Friday, August 30, 2013

Return to Dutch-Way Family Restaurant, Myerstown, PA

I first tried the "other" Dutch-Way buffet restaurant located in Myerstown, PA a year ago. At that time, I did not enjoy this location as much as I enjoy the Gap restaurant. We were in this area again and we decided that we would go back. We actually decided to come back to give this buffet another chance over trying the buffet at the Hollywood Casino near Hershey, PA.

We went on a Friday night which offers the same buffet features as Saturday night. Like the Dutch-Way restaurant in Gap, Pa, this restaurant is not open on Sundays and the nightly features are the same at each location.

The best way to describe this restaurant in comparison to the Gap restaurant is to say that it is an abbreviated version of the Gap location. I would say from the look of the age of the restaurant that this existed before the other. There is less buffet serving area here and as a result less food is offered - and that with some differences.

I will go through what was being served on the buffet on this night. There were four soups - and they were good ones! There was chicken noodle soup with rivels (rivels are long dumplings), shrimp bisque, creamy vegetable soup, and chili. My wife had the chicken noodle with rivels and told me that it was very good. I had the shrimp bisque and that was exceptional.

Moving to the salad bar there was lettuce and toppings but less so than at Gap and there were a few prepared salads - but nothing like the assortment at Gap. There was Ceasar dressing for the salad and on the hot buffet there is hot bacon dressing - yes, hot bacon dressing which is a local delicacy.

Should I be comparing the two restaurants like this - I am not sure how to describe my reaction to this buffet without that comparison. Let me say that had we never been to the Gap buffet, I would be saying that this is a nice little buffet - and we might go back if we were in the area again. But this is a sister buffet to one that exceeds it and it is only fair to you the reader who may come expecting as we did to find what we found in Gap to know this.

Anyway, let me go on. The hot entrees and side dishes included baked chicken, fried chicken, meatloaf in tomato sauce, ham balls, chicken bot bie, spaghetti and meatballs, baked haddock, turkey in gravy, taco macaroni, pork and kraut, and cold peel and eat shrimp that were spiced with Old Bay seasoning. At the carving station was Prime Rib and pork roast. The side dishes included pineapple filling, green beans, brown butter noodles, potato filling, beets, stewed tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, corn pie, mashed potatoes, kernel corn, scalloped potatoes with ham, Calico Beans (baked lima beans with pieces of what looked like hot dogs but could have been small pieces of smoked sausage) and with the Prime Rib at the carving station there were sauteed mushrooms and sauteed onions. 

There is an area with bread near the soup and instead of the assortment of breads as found at Dutch-Way Gap, there was just raisin bread but this was commercial raisin bread from a bag (distinctly not from a bakery even if just the attached supermarket bakery). Taking up one of the trays on the hot buffet was hot corn bread. There were also wrapped in plastic wrap muffins.

All of the food is good! There is no question about that. There were two Prime Ribs being carved - one rare and one well done. The Prime Rib was good. The meatloaf in tomato sauce was good but the tomato sauce overwhelmed the meatloaf. The ham balls were good. The chicken bot bie was good. The pork and kraut was good. My wife had the corn pie and felt that it was more corn than corn pie (really a corn casserole). We both had a good meal and there was plenty of food. It was the selection - again, compared to Gap (and we were recently at Gap a few weeks before this on a Saturday night with the same feature buffet) was lacking. The selection here - now and a year ago - was a step below, how can I put this without sounding food snobbish, in class. Maybe I should just say that the dishes here are plainer in food style. To be fair, counting the entrees on this night, there were ten and counting the entrees on the recent Saturday night at Gap there were eleven. Not really a significant difference in number but for some reason it just feels as if there is. While I can't wait to go back to Gap, I am very fine with not getting back here for another year when I may be in norther PA again.

Dessert follows suit with the same idea - similar desserts but less of them. There were half donuts (which really do make me happy - and I did have one), little danish, cookies, a few types of pie, a few slices of cake from the supermarket bakery, squares of chocolate peanut butter cake, soft serve ice cream and sundae toppings, and a few drink cups covered in plastic wrap each with a different type of cold prepared dessert pudding inside. This was odd and we could not figure why this was served this way - as if it was left from something else, rather than serving trays of puddings. But dessert space is very limited here though I don't think, for instance, that if I took the cup with the chocolate eclair pudding dessert, there was going to be another put out for someone else to take.

Service this time was much better than it had been. The server was experienced and attended to us well. The people at the buffet servers were also much more attentive than they had been a year ago and every tray was well tended and quickly replenished. 

The price of the dinner here on Friday and Saturday night is $13.99 just like at the Gap restaurant buffet. And there is a discount for seniors over 60.

As I said here a year ago - wonderful buffet but not special as its sister restaurant is. That one is a hidden gem, this one is a nice buffet.  I will go back and if you are in the area you should try it. This is way off the tourist area and this very much is a local restaurant.

The Dutch Way Family Restaurant in Myerstown, PA is located at 649 East Lincoln Avenue, Route 422 East in Myerstown, PA 17067. The phone number is 717-866-5758. There is a website for the three locations (only two are buffets) at the side of this page.My GPS put this address past its location so watch for the supermarket as you drive down Route 422 and the restaurant is on the right side of the same building as you face it from the road in the same parking lot.

An aside - I have not know what the recent feature for Monday nights is at the two Dutch-Way Family restaurants and here there was a sign. On Monday nights it is create your own pizza and a pasta station. Sounds interesting.


Michele said...

Don't remember how I found your blog, but have been following it for a couple of years now. I was all excited to eat at the Dutch Way Restaurant/Buffet when I go to Lancaster next month, but it'd be for lunch. Am I reading your post correctly (from last month) that the buffet doesn't start til 4?? If that's the case, which other buffet might you recommend (other than Shady Maple...been there tons of times...wanna try something different!)??

Writer said...

Lunch buffets where they are served are usually abbreviated from what is available at night. Yoders has a lunch buffer from 11 to 3 pm but includes only three entrees in addition to broasted chicken. We don't do buffet lunch often so I can't report first hand experience.

Dienners does a lunch buffet. The food is good, and the selection may not be too limited - as the selection is limited to start with.

We just went back to Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant at the Oregon Dairy Market and they have a lunch buffet. My article about this will appear in a several weeks. It is small and the food was mostly good (a few dishes needed to have been replaced as they had sat for too long and got dry, but the buffet was not busy while more were ordering from the menu) - there is a buffet menu on their website that lists the buffet for each day. There was more served than is on the list. We had been here in the past. We were pleased and enjoyed the meal. This last meal there has me looking to go back again.

Bird-in-Hand does a lunch buffet though limited from the evening buffet.