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Apr 11, 2011 02:38 PM

Surprisingly good buffet in the middle of nowhere

I typically avoid buffets, especially when I am in a geographic region where there is not a lot of competition among restaurants. On a recent trip to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania (70 miles or so east of Pittsburg), we were searching in the rolling hills for a lunch spot and came across the visually unassuming Oakhurst Tea Room, a place serving an American "smorgasboard" since 1933 in Somerset County, PA. I was intrigued. The lunch was ridiculously inexpensive - $8, with a great spread that did not spare expensive. The bread was freshly baked, and served with homemade maple butter and apple butter. The chicken noodle soup had home-made, thick cut egg noodles, and the salad had a few interesting items like pickled eggs, and a variety of unique salads. The hot food featured this delicious roasted chicken (I ordered, extra, a waffle, to replicate the dish that Granny Baker founded the restaurant on in 1933. There was also stuffing, incredible baked beans, roasted ham and cabbage with pork. The desserts were all homemade, including something local called Gob Cake and a bunch of cookies and other pastries. The quality of the food rivals any buffet I've had, and the price was spectacular. Can't vouch for the dinner or the seafood buffet, but the manager- with whom I spoke- had enough pride in the place that I bet those will be good, too. A definitely pleasant surprise!

Oakhurst Tea Room
2409 Glades Pike, Somerset, PA 15501

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  1. I've not been to the buffet, but just thought I'd point out that the"gobcake" referred to is what Western Pennsylvanians call the dessert we in the Pa Dutch Country (and Maine) know as 'whoopie pies"

    1. I ate their on a whim a number of years ago and was surprised at the cost and quality of food. Glad it's still running the same.

      1. Wow, that brings back some memories. (my family had a summer home in ligonier, about 20 min) .. Just make sure you go there at the begining of the servings. end of lunch was the most horid pieces of food out there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Augie6

          I am so glad I found this. I am in Bedford tonight, on my way to Confluence tomorrow, and Fallingwaters Sat morning. This is literally on the way there (maybe 6 miles off the original route). Will stop by for lunch tomorrow.

          1. re: tavmark

            You migh want to also look into Out of the Fire in Donegal PA.... Oakhurst is not for everyone,,, its a standard ham and potatoes buffet ( not that is bad) .... and it you are not there at prime time servings , the food is not too good

            Out of the Fire Cafe
            3782 State Route 31, Donegal, PA 15628

            1. re: Augie6

              True that. I arrived at about 1:30 p.m. on a Friday. Food was okay. Peach iced tea was very good though. But I can say that I passed through Donegal. (I figure that for being a Californian, I get one or two points for knowing where Bedford, Confluence and Donegal are. :))