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.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Refresher on the Rules of the Buffet

The more buffets that I go to the more I wish the restaurants would post our Rules of the Buffet. Here they are once again for all of our readers to take note of and remember.  Recently #28 seems to be one that many need to know about...


1. All you can eat is not a challenge. It is an offer!

2. There is no limit to the number of times that you can go up and get food.

3. Take your food in courses - as you would be served if ordering from a menu.

4. Everyone must pay!

5. No food is permitted to be taken out of the restaurant.

6. Take only what you will eat - do not waste food.

7. For a more social meal, it is polite to wait for the others at the table to finish their plates and then go up together to get more.

8. Take a clean plate every time that you go up to the buffet tables.

9. If you put it on your plate, leave it there. Never return food to the serving tray.

10. Never eat at the buffet tables!

11. Children under 12 should not be going up to the buffet tables alone.

12. The buffet table is not a cafeteria line.

13. Tip the server.

14. Never take a serving piece from one item and use it for another item.

15. Never place your dirty plates on someone else's table.

16. Never use your silverware to serve yourself from the buffet trays.

17. Once you have gotten what you want, don't stand around the buffet tables. Move on back to your table.

18. Children should remain seated through the meal.

19. Do not fill community plates for the "table". Each should take their own plate of what they wish to eat.

20. If you cough or sneeze into your hand, please do not use that hand to pick up the serving utensils.

21. In the buffet, as in any restaurant, children (and adults) should use their inside voices.

22. Don't talk on your cell phone while you are getting your food at the buffet tables.

23. Never bring an animal into the buffet. (this is not referring to medical guide dogs)

24. Never put your hands into a serving tray.

25. Tell your children not to put their hands into a serving tray - and make sure that they do not!

26. Do not carry on a conversation throughout dinner with the people at the tables around you.

27. Do not put anything back into a serving tray that has dropped onto the serving counter - and never put anything back into a serving tray (whether from the counter or your dish) with your fingers.

28. Never put the serving utensil, whether it a spoon, fork, or tongs, up to your nose to smell the food that you have taken out of the serving tray.

29. Do not eat while walking with your plate back to your table.

If you take a plate, bowl, cup, or piece of silverware and you decide you don't want it, do not put it back on the stack of clean dishes or back with the clean silverware. Take it back to your table or put it on the side of the stack where it will not be taken as clean.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Undercover Boss at Buffets Inc. Restaurants Next Week!

The television show Undercover Boss found on CBS network stations sends companies' top executives into their business location to learn first hand what it is like to work for them and work in their businesses.  This show will have the boss from Buffets Inc. out in the restaurants undercover on Friday, October 18, 2013. The show will be on from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Buffets Inc. is the parent company of Old Country Buffet, Ryans, and Hometown Buffet.  The restaurants visited for the filming of the show will not be known until the airing of the show.

An inside anonymous source shares that changes in the restaurants have already been ordered as a result of this show.Perhaps he has now seen what many of us have known as customers all along.

This article has been posted one week in advance of the airing of the show to give our readers an opportunity to see this show. This show may also be seen on CBS on demand after it airs on cable providers and also on the internet on the website.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Return to a KFC Buffet

There are not many KFC buffets  - Kentucky Fried Chicken. These are KFC eat in and take out restaurants that in addition to the regular take out/eat in menu on the wall, offer a buffet at the front counter of select KFC items. These KFC restaurants will say "Buffet" on the sign in front of the restaurant. If it does not say "buffet" there is no buffet inside - and that is the majority of KFC locations. KFC will now identify KFC buffets on their restaurant location page of their website IF you check the "BUFFET" box on the location locator, but no where else on KFC's website is buffet mentioned. Here is the website for the chain. The buffet is served only from 4 pm to 8 pm, 7 days a week. The restaurants are open past 8, but the buffet will be closed down - and when it was being closed down one of the employees came over to us to inform us that it was about to be and if we wanted more we had to go up then to get it.

We went for the first time a year ago and were in that location again - Williamsburg, Virginia - and decided to go back. The food was good but the selection was not as good as it had been a year ago.

The buffet includes all you care to eat from the buffet counter and an unlimited refill soda or ice tea. The buffet is one price and you you are given a cup and one large and one small foam plate when you pay at the counter. When you are ready to go back for more, you go up to the counter at the registers and ask for another plate. If there is a line at the register you wait at the side and hope to be noticed or make yourself politely known and you are given the plate.

On the buffet this year there was fried chicken - original recipe and extra crispy, mashed potatoes, green beans and an assortment of other vegetables, macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, a sweet potato casserole, rolls, potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, pickles, hot pickled peppers, more side dishes and desserts that included banana pudding, jello, and other puddings.  Missing from the buffet this time was the chicken and biscuits (chicken pot pie) that is still on the menu board but now, not on the buffet. None of the grilled chicken or new boneless chicken was on the buffet, however, when we were on the line first going up to the register a man in front of us ordered the buffet and asked to have the grilled chicken that was not on the buffet. He was handed a plate full of grilled chicken - at least four pieces. So if you ask, it MAY BE possible to get something not on the buffet that they have on the menu.

On this visit, all of the pieces of chicken regardless of crispy or original were chicken breasts. You can't really complain about that unless you like drumsticks and thighs. We do. At the end of our visit which was almost the time the buffet was to be shut down, some chicken thighs appeared mixed in.  I would have liked to have taken a variety of chicken pieces just to vary the meal, especially as the chicken and biscuit dish was not there and fried chicken breasts were the only meat to be had.

This is KFC food. It is just the same food that is coming from the kitchen behind the counter and going into the buckets and orders that everyone else is getting. If you don't like KFC food then you will not like eating at a KFC buffet. We don't regularly go to KFCs to eat but we both like the food and the buffet is well worth the price - I am not going to say the price as it will vary by location but it is well under $10, includes the drink, and is cheaper than ordering off the menu board for a combination of some items that are on the buffet, even if you were just taking a one portion size and no more.

We certainly had all we wanted and we were very satisfied after the meal. I will definitely go back. And as it was different this time from last, it may be different again next time.

The KFC Buffet that we went to is located at 1545 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Their phone number is(757) 229 - 7212.