The Prime Palate on the main square in downtown Forsyth seems to have two things by the score: side dishes from Sunday afternoon at Grandma’s and men, men, men.
We came on a weekday just before noon and every single other diner was male. Some wore working-outside clothes, some wore shirt sleeves and slacks, others had on suits. Maybe the Ladies Who Lunch come in a little later. The restaurant also is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday.
Once you choose a table and order your drinks, you can go straight to the buffet line. In a very clever business model, they give you a choice of getting all you can eat for $11.50 or getting a “Saver Plate” for $9.50. With the Saver Plate, you pick up a white plate and choose one piece of meat, three sides, a bread and a dessert, only going to the buffet once.
The sides were definitely their strong suit on the day we visited. The macaroni and cheese was made the old fashioned way, with a bechamel and large al dente noodles. The other vegetables and sides were well-seasoned and cooked just this side of overdone (which is how Grandma does it, too). Mashed potatoes, green beans, rutabagas, butter beans, sliced carrots and English peas were on the buffet the day we visited.
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The meats, with the exception of the fried chicken, were not quite as successful. The pork chops were still tender enough, but the baked chicken, baked fish and chicken strips were too dry, probably from sitting on the buffet too long without a stir. Something as simple as pouring the juices back over the meats periodically could fix this, though, since otherwise the flavor was good.
More than anything, I wanted the desserts to be better. Even though a farmers market was being held on the other side of the square, the peaches in the cobbler were from a can. The ratio of dough to peaches was 2:1, so using fresh peaches might increase prep time but wouldn’t affect the price much and would definitely create a brighter flavor during the summer.
The red velvet cake was too dry and the chocolate seven layer cake tasted like a mix with canned frosting. Perhaps they should only offer dessert with evening dinners, allowing them to have better quality and charge a little more at night.
Overall, we had a nice enough lunch -- maybe a little pricey by the time we added the cost of drinks, but quick and filling nonetheless. But if you’re single and looking for a man, it might be the best deal in town.
Address: 22 W. Main St., Forsyth
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 87
Price range: $9.50-$11.50
Rating: 2.5 stars