Editors' pick

Family Meal

American
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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Editorial Review

2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

No matter your appetite, Family Meal in Frederick has something to satisfy it. Eggs and bacon for dinner? Done. A nice piece of fish? Reel in rockfish served with succotash. Comfort food comes by way of fried chicken with buttermilk biscuits and a fat pork chop sweetened with peach relish, while trend monitors can count on duck fat fries and mezcal-spiked cocktails to amuse them. Seemingly the only thing owner Bryan Voltaggio left out of his latest attraction, a window-wrapped diner set in a former Nissan dealership, is a good piece of pie, but the former “Top Chef” contestant promises better desserts are on their way. Noise is a problem. Parking, as you can imagine, is not.

Reader Reviews

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Avg reader rating
Submitted by mobile user poursuivant

My family and I just returned from our second visit to the Family Meal. For the most part, this second visit left us disappointed. The service was quite good. We were greeted and seated promptly and Liz, our waitress arrived immediately to take drink orders. It was only after we ordered the food that it quickly went downhill. There were high points like the chicken pot pie fritters and the fried chicken. The French onion soup and the beef stew were simply an embarrassment. Both arrived cold, with a thick layer of grease that muddied the taste. The stew was so cold that I had to send it back. Korean chicken wings were BLAND. If we go back.....who am I kidding. We're not going back.

Loved this -- good food, good drinks

Our experience was vastly different from the two reviews I just read here. My husband and I were returning to DC from a road trip and decided to try Family Meal. I had a delicious drink (a Sidecar) and our food was excellent. He had the fried chicken and it was all that it was promised to be, along with some cold pea/mint soup that was delicious (and I don't even like anything made with peas!). He had chicken livers also as a starter, and pronounced them to be delicious. I will say that the crabcake was good, but given that we were in Maryland, it could have been better. Nothing wrong with it, as It was very similar to the griddled crabcake at Hank's Oyster Bar in the District. Everything was fresh, delicious and great service.

An embarrassment to Chef Voltaggio's reputation

I'll start with what I liked about this visit. The staff were polite and responsive. The food came out fast. The fancy biscuits were nice as was the homemade jelly and peach ice tea. Now for the real review. This place is a real OXYMORON. It's an ala carte menu and it calls itself a family restaurant. A la carte menu means they charge you for each item individually so they can run your bill up to top dollar which I thought I was willing to do to eat chef Voltaggio's food. Never again. As I said my food came out immediately, I ordered the fried chicken, and instead of hot and crispy it was limp and cold, you know like KFC out of the refrigerator the day. The beans and biscuits were cold too At least 3 tables had screaming kids.

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