Friendly Farm

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | March 6th, 2008 | Restaurant Reviews

On our path of merging families, there are many introductions to be made. Unfortunately, scheduling can be difficult when all of the adults have children. This past Friday night both location and time allowed everyone to meet for dinner. Seeing that there would be 7 adults and 7 children, a family-style restaurant was the perfect fit. Friendly Farm Restaurant met that need.friendly farm

Located in Upperco, Maryland, this restaurant looks exactly like its name. Sitting on a large parcel of land, the restaurant is surrounded by a pond and sloping hills.

As you enter the restaurant, you immediately see a board displaying dinner choices and a booth at which you place your order. The choice for your meal is easy, yet difficult. The easy part is the option of side dishes – you get everything! All side dishes are served family-style and are refilled as often as requested. The difficult part is choosing the meat, which ranges from beef to chicken to pork to seafood. Deciding that we wanted to sample different tastes, my boyfriend and I chose two entrees to split, two 5 ounce crab cakes and fried chicken.

When all 14 diners had arrived and placed their orders, we were brought to our table. Already situated on our table were dishes of apple butter, cottage cheese, pickles, cole slaw, peach slices, and pickled beets. Given the assortment of foods, all diners found a tempting appetizer with which to start their dining experiences.

Our pleasant server Linda was attentive from the start. Within a moment of us being seated, she promptly took our drink orders. After bringing a first round of soft drinks, she returned with baskets filled with hot dinner rolls and sugar biscuits. Having heard of this restaurant for quite some time, I was eager to try the oft-mentioned sugar biscuits. They did not disappoint, as they had a crunchy outside and a light, tender inside. Additionally, the biscuits had a coating of coarse-grained sugar to give them a mouth-watering sweetness.

While we devoured the biscuits and rolls, there was much enjoyable conversation among the children and adults. Time passed quickly and before we knew it, dinner had arrived. In the flip of the coin, I was served the crab cakes, while my boyfriend was served the fried chicken. The crab cakes were excellent. Served broiled, they were hot and made almost entirely of crab, a definite bonus. Without breading, one could taste the sweet flavor of crab. While stated as a 5 ounce crab cake, it seemed much larger.

After eating half of a crab cake, my boyfriend and I switched plates, giving me the opportunity to taste the fried chicken. The chicken was crunchy without being greasy on the outside and moist on the inside. For this entrée choice, four pieces (wing, drumstick, thigh, and breast) are served. Again with so much food to sample, I was able to consume only a portion of the breast.

Reading about all of these delicious foods, someone might assume that this is the entire meal. However, there were more dishes to sample: French fries, green beans, and corn. Again, all of these dishes were able to be replenished if requested. Linda checked on our party in regular increments, making sure that dishes and glasses were satisfactorily full.

As dinner dishes emptied and stomachs were filled, Linda took coffee orders from the adults. Adeptly clearing the table and delivering coffees, she shared the evening’s ice cream choices. Within minutes of the placement of ice cream orders, Linda returned with dishes for all. Though everyone was full, room was made to savor the ending to this delicious meal and allow for more conversation before our evening needed to end. Friendly Farm had provided a wonderful place to dine and make new friends.

A final note to this review: you have seen some of the finer points of Friendly Farm. There are helpful waitstaff, generous portions, and tasty foods. However, there is one other exceptional part to dining here, the price. The starters of cottage cheese and more, soft drinks, side dishes, coffees, and desserts are included in the price of each entrée. With meals ranging from $14.95 to $31.95 (and lower prices on the kids’ menu) for everything from appetizer to dessert, you could not ask for a more affordable, or delicious, dining experience.

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