A New Golden Corral - And In of All Places, Lancaster, PA

A year ago we were in Lancaster and saw construction starting on Route 30 in the middle of hotels, restaurants, and Dutch Wonderland amusement park for small children. On the next visit to the area there was a sign announcing the coming Golden Corral restaurant! This area, if you regularly read this site you already know, has more buffets than any place else. There are many local buffets, there are Asian buffets, there are buffets that serve fancy and there are buffets that serve plain - "plain" in the sense of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking of the Plain People. There is also a OCB. The nearest Golden Corral has been in Lebanon, Pa and now Lancaster has its own.


We were in Lancaster on a Sunday night recently. With all of these buffets here, few are open on Sunday. This is a religious community and the local buffets employ a lot of Amish and Mennonites and these restaurants close of Sundays. We tend to avoid this area on Sundays because of this. I could think of no better a choice for this particular Sunday than to try the new Golden Buffet.

We went with a pre-understanding that since this was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we might be walking into a big crowd with a restaurant buffet overwhelmed by tourists. What we actually found when we got there - despite a completely full parking lot - was that there was no line and the restaurant while crowded was handling the crowd extremely well.

The price was $12.99 for dinner - no difference in price weekdays or weekends. This is one dollar more than the Golden Corral advertised price of $11.99 and one dollar less than the weekend price at the Golden Corral that I have written about that opened a year ago in New Jersey. There is a senior discount. The price for soft drinks is $2.29.

We were shown our table promptly and our server - a young man came over to introduce himself. He was very good - and came around frequently to ask if all was well and if we needed anything. The food featured promotion going on was ribs with KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce. The food on the buffet was properly kept - well maintained, as I say. Nothing was left to dry out. Trays were replaced as needed. The food on the buffet was pretty much standard in selection to Golden Corral with one exception. There was a tray of a local PA Dutch dish - Chicken Pot Pie - not baked chicken pot pie - but chicken stewed with dumplings and vegetables in a thick sauce. This was a surprise and other than being over salted was good.

I like the steak at Golden Corral. It is thick and you are served an individual steak - while not a full size cut, quite sufficient especially when you can go back for more. There was no wait at the grill and the grill chef asked how I wanted my steak - "Rare". He cut into one - it was nicely red inside and charred outside - just as I like it. He put that on my plate and I was very happy. My second trip up for steak resulted in a steak slightly more done but very good as well. I tried the meatloaf which was moist and while my picky eater wife prefers meatloaf with brown gravy, this one was covered in tomato sauce. Golden Corral varies how they top their meatloaf. They had a nice assortment of potatoes including steak fries, hashed browns, and also housemade potato chips. The chips were seasoned with a slightly sweet seasoning. I would have preferred just salt as they have been at other Golden Corrals - but these were tasty but I was concerned that there was sugar in the seasoning (which with everything else that was good to have there, I did not need).

There was no rotisserie chicken as there has been in other Golden Corrals and this may be due to the space being taken up with two carving sections for ribs. I asked for a rib in regular, and not spicy sauce, and was told they only had regular sauce as the others had run out - which was fine with me. The ribs were better than I had recently at the Golden Corral in New Jersey. They were moist and really well cooked.

Perhaps since people who live in this area are used to eating at buffets but there was no chaos around the buffet counters. The meal was rather relaxed and despite the great meals I had at other PA Dutch buffets during this trip (five buffets in five days) this one held its own and was very good and satisfied my taste for steak.

Desserts were all out and their bread pudding held up to the Golden Corral bread pudding I have enjoyed at other locations. And nothing ran out!

I mentioned at the beginning that the parking lot was full when we got there. We saw this on the road as we passed and we just went to where we were staying to park which happened to be practically next door. The walk there and back was good exercise for this meal.

I enjoyed this Golden Corral. It was one of the better Golden Corral meals that I have had. The restaurant is clean, inside and outside. The food is properly prepared and hot when it should be hot. There was really nothing wrong. Hopefully, it will stay this way and it is not just new opening enthusiasm.

I recommend this Golden Corral - it is where to go for a buffet in Lancaster on a Sunday. I will go back when I am there on a Sunday. If not a Sunday, there are too many great local buffets to choose from already Monday to Saturday. If you are local and have had your fill of PA Dutch cooking, then try it anytime.

The Lancaster Golden Corral is located at 2291 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA 17603. The phone number is (717) 208-3984. The hours on Sunday - Thursday are to 9:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday they are open until 10:30 pm. There is a general website for all Golden Corral's located at the side of this page.