they were a nice addition to what is already a good baked oatmeal.  

There were a variety of desserts out including fruit and cream pies, shoo fly pie, cakes, and a wide assortment of prepared desserts. There is also soft serve ice cream and a sundae bar and the soft ice cream here is excellent. I wish they would include the hard ice cream that is made in Yoders adjacent dairy. This fresh made ice cream is wonderful and can be had on the menu but not the buffet. I chose the same two desserts that I had the night before at Dutch-Way - shoo fly cake and cracker pudding. Here the cracker pudding is more traditional and not overwhelmed with coconut though there is coconut in it. I like this cracker pudding better. The shoo fly cake was very good but the shoo fly cake at Dutch-Way was moister. Both were satisfying and I would not pass either up. 

Service was very good and the server came regularly to clear away plates and offer refills on our drinks. While the restaurant closes at 8 pm they were still seating people at 8. 

This buffet is one of our Top Buffets for 2012 and it still deserves that rating. I have to say this every time I write about Yoders. This is a restaurant in a supermarket and it is not at all fancy inside. It is pleasantly decorated but the booths and tables are utilitarian - nothing fancy. People come here for the food and not the ambiance. And this a restaurant for the locals. It is rare to see tourists here. It is more common to see Amish and Mennonites dining here.  I was recently looking at their Facebook page and someone - obviously from outside of the area was not pleased with Yoders - things were too plain - and not fancy. Well, local people responded and suggested this must be someone from the "big city" and what were they expecting when they came in. The food is good and I come here for the food. The price is extremely reasonable and good. Deciding to come here on this night we had two other choices - buffets that don't often get to and when I discussed with my wife where we should eat, we both agreed to go to Yoders. If you are looking for big city fancy like the lady on Facebook - don't come here.
Yoders is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They open very early in the morning and close at 8:00 pm at night - as most other buffets in this area do. They recently started opening for Sunday brunch but other than that they are not open on Sunday's for lunch or dinner and close at 2 pm. The main days are Monday to Saturday for buffet and menu dining. Some at your table can order from the menu while others order the buffet. They have no problem with that.

The restaurant is located at Yoder's Country Market, Route 23, New Holland, Pennsylvania. The phone number is (717) 354-4748. There is a website and that is linked at the side of this page. There is also a Facebook page that you can "Like" and get updates on specials.


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