We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Delicious break off the interstate” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Family Meal

Family Meal
880 North East Street, Frederick, MD 21701
+1 301-378-2895
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Family Meal is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #42 of 317 Restaurants in Frederick
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American, Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch, Reservations
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.
Level Contributor
120 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Delicious break off the interstate”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

We stopped on our way to Pennsylvania for lunch--- and will be stopping on our way home for dessert!! For lunch I had the fried chicken salad-- the menus online weren't the same in the store--- my husband hd the BBQ and we shared the duck fat fries. Everything was full of flavor and rich!

We were sitting at the counter and watched all of the desserts being hand prepared. Wow -- what a selection. The cheesecake, sundaes and shakes were works of art.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

322 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    115
    111
    64
    26
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

The food here is fantastic. I had the fried chicken, the duck fat fried french fries, biscuits, and sampled my wife's BBQ sandwich, my mother-in-law's mushroom risotto, and my son's huge kids meal cheeseburger, which was more like a small(ish) bacon-onion tomato gourmet cheeseburger on a sesame bun and came with fruit, salad, and french fries. For dessert, we had the hazelnut donuts with coffee ice cream. They also have great beers on tap. This is the first place, for example, I've ever seen that had Hell or High Watermelon on tap (not to mention Rogue Dead Guy and local Flying Dog). Usually, you can find Hell or High Watermelon in cans -- great summer wheat beer.

My only complaint -- and it's not really a complaint because I brought it on myself -- is that the food is very fatty, and I ate way too much. The other thing is that while this is marketed as a "family" restaurant, I didn't notice anything particularly kid-friendly. They're not unfriendly to kids, but there's nothing special done for them like at other places. There are wipes in the restroom and you can be as loud as you want. But that's not exactly catering to families. Free stuff for kids - face painting and balloons are big draws at, say, Silver Diner in Rockville, etc., and they have great local food as well.

But I'd go back to Family Meal... and it'd be even better without the kids.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Acton, MA
Level Contributor
69 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Not Exactly Top Chef”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Bryan Voltaggio, the owner of this place, was the older of two brothers who contended for the title of Top Chef several seasons back, on the TV coking competition. Bryan's brother, Mike, won, though Bryan acquitted himself well.

I was in town to attend an evening wedding, but reckoning dinner would be less than memorable, I went to Family Meal for brunch, this being Sunday. This is meant to be downhome cooking with some touches of both French cuisine along with the prevailing Southern style. The menu has shrimp and grits along with Southern fried chicken and biscuits, but they also serve potatoes fried in duck fat, a Southwestern (France) specialty. There is a pretty decent roster of mainly local craft brews, a menu of elaborate cocktails I steered clear of, and a very short wine list (one Cava and about 5 reds and 5 whites, all served by the glass or bottle). I went for the chicken and biscuits, which was served with a small cup of very good homemade pickles of different varieties and a cup of hot sauce. I asked for all dark meat, and got two drumsticks and two thighs, along with two biscuits. Craving more greenery, I also ordered the field greens. The chicken was good: crispy skin and moist interior, but little to distinguish it from Popeye's or Bojangles'. The greens were terrific: cooked for a long time with a pot liquor redolent of smoked pork. It was a mountain of food, and I ended up taking home two pieces of chicken and a biscuit to eat on the plane ride home the next day.

It is a big and fairly noisy place in what was once a car dealer's showroom, but redone in a clean, modernist style. The service was friendly and efficient and the price tag not too painful: $23 with tax and tip (I had only iced tea to drink, so a beer or two would push you up into the mid-thirties).

For what it is - a place to go for a casual, satisfying lunch or brunch - it is better than OK, but if you are looking to experience the cooking wizardry of a Top Chef finalist, you won't find it here.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
155 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“A delightful find”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

What a delightful find! Higher than 4 stars but I have to save the 5 for the rare amazing place.

A repurposed Nissan dealership serving up classic food in amazing ways. The fried chicken would please any Kentucky Colonel or southern mama. I order the BBQ sandwich just to see what the chef could do for such a basic dish... it was amazing in both taste and appearance. And chicken pot pie fritter. The perfect execution of a unique concept.

Can't wait to go back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“home cooking with a twist”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Okay I have eaten at Bryan's other more expensive restaurant so I kind of prepared for the meal. I had the fried chicken and the southern girl in me said "wow", it has a hint of what tastes like old bay so it had a little kick. Yum! We didn't have reservations so we had to sit at the bar. What a punishment, it was the best seat in the house. We go to watch the sou chef create desserts all night so we could figure out what we were going to eat before the meal was over. Service was a little slow but I felt like I got to watch a cooking show for free as entertainment. The meal was a little pricey and the style was kind of quirky (the waitressess had diner aprons on). I like quirky and I like good food so I enjoyed it. The price tag was on the high end, but the meal was high end down home.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Family Meal also viewed

 

Been to Family Meal? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Family Meal, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.