Family Cupboard Restaurant & Buffet
Address: 3029 Old Philadelphia Pike (Rt. 340), Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505
Phone: (717) 768-4510
Breakfast: Mon-Sat 7am-10:30am $6.49
Lunch: Mon-Sat 11am-3:30pm $9.69, $11.99 on Sat
Dinner: Mon-Sat 4pm-8pm$11.99, $12.99 on Fri & Sat
Typical breakfast: Scrambled eggs, home fries, toast, buttermilk biscuits, creamed dried beef gravy, sausage gravy, bacon, sausage, smoked sausage, Scrapple, pan pudding, corn meal mush, grits, French toast, pancakes, French toast sticks, baked oatmeal, fruited baked oatmeal, cold cereal, milk, donuts, muffins, fresh fruit, canned fruit, prunes, grapefruit sections.
Typical lunch/dinner: mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, peas, green beans, fried and rotisserie chicken, beef tips in gravy, ham, a variety of vegetables, bread filling, buttered noodles, dinner rolls, soup, salad bar & dressings, pasta salad, potato salad, cole slaw, succotash.
Typical dessert: chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, carrot cake, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cheesecake pudding, pumpkin pudding, shoofly pie, cherry pie, soft serve ice cream.
Family Cupboard is owned and operated by the son of the owner of Dienner’s which is just a mile or so down the street. They serve a very similar menu but I’m told different recipes and different cooks. They are definitely separate restaurants (they’re not run in conjunction) but they have a lot of similarities. Both are exceptional in their own ways but I may just have to give the edge to Family Cupboard, that’s is not to lessen the quality of Dienner’s though.
It can get pretty busy here with tour groups and families taking buggy rides. I didn’t have a problem getting a seat at all though. They have quite a large dining area. Once sat you’ll be asked if you’d like to order off the menu or have the buffet, but I’m assuming you already have an answer for that question.
The buffet has three main sections. The first being the salad bar with your regular lettuces, veggies (corn, carrots, peas, etc), two hot soups, dinner rolls (white and wheat), chow chow, cottage cheese, pasta salad, potato salad and all of your typical dressings, Ranch, Italian, Thousand Island, etc.
The middle of the buffet area is all of your hot items, they are set in a horseshoe type layout. You’ll find pineapple ham and sauerkraut, fried chicken, meatloaf, roast chicken, wild rice, mashed potatoes, lima beans, chicken gravy, beef gravy, mac & cheese, green beans, butter noodles, stuffing and beef in gravy. I believe there is a carving station here during some dinners.
The third section is the dessert section and it’s split into parts as well, one being the pie case with blueberry pie, cherry pie, apple pie, shoofly pie, peanut butter cream pie and pumpkin pie. Next is the pudding and cake area with chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, carrot cake, cheesecake pudding, pumpkin pudding and bread pudding. To the left of that is the soft serve ice cream machine with vanilla, chocolate and swirl. There is chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles and chopped peanuts for toppings.
Everything I had here was excellent. The New England Clam Chowder stood out for the soups. The chow chow was very good as was the pasta salad. The fried chicken was some of the best in the area as were the baked lima beans. The mac & cheese and butter noodles were terrific. The mashed potatoes were super creamy and the gravy was homemade and delicious. All the vegetables were all fresh and cooked perfectly. The meatloaf was just like grandma used to make, exceptional. There really wasn’t one thing that I did not enjoy.
The desserts were very good too. The pie case is a bit cold for my liking…I actually prefer most of my pies to be heated (apple, blueberry, etc) and I’m sure they would have if I’d asked but I didn’t bother. The puddings were all wonderful. They had a delicious pumpkin pudding and a cheesecake pudding, both with a nice graham cracker layer. The bread pudding was also one of my favorites in the area, it wasn’t too dense which is usually my complaint. The only thing that lacked here was more toppings for the ice cream, the chocolate sauce was thin (I’d say watery but it wasn’t water, just thin) and they only had the sprinkles and peanuts.
The staff was very friendly and did a great job of clearing plates, refilling drinks and bringing hot food to the trays. All the plates, utensils and serving areas were spotless. Everything was stocked well. The dining area and restrooms were just as clean. Once finished with your meal you’ll pay up front at the cashier. This is one of my favorite Amish smorgasbords that I’ve tried so far. Every single item I had here was above average. This is good home-style cooking at it’s best. I would say make this your first stop so as to have a barometer for others.