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“Great food, not impressed with atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Family Meal

Family Meal
880 North East Street, Frederick, MD 21701
+1 301-378-2895
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Ranked #33 of 320 Restaurants in Frederick
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American, Diner
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Chef Bryan Voltaggio's modern American diner offers affordable all-day meals in a former Frederick car dealership transformed by clever design and raw, natural materials into an open, airy space, with a long counter fronting an open kitchen; its menu elevates the comfort-food canon, while adult beverages include boozy milkshakes as well as wine, beer and cocktails. Signature dishes include Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Biscuits, Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy and Duck Fat Fried Potatoes.
Damascus, Maryland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great food, not impressed with atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Went here for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon with no reservations so we sat at the counter. It was entertaining watching the staff make salads and desserts. Our food was wonderful, my wife liked the quirkiness of the place but I did not like the noise level and barren atmosphere. We will go back because the food was outstanding.

Visited March 2013
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225 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    83
    77
    43
    17
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
frederick, maryland
Top Contributor
365 reviews 365 reviews
232 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
420 helpful votes 420 helpful votes
“Good choice for good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Tried this again (my third review of Family Meal) and it was still a good experience. The decor has not improved; "faux truck stop diner" might be the apt description. The server was better informed about the menu than in some of my previous experiences, but not nearly up to the standards of the staff at Volt. This was a good relatively low noise environment for discussion with two friends who had not been here before.

Tried a new menu item: the potato leek soup. It was excellent, with various garnishings that made every bite a slightly different taste adventure from tart and spicy flavors to crunchy mouth feel. I also had the mushroom risotto (now spelled correctly on the menu) - it was very tasty, very rich and satisfying, and a bit unusual in consistency for a risotto (soupy/cooked longer than usual instead of the more typical slightly "al dente" - see the picture)(I liked it). My friends got the omelet (for dinner!) and the strip steak salad - both very good. We got sides of duck fat fried fries - very good, and the crispy brussel sprouts - okay, but only for brussel sprout lovers and not actually "crispy" (not even close to the special treat "braised brussel sprouts" at Ayse Meze). My friends were very satisfied with two of the trademark desserts - the Chocolate Earl Grey donuts (donut holes nicely dressed up) and Red Velvet cake (actually served like a parfait). This was an enjoyable meal.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“I can't believe it is not better”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

new restaurants are almost always fun because the new managment and employees are trying hard to make a good impression. They really missed the mark on this one. I went with two others for dinner. Nice and casual, except that the dining space is poorly organized and very loud. Waitress was nice enough, but she knew nothing about food and almost nothing about the menu. The food was OK, but nothing that wouldn't be better at dozens of other local restaurants. Prices were moderate, but higher than portion size and quality would suggest.

I can't understand how the other reviewers found gave this place four and five stars.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Awesome Fried Chicken”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

I have been looking for a place that had great fried chicken and finally found the place, the Family Meal. My wife and I had the chicken. It comes with a biscuit (which was good too - moist not dry like most places), pickles and pickled cauliflower and a hot sauce for dipping. My wife brought half of her's home for a snack later that night. We also shared the duck fat fries, which are really good. They will make you wonder why all french fries are not cooked with duck fat :).

To finish off the meal, we had the donuts...not any ordinary donut but fresh and warm.

The food is awesome....though pricey but worth it. The Family Meal has become a regular stop whenever we are in the mood for some really great fired chicken. We have also had the stake wing and rockfish, which are also great. A good variety of beer and some mixed drinks.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Comfort food on steroids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Take an old Toyota dealership and renovate it into a retro-funky space, add chef Bryan Voltaggio's take on comfort food and you've got casual dining nirvana. Great appetizers, with a signature of chicken pot pie fritters. Terrific salads include an innovative and delcious kale Caesar. Sadwiches are also terrfic, including a great burger, awesome veggie sandwich and a delcious pastrami. Entrees are anchored by maybe the best fried chicken you've ever had. Save room for duck fat fries....to die for. I'd drive here from DC! Fortunately, though I live in metro DC, I work in Frederick. Lucky me.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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