Update: We regret to inform you, dear reader, that Donnie’s Home Cooking is no more. In its place appears to be a new buffet of some sort, with the name Thomas’ on the sign. We will review it as soon as possible and let you know how it holds up to the high standards set by Donnie’s. This post will remain up as a memorial to the fine food experiences we once had at Donnie’s.
It is a beacon of light among the vast wastelands of the Eastern Boulevard.
We are huge fans of the “meat and three” genre of restaurants. Thus, we were lured into Donnie’s by the “Home Cooking” portion of the sign. We were captivated.
In what used to be a Tony Roma’s is now an amazing buffet. It’s cheap. It’s great. And it’s possibly our favorite restaurant in the city of Montgomery. There’s no trick to it. You go in, sit down, tell the waitress that you want the buffet and you get started.
Obviously, we can’t speak to the meat items on the buffet, but every single veggie option is outstanding. They’ve got the basics: black-eyed peas, green beans, mashed potatoes. They’ve got our favorite items: turnip greens and fried okra. They’ve even got some more rare items: fried sweet corn nuggets and homemade ‘chow chow.’ There’s not a single mediocre item in the mix.
The food is crisp, regularly re-filled, and lacks the soggy heat lamp effect that plagues so many buffets.
There’s a huge salad bar and also a wide variety of dessert items, but we rarely bother with those. We skip the salad to dive right into the hot items when we arrive and by the time we are done gorging, there’s precious little room for dessert (although we have sampled the banana pudding — soupy but good).
They have tea and lemonade drink options and you can get out of there for about $7 in total. Each time we have been there, we have left a sizable tip, not just because it’s good to tip out the person who re-fills your glass, but because we have been so happy that it just seems right to leave an extra dollar or two on the table.
Turns out that Donnie’s is the second restaurant by the same name. The original Donnie’s is in Atlanta. We don’t know why they decided to branch into Montgomery, but we are really, really glad that they did. If only every Tony Roma’s could close down and re-open as such a Mecca.