I was quite surprised at Angel's choice.She explained it though , she wanted to sample a variety of cooked vegetables. Normally I'd object. Ryan's has displeased me in the past with its sub-par quality. As for variety though, that's hard to debate. It's a buffet. American style, home-style, comfort food. Carb and calorie loading at your fingertips. No frills, just lots of food.
On a hill overlooking the joint where I get my oil changed, above A, near 61/67. Its been there a long time, I think it used to be something else, but my memory is only seven years old in this area. Its always been a Ryan's to me.
Lots of parking, lots of tables and booths, the place can serve hundreds at a sitting. You go in, you pay and name your drinks, they hand you the receipt and tell you to leave it on the table, seat yourselves anywhere you like.
We found a table against the wall, dropped the receipt and headed toward the lines. The place was busy, it always is. If nothing else, Ryan's solves a problem. You aren't limited to just Italian or just steak, or just pizza or just Chinese. they've got it all. They've even recently started offering Mongolian barbecue.
I was craving starches, so I plopped a small amount of mashed potatoes with a little brown gravy and a little mac and cheese and a few slices of fried potatoes with onions. As you can see what I really piled on was the lima beans, and that reddish brown lump in the upper left corner is meatloaf. The lady at the register was bragging about the meatloaf, I hadn't had any in quite a while, so sure.
Our drinks arrived later than we did, a result of the seat yourself policy. The waitresses roam the tables seemingly randomly and look for a receipt that hasn't been addressed. Then they go get the drinks. Tea, Diet Coke and Coke for Myself, Angel and Adam respectively. Even later than our drinks was the bread basket. The rolls are very good, served with prepackaged 'honey spread'. The rolls were warm and fluffy, the 'spread' melted nicely.
Adam's first round looked a bit like mine, but with chicken instead of meat loaf. He went for waffle fries at some point as well and green beans and another form of chicken
Angel was still hungry, she had worked outside all day and worked up quite an appetite. I'd worked outside all afternoon, photographing headstones at a local cemetery. Not quite as hard work as what Angel does seven days a week with the dogs, but more outdoor activity for me than I am accustomed to.
I tried everything and was quite satisfied. There was nothing great, nothing even special, but it was all at least pretty good. It was definitely home-style cooking though, no flash, no flair, no fancy seasonings. Just comfort foods prepared like anyone's mother would make. Maybe not my own mother though, she never was much of a cook.
Angel's second plate had carrot salad. it's basically coleslaw without cabbage, just carrots, raisins, and a few tiny pineapple chunks. She said it was pretty good, I didn't argue. Adam pushed his green beans aside. He didn't like the way they'd been prepared, with onions or something, he wasn't quite sure exactly.
My meatloaf was okay, kind of like everything else, okay, but just that. The apple pie was hideous though, I
don't know what they did to it, but they did it wrong, completely wrong.
I polled the family. Adam: "It's okay." Angel: "Its no Golden corral."
|Angel; round 2|
There's nothing to get excited about at Ryan's. They do nothing exceptionally well. But they don't poison many people either. It's easy to find better food at most other places, but Ryan's forte is variety. Bring in a finicky family, they'll find something to appease their picky tastes. It won't be the best thing they ever ate, but probably not the worst either, especially if my mother once cooked them something.