Ryan's Family Restaurant

UPDATE (10/30/04): Ryan's in Cenla is changing to "Fire Mountain"! There's an article on Pineville.net explaining the change. So the review below is pretty much out of date, especially since it was written over 2 years ago! Stay tuned! I'll update on the new Fire Mountain soon!

I've eaten many a meal at Ryan's over the years. I remember when they first came to Alexandria back in the early 90's. It was a great place to eat and it had that neat concept - the All-You-Can-Eat buffet. It was an instant hit. In fact, it became so popular that the lines were so long people left before entering because the lines were out the doors. We had a lot of meetings at Ryan's because it had such a diverse buffet that even the pickiest appetites could be pleased.

Now the All-You-Can-Eat buffet isn't such a novelty any longer. And Ryan's is just another place to eat. In fact, to my disappointment, eating at Ryan's has become a hit-and-miss ordeal. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not.

For example, tonight we ate at the Pineville Ryan's to celebrate my mom's __th birthday. (It's not that I don't know how old she is .... I'm just too smart to put that info in this review! <G>) The restaurant was clean but horribly understaffed. Our waitress told us they were three-people short and she was somewhat harried trying to keep up with multiple sections. I ordered the cheeseburger cooked medium (since that's the rarest they will cook meat) but it came out very well done to the point of burnt-to-a-crisp edges. Since they were so short handed I chose to pick off the burnt edges and eat it rather than send it back and wait who knows how long for another one.

However, on other occasions I've found the food to be excellent. In fact, this was the first time I've ever had a hamburger that wasn't excellent at Ryan's. I'm something of a hamburger connoisseur ("I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today." <G>) and generally speaking Ryan's has good to excellent hamburgers. I've enjoyed several of their steaks and their mega-bar generally has a nice variety. It does seem to me that lately the food has more of an "institutional" flavor than it used to, but maybe that's just because they have to cook it in such quantities that it's not fair to compare the taste to individually cooked entree's at other restaurants.

My only other complaint is that they charge adult prices to anyone over 10 years old. Tonight I had to pay $6.89 for my 11-year old daughter's mega-bar, which seems like an awful lot.

All in all, Ryan's is a pretty good place to eat, especially when you have some picky eaters in the bunch because there's sure to be something for everyone. We've also found it a good place to eat when we're on diets because we can usually find some food that fits whatever diet du jour we're on!

(written 5/27/02)



Ryan's Family Restaurant

3024 W Macarthur Drive
Alexandria, LA 71303
(318) 445-8796

3632 Monroe Highway
Pineville, LA 71360
(318) 641-9377

950 Keyser Avenue
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-7926 

5675 I-49 Service Road South
Opelousas, LA 70570
(337) 948-4300

645 North Pine Street
DeRidder, LA 70634
(337) 462-1122