Saturdays At Yoders

I have written about Yoders Restauant and Buffet in the Yoders Country Farm Market in New Holland, PA many times. The last time I wrote about it I said that things were inconsistent there. I have since have within one month had three very good meals at Yoders and they were all on Saturday nights.

In Lancaster I have tended to go to Shady Maple on Saturday nights - and when we are in Pennsylvania for just a day - often on a Saturday - we have gone to Shady Maple. But during the summer months when the tourists are everywhere, Shady Maple on Saturday night can be jammed with tourists. We go to Pennsylvania to relax and dealing with tourists at a buffet is just not relaxing. This occurred to me on the evening of the first of these three really good dinners at Yoders. We could not make it on time for dinner at any buffet but Yoders or Shady Maple. I thought about the crowds and who I would find at Shady Maple (no hit on Shady Maple as they can't help who comes there to give them business) and we decided to go to Yoders.

Yoders feature on Saturday nights is Pennsylvania Dutch. Now, at Yoders, this is not exactly what you might generally expect to find as Pennsylvania Dutch foods in this area at one of the other buffets. On the menu they say that there are two popular dishes of Lancaster County that are featured on the buffet on PA Dutch night - baby back ribs and marinated steak. I did not know that Lancaster is famous for baby back ribs but they served on the buffet at Yoders on Saturday nights and they are tasty. So is the marinated steak.

Let's talk about the marinated steak. I have had the best steak off a chargrill at Yoders at these three meals than I have had at any other buffet for a long time. First, there are two men cooking and serving at the grill (at the moment) who know what they are doing. Our regular readers know I like my steak rare - but that does not mean raw. It means crisped on the outside and red and juicy on the inside. And that is exactly what I got on request. The marinade that is being used is not overwhelming and the steaks are tender. They are also a decent thickness - not thin and not a thick lump of meat. I was recently there and I want to go back right now. There is only one problem - at each of these three dinners, I ate too much. I really could not resist even though I have learned over the years not to over eat at buffets.

The rest of what is served on Saturday night varies on the buffet. There have been different dishes each time. Items on the grill remain consistent on Saturday nights. In addition to the steak, there is chicken parmigiana cooked on the flat grill, corn fritters, salmon, fried zucchini, and more. On the buffet tables things have varied. Some of the better dishes have been a very tender pot roast, cut up smoked sausage cooked in a cream sauce with large peeled potatoes, the baby back ribs which are tasty and thick, ham balls, beef stroganoff (beef chunks in cream sauce with noodles), and others. There is a lot on this buffet and add that to the numerous items on the grill and there is a lot to choose from here. Side dishes like noodles in brown butter, a selection of plain in a good way vegetables, really good macaroni and cheese, good potato filling, and more are standard to this buffet on most nights. There are usually also a few fish entrees.

For PA Dutch Night the soups we have not always been very PA Dutch but there has been Ham Vegetable soup at two of these dinners and that is very good - loaded with vegetables and bits of ham in a tomato/ham base soup that is slightly sweet and good. Other soups have been Chessyburger soup, Minestrone, and others. There are always two soups served on the buffet.

There is menu serving here also but I figured out looking at prices on the menu and looking at what is on the buffet for the Saturday night price of $14.99 that one could quickly pass the buffet price ordering off the menu - and here if you order something that is on the buffet, the server goes over to those trays at the buffet and creates your platter. A slice of pie was $4 and this is the same slice of pie that is on the dessert section of the buffet - they go over and get one and bring it to you if you order it from the menu. So look carefully at the buffet if you are considering ordering from the menu and it may be worth your while to order the buffet and just don't get carried away. Though as I have been finding here lately, it is very easy to get carried away.

The change in night going here really made a difference. The restaurant can be crowded - all local people including Amish and Mennonite - and on one of the three Saturdays we waited in line for about ten minutes until we got in. It is a different crowd - not tourists. These are people who know this family restaurant and have been here before.

Service was good on each of these three nights. It had not been on the meal I reported on in the last article I wrote about this buffet. Again - a different night or just three times luck (not bad odds). Whatever it was - we were happy.

I can't wait for another Saturday night opportunity to get back here.

Yoders  is located at Yoder's Country Market, Route 23, New Holland, Pennsylvania. The phone number is (717) 354-4748. There is a website posted at the side of this page.