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“Great food, Great service!”
Review of Family Meal

Family Meal
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Ranked #31 of 424 Restaurants in Frederick
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American, Diner
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, 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 February 15, 2014

Used my gift card for this experience - Fried Chicken was very good along with the apple pie for dessert.

Will go back again - but please turn up the heat. Dining room was chilly.

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Thank Teresa3k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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430 - 434 of 590 reviews

Reviewed January 19, 2014

This was my first time here. The atmosphere was great. The food was absolutely delicious (I had the salmon). The portion sizes are moderate so adding a side is ideal. The service is prompt and friendly.

So why three stars instead of five? Our waiter was on us every other minute. When he gave us "a few minutes for the menu" it meant he came back every 30-45 seconds, literally, until we ordered. He would try to clear our plates while we were still eating multiple times even touching the plate before we could answer, he would keep asking if we were done when we obviously weren't, he put the dessert menu between us while we were still enjoying our entree and it wasn't like the restaurant was trying to close up. The only time he gave us space was after we signed the receipts. It was just too much and took away from my dining experience. I felt super rushed. Maybe he was new but he really needs to give us some space.

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1  Thank jenssey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We really wanted to like Family Meal and had high hopes. We called and made a reservation (which they couldn't find), but it wasn't crowded yet, so we still got a table. It was a cold night, and pretty chilly in the restaurant, which may have impacted our food. The entrees (fried chicken and meatloaf) came out lukewarm, which made it seem they had not been freshly prepared. (They came quickly, so it didn't seem they had been sitting and cooled off.) The entrees were OK, but the biscuits were rather hard (leftovers reheated at home fared better.) The milkshake and doughnuts (doughnut holes) for dessert were fine, but again, nothing we'd order again. The best best part of the meal was the fries, which were hot, but even they suffered from being stuck together and being unevenly salted, which could have been rectified at the table, had there been a salt shaker provided (none of the tables had salt or pepper.) Even minor details, like small water glasses that needed constant re-filling (or neglected to be re-filled) and difficulty trying to leave through the crowd at the door, left us with little incentive to return. Sadly, our experience didn't live up to many of the reviews here.

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1  Thank winindc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

This is the second time that I've eaten at Family Meal. The first time I was somewhat disappointed as I thought the food was average. I really wanted to like this restaurant as I'm a big Brian Voltaggio fan and I've had good experiences at Volt. When I arrived for lunch, I was told that the wait was 45 minutes. We weren't asked if we'd like a seat at the bar (there were many) and there were clearly empty tables in the restaurant. The hostess clearly needed training on how to work with customers as they enter. We did ask to sit at the bar which cut our wait time down considerably. I wondered how many others would have chosen to do this had they known. Every bar seat was vacant on the far side of the restaurant. One positive note is that the cocktails are very good. During both of our experiences we found this to be true. Once our order was placed, again I noticed an organization problem. Food often sat waiting to be picked up by the waiting staff for five minutes or more. Our fries sat for close to 10 minutes before they were picked up. This happened the first time we were there as well. Again, training would help with this problem significantly. There were plenty of staff there and all seemed to be working. Working hard? Yes. Working smart? No.

I ordered the fish sandwich ($12). When it arrived, I had a small piece of cod on a roll three times bigger than the fish. Why would you serve fish on a kaiser roll if the roll is huge and the fish portion only fills up 1/3 of the roll? I tried to cut the roll in half in order to eat the fish but I found this disappointing and very difficult to eat. I returned the fish and chose to not order another item. I also chose to not eat the fries because as I mentioned earlier, they sat for almost 10 minutes. On a positive note, my wife's salad was excellent and the waitress did a very nice job with us.

In summary, I feel that this restaurant has potential. The staff need to work together to reduce wait time--wait time at the door and wait time after the food is prepared and served. Brian needs to do a quality control check with the food in order to assure that every plate receives his seal of approval. Every order needs to go out as if it was being served to a reviewer. I have no problem paying more for quality. I didn't receive that during both of my visits. Would I return again? Right now, I would say no. I'll check back with reviews to see if my issues are addressed and then I may decide differently.

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1  Thank Klinemic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We visited Family Meal after many high recommendations from area foodies. Which is why I'm puzzled at the negative and lukewarm reviews on here.

When we visited at lunchtime during Christmas week we were unable to get a table without a reservation, therefore we ate at the bar. This was great because we got to see the service and kitchen, which were highly organized and professional.

My group ordered the chicken, in addition to the mac & cheese, duck fat fries, a crabcake sandwich, and an omelet. We also ordered drinks from their collection of local craft beers. Everything was well-made and delicious. The crabcake was not a true "Maryland style" crabcake with no filler, but it was typical of one you would find elsewhere and tasty. The fries came with several dipping sauces, although I didn't get any duck flavor from them. The mac & cheese was good, and the chicken was moist and tender. I didn't eat the omelet, however the home fries served with it were wonderful.

In all, the service was good and so was the food. I would return soon if they weren't so far away. The prices were about what I would expect for the area and the type of restaurant.

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

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