“Shady Maple north east.”
Those are the words of Hamid Chaudhry as he described his vision for the Wyomissing Family Restaurant to the Reading Eagle in December, shortly after he became the new owner.
Lofty goals, indeed for a restaurant that had fallen on hard times in the years before. On our walks and drives through town, we could see the number of cars in the parking lot slowly start to shrink.
But new ownership has breathed new life into the location, and spawned a new name, the Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery.
When Julie and I visited for Sunday brunch a few weeks ago, the parking lot was fuller than we could remember seeing in a long time. Thankfully, despite the crowd, there was no wait for a table for those of us doing the brunch buffet.
We were seated with all of the other buffet-goers in what would be the banquet room. With no large groups closing off the space, it was the closest seating to the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord.
Five stations of varying size waited for me and my fellow eaters. On the left sat a small table where I found my orange juice and assorted breads for toasting.
Against the back wall was the griddle, where pancakes, French toast and omelets were made to order. A hot bar in the middle featured breakfast favorites: scrambled eggs, ham, bacon and three kinds of potatoes, as well as a couple lunch options like mac and cheese.
I started among these three stations, choosing cream chipped beef over toast, homefries and French toast for plate number one.
I was expecting one slice of French toast with my order. I got three, and loved them. The powdered sugar was there for you to sprinkle on yourself so I added just the right amount of sweetness for myself.
The chipped beef was also very good (had I known I was getting three slices of French toast, I probably would have skipped it, though). It was rich, but not too much. The homefries were good, though I had to add a little salt and pepper to them.
Julie’s seasoned potatoes were quite the opposite. If anything, they were a little oversalted. She enjoyed her French toast as well (throwing a few chocolate chips on for good measure). The bite-sized sausage links were very flavorful, and the eggs were also nicely done.
Not a bad first plate for either of us.
With plate two, we both migrated to the middle island and lunch. The full salad bar was open with two kinds of soup and two pasta options (the soup, salad and pasta buffet station is available for lunch every day).
I had a bowl of cream of broccoli soup with a helping each of vegetable lasagna and penne pasta with clam sauce.
The vegetable lasagna was delicious, with layers of pasta, cheese and plenty of veggies (broccoli, carrots, and more). The cream of broccoli soup was good, too, though if I wasn’t blogging, I probably wouldn’t have needed both the soup and the lasagna. I’m also not a fan of clams, but I tried the pasta and actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t too clammy, though you could definitely taste it.
Julie’s second plate was a little lighter as she went for the more traditional salad options. She was happy to see that her favorite item from the old salad bar was still there: Jell-O. The options were actually very impressive, with a wide variety to build a nice side salad or even make it an entree.
The final station was serving up sweets: waffles and soft ice cream. For research purposes, Julie and I both made mini sundaes to cap off our brunch.
For $15 per person (discounts for seniors and children), the brunch buffet is definitely priced right. The buffet definitely seems like the way to go, with reasonable prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week.
While we were at the ice cream station, we had a chance to chat with Hamid Chaudhry. In between hosting duties, he was greeting regulars and striking up conversation with newcomers.
“What do you think of the changes?” he asked.
Julie and I both agreed, the changes are positives.
It’s not Shady Maple, but as long as the restaurant holds on to those aspirations, it will be a great buffet.
Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
1245 Penn Ave
Wyomissing, PA 19610