Perry is a lovely town. Just the drive through the surrounding area to reach Cherokee Pines Golf and Fitness Club was uplifting, filled with flowering trees and beautifully manicured lawns.
The club itself is undergoing renovations, so it’s more functional than formal at the moment, and non-members are welcome. The Pines Restaurant’s tables and chairs are plain and simply set, and the buffer station holds just three meats and six sides, but where they may lack in quantity is made up for in quality. The best way to know what they have on the buffet is to check their Facebook page before you go.
After choosing your seat, you’ll go to the buffet station to choose your meat and two sides for $7.95. Everything we tried was delicious -- basic but done well. The ham had been baked in a lightly sweet and equally salty sauce, cooked until tender. The chicken and dumplings tasted just like Mrs. Grace’s from church, with lots of chicken and not too much sauce.
Our favorite sides were the loaded mashed baked potatoes, with plenty of sour cream to make it interesting, and the butter beans that were still plenty al dente. A survey of nearby diners confirmed that all of the items they make also are worth the drive, especially the collard greens.
On Sundays, they have the cheapest brunch buffet I’ve heard of, at only $9.99 for all-you-can-eat biscuits with sausage gravy, made-to-order omelets, bacon, sausage, grits, hash brown casserole, butter beans, black eyed peas, smothered chicken and rice, baked ravioli, stewed carrots and garlic bread. For another $5 you also get prime rib.
A recent Friday menu included baked tilapia, pot roast, fried shrimp, baked spaghetti, roasted vegetables, mac-n-cheese, cream corn, hash brown casserole, turnip greens and biscuits or corn bread.
Thursday had shrimp Alfredo, country fried steak, baked chicken, roasted vegetables, red potatoes, yellow rice and green bean casserole. Mondays also look good, with pork tenderloin, Salisbury steak, garlic mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, cabbage and other sides.
The staff is friendly and very helpful, willing to do anything to make your visit special. If you’re looking for a calm, peaceful lunch with beautiful scenery out the window, the restaurant at Cherokee Pines is a good bet.
The Pines Restaurant
Address: 1000 Country Club Road, Perry
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $7.95-$14.95
Rating: 2.5 stars