Pros: The chicken wings to go
Cons: Everything else
Sigh...Ponderosa just isn't what it used to be. I used to enjoy going to the restaurant but now the thrill is definitely gone. Compared to much of it's competitors it's almost antiquated both in style, menu selection, and taste.
The last few times I visited Ponderosa, I was less than thrilled. The hosts/hostesses are always lack luster and just going through the motions. I find that they mumble and don't provide eye contact. It's as if you are bothering them. They are more enthusiastic chatting with fellow employees than providing customer service (this, mind you, I have found to be true at more than one location).
OK, I am fair and try not to let initial contacts with humdrum hosts/hostesses set my mood for the rest of my dining experience. Well, I get to my table and the waiters/waitresses are just as bad. Again, this is common at more than one location. They hardly speak, act as if you are bothering them, and act as if a smile would crack their faces.
I usually get the sirloin tips or the all-you-can eat buffet. Ponderosa used to have some really good sirloin tips but the last few times I tried them, they were very fatty and thrown together (meaning poor presentation, skimpy portions of mushrooms/onions, and seeping into my side dish(es). Most often than not, my entrees have not been hot.
As for the all-you-can-eat buffet, it is usually a mess. The person who is supposed to be cleaning the area does not do so on a regular basis but you can always manage to find Ponderosa employees chatting away with one another. The food is not always hot, the taste bland (with the exception of the fried chicken wings), and the area messy messy messy. Ponderosa still manages to attract large families on Sundays, though. Most often getting the all-you-can-eat buffet.
The restaurant decor is outdated, dark, and the floors are always filled with the food that children (and adults) drop on it. When employees do decide to clean up the floor, more food is dropped. Never have I gone into a clean Ponderosa unless it is just opening for the business day.
ONE POSITIVE----The chicken wings to go. Ponderosa makes some pretty good chicken wings. They offer bags of 50 for at reasonable prices. At last check, a bag of 50 was under $20.00 but I don't know if that was a special or not. It is well worth the money. They are pretty good and there is no preparation on your end unless you want to heat them up.
Overall, I cannot get decent service, a clean plate at the buffet, clean seat, hot food, or well stocked buffet but employees have plenty of time to chat with one another.