Breakfast At Ryan's

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - by Janet Wilson
The Ryan’s at 6734 Lee Highway
The Ryan’s at 6734 Lee Highway
- photo by Janet Wilson

When we heard that the Ryan’s buffets were going to start serving breakfast, we decided to give one of them a try since we are always looking for good places to enjoy breakfast.

Wayne and I went to the Ryan’s located at 6734 Lee Highway. It had been quite a while since we had visited any of the Ryan’s since it seemed things had gone downhill, both in food and service.

Breakfast is only served on Saturday and Sunday. They had two omelet/egg stations operating so the wait wasn’t as long as at other large buffets. The sign stated this was also a waffle station, but we didn’t see any waffle makers, however I noticed a few waffle pieces in one of the nearby trays.

The buffet consisted of the usual breakfast fixings such as grits (regular and cheese), bacon, sausage, ham, hash browns, pancakes, French toast and several other items. I did miss the grilled pork tenderloin that I am used to getting at another buffet, but Ryan’s did have poached eggs on the buffet, which was something different. I really like poached eggs, but something happened here, as they were very crusty across the top and difficult to cut. Poached eggs should be extremely soft and easy to cut with a fork.

The scrambled eggs were terrible. My preference is soft scrambled (which not everyone likes), but these were extremely hard. They looked as if they had been cooked on the grill in sheets, then scooped up with spatulas and folded over. The only visual clue that they were scrambled eggs was that they were yellow.

In addition to the sausage gravy, there was chipped beef gravy with toast (I always enjoy that), but it seems they have a difficult time “keeping up”. When something is empty, it isn’t replenished as quickly as it should be.

Our server did a good job and was very talkative; seemingly excited about the new breakfast buffet. Over all it was a good breakfast and the only problem was the eggs, so next time I will simply go to the egg station.

While we were there they started putting lunch out, so we tried a piece of the fried chicken and found it to be quite good. A few days later, Wayne said he would like to have some more of that chicken, so we decided to go back for dinner. This is when we discovered that all those reasons we quit going to Ryan’s several years ago, were still there.

While looking for a table, we noticed our server from the previous weekend, so we headed her way. We waited for her to finish cleaning the table and while we were gone to get our food, she brought our drinks. The drinks are not given to you as you pay, but rather the server brings them to your table.

When we went to the buffet there were four chicken legs in the container. Carved turkey was being served, and since they were bringing a fresh one out, I got the first slice. It was juicy and delicious – worth waiting for. However, a lot of the other items were either empty or skimmed over. I used to like their Clam Chowder, but it looked so bad (hadn’t been stirred, with crust around the edges, etc.), there was no way I was going to try it.

Wayne tried the mashed potatoes, but left them on his plate, saying they were getting close to the worst ones he had had somewhere else a few weeks earlier. He went back to see what other vegetables he would find, and noticed there was still no chicken.

We kept looking around for our server and finally noticed she was sitting on the floor talking to another of the servers. I guess she might have noticed us looking for her as she came over to our table and informed us she was now off the clock and was wondering if anyone had been over to refresh our drinks. Nope, not a soul. She brought Wayne another drink and left. Finally, just as we were readying to leave, someone came up and wanted to know if we needed anything!! It seems the same old Ryan’s is still there.

I went back to the buffet with the intention of getting that chicken! I arrived, plate in hand, and no chicken, so I went over to the person preparing steaks and asked about the chicken. I was told, “they are working on it”. I stood there with my plate until the tray showed up. I put two pieces on my plate and took it back to the table – one for me, one for Wayne. Delicious, hot and juicy! You simply have to beg for it.

Yes, the breakfast isn’t bad and we may go back for that; and the fried chicken is good, but is lunch or dinner really worth the hassle?

Breakfast will be served buffet-style from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Ryan’s is open daily.

Adult breakfast meals are $6.99, with discounted pricing for children’s meals. The Sunday Mega Bar is $8.99 plus your drink.

cdojanet@ChattanoogaDineOut.com


Wally's – Good For What Ails You

The colder it gets outside, I knew I could talk Crazy Betty into going to breakfast with me. It’s hard to get Lois to get out with me on really cold days and Lou has been doing some traveling. We decided to meet at Wally’s in East Ridge. This is a fairly old establishment with a location on McCallie Avenue as well. They let you seat yourself when you walk in, so I picked ... (click for more)

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – Dim Some

Lois and I wanted to try Firebirds Grill on Gunbarrel Road for some time now, but it has been quite crowded (even during the time old folk usually eat dinner). The lights were so dim I could barely see where the gal headed when showing us to our table. I gathered right away that this must be one of those ‘ambiance’ places you take your sweetheart. It does set a certain mood ... (click for more)

Randall Lockhart Remains In Critical Condition After Fire That Took The Life Of His Wife, Candy

The man rescued by firefighters from Wednesday’s fatal fire at 220 Houser St. remains in critical condition today in the burn unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center . He has been identified as Randall Lockhart, 41. His wife, Candy, succumbed to her severe injuries a few hours after she was pulled out of the burning house. The couple’s three children escaped ... (click for more)

Woman Assaulted, Man Shot In Chamberlain Avenue Home Invasion

A woman was assaulted and a man shot in a home invasion on Chamberlain Avenue early Friday morning. At approximately 4:43 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2708 North Chamberlain Ave. for a home invasion/shooting.   Officers discovered that a black male forced entry into the residence and assaulted the first victim,Tequla Nicole Watkins, 28. ... (click for more)

Policeman: Modern Day "Boogie Man"

As a child I was under the impression that a ghastly, grotesque creature had taken up residence in my bedroom closet, the proverbial “Boogie Man” I suppose.  This is not an uncommon thing among children and most likely to some fault of my own as I subjected myself to some pretty iconic 1980’s horror flicks. There were other kids in the neighborhood that not only claimed to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)