Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord
Address: 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505
Phone: (717) 768-1500
Breakfast: Mon-Sat 7am-11am $8.99
Lunch: Mon-Sat 11am-3:30pm $10.49, $13.49 on Sat
Dinner: Mon-Sat 3:30pm-8pm $14.99, $16.99 on Fri & Sat
Typical breakfast: Scrambled eggs, baked casserole, bacon, ham, sausage, dried beef gravy, hotcakes, waffles, potatoes, sausage gravy, French toast, fresh fruit, donuts, muffins, pastries, danishes, hot & cold Cereals, sticky buns, yogurt, coffee cake. Includes 1 beverage: Your choice of a 9 oz. juice/milk or coffee/hot tea.
Typical lunch/dinner: ham balls, meatloaf, roast beef, roast turkey, chicken pot pie, broasted chicken, baked fish, spaghetti, pork & sauerkraut, smoked sausage & potatoes, filling (stuffing), buttered noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, Harvard beets, mixed vegetables, baked lima beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, assorted cheeses, fresh salads, cucumber and onion salad, macaroni salad, creamy cole slaw, three homemade soups and fresh baked breads and rolls.
Typical dessert: shoofly pie, pecan pie, eclair pudding, jello, cookies, chocolate layer cake, white layer cake, coconut cream pie, cherry pie, banana cream pie, soft serve ice cream.
The line here can be quite long but if you’d really like to get to the buffet quickly there is a cafe with a bar that you can sit at most often immediately. This isn’t however a good solution for more than two people really. Normally you’ll be putting your name on the list and waiting around 30 minutes, but they are quite efficient with getting people in and doing so as quickly as possible. There is a bakery with loads of delicious goods and small selection of doodads and nic-naks. You can take your mind of all the delicious smelling food by looking at more delicious food. That’s one thing I don’t quite understand about a few of these smorgasbords, it seems like a good number of them also have bakeries connected to them. Not that I blame them but really who needs to buy another shoofly pie after having filled ones belly with all sorts of delectable Amish eats? Certainly not I.
Once your name is called you’ll be escorted to your table and asked if you’d like the buffet or the menu, well the answer should be the buffet. You’re server will take your drink order and bring those to you. The buffet are is setup with the hot foods as the center piece with two, mostly identical (sometimes there are a few different items on either side), buffet tables with a carving station in the middle. To the left of the hot foods you’ll find the salad fixings and dressings along with their soup selections as well as a wide range of bread and rolls. There is also a nice selection of cubed cheeses. To the back right of the hot items you’ll find the kid’s area (Noah’s Ark Buffet) which usually has hamburgers, hot dogs, pretzels, macaroni & cheese, chips, chicken nuggets and Jell-O. And lastly, to the front of that you’ll find the large dessert section along with a soft serve ice cream machine.
The soups change but generally will be a chicken pot pie, New England clam chowder, chicken noodle or the sort. The salad offerings are typical as well, a good assortment of fresh lettuces and vegetables along with the regular dressings (Ranch, Thousand Island, Blue Cheese, etc). They’ve got your regular cole slaw, chow chow and potato salad. All of which were fairly good. One of the nice things they have is a large amount of breads, white, wheat, cinnamon raisin, white rolls, wheat rolls and more. And just next to that is cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss cheeses sliced into cubes. This is one of the things I really enjoy, the cheeses were all delicious.
The hot foods buffet has all your warms side and main dishes. They cover pretty much all the Amish foods you can think of, filling (stuffing), buttered noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, Harvard beets, mixed vegetables, baked lima beans,ham balls, meatloaf, broasted chicken, baked fish, pork & sauerkraut, smoked sausage & potatoes and they’ve also got spaghetti and pizza. In the center you’ll find the carving station usually with turkey and roast beef. All the items were fantastic but the fried chicken was exceptional as was the fried shrimp. The vegetables were all good as well. You really can’t go wrong with any item here.
The dessert selection is really expansive. They pretty much cover all the bases. They have Jell-O, cookies (oatmeal, sugar and chocolate chip), puddings (chocolate, vanilla, eclair and rice), cherry pie, apple pie, pecan pie, shoofly pie, banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, chocolate layer cake, vanilla layer cake, carrot cake, peach cobbler, apple cobbler, soft serve ice cream with vanilla, chocolate and both along with chocolate and caramel syrups, chocolate sprinkles, small chocolate pieces, sprinkles and peanut bits. The desserts, while vast, weren’t the best. The cakes were all a bit dry and the pies didn’t stand out too much either. The cookies were actually really good as was the apple cobbler.
Once you’re belly is all full and you’ve been back to the dessert section at least twice you’ll have to pay at the cashier. I’d recommend doing this once you see there is no line during your meal if you can as there can even be a line for this.
The place itself is extremely clean. All the buffet tables are spotless as is the dining room and restrooms. The silverware and plates were always stocked and clean. The staff does an excellent job of clearing tables and refilling drinks. Overall this is a great place to have a meal. They are about mid-range price-wise. I would say that they only thing they may be lacking in is the dessert quality, which is a bit strange because I believe they come from the Bird-In-Hand Bakery which is extremely popular. You can find a coupon in most local area guides for $2 off the buffet which helps out with the price.