Friday, August 09, 2013

A Second Visit During the Same Week to Dutch-Way Family Restaurant, Gap, PA

Of all of the Lancaster, PA buffets that we could have gone to or gone back to within a week's visit to the area, we decided to go back to Dutch-Way Family Restaurant in Gap, PA. We like this buffet that much! This was a Saturday night.

The feature on Friday and Saturday nights is Carved Roast Beef and Carved Ham. The price on Friday and Saturday is one dollar more ($12.99)  than the Monday to Wednesday dinners which are $11.99. Thursdays is Seafood Night and the price increases a few more dollars. If you are over 60, tell them at the cashier when you are paying your check and you will get a discount.

This was the Saturday of a holiday weekend. The dining room was busy but not packed. As I have said many times before, this is a local restaurant and not a tourist restaurant and is way off out of the tourist area. We were seated at a table not far from a large group of Amish people who were also having the buffet.

The buffet not only varies day to day but also dishes vary week to week. There is generally something that we have not had before here each time that we come.  Some dishes are found almost every night.

Starting with soup we had a choice of four - generally there are always four to choose from here. The soups included Beef Vegetable, Chili, Chicken Corn, and Corn Chowder. I chose the Chicken Corn and my wife chose the Beef Vegetable. The Chicken Corn soup was one of the thin varieties of this local soup that there seem to be many recipes for. It was a light chicken stock and loaded with noodles, corn, and chicken. This was a very satisfying soup. My wife chose the Beef Vegetable and she compared it favorably to one that she makes at home for holidays from a PA Dutch recipe.

The salad bar is just as I have described before, but I should say that the arrangement of the items on the salad bar were back to their normal places as they have always been in the past except for the last night we were here this week on Tuesday - when not only we were surprised that items had been moved around. Perhaps it was an experiment and someone finally said, "Put it back the way it was!"

The entrees on this Saturday night in addition to a large roast of Beef and a large baked Ham at the carving counter were Turkey in Gravy, Slices of Roast Beef in Gravy, Ham Balls, Dutch-Loaf, Barbecue Ribs, Pork and Kraut, Cajun Catfish, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, what the sign said was Tortellini with Tomato and Basil but was actually Ravioli and not Tortellini, and Henny Penny Chicken.  The side dishes included Dried Corn, Clam Filling, Potato Filling, Baked Lima Beans, Creamy Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Herb Roasted Potatoes with Cheese, Stewed Tomatoes, Honey Carrots, and Beets.

I have to take talk about the Barbecue Ribs. I had ribs on at another buffet on this trip and they did not hit the spot to satisfy my rib craving. They were good but much too meaty. These ribs looked like they were going to make me happy - and they did. I am sure these were not ribs cooked in a smoker but they were tender, enough meat per rib and not too much, had a sauce that was tomato based but not overly sweet and not overwhelming - just right, and when I was eating them, the meat just fell right off the bones. These ribs were wonderful! I almost concentrated my whole meal on those ribs. I don't think that I have had ribs here before - maybe - but on this night these ribs were just right!

I did try other things. I had a small slice of carved beef and while it was more done than I might have liked it had great taste and was very tender. The Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole was just what it is called - chicken with ham covered in a cream sauce and melted cheese. It was gooey to scoop out of the tray and it was very good. The Ravioli was also good and there were chunks of tomatoes in the light tomato sauce and leaves of fresh basil. The Cajun Catfish looked good but looked spicy (as it should be if it is Cajun) and I did not try it. Henny Penny chicken is like Broasted Chicken and since the Broasted name is copyrighted it seems that the Henny Penny company also has a process like Broasting (frying under pressure) and this is their copyrighted name for what looks like and is very much like fried chicken. The Dried Corn was very good. The Clam Filling was very different and good. In this area filling is another name for "stuffing" and it is baked in a pan and served as a side dish. This filling was a bread filling and it was flavored with clams. The clams were in there - not obvious (in other words you were not chewing on clams as you ate this) but you could taste the clams. Similarly, potato filling uses potato for the filling instead of bread and here, as I have said before, you can taste the potatoes. The Herb Roasted Potatoes with Cheese were small whole white potatoes that were roasted and seasoned with herbs and the whole tray was layered with cheese which made a great addition to what was already a good dish.

For dessert there were slices of chocolate and vanilla cakes, fruit and cream pies, Shoo Fly pie, fresh fruits, and a number of prepared desserts. There was Hawaiian Wedding Cake in one of the prepared dessert pans - a whipped cream covered, pineapple cake.  There is also Turkey Hill (a large East Coast brand of Ice Cream which is located in this area) soft serve ice cream and sundae bar.

I looked at all of the desserts and decided that I had indulged enough in desserts over this past week and went over to the bread bar. There I took a slice of pumpkin bread and it was delicious. It was dense and tasted like pumpkin and spice. It was just like some excellent pumpkin muffins that I have had in the past in a non-buffet restaurant in Virginia. This was as good as any dessert I could have taken.

Service was excellent as always. Every dish was cleared away whenever we went up for more, and drinks were refilled promptly. 

We did not regret going back a second time just four nights after our visit earlier. This restaurant/buffet is one that I cannot resist.

I obviously recommend Dutch-Way Family Restaurant in Gap, PA. As I have said, this is a local restaurant for the local community. If you decide to go there - and you should - just don't act like a tourist.

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.Yes, you are out of the Lancaster area code here - that is how far off it is.

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