Buffets are not for everyone, but when they’re done right they have many benefits.
First, there is no waiting — you arrive, pay, get your food, and eat. Second, everyone gets what they want and how much they want. Third, if the place stays busy, the food is fresh and constantly brought out, steaming hot. Fourth, if you misjudged something, you can leave it or go get more.
478 Country Buffet in the Byron Peach Outlet is one buffet that does it right. Fans say it is always busy, as it was the Sunday afternoon we visited. Within two minutes of entering the very clean and tidy two-room restaurant, we had our plates and were casing out the buffet.
Every day features a different menu, usually six main entrees and dozens of sides. Sunday we chose between fried whole catfish with a slightly sweet cornmeal batter, crunchy fried chicken tenders, baked chicken with lemon, Swedish meatballs, sweet barbecued pork ribs and the daily fried chicken.
Our favorite sides included the mashed potatoes, creamed corn, fried eggplant, rutabagas, candied yams and broccoli casserole. Everything is made exactly as you would expect and while nothing will make you swoon, it’s good, solid food.
Monday looks good for beef tips and Salisbury steak lovers, especially if you also like fried green tomatoes and black eyed peas. On Tuesday they feature hot and spicy chicken and gizzards, with green bean casserole and fried zucchini. Wednesdays are for meatloaf, Brussels sprouts and squash casserole. On Thursday they have salmon patties and fried okra. Friday features fried seafood and hush puppies; and Saturday’s a good day for chicken and dressing.
The well-stocked salad bar included deviled eggs, cucumber and vinegar salad, seafood salad, pickled jalapeños, macaroni salad, tuna salad and chicken salad. The desserts (with the exception of the ice cream) seem to be homemade: banana pudding, chocolate cake, coconut sheet cake and peach cobbler.
Kids ages 8 and younger eat for about $5 and seniors and uniformed patrons get discounts. The staff buzzes around — our glasses never went empty — and seems to know the regulars. Give it a try.
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478 Country Buffet
Address: Byron Peach Outlet, 311 Ga. 49, Byron
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Payment: Credit card, cash
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 96
Price range: $5.95-$9.95
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.