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Allen Family Style Meals
Ranked #3 of 35 Restaurants in Sweetwater
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Odessa, Texas
Level Contributor
26 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I was traveling alone and when I first walked in and saw that all the tables were for groups of eight I started to walk out. An older man then spoke up and told me I could sit with them. I was trying to think of a way to get out of it when the waitress asked me if I would like a glass of Ice Tea. I then realized it was a sit next to a stranger and make a new friend kind of place. I sat with 3 families who all just met and only one of them had been there before. The food reminded me of when I was a small kid at my Mom’s house except somehow the food was even better. They just kept bringing it out too!!! I can’t wait until the next time I travel this way. I want my wife, kids, and parents to share in the enjoyment.

If you do not like meeting new people or small talk this is not a place for you unless you are going in a group of 7 or 8.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Shaun P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Worst food I've ever eaten”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

On a recent road trip in Texas we decided to stop in Sweetwater since we had never been there before. We were hoping to find a unique restaurant with good food like we have found in so many other small Teas towns. We stopped at a business that said claimed to be an antique store, but really was more like a bad garage sale. The salesman recommended a place he called 'Ms. Allen's that had been in business over 60 handed down 3 generations in one family. It sounded wonderful. When we arrived the place was dirty, had flies buzzing around the food, and the cooks wore greasy t- shirts with no aprons. They looked more like garage mechanics than food service workers. We were seated at a long table with two other couples. There are no menus at this family style cafe. Everyone is served the same food. A waitress brings out big bowls of food that fills the entire table. The food is passed around the strangers and refills are brought when the bowls are empty. I tried 12 different foods-none of them were edible! The beef was tough as nails with no flavor just lots of brown gravy. The fried chicken was so dry, tough, and flavorless I couldn't even eat it. All the vegetables were extremely plain-most were just reheated from a can. There was a lack of seasoning, inappropriate texture, and bland taste in every single dish. I love desserts, but their peach cobbler was the worst I've ever had. The crust was overly thick and doughy with lots of gooey sauce and a few canned peach slices. There was no ice cream and no flavor in the cobbler. The cost was $10 per person. I also did not like having to listen to the small talk of strangers. From now on we will stay on the interstate and not go into the town of Sweetwater.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Franksmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lots of comfort food.”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Okra, catfish, meatloaf, fried chicken, potato salad. Everything is delish. Casual dining buffet style for dinner.

Visited July 2013
Thank Hansen97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Conroe, TX
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great Family Style Restaurant”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We stopped at Mrs. Allen's after hearing about it for years. Awesome fried chicken, sides were very good and dessert was superb. Really enjoyed the meal and the experience. Note: My 12 year old thought this place was fun, the 16 year old was mortified that strangers were at our table. The people who sat next to us very dressed better then we were and were very nice. Stop and enjoy this restaurant if you enjoy great food, it reminds me of my grandmothers house without the wired uncle.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank john s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great fried chicken; average sides”
Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

We had super high hopes for this place, but it didn't quite live up to our expectations. Our waitress brought pea salad, cole slaw and mashed potatoes first. The pea salad and cole slaw were both pretty good, with a sweet taste. Oddly, the potatoes were cold and sweet, too. Then she brought fried chicken and most of it was great. A few pieces were dry, but most was fantastic. The rest of the sides were lukewarm and several had a sweet flavor which was odd. Our waitresses were very friendly and the service was good. We enjoyed the small West Texas town experience, but will probably try some place else the next time we are in that part of the state.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Kristilw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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