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“Average for the price”
Review of Family Meal

Family Meal
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Ranked #23 of 405 Restaurants in Frederick
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American, Diner
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, 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.
Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

Took some friends to Family Meal. We expected an excellent meal but found it average. My wife had the hotcakes which were dry with only a dusting of the peaches and granola that were advertised; I had the "must have" fried chicken which wasn't..have had better at KFC the biscuits that came with it didn't come with either butter or honey; friends had fish tacos, pea soup, tomatoes salad which they liked but didn't love. Also had ice tea but had to ask for sweetner and no salt or pepper on the small table. To be fair my son loves the fried chicken salad sandwich. I might go again to give it another shoot but not anytime soon.

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Thank jmedve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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423 - 427 of 547 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2013

Went here because it's the same on owner as Volt and we expected upscale gourmet.
We were not disappointed! Went for breakfast TWICE. Expensive for breakfast but well worth it.
Our server talked me into an Old Bay Bloody Mary. All she had to say was they use fresh local tomatoes. The best Bloody Mary I've ever had. Not too thick and not watery. Fresh squeezed orange juice too. Corn beef hash was out of this world. Wife had orange pancakes with brandied or bourbon peaches. Can't remember which. Just a hint of orange and just enough peaches. Sorry we never had time to get there for lunch/dinner.

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Thank 1Johnny1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I was so looking forward to Family Meal, after hearing of the wonderful reviews of the Volt family of restaurants. Four of us came in after a nice hike in the Catoctin Mountain Park. We were looking forward to enjoying what appeared to be some very unique creative ways to prepare and serve healthy foods. When we were seated, we were provided with room-temperature water in rather small plain glasses and no bread or crackers of any kind. I started out with a tomato salad which was very nice with its wonderful mint dressing albeit skimpy for its $8.99 price. Two others had the Beet Salad, which was also very tasty but skimpy. Our 4th member had the deviled eggs, only after first being given a salad in error. By the time the deviled eggs arrives the rest of us had nearly finished our salads, I know we should have waited, but with no bread on the table, it was hard for hungry diners to stair at food for too long without diving in. Now I very rarely eat Fried Chicken, due to its high calorie and fat content although I couldn't resist after seeing so many of the other diners munching on the Fried Chicken Dinner out of the fancy ceramic serving baskets. To my disappointment however, the batter offered very little flavor, lacked crispiness, and wouldn't stay on the chicken! The dish included a full half chicken, one each breast, wing, leg and thigh, with two very nice biscuits and a small assortment of very nicely done pickles. However, the breast meat was tough; not what I expected from a quality restaurant. The other main dishes ordered included had a Crab cake, Shrimp and Grits, and the Macaroni and Cheese. We also ordered the Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Sauteed Spinach. The crab cake looked good, but didn't have any accompaniment. The Shrimp and Grits was "very good", however we expected the Mac and Cheese to be excellent and it was simply fair (The Mac and Cheese at the Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, VT is still our favorite). In fact, below the top layer of cheese and macaroni, was pretty much plain macaroni. The Brussel sprouts were small and over cooked. I'm not a great chef myself, but I do a better job at home. The Spinach was very nice, although again one the small side. Our friends shared a piece of cheese cake with a raspberry topping that seemed very nice and my SO and I shared one of the "Adult Milkshakes", containing bourbon soaked crunchy morsels and lovely creaminess, but at $11.00 it should have been 50% larger. The wait staff was very nice although the time between our salad course and main course was way longer than acceptable. I really wanted to walk away feeling very glad to have visited Family Meal, but that was not the case. Our dinner tab, which also included 2 glasses of red wine and 1 cocktail came to over $200 for the four of us with tip. Sorry. I don't plan to come back because although the setting was very nice and chic, there were just too many short comings.

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2  Thank RadnyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

Family Meal is part family restaurant, part gastro pub. The menu has a good mixture of family favorites and higher end items. Most of the items are ala-carte so if you want sides you have to order them separately. The fried chicken was good but the skin isn't crispy. The fish tacos were excellent. The adult milkshakes are wonderful. Reservations are a must on the weekend, but they were able to fit us in without them since we were so early. Service is very attentive. Kids meals were reasonably priced. Very family friendly. If you only want high end with no kids go to Volt. if you want high end that you feel comfortable taking your kids, go here. We will be back again.

1  Thank marauder40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We came to Frederick, MD for the day to have lunch at Family Meal and dinner at Volt. Lunch was so poor across the board that I came within inches of canceling my dinner reservation at Volt! As a sidebar, I am grateful that I did not cancel as Volt is as stunningly successful as Family Meal is dismally disappointing.

Family Meal is in an industrial part of town, not somewhere that you would enjoy a stroll or even expect a restaurant. My understanding is that it was a car dealership and it does look and feel Industrial. I will be open to the possibility that the decor is supposed to be hip or artsy and I just didn't get it but it came across as crummy at best with a badly stained (but to be fair, clean) grey cement floor and uncomfortable wood benches in the booths with old tubs holding water in the corners. It was a cold atmosphere but also crowded and noisy. We arrived early for our lunch reservation and were promptly seated. Our server, while pleasant, looked as unhappy as one can look and my husband was quite put off by her dirty fingernails. She gave us our menu and after learning that it was our first time, began to all but read the menu to us, filling in pieces of information that no one would so much as even think of. It was bizarre! It is worth a mention at this point to note that several times, she mentioned the huge portions. The prices are quite high for this style of food.

We opted to split the Chicken Pot Pie Fritters (expecting huge portions) and received 5 quarter sized fritters that were creative and tasty but were also greasy and over salted. The small bowl was placed in the middle of the table and that was that; we were not given small plates to serve on or eat from. Now the place is filling up and I start noticing the overall unhappy looking staff with low energy and the chaos around me. For example, our server had tables on both far sides of the restaurant as well as several tables in the middle area with other servers in between on both sides; there was no rhyme and reason to it but there was mass confusion as everyone was in each other's way and having trouble walking past each other. No wonder service was slow!

My husband had the Shrimp and Grits, which was good, but again regarding plates: he was not given an under plate or a side plate on which to discard the shells. I had the Fish Tacos that were so bad that I sent them back and that is not a frequent occurrence. There were 3 tiny, thick, cold and greasy corn shells tossed onto the plate topped with a tiny smear of wilted, tasteless slaw, topped with a dry, tough piece of fish (to be fair there was also some onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, and a side of sauce). I replaced it with a Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich which was good but the tiny side of cole slaw was dripping in dressing. The best thing we had was a milkshake but nothing passed the good mark.

2  Thank Theshortchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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