I had two hopes for Dienners with John Dienner's move there. One was that he would change the hours that Dienners is open. This restaurant closes at 6 pm every night except Friday nights when it is open until 8 pm. (The restaurant like most local buffets and restaurants here is closed on Sundays.) My other hope was that John would bring his recipes and also some of the variations to the buffet menu that he had at Family Cupboard. Neither of these has happened. Dienners still closes at 6 except for Friday's at 8. What is on the buffet at Dienners has not changed.
We went on a Friday night recently. We waited about 45 minutes to get in. The restaurant is small and there always seems to be a line to get in. While you wait you are given a beeper that allows you to walk into the neighboring shops to spend time and get out of the summer heat. We had arrived at the restaurant just after 6 and it was almost 7 when we went in. I have to say here that someone was seated at just about 8 pm and there was no problem - though this may be because the family had been waiting outside the 45 minutes that seemed to be told to everyone that came up to the hostess inside.
Dinner price was $11.99 and this was the Friday/Saturday buffet price. It is about a dollar less from Monday to Thursday. This is an excellent price for a buffet considering what the chains are now charging. The food here is quality and most, if not all is made from scratch. The people in the kitchen including the chefs appear to be primarily Amish and Mennonites and this is really home cooking.
When I reviewed Dienners a year ago, fair or not, I based my review on a comparison between this restaurant and Family Cupboard. Family Cupboard is now gone so that review is based on Dienners merits alone.
The Friday night buffet - which is the same on Saturday - includes some items that are not on the Monday to Thursday buffet. As I describe what we found to eat, I will point out what seems to be different.
We started with soup, as we always do, and there were two soups - Chicken Corn soup and Clam Chowder. Clam Chowder is not a surprise as it is standard in this area to find that or a similar seafood based soup on a Friday night. It was New England Clam Chowder, a white cream soup with clams and potatoes. We both took the Chicken Corn soup. The Chicken Corn soup was a thick chicken soup with loads of corn and hard boiled egg with noodles. The soup is thickened with might be a thickened creamed corn. There texture was smooth and not grainy which it would be had a grain or starch been used to thicken it. It was very good. I have my favorite Chicken Corn soups - this is close. Both of the soups are the same from my last visits here.
The salad bar is large and takes up a full buffet server. There is lettuce and an assortment of toppings and also prepared salads - some made with local recipes.