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When looking for a good family restaurant, value is frequently a major consideration. The Iron Kettle, located on Olean Road in East Aurora, is possibly the best value restaurant in Western New York.

The atmosphere there is very homey, and after you go there a few times the staff begins to recognize you. There is nothing at all extravagant about this restaurant -- which is the beauty of it. You can just sit, relax and enjoy comfort food (food that reminds you of Mom's home cooking).

Most items on the menu at the Iron Kettle are under $8. Though some of these items are a la carte, the servings are more than adequate.

My favorite dish at the Iron Kettle is the breaded veal cutlet. This is a very large piece of veal covered with breading and gravy. There is a special chutney that comes on the side which is superb. It contains peppers, onions and tomatoes and adds a sweet flavor to the veal. You have a choice of potatoes (mashed or French fries) and a salad to accompany this meal. The mashed potatoes are instant, but can be very tasty with gravy. The house salad dressing is sweet and sour (Phil's dressing) and is excellent. You can even purchase a bottle at the counter to take home.

There are always a few daily specials available. One is Macaroni and Cheese, which is very creamy. Homemade Meatloaf is another special I have tried that also is quite good. All of these meals are accompanied by fresh cinnamon rolls and plain rolls.

You can order more typical items such as hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, tuna fish and grilled cheese sandwiches. One of my companions has ordered each of these and reports that they are all very good. FOOD: ****

The Iron Kettle offers a variety of pies. Among these are several fruit pies: apple, raspberry, rhubarb, blueberry and cherry as well as banana cream and coconut cream. Sometimes the fruit pies can be a little dry. DESSERT:***

The servers at the Iron Kettle are extremely attentive. They are very dedicated to serving you. SERVICE: *****

Overall the Iron Kettle deserves: ****

Rating System: Extraordinary *****; Great ****, Average ***; Below Average **; Not worth trying: *.

Oliver Hays is a sophomore at Williamsville South High School.

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