Breakfast At Ryan's

Tuesday, December 5, 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


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