Family Meal in Frederick, Md. | Visit #1

Last updated on May 12, 2013 by Liza Hawkins

My birthday was this week. Another year older, but not so old that I’m beginning to dread the years as they roll by. It was a good day filled with work – lots of work, actually – but also the knowledge that at the end of the day, Hubs and I would be going out to eat.

Wherever I want. Because, you know, when it’s your birthday you get to pick. Or at least that’s how it works in our house.

My choice? Bryan Voltaggio’s new restaurant Family Meal in Frederick, Md.


Family Meal, Frederick MD

It’s been all the buzz here in Frederick – the third restaurant Voltaggio’s opened in his hometown, and a much anticipated place where families can enjoy a meal together for a reasonable price.

I’ve had my eyes on the fried green tomatoes appetizer since I first saw mention of them in another article.

And prawns served with yellow corn grits – you know how much I love shrimp & grits (at least if you’re a fan on my Facebook page you do)! I have to try them everywhere I go….

AND goat cheese gratin – need I say more? Here’s the menu if you want to see what other goodies Family Meal is offering (including things like grilled cheese for the kids).

So, there you go. Drool, right?

Family Meal - Voltaggio
Source: dc.eater.com via Liza on Pinterest

Childless for the evening, we pulled into the Family Meal parking lot (which is generous in size, having been a former car dealership) and were happy to see several tables outside on the patio open.

My birthday was the first day in about a week where temperatures didn’t flirt with 105°F. It’s been hot, like really hot. The thought of sitting outside for dinner, while the sun set and a breeze fluttered around us, was relaxing. Especially when a boozy milkshake could be added to the mix, cause, you know, they have a full-time milkshake-maker on hand at Family Meal.

We strolled inside, and {gasp!} the entry was virtually empty — no wait for a table?! — despite chatter from an obviously bustling dining room. Two friendly hostesses greeted us with smiles and hellos.

“Two please!” I said, eager to get my hands on a menu and a boozy milkshake.

“Ummmm, okay. Hold on a sec,” said the taller hostess as she whipped around to look at the computer with the restaurant layout. “Hmmm. Doesn’t look like we have anything….”

The second, shorter hostess interrupted. “It’ll be an hour and fifteen minute wait for a table.”

Say what? For TWO people? But there’s no one lined up waiting?!

“Really?” I half-whispered.

“Well…there might be two seats at the counter,” threw out the shorter hostess.

“Yes! Sure! The counter’s great – we’ll take it,” I said.

“Except,” added the shorter hostess, “the seats aren’t next to each other.”

“Oh. Really?” I said with what must have been a look of disbelief.

“How ’bout we go check, just to make sure?” asked the shorter hostess.

And then she led us around to the dining room where the counter sits. Sure enough, there were two seats. Two seats that were nowhere near each other.

“Sorry!” she chirped.

Glancing around the dining room, there were at least three 2-tops open – set and ready for diners. And outside? What about outside?

We didn’t have time to ask. The clock was counting down and we had already eaten up 15 minutes of our childless eatingoutwithoutthekids window, standing here at Family Meal with hostesses that didn’t seem to manage the floor that well.

Or maybe they did, and we just made them nervous.

And I guess Family Meal takes reservations? I’d have to assume that’s the case with all those open tables, a one hour and fifteen minute wait, and no lingering people waiting for a table by the hostess stand.

SO we left.

No Family Meal birthday dinner for moi.

Next time for sure. Maybe a call ahead to see about a reservation.

C’est la vie!

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

7 Comments on “Family Meal in Frederick, Md. | Visit #1

    It’s well worth the wait. And only one time (of the four total times we’ve dined there so far) were we told our wait would be 1.5 hours (it only turned out to be 30 minutes.) This is still the first few weeks since opening and they’re still working out the kinks. You will not be disappointed when you finally get in. Try going around 8ish if you can hold out that long.

  2. Really Don’t bother, if you want shrimp and grits, great fried chicken, and or Bar B Q to die for go to Alexanders At Buckeystown.

  3. I just had the prawns and grits today. It was very bland and, at least in its current form, should be removed from the lunch menu. Yes, it’s that bad. By contrast, the fried chicken which I sampled from my daughter’s plate, was very good.

  4. Good news is, I’ve made it back a few times and have been pleased with both the food and the service!

    Sad to hear about the prawns and grits though – that’s a favorite of mine, and to think that Voltaggio didn’t get it right makes me sad. I have yet to order it, but it’s on my radar!

  5. When you’re out sightseeing and you chance upon this restaurant, it is best that you come in early before it gets crazy. Most probably the food is great that people come by and visit it most of the time.

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