Thursday, March 5, 2009

Restaurant Review - Ryan's

When Jim and I were dating and first married I referred buffet restaurants as "troughs" i.e. we were the cattle eating from the trough. I was not a fan. Two toddlers in tow can do a lot to change one's perspective. Ironically, this was my birthday dinner. I would not have chosen Ryan's had it been just Jim and me, but the kids all agreed on this one restaurant. This rare event prodded me to accept their choice.

Here are the pluses for eating at Ryan's. You don't have to wait for your food. You can almost always find enough kid food to please even the pickiest eater. It is fairly economical considering the amount of food you get to eat, and considering dessert is included.

The first hurdle to cross is getting plates made for the kids. Fortunately this night we had our amazing neighbor with us, Frankie. She's 13 and great with the little guys. I left them at the table with her while I juggled two plates for the monkeys.

The food on this night was not the best ever. Phillip demanded grilled cheese, but none was to be found. He settled for dipping his yeast roll in nacho cheese dip. So gross, yes? They did have hamburger patties with cheese. No buns, but I improvised with a roll and Selah was a happy camper. Phillip ate the cheese off his. A little mac and cheese makes everyone happy, and the best part is the salad bar. My kids love ranch and will dip almost anything in it. They both greedily ate a salad of greens, shredded carrots and croutons with ranch. This is a huge success in my book.

I always enjoy the desserts. While most are pretty institutional and warrant little more than a passing glance, the kids love to make ice cream sundaes. I almost always go for the cookies. We order decaf coffee and dip our cookies in it.

Eating here is not cheap. But it's not a bad deal either. Especially if your kids are under 13. Ours ate for free. Our total bill, including drinks and tax was 27.00. That's pretty hard to beat for two adults, a teenager, and two toddlers. Now Frankie should've been charged more since she's 13, but they gave us a break. Good for us and we'll be back.

Service here is always polite.

If you are a culinary snob, this is not the place for you. If you want decent food at a decent price this is the place for you. Everybody gets what they want. Everybody can stuff themselves silly. I give it four out of five stars.

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