1759 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY 12019
Date visited: June 4, 2005
Type of eatery: Country Restaurant
Dish I ordered: Barbecue Buffet
Price paid: $6.99
Near the border between nowhere and barely anywhere sits Giffy's, a restaurant whose architecture is reminiscent of a country cottage, complete with large wooden patio outside and country wallpaper inside. The restaurant itself is new construction, but it is designed to embody the feeling of country barbecue.
Through the inconspicuous main entrance, one is greeted by the hostess/cashier; I visited at about 1:30pm on a Saturday, and the restaurant wasn't very busy. Most people were seated on the oversized patio; however, I, being such a fan of climate control, opted to sit inside.
The indoor dining room is slightly cramped, with tables just large enough and just close enough together to make the dining room feel a little smaller than it actually is.
I ordered the buffet ($6.99), available every day 10am-4pm. The buffet consists of hot pulled BBQ pork, hot pulled BBQ chicken, rolls, soup of the day, potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, green bean salad, other vegetables, green salad, caesar salad, and various crouton/cracker accompaniments for the soup/salad.
Unlike many buffets, at Giffy's your waitress provides you with a (disposable) plate. (And, yes, at Giffy's, they still call themselves waitresses.) No dishes or utensils are at the buffet, except for mugs (for soup.)
The food itself was mostly good. The green salad was crisp and fresh; the pulled pork was tender and juicy and flavorful, the chicken was appropriately dry and tasted very good in its own right. Both meats were seasoned very well and satisfying to the palette.
The rolls were standard off-the-supermarket-shelf Freihofer's dinner rolls. The potato salad, macaroni salad, and cole slaw were rather boring and did not in any way stand out - they were not bad, simply boring.
The green bean salad didn't sit well with me at all; something about its dressing tasted completely off to me, and I could barely swallow two bites of it.
In all, the meat was definitely the strong point of the buffet.
I must now say that this wasn't my first visit to Giffy's. I went there several months ago, a little later in the afternoon, and also got the buffet. At that time, I was far less impressed with the meat - the pulled pork and chicken weren's all that tender and both meats tasted virtually the same. However, as the restaurant is reasonably well-known in the area, I decided to give it another chance, this time closer to peak dining hours.
If you like barbecue, Giffy's is a good place to eat. The atmosphere is excellent and the food is overall good. And for those who wish to enjoy barbecue in the comfort of home, Giffy's offers both takeout and catering, in addition to its own line of sauces.
Sadly, as I was driving, I did not peruse Giffy's beer selection, so I can not comment on it.
One final comment: Giffy's website contains much information on the restaurant, but... well, it's ugly. Really ugly. But it has information.
Rating: ***½ (3.5 out of 5 stars)
Good food, reasonable prices. Don't get the buffet during non-peak hours, or if it looks like it's been sitting a while.
Would I eat there again: Yes.