By Kevin Williams
I think a restaurant would have to be REALLY bad for me to write something bad about it. Words one writes and posts online can stay around for decades and, sheesh, what if you just happened to catch a place on a bad night? I think that is why true food critics visit a restaurant several times before rendering a verdict. So this isn't really a restaurant review as much as it is commentary. My opinion only. I encourage you to try this place for yourself.
I had seen signs for Stoll's (a common Amish name in this area) Amish Buffet on my way back from Gloria's last summer. The restaurant's official name is Stoll's Lakeview Restaurant, but it emphasizes the Amish buffet part. I made a mental note to myself to check it out next time I was out that way. So, sure enough, last week I checked it out! It is located on the shores of West Boggs Lake on US 231 just north of the town of Loogootee. I'm going to assume that the owners have an Amish background with the name Stoll's.
I was traveling alone and I think buffets are sort of "social experiences" ("Wow, those noodles were great!" or "holy cow, see how much food that man piled on his plate?"), so going alone takes something away from it right there. Especially in such a gorgeous setting. I had a table right by a window overlooking a lake, that is something you want to share.
So, some highlights and opinions:
Stoll's is definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. The buffet isn't huge, but they have traditional favorites like homemade noodles, homemade bread, fried chicken, and even Poor Man's Steak, that is an Amish favorite and I have not seen that at any other buffet. That alone might be enough reason to check it out. I had delicious broccoli salad and there was some sort of egg dish that was very good.
The desserts are not included in the buffet, you have to order them separately, but it's worthwhile. The butterscotch pie was some of the best I have tasted anywhere (and I have tasted a lot of Amish butterscotch). The raisin pie wasn't my favorite. But regular readers know I don't like raisins much. I only like Amish raisin pies where the flavor of the raisins are masked by a lot of other stuff. This pie was packed with raisins. I took a piece hope for the raisin-loving Rachel who gave it a thumbs up.
But perhaps the best thing about Stoll's is something I didn't get to try: they have a breakfast buffet. I am a sucker for breakfast buffets so I will have go next time I am in the area and go in the morning! They also have homemade noodles, cookies, and breads which you can buy to take home and a little gift shop (SIGH, none of my books were stocked there!)