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“You are likely to pass by and never notice it” 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 #41 of 340 Restaurants in Frederick
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American, Diner
More restaurant details
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.
New Oxford, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“You are likely to pass by and never notice it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We love this place, visit often. Voltaggio is a hardworking master and this provides a source of great offerings for those of us who either have not the adventurous palate or large purse required to visit Volt. That being said, many people have trouble finding it, even though it's right out on the street. The place is very dark and obscure on the outside, looks unoccupied and heading south, you can't even find a sign. Don't get me wrong, I love the earthy, minimal style of the inside, but if it's supposed to be a diner style restaurant, it needs some funky signage. Would appreciate a broader more traditional diner menu too, or at least some blue plate specials, and find the limited dessert offerings disappointing. Diners = pies! lots of em, seasonal, pudding and even jello!! More varieties of burgers, more sandwiches too. But the food is super, always consistently prepared and well served, albeit by young folks who are far too serious for diner waitstaff. It's not Volt.......right?

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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282 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hudson, Ohio
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Two visits. Two great meals.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We took a detour from route 70 on our trip from the DC area back to Ohio. This is the second time we have done this and it could be a habit that is hard to break. I mean we could have continued on and stopped at Denny's and had their fried chicken... But Denny's does not have kick #** fish tacos, or greens with smoked turkey butt, or duck fat French fries. You get the picture.
If we were locals we would be regulars. Since we are not we will just have to make the trip to DC or the Delaware shore just a little more often.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
New Market, Maryland, United States
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Expectations not met”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

I have never been to one of Voltaggio's restaurants so going in, my expectations were pretty high. We visited Family Meal at 5:30pm on a summer night. They sat us next to the front window. The restaurant faces the west which is where the sun sets. Even though they have blinds on the window, it wasn't enough. My wife and I were miserable the entire time because we were sweating so much.

The restaurant wasn't very busy and there were more than enough wait staff so the service was very good. Our waitress checked on us quite frequently and filled our water glasses regularly (which we desperately needed because of the heat).

We ordered fried chicken which comes with 2 scone-looking biscuits and some sort of pickle-green bean mixture in a (very) small cup. Since it didn't come with any other sort of side, we ordered a side of mac and cheese. The fried chicken was good although it could have been better if it were more crispy. The portion was large however. The scone-looking biscuits were awful. They were about the same size as the biscuits that Ruby Tuesdays serves but no where near as good. For one, they were too heavy, literally like a scone. Secondly, they had peppers in them which just ruined the taste. The mac and cheese was the perfect size for two people and was very good.

Overall, I was very disappointed. For one, they shouldn't seat anyone near the front window on a summer afternoon. It is just miserable. It was also overpriced. Our bill for 2 chicken dinners, one side of mac and cheese, a beer, and a cream soda was $45. There was absolutely nothing special about this dinner that made it worth $45. Not to mention that this was one of the cheapest dinners on the menu. We wanted to go there just to see what a Voltaggio restaurant was like. I doubt we'll be back.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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New Market, MD
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Best grits and strawberry jam I've EVER had!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Now I'm not a southener by birth, yet I have lived in Maryland over half my life, but the grits I had at "Family Meal" were the best I've ever had. They serve breakfast from 7 am till 11 am(and some breafast items till closing) and I arrived there around 10 am for a late breakfast. I was hungry and was making this my breakfast/lunch, so in my mind that justified my ordering enough food for two people. They have a nice selection of combo and ala carte breakfast choices. For those of you who like the famous chef Bryan Voltaggio, he is part owner. Until today, I hadn't been back since the first day they opened a year ago, but was not in a hurry then to revisit because they were so disorganized(but lunch then was great). When I arrived today, there was only me and one other table with two men there for a long breakfast discussing business. I was seated right away and had a hard time deciding what to order. I decided on their bourbon sticky bun($3.99), egg/2meat/toast combo breakfast($8.99) and ordered hashbrowns($1.89) and grits($2.89) on the side. I had coffee($1.99) and water to drink. The tap water tasted slightly fishy(or should I say natural?), but that is better than the usual heavily chlorinated water you get served in Frederick that tastes like it came out of a pool. The coffee was just average, but I was impressed that the waitress offered me a "to go" cup for what would have been my third cup. I would not order the sticky bun again. The candied walnuts on top were great, but the pastry itself was just average and wallowing in syrup. The eggs, bacon and sausage were good, and the hashbrowns were very unique and fried in big chunks to perfection(looked almost like fried fish). But here comes the reason for my glowing review. No matter where I've ordered grits, they ALL tasted like they came out of a box, but NOT "Family Table's!" The menu says they grind them fresh each day, and that obviously makes all the difference in the world. They tasted like the best homemade grits I could ever imagine! I would go back just for the grits, AND the jam that comes with the toast. They make the strawberry jam fresh inhouse....soooo good. The atmosphere is stark, and the restaurant has no curb appeal, but just the grits and jam MORE than make up for any short comings.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Boonsboro, Maryland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Good but Not Great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Decided to go here for a late lunch. The friend I was having lunch with had tried to eat here several other times but was always too busy to get a seat.

The hostess was not very friendly and we were stuck with a seat out in the middle of the restaurant. I looked online at the menu before going and decided to get the fried green tomatoes. When ready to order, I did not see them available and was told that the menu changes frequently and the web menu is not revised accordingly. BUMMER. The only reason I wanted to try this restaurant. Ended up getting fries and the eggplant sandwich. The food was good but not spectacular as many have rated. I would eat here again but would not go out of my way. It was a bit pricey for the "diner atmosphere".

They were doing some outside construction and it looks like they do have a patio for outdoor dining.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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.

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