Sometimes you just want to go to a buffet and put on the feedbag. That is the reason there are places like Uncle Willy's. I used to go regularly to the one in Victoria when I was at university, and I have tried the one in Burnaby about a half dozen times. The UW on Broadway in Vancouver is long gone, but that is where I first met my fat uncle :).
There is a good selection of trailer food, and usually some curries, a roast beef, and either a ham or turkey depending on the proximity to seasonal festivals and the whim of the owners. Where else can you have mashed potatoes with gravy, lasagna, and fried rice on the same plate?
The place is clean enough, the food won't kill you, and you can eat as much as you like. The downside is the fact that is it usually teaming with screaming kiddies and other unsavoury types.
Uncle Willy's is like that drunken bar pickup you regret the next morning. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and you were really into it, but later you end up feeling a little queasy and kinda cheap.
Try it if you like.
I too, have to admit to craving Uncle Willy's sometimes. I do have to agree with Chasiubow's review (I usually do) that I sometimes regret doing so after the fact. My boyfriend and I go for their chicken, my sister and I go for a quick and easy lunch. At under $10 for lunch, it's quite a steal considering the spread of food presented in front of you. Eventhough the quality isn't even close to gourmet, some reason I keep going back!
Since I'm craving it again writing this review, I would recommend it. Let's see how I feel afterwards!
Thanks to the positive reviews on Dinehere I convinced family to accompany me to this buffet.
This place is total comfort food. I think it's a step up from local chain's like ABC or Pantry. It's comparable to White Spot.
The food was nostalgic becuase it's been years since I've even been to a buffet like this. It reminded me of childhood buffet dinners where the highlight was the ice cream and how I was never yelled at for wasting tonnes of food.
Overall I was impressed with it because the servers and people working (lots of teenagers) there seemed more genuine and not fake nice wanting a tip but hating your guts and just working as a waiter while on their way to being a model or a star. The restaurant must have good management.
Overall for these price points, there was decent quality control for the food. It's comfort food, the roast beef, ham and roast chicken were all edible. I liked the ham the best. The fried chicken is delicious but I don't eat chicken skin and that's the best part of fried chicken. The salad items were basic but fresh. The corn bread was delicious. Yes, I did mix my mashed potato's with the corn and the gravy, just like I did when I was a kid. I skipped a lot of the buffet items, but there was a good variety of Western foods. The soup's here are pretty good as well, the split pea with ham was salty goodness.
One change is that the dessert section is larger then I remember with cream puffs and creme caramel as well as various squares.
The softserve ice cream machine was being filled with Island Farms 4% MF vanilla soft serve mix, so at least it's made with real milk.
The dessert I devised of warm cinnamon apple slices (from the apple crumble) with soft serve ice cream was a perfect finish.
And my reluctant dining companion? They had second helpings. For these price points, this place is a good value. Definately an once in a year experience, if only to get in touch with your inner child.
The only good thing here, is that the prices here are cheap, and you can eat unlimited here for at least 90 minutes.
However, most of the food is disgusting, that you probably wouldn't want to stay here for 90 minutes anyways. it is usually underneath a hot lamp.
The only things that are decent is thier roast beef, and some of thier desserts. The only dessert I find to be above average is thier ice cream (The rest is ither average or below average)
This place used to be good and I used to enjoy it, but obviously thier food is not fresh and as I said, it pretty much tastes like left overs (thier chicken is dry and yucky) I had tried some of thier pasta at one time and that must had come from some other planet.
Before I had craved this place at times, but would always regret coming here afterwards and wishing I ate elsewhere.
I do not plan to return here again. If you have a family and want to dine out for the sake of the children, then I would suggest McDonald's before here.
Chanced upon this restaurant while waiting for my tire to be repaired at KalTire behing it.
I asked to look at the buffet spread before paying and figured it was worth the $12.95 price for a Sunday brunch.
The spread was pretty decent, with the usual salad, pancakes, mashed potato and fries. There were fried and roast chicken for the hot dishes and roast beef and ham for the carvery. The food were are quite nice.
Service was ok. I mean it is a buffet place. You pay at the cashier and choose your own seating. The empty plates are usually cleared by the time you come back with your subsequent helpings.
Ambience was decent. Once again, it is a buffet place.
Overall, a good experience. 3-Stars for overall is strictly based on value.
I agree with the reviews so far. I too am coming out and confessing my 'guilty pleasure'. Have been frequenting Uncle Willy's for as long as I can remember (early 90's?). The food quality is not the greatest however the value is pretty good.
With the closing of the other Burnaby location on North Road which I used to frequent it looks like the Metrotown location is the only one in the lower mainland.
I like the fried chicken and really don't mind their desserts. Plain no frills stuff. My personal strategy is to have some/bare minimum of vegetables and hit the entrees hard. Real Hard.
You know the name of the game - it's off the hizzle.
I would have to agree with review Chasiubow regarding UW as being a "guilty pleasure". When I was at SFU, me and my buddies used to meet at UW for lunch. For poor, starving university students nothing the beat all you can eat deal of my "favourite uncle". ;-)
It's funny that Mr. Chasiubow didn't bring Mrs. Chasiubow to this restaurant. For whatever reason, my wife cannot understand the solid value that UW offers. I went back last week for lunch at the Metrotown location. The restaurant is quite clean and spacious, with lots of tables.
They had the normal salads, soups (which i normally skip, as experienced buffeters will realize that this is all "filler" stuff to be avoided). I went straight to the entrees, which included perogies, chow mein, some pasta. I loaded up on the star attraction, the fried chicken. Although it's not the best fried chicken out there, for the all inclusive price of $8.50?? for lunch, it is a bargain. The chicken is always good and crispy and dipped in gravy, one can almost forget that they are eating at Uncle Willy's.
Price includes soft drinks, coffee, tea and desserts, soft serve ice cream, etc. The dude that comes around to clean the plates off your table is quite friendly and chatty, even though there may be a stack of plates on your table by the time he comes around.
I can think of few places in the lower mainland that can offer the value of UW. Sure the food is not the greatest and sometimes it's cold, etc, but "whatever doesn't kill you, will make you stronger" I always say.
Food: Went for their brunch. Standard selection for a western buffet: lots of salads, soup, bread, corn bread, pasta, roasted potatoes, french toast, pancakes, sausages, fried and roasted chicken, ham, roast beef, soft serve ice cream, bread pudding, apple crumble, coffee, tea, pop. All were ok. Nothing was bad. It's as expected for buffet food.
Service: Self serve buffet but the waiters are very efficient at coming around to clean up plates.
Value: Very good. Don't find buffets that also include soft serve ice cream and beverages for that price anymore!
Ambiance: Definitely needs a renovation: some chairs and booths were torn.
All in all, I had a good time. Reminds me of when I was young when there were lots more Uncle Willy's around and my parents would take me for my birthday: kid + all you can eat soft serve ice cream! :) But it's like someone else said before, you have a good time while you're there but you may end up regretting eating all that greasy-spoon, not-that-high-quality food after.
I see alot of people here expected the million dollar buffet in Vegas up here for the ten dollars you pay.Well,"foodies" or "gourmets",this is the wrong place for you.
I'll tell you who this place is good for.
Seniors on a fixed budget. Students,also on a fixed budget.The cheap people.And my catagory,those that like to eat.
Two kinds of soups,probably made from a leftover collection,but high end restaurants do it also.Its called food costs.Look it up,fancy pants.
A good selection of vegetables,both raw and cooked.A spicy pea dish,with indian flair.
Lasagna,and a spinch pasta. REAL mashed potatoes. Awesome.
2 fish dishes,not my favorite.
The chicken.Man,well worth it alone. Fried perfectly,or roasted on a spit roaster. Delicious.
Cheesecake,custards pudding and soft serve for dessert.
And bottomless pop.
Next time youre in the metrotown area.check it out.
For 10 bucks,I'm telling you its a steal of a deal.
ok, first, my review is based from nostalgia and also value.
this place is not expensive and so my expectations for their quality, variety and food style will also be in line with the price you pay which is only $11 for lunch and $15 for dinner.
this is a hearty buffet, with down to earth, non-pretentious cooking.
dont expect five star, fancy gourmet. the foods they push out are very basic, but they do it very well.
fried chickens, fries, king a la cart, etc - your basic comfort foods.
the quality is good, fresh but because of the ingredients sitting on the hot plates, it doesn't matter how fresh they start, eventually the heat will take its toll.
you go to uncle willy for the atmosphere and old-fashioned canadian / american cooking, you know the kind you see in family magazines back in the 80's - corn bread, pasta, stuff that's on the fresh prince and the cosby's.
roast beef, cakes, ice cream, salads, your usual food court fares, but just slightly better.
good place to try, but definitely not for the picky eaters.
My friends and I were at Metrotown, when we decided to go for lunch. For a change, instead of going to the food court or other places across the street in Kingsway, we decided to visit this place, especially after reading other reviews.
Food: As mentioned on the title, they are not pretentious. It is just simply good food. Not the highest quality but good enough. There were two types of soups, some salads and, since it was Sunday brunch, some pancakes and breakfast type items. However, the highlights, as other reviewers mentioned, were the fried and roasted chicken. They have a dessert area, as well, but I would rather have more chicken!
Service: It is mostly self service. However, they do quickly clean your table when you go for more!
Ambiance: Not too much to talk about. However, there were a lot of kids around. Probably the fact kids eat at a fraction of the price (less than $5.00) makes it enticing for some parents.
I must admit that I overate and felt gloated until dinner time. But, it was not the restaurant's fault. Might I go again? Sure, why not. Nothing beats simply but good food.
I went to uncle willy's 2 lunches ago, and I just had to put my 2cents in. To be safe, I stuck with their "famous" rotisserie chicken, coleslaw, and cold salads. The food is comfort food buffet style. Expecting not to be impressed, I was surprising elated with the quality of the food. Later, I moved to dessert, and the "dairy-queen" like ice cream was good.
At less than 10 bucks, all you can eat, it was super. Also, the busboy ~ a wonderfully cheerful and customer oriented (e. indian) fella was a pleasure to talk to. I tipped him 10.00 just for his super disposition!
Having not been here for 10+ years it's interesting that this place still running!
Fortunately AND unfortunately this place hasn't changed much since then either! The prices are very reasonbly, coming to under $13 per person after tax (don't need to tip) for dinner! 99% of Vancouver serving Buffet/AYCE is at LEAST $20+ nowadays.
The food isn't exceptional or anything, but hey for about 10 bucks, stuffing yourself on 4 heaping plates of Deep fried chicken (can't go wrong with those), Roast beef (a tad dry), pasta, mashed potatoes, ice cream and many other little goodies is well worth it!
The place itself looks very old, tacky teal benches, worn out chairs, but I guess that's how they keep the cost low! It's actually not too bad!
I wouldn't bring a date here or anything but for a quick, cheap, plentiful meal near Metrotown with friends. I would be here in a heart beat! Sure beats the food court!
I used to goto the Richmond location but that is gone now. I hope this place stays for a while!
I'm not a big fan of buffet restaurants at the best of times, but this place sets a new standard of low. The food is bland, uninteresting and over or re-heated. Sure, there's lots of it, but most of it has been sitting too long under a heat lamp. And frankly, selections of "macaroni and cheese" that look suspiciously like Kraft Dinner or baked beans that came out of a Heinz can aren't particularly appealing. If you're into a cheap session of loading up the plate and scarfing down the grub, no matter how poor the quality, this is the place for you, but I'll be giving it a miss from here on out.
First of all, Uncle Willy's has probably gotten a bad rap over the years. The food chain appeared to be quite popular in the 80s then took a nose-dive when folks started to go to other restaurants that offer buffet food in lavish surroundings.
I was quite surprise and pleased at the selection of food in this restaurant chain. Soups, salads, choice cuts of meat (pork or beef) by a server, rotiserie chicken, fried chicken, desserts, pops, coffee... the list is virtually endless.
No wonder people are starting to fly to this place.
It is good value for your money. At $13 or so (and you don't have to give tips), you can certainly feed a whole herd (meaning your family and cousins) in this place. Everyone can pick what they want.
My only complain is the blandness of some of the food. Don't expect much as this is, afterall, a buffet restaurant. Don't get too wowed by the food, it looks and feels like how it should taste.
Outdated decor.... there is pink EVERYWHERE. Carpet needs to be updated, plastic plates and pop-cups. Watered down pop. Torn seats. This place feels old and second-class then again, Uncle Willy's Metrotown has been around for a long time.
Avoid the dinner crowd during special days like Mother's Day or Father's Day and come early if you want to be seated right away. Overall, I would go back if only to satisfy my buffet needs and feed my family.
This place never seems to change. Food quality is basically the same as 20+ years ago. Even their Golden Fried chicken even tastes the same. And yes, I still like it!!!
Depending on the dishes being offered, UW still brings out good value for big eaters and buffet enthusiasts. Don't expect anything fancy or service that rivals a high end eatery. Just dig in and don't stop till your stomach (and sanity) explodes!!!
There's things like food temp and sometimes lesser selection. Otherwise, you get very good fried chicken, number of stews and soups and Asian inspired dishes. The salad selection is always fresh and tastey. there is no way you'll get more for your money anywhere else.
The servers are awesome. Oh, and there's fountain drinks and coffee and dessert.
There is nothing wrong with this place unless you go in with a mind set of expecting a fine dining experience.
It had been some time since I dined at UW and since being in the area, I thought to go in and grab a bite. As I remembered, nothing has changed with the quality of food and the decor. I usually go for my usual rotisserie chicken and salad bar and yet again I was not disappointed with my meal. For the price you pay, you can't compare apples to oranges with this buffet place and it is what it is...a no frills place for an inexpensive meal ( don't expect a 5 star meal in a 2 star place...if you do, you'll be disappointed ). The decor can definitely need some updating but I guess you do that and they'll be raising the price. All in all, I'll definitely dine at UW again
When I started to come here for the first time in a decade, I found myself getting nostalgic for the times my mom would bring me and my sister in because it only cost $1.25 for us when we were 5. But now I'm back, and am I happy I was curious to come by again.
Yes, most people will complain about the food, but you're paying $15 for an unlimited amount of food and you get to eat whatever you want, not be tied down to one plate of food with no variety than what you picked on the menu.
This restaurant is one of my favorites to come to with my boyfriend and we always find ourselves getting stoked when we're on our way. It's got all the favorites you'd find at a family dinner like mashed potatoes, fried/grilled chicken, ham, perogies, salads, pastas, soups, and then some other stuff throw in like spring rolls, chow mein, seafood a la king, and even more. I'd say there is about 20 different options for hot food, and then a salad bar that is definitely not lacking in anything. Everyday, they switch up what's available, and on Friday's they even have sushi. Mediocre sushi, but sushi none the less. There's also a soft drink machine and another machine for hot coffee and tea too.
I always hit up the pasta whenever they have the vegetarian options, and I always take a portion of the things that look interesting. You can't help but go back again.. and maybe again and again. But I think one of the biggest problems for them is the chicken because I've heard several people complain of feeling sick after eating the fried chicken so maybe it's not Uncle Willy's forte and I kind of recommend maybe not trying it.
The cherry on top has to be the dessert bar that always has different slices of cakes, puddings, jell-o, cream puffs, and strawberry rhubarb crisp all kept in this little self-serve fridge. And then they have the soft serve ice cream machine, something to top your little slice of cake or brownie off with, and then maybe some hot fudge if that's what you like.
Since this is a buffet, yeah there's not much interaction with the staff, but when I've needed service or had a question about something, they're always kind and knowledgeable, and the busboys are very consistent with clearing away plates.
Amazingly satisfying after a big day at Metrotown or when you're just starving for some home-cooking.
I'm reading other posts about how disgusting the food is or how they use leftovers. Do you really think any restaurant you go to only serves fresh food and that they never microwave anything? Get your head out of the gutter. This is how you should rate Uncle Willy's, price and quality of food for the price just like any restaurant. Uncle Willy's is gem in this city. Their roasted chicken is definitely fresh cause you see them cooking in the rotisserie and it tastes good. Also, I do not think the food is disgusting. I think it's just the mindset some of you have about Uncle Willy's that makes you think the food is not good. Of course some things are questionable. I'm not saying this place has the best tasting food in the city but if you're saying it's gross than you're just spoiled or an aspiring anorexic.