This week in Branson I stopped for lunch at Starvin’ Marvin’s and wasn’t overly impressed but I did appreciate the kitchen menu and buffet options offered throughout the day.
I had lunch there around 12:30 p.m. and there were several tables available but the hostess seated me right away at a small booth near the window, which I appreciated. I always like to have something to look at while enjoying a meal.
The menu had some pretty good options with lots of fried appetizers, soups and salads, Ozark favorites including Cashew Chicken, originally created in Springfield, MO, country-style dinners with all the mixings like baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, etc., steaks and seafood, pasta and more. The menu also offered a variety of wine and beer if you like to enjoy a casual brew with your meal.
My waitress greeted me with a hasty, “Buffet is $9.99. What to drink?” I was a bit put off that she didn’t even say hello or ask how I was doing, but I thought maybe she was having a rough day. I ordered a water and decided to try the lunch buffet since the other menu options were a bit pricey. Ten dollars for a lunch buffet seemed a little high too but I figured I’d try the food and then decide if it was a good value.
The lunch buffet included a salad bar, fried chicken, fried catfish, smoked ribs, red beans and rice, sausage creole, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, corn, two different soups and dessert cobblers. I filled my plate with a variety of food and returned to my window seat. My water was there waiting for me and my waitress dropped off a small Styrofoam cup of vanilla flavored ice cream and the check a few seconds later. Again, I was a bit put off because I hadn’t even begun to eat my lunch and the ice cream was sitting on the table beginning to melt. I shrugged it off and started eating, not wanting to complain because she seemed really busy.
None of the food was particularly flavorful and left much to be desired but I did enjoy the smoked ribs and went back for more. The salad was also very refreshing and all the ingredients were fresh and chilled. The vinaigrette salad dressing was especially tasty so I would recommend that if you choose to go for the salad bar.
My waitress never returned to ask me if I was doing okay or how my food was tasting and sadly, my ice cream was almost completely melted by the time I was ready to eat dessert. I was disappointed but returned to the buffet and filled a small bowl with the apple cobbler. I dabbed a drop of vanilla ice cream on top for extra flavor and it was pretty delicious! The restaurant as a whole was very clean but unfortunately, I had to eat my dessert with a fork because my spoon had flecks of dried, old food on it from prior use and my waitress was nowhere to be found so I couldn’t ask for a clean one.
Although my experience wasn’t the greatest, I’ve read reviews from other customers and some give Starvin’ Marvin’s four or five stars for exceptional service and delicious food. I may have just visited on an off day but I’d suggest trying it out for yourself to see what you think. Just because I wouldn’t go back doesn’t mean you might not like it. I’d love to hear your feedback so please leave a comment!