Google+ Badge

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rob's Restaurant & Catering Brookville

This week we tried out Rob's Restaurant in Brookville, which is a far NW Dayton suburb of about 5,300 people.  Just driving through, the town has lots of fast food places, but Rob's appears to be one of the few "slow food" family sit down places around.

  We arrived at a mid to late time for lunch.  There were plenty of cars parked out front, but the place was not crowded, and we were seated quickly.  Actually, I wanted a place back towards the rear instead of out in the middle, so we moved from our initial seating area.  After a few minutes, the waitress came to ask if we were ready to order, and we had to explain that we didn't have any menus to look at.  I think that was partly our fault, because originally there were menus at the first table, but I don't think they got moved when we moved.

  She came back every few minutes to see if we were ready to order, and by about the third or fourth time, we had figured out what we wanted.  She actually asked us if it was our first time here, so I got the feeling that they have a lot of regulars who barely need to look at the menu.  In fact, she said that many of their customers just get the buffet.  Although I usually enjoy a buffet, this time I wanted to try out one of their listed meals.  A couple of us ate from the buffet.  Background music seemed to be 50's and 60's oldies, which I've always enjoyed.

  My wife decided on the turkey hot shot, with sides of mashed potatoes and a broccoli and cauliflower salad.  I got the charbroiled chicken breast, with sides of onion rings and seasonal fruit.  We placed our orders at 1:53, and they were brought to the table at 2:09, which is about a 16 minute prep & delivery time.  The turkey hot shot was a very generous portion with lots of gravy on the open faced sandwich and the potatoes.  Evidently the broccoli & cauliflower salad was a little sweeter than expected, but still quite good.  My seasonal fruit bowl was brought out as an appetizer, so I ate that first.  It consisted primarily of several varieties of sweet melon, pineapple and large red grapes.  Everything there was fresh & flavorful.

  I then moved on to the onion rings.  I am happy to report that these were REAL onion rings - the kind you can often find at a county fair - not those horrid things that are put together from bits and pieces of onion - "frankenrings".  Each was made with a whole, entire ring of onion.  They were tasty, not quite too hot to eat at delivery, and just needed a bit of salt to make them perfect.

  Next was my main course, the charbroiled chicken breast.  While I could taste an underlying seasoning of good flavor, the meat itself was a little on the dry side, and took some sawing with a knife to get the pieces apart.  Portion size was a little less than I expected, but the meal as a whole did turn out to be filling.  I ended up asking for some barbecue sauce to help with the dryness.  I believe that for charbroiling, a thicker piece of chicken would help a lot with the dryness issue, as well as perhaps additional time marinating beforehand.

  As for the buffet, they said that everything available there is homemade.  I noticed that it had about the same variety as a Ponderosa, though there was a much better than usual representation of meat, such as slow cooked roast beef, fish and chicken.  A lot of the items on display would often be found at a family get together or something like a Thanksgiving meal - dressing, turkey, mashed potatoes, the works.  I'll admit that I sampled a bite of the roast beef, and found it to be very tender.  If you like desserts, they had an excellent variety of pie, cake, cookie bars and the like.

(note, scan above is the delivery & takeout menu)

  When speaking of service, the only real negative I can think of is that no one ever offered to refill my wife's tea when it was empty.  After about 5 minutes, I finally had to take the cup up front and ask for a refill.

  Overall, this place seems to have a nice "family home cooking" style buffet, better than average quality side items, and a relaxing atmosphere.  Unless you're ordering a salad or sandwich, expect to spend about $8-$10 per person.

Rob's Restaurant & Catering
address: 705 Arlington Rd.  Brookville, Ohio 45309
telephone: 937-833-3310

coupons:  (update: added printable coupon below, good through end of Sept.)
$1.50 off buffet Wednesday by following them on Twitter

2010 Entertainment Book has buy 1, get 1 for Rob's
  buy 1 meal (lunch or supper) and get 1 = or lesser value free

copyright 2010 by Dayton Dining


  1. My goodness you must be horrible to serve. 1. You wanted to be moved. 2. You took forever to order. 3. You ordered off the menu even when told the "regulars" get the buffet. 4. You walked up to the drink station with your glass instead of just putting the glass on the end of the table and/or saying "excuse me" whenever a server was in earshot. C'mon dude. Servers make 1/2 minimum wage plus tips. Please don't expect to be pampered.

  2. Anonymous, when we go to a nice sit down slow food family restaurant, being pampered is exactly what I expect - otherwise, we would just stay home and fix a meal ourselves. If I'm doing fast food, I don't expect much in the way of service, but at slow food family restaurants, I do. This isn't to say there wasn't service here - there was just a bit too much attention up front, and then very little after the food was delivered. It would have been fine with a bit of tweaking.

    1) We have several kids that can become loud, so sitting over towards the back is better for the other customers. I had to use the restroom when we went in, which explains why we weren't sitting there from the start.

    2) When visiting a new place, sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly what you want to eat. The more choices there are, sometimes the harder it is to make a decision - especially if you're torn between two different entrees.

    3) There are also just times when you don't want an all you can eat buffet, and you'd rather just have a decent serving of excellent food. When we decided to visit, I didn't even realize they had a buffet in the place, so I wasn't really thinking along those lines.

    4) All of the servers were way up at the front of the restaurant chatting, rather than out and about. It wasn't a case of being able to say "excuse me" to anyone. I had to walk up to the cash register area and get their attention. I'm certainly not going to raise my voice or yell across the restaurant, since that would be rude.

    I'm well aware of how servers are paid, since I formerly worked in a pizza joint. My fondest memory was one evening when I was on delivery duty, and a guy handed me an extra $10. I thought I had finally gotten a really nice tip, until he said "Whoops, I gave you the wrong bill!"