Friday, October 25, 2013

Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant and Buffet, Lititz, Pennsylvania

It has been five years since I have been to the Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant and Buffet in Lititz, PA. I am not sure why it has taken me this long to go back - other than perhaps the other buffets in this area that always come to mind first. This is a nice, small buffet that is just off the main tourist area in Lancaster County and one that like some other buffets in this area is located within a supermarket complex.

This buffet is located in the back of a menu restaurant that is in its own section of a building that is a supermarket. You can enter the restaurant from the supermarket or from its own door from the large parking lot. Adjacent to the restaurant and separate from the supermarket is an ice cream stand serving a large variety of fresh ice cream flavors made right there at the dairy. A scoop of this ice cream is available as a selection on the dessert offerings with the buffet meal.

We had intended to go to this buffet a few months back but just never got there. When we were back in the area, I was sure to make this one of the several buffets we had dinner at and I am very glad I did, as it reminded me that this is a buffet that should be visited more often. Selections for lunch and dinner on the buffet are partially listed on a menu download on the restaurant's website (linked at the side of this page). That menu does not include all that you will find on the buffet when you get there - which was a pleasant surprise. As you will see if you look at the buffet menu on the website, the dishes served rotate by night with some repeats.

On the night that we were there we found two soups - kale soup and New England Clam Chowder. The clam chowder was good. I did not try the kale soup and that is an unusual soup not usually found at a buffet. They have a large salad bar and one can just order the salad and soup bar for a meal. One can also just order the dessert bar. The salad bar as a variety of local prepared salads and also lettuce and the makings for a good salad. This buffet is in, of course, the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and much of what is on the buffet (but not all) are Pennsylvania Dutch foods. There was Chicken Bot Bie - a chicken stew with broad dough noodle squares that I have spoken about many times here on this site at PA Dutch buffets. This one was good. There was smoked sausage which is not particularly PA Dutch but here at the Oregon Dairy restaurant it is prepared in a different way and is a specialty item on the menu. It is fried - deep fried - so at first bite it seems overcooked but it is quite tasty and crispy. I have had smoked sausage served in a variety of ways - this is the only place that I have had it like this. The smoked sausage is a regular item on their menu but is not always found on the buffet. There were ham balls, another PA Dutch food item that is made from ground ham made like meatballs and traditionally served cooked in pineapple sauce. These are sweet and good. There was Pork and Kraut - pieces of pork cooked in sauerkraut - another PA Dutch food item and was also good here. There were two types of chicken - seasoned chicken and also barbecue chicken breasts. There was no fried chicken - which on a PA Dutch buffet is unusual not to find. There was stuffed cabbage. There was also fried shrimp and broiled Talapia. Of course there were side dishes as well including mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, macaroni and cheese, Pa Dutch potato filling (stuffing made with potatoes), and stewed tomatoes.

The meal was good and while the selection does not compare with some buffets in this area, it was more than enough and certainly it was local in variety. When you come to restaurants in this area - buffet or not - you are coming for local foods and recipes. This is what you are finding here.

Desserts included a variety of puddings and prepared desserts, a selection of cake slices and pies, warm cobbler, fresh fruit, jello, and a scoop (just one) of the Oregon Dairy's selection of 20 plus flavors of ice cream made at the dairy on the premises. In fact, the server goes into the ice cream stand to get the ice cream for you. There is a flavor of the month and then there are the flavors that are always on the menu and there are some unusual flavors among these. I decided on the  ice cream. It was rich and creamy.

The price of dinner was very reasonable. Since prices tend to change lately, I am not going to quote the price but it was well within just about ANYONE's budget. The soft drinks are additional and include refills.

Our server was a young woman in training and she was very good. She was attentive. The dishes were cleared off the table and the drinks were refilled.

The decor is pleasant and typical of restaurants in this area. It is not overly fancy but it is what you would expect a family restaurant to look like. It was clean and the restrooms were also clean and well maintained. Also, there is no problem if someone at your table decides to order from the menu while others are ordering the buffet.

There is a breakfast buffet, a lunch buffet, and a dinner buffet. The restaurant is open seven days a week (until 2 pm on Sundays) BUT the buffet is only served Monday to Saturday. There is NO BUFFET ON SUNDAYS except breakfast buffet. The restaurant closes at 8:00 pm and this does not mean seating until 8:00 pm. The buffet is taken down at that time and they let you know that if there is anything else that you would like, you need to go up and get it right then. (They do this politely.)

I plan to go back more often. With so many buffets here to choose from this is hard when you are only in the area for a few days, but this is now "on the list" to go to. I recommend that you try it. Download the menu from the website and you will have some idea of what dishes to expect to find on the night that you decide to go.

The Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant and Buffet is located at 2900 Oregon Pike (Route 272) in Lititz, PA 17543. The phone number is (717) 661-6804. There is a website and that is listed on this page at the side of the articles.While this is the town of Lititz it is not near the center of what is thought of as the town of Lititz (where the old pretzel bakery and the Moravian settlement is located). It is also on the top of a hill with a large up hill driveway from Route 272. As you get up into the parking lot the restaurant is on the left, the supermarket part of the building is on the right, and the dairy/ice cream stand is on the far left. There is a little playground and "park" near the ice cream stand.

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