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“Dying restaurant”

Ponderosa Steakhouse
Ranked #120 of 191 Restaurants in Wisconsin Dells
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Grill
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Buffet, Takeout
Reviewed June 10, 2012 via mobile

My 8 year old refused to eat buffet. The worst ponderosa ever. We are at great wolf for 5 days...wish this would have been good because we would have returned. The steaks were good. Buffet terrible. Visited on Sunday.

    • Value
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    • Food
1  Thank renee b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 191 of 208 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2012

This is a nice Ponderosa. The inside is very clean, bathrooms were very clean. The staff were friendly and kept our drinks refilled. Prices for just the buffet were very affordable for the area. Our kids got steaks and said they were ok, not great. Buffet area was clean with alot of choices. Food was hot. Quality was from ok to good. The best part were the fresh fruit choices. At Kalahari it was $7 for a small fruit cup, here you get way more variety and it was very good. Lots of veggie choices too. Great for vegetarians, I had trouble finding food choices at other restaurants. I got sick of grilled cheese and fries.

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Thank RognKri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

we were on our back to Kentucky after going on a visit to see my parents in Wisconsin we also had a friend of mine in the dells so we met up and decided to try out ponderosa i remembered going to ponderosa when they had on in eau claire Wisconsin and also i went to the one in green bay with a friend of mine back in 2006 I always remembered great food and the amazing bread sticks they had so when we were looking for a place in the dells i chose Ponderosa. after my visit i was very disappointed in this location and i dont think i would ever go to a ponderosa again after my experience at the Dells location every thing about this place from the staff to the food was disappointing,

when we came in to the establishment we were met my a younger guy at the counter who took our order for seated us as he pointed out where the bathroom were and where the buffet was and that was it. then he went back to the register and sat down in the waiting area till some one else came in he was also just setting there while young kids ran and played around the register and behind the register area he would get up when people would come in to place there orders i thought it to be very unprofessional, also all the staff were wearing baggy un- tucked in red shirts they were also dirty ( there was one employee that did have a nice dress shirt and looked professional, but the others looked liked they need a clean nice fitting uniform and the guy at the register needed a belt, his baggy loose fitting pants were about to fall as he walked people to there table had to keep pulling his pants up to keep them from falling down )

after being seated me and my wife and my friend stood up to hold hands and pray for our food, as we were standing there with our heads bowed praying for the meal a lady employee came and very rudely interrupted and had to ask us what we wanted to drink in the middle of our prayer ( i found it odd that she would ask us what we wanted to drink since the guy that took our order and seated us asked us and we said only water ) it was because of her actions that has led me to contact Ponderosa about my experience at this buffet.

after re-praying after the drink taker left we went to the buffet, i was sadly disappointed in the selection of items they offered if i had know how bad it was i would not have paid $37 to eat here the buffet was 75% a soup and salad bar and they had a few items they did have 4 kinds of chicken wings and legs the lables for the buffet were colored in markers on the windows i also found it odd that in one corner off from the main buffet island they had wings pizza and 2 deserts in the same place as if they had too many dried out cookies and rice chrisp treats and needed a [lace to put the clobber and bread pudding almost all the food was not good the potato wedges were way over cooked and were so hard you could not eat them my wife tried the soup she had the chowder and she had one spoon and almost spitted it out it was so nasty tasting, the chicken was good and the staff keeping the salad bar and fruit always full they were not in a bit hurry to fill the other meat items as fast the steak pieces were in need of seasoning and were dry the next batch they brought out were not as dry but still lacked good seasoning the bread was hard and dry. also the main reason i had enjoyed going to ponderosa when i was younger was the amazing bread sticks this buffet did not have any at all.


the ice cream machine was out of vanilla and the guy from the register filled it as he was doing so i noticed that he left the key in the register and no one else was up front as he was filling the machine.
there were lots of kids with no parents, the kids were just running around the place and customers including me and my wife many times almost ran into they our friend who was eating with us did get ran into by one of these kids and almost fell down. i never say anyone who looked like a manger around running the place.

the restrooms were very unclean the trash can was over-flowing with trash the floors were sticky they were out of paper in one stall. the tile on the way to the bathroom was cracked and should be replaced in a few places.

overall this restaurant was a waste of almost $40 for the few choices they did have it was not that good, i hope they can fix theses problems so that the next person who comes does not have the kind of bad experience we had.

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4  Thank Jonathan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

With so many options to choose from in the Dells, we picked Ponderosa, since there are not many left...now I know why they have slowly closed their doors....the steak was dry and I it tastes as though it was stuck in the microwave. Sad that this use to be a great place and had value for your money...now it is just a waste of money.

3  Thank NitaStack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

The Ponderosa was the nicest I have ever been to. The food was great and at a good value. My family had the buffett and would recommend it.

Thank Jewell R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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