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New York to Lancaster


Daniel
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Thinking about getting up early tomorrow or the next weekend and driving to Lancaster from Manhattan .I searched 5 pages under both Amish and Lancaster and came up with nada.. Trying to get back to my ruts here. Would love some cant miss places.. Looking for great ice cream. Hopefully it comes after a tour of a dairy.. Would be awesome if there was a cheese section too. Also looking for a great chocolate shop, best down home eats and great markets .. Anyone know a hotel that is kid friendly?

Thanks for your help...

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Did you try googling "Pennsylvania Dutch Country"?. I know that a pretzel factory and a potato chip factory in that area have tours. I don't know about the food. What I've had, has tended to be very heavy, as in dumplings that can cripple you if you drop one on your foot, Shoo Fly pie which the flies are welcome to as far as I'm concerned, and cottage cheese topped with apple butter. The scrapple and sausages are outstanding, and the baked goods are good. I really like the peach bread. If you get a chance, go to Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata if you like historic sites.

"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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Central Market in Lancaster is pretty small as farm markets go, and there's less food and more knick-knacks than years ago, but it's still worth a visit. There's some good produce, but you might want to concentrate more on some of the home-made prepared stuff, you can find good meats, cold cuts, some unusual jarred products like jams and fruit butters, unusual relishes, vegetables (look for the dilled brussel sprouts!) and the like. And it's worth finding a stand making hot food and getting a cup of "chicken pot pie" which is actually a stew, with no pastry involved at all, but with big square noodles that you can buy dried out there too.

Central Market Note that they close at 2pm on saturday (and there's actually not much still open at 2, get there before noon or 1 if you really want to see stuff) and they're not open at all on sunday.

I've never been there, but there's a tour of a pretzel factory in Lititz, which is not far.

http://www.sturgispretzel.com/

And I've come across good old fashioned Ice Cream out there, at a charming old country-store looking place at some little crossroads in some nearby tiny town, but I really did just stumble across it... keep an eye out, you'll find food.

Again, I've never been there, but there's a diary tour, store, etc at Kreiderfarms which is in Manheim, again, not so far away.

Keep in mind that Lancaster itself is a small city, so beyond the Central Market, it's not particularly bucolic. But in Lancaster County you'll find little shops and other small farm markets and bakeries, etc. Get out and cruise through some of the smaller villages like Bird in Hand, Paradise, Intercourse, etc. And just cruising down some back roads is kind of fun, to just see some of the farms better, and getting stuck behind a buggy or some rollerblading Amish kids.

And while it's not exactly fine cuisine, leaning more toward tourist traps, there's a certain odd appeal to the big family-style restaurants, where you'll sit at a big table and platters of homey food will get passed around. Nothing really thrilling, but decent fried chicken, roasted ham, beef, turkey, bowls of mashed potatoes, dried corn, etc. These places are actually not cheap, and I'm sure some are better than others, but you can eat double your body weight in food if you want...I haven't gone in over 15 years, but I actually recall sort-of liking it in a nostalgic sunday-dinner-at-grandma's kind of way.

The big ones that have been there just forever are Miller's, Plain and Fancy, and Good 'N Plenty. Sorry, I can't recommend one, it's been too long, and maybe I'd hate them now... anybody been to one recently?

I suspect that if you hit the Central Market, and then the pretzel and dairy tours, on your way to these various locations you'll run across the better, smaller little shops and bakeries and markets.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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The big ones that have been there just forever are Miller's, Plain and Fancy, and Good 'N Plenty.  Sorry, I can't recommend one, it's been too long, and maybe I'd hate them now... anybody been to one recently?

I went to one of these a year ago: either Plain N Fancy or Good N Plenty. Honestly, I can't remember which (which gives you an idea of just how memorable the meal was), but it definitely had an "N" in the name. Or an "and". I don't think it had a backwards "R", 'cuz that's a toy store. Anyway, it was fine. I have a sneaking suspicion that all those restaurants are pretty comparable.

You should visit the Lancaster Brewing Company (nb: Flash alert) when you're in Lancaster. I haven't been to their brewery or restaurant, but they do turn out a good beer.

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Central Market is still a fun place. Philadinig is correct in that ther is less true farm stands than when I grew up. Still a wonderful place and it is right in the historic downtown area. Just across the alley from market are cultural museum, a couple of galleries and some neat little shops.

On Tuesdays, Root's country market and auction is open

roots country market

Another place worth the trip, all kinds of real farm goods here and all other kinds of stuff, including a large flea market area. Several butchers and lots of produce

On Fridays the famous Green Dragon Market is open

green dragon

A real experience full of all sorts of real farm goods, places to eat, and guys selling rip off Rolex and other name brand stuff. They get raided once in a while, but there is plenty of real good stuff here as well. If you want to try PA Dutch cooking this is the place including the aformentioned potpie.

In my hometown of Millersville, just a couple miles west of Lancaster is Funks Farm Market.

funks market

Wonderful sweet corn, peaches, apricots and other farm products. They also bake outstanding pies here. A real step up from roadside stand pies.

Just west of Millersville along the Susquehanna rive is the little village of Washington Boro. The best tomatoes in the world are grown here. The river soil and microclimate are perfect for tomatoes. A drive down Rt 999 will bring you to lots of tomatoe stands. Anyone will get you lucious red tomatoes.

The Sturgis pretzel tour is a nice thing for the kids. It is in downtown Lititz which is a very nice little town. If you go to Lititz a visit to the Wilbur chocolate factory is in order.My Webpagewilbur

Home of the famous Wilbur Buds.

East of Lancaster is the tourist area and this is also home to the largest part of Lancaster's Plain people.

If you have interest in this I urge you to visit the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on Lincoln Highway east. This place is right beside a big outlet center and in a commentary of how much this area has changed right across from Starbucks. They can provide you with real information apout the people and culture, places to go, and will hook you up with a guide who will provide real insight. They also can provide you information about meals in home of Plain people. I have my own not real positive opinion of this. Many people love the things. I will only say that you ought remember that those who offer them are doing it for the money not as some altruistic cultural exchange.

mennonite info center

This has gone on long enough. If you have not already left and have any other questions please post back of send me pm. It is my belief, that I may indeed be Lancaster countys only EGullet member. I have much more I can tell you if you would care to hear it

In any case have fun, and remember that many places will be real crowded this time of year.

Mike

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The town of Intercourse (yes, you read that right), has a nice family style restaurant at the end of the touristy mall there. (They also have a real interesting quilting museum) Homemade root beer and semi adventurous food...

The roadside stands should be great. Bring a cooler, and carry back corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, etc.!

Philly Francophiles

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The roadside stands should be great. Bring a cooler, and carry back corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, etc.!

Oh my yes!!! Stop at the roadside stands and be awed by the gorgeous produce. Many years ago I went to the Long's Park Art and Craft Show in Lancaster with my mom and we meandered back along some of the back roads just to see the farms and see a little country. We stopped and bought some canteloupes at a roadside stand. They remain, to this day, the most gloriously sweet and fragrant melons I have ever tasted in my life. The car smelled of those melons for three days after the trip. My mom wanted to turn around and go back the next day and buy more, but we realized it was just kismet, and we'd never find that stand again. But the memory of those melons will live on as a shared foodie moment with my mom. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I love the Good 'n Plenty. It is like Hometown buffet, but a lot less ghetto, and a lot fresher.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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On the far side of Blue Ball (past Lititz) you’ll pass through Intercourse and then, in due course, arrive in Paradise. The same can’t always be said for Lancaster dining though and I've been racking my brain to recommend a couple of nocturnal suggestions.

Despite our meanderings, we’ve yet to find that trifecta of really clean cooking, taut wine list and relaxed surroundings although we’ve come pretty close at Strawberry Hill in downtown Lancaster (it has a wonderful wine list, at below NYC prices, and Chimay Trappiste on tap) and Haydn Zug in East Petersburg, which is cosy and has a good list, but with slightly vestigial cooking.

Just driving around Amish country reveals some extraordinary moments: last summer we left the 21st century through a covered bridge to transit to another age. The flat morning sunlight caught a flaxen-haired Amish girl kicking her horses around at the end of a long corn row. We felt as though we had cheated time.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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The roadside stands should be great. Bring a cooler, and carry back corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, etc.!

Oh my yes!!! Stop at the roadside stands and be awed by the gorgeous produce. Many years ago I went to the Long's Park Art and Craft Show in Lancaster with my mom and we meandered back along some of the back roads just to see the farms and see a little country. We stopped and bought some canteloupes at a roadside stand. They remain, to this day, the most gloriously sweet and fragrant melons I have ever tasted in my life. The car smelled of those melons for three days after the trip. My mom wanted to turn around and go back the next day and buy more, but we realized it was just kismet, and we'd never find that stand again. But the memory of those melons will live on as a shared foodie moment with my mom. :smile:

Katie,

Rt. 322 ouside of Ephrata is know as cantaloupe road here in the summer. They are here now and will be even more abundant in a couple of weeks.

Cantaloupe and tomatoes from one of my favorite roadside stands is what Maggie and I had for lunch today. That advice is the best I can give about my home. Buy some of the worlds best produce and eat it. Grilled sweet corn peaches and apricots are on the dinner menu tonight. Big plump blackberries for breakfast tommorow.

When it comes to dining out Lancaster is bush league to Philadelphia and New York. And that should be no surprize. However what is growing in the fields just across the road from my house makes up for that. To the regret of many here the earth is being churned and paved for development. However, the earth still gives us its bounty in abundance here in Lancaster County. So come on out and share it while you can.

Mike, smiling at the thought of those peaches tonight.

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On the far side of Blue Ball (past Lititz) you’ll pass through Intercourse and then, in due course, arrive in Paradise. The same can’t always be said for Lancaster dining though and I've been racking my brain to recommend a couple of nocturnal suggestions.

Despite our meanderings, we’ve yet to find that trifecta of really clean cooking, taut wine list and relaxed surroundings although we’ve come pretty close at Strawberry Hill in downtown Lancaster (it has a wonderful wine list, at below NYC prices, and Chimay Trappiste on tap) and Haydn Zug in East Petersburg, which is cosy and has a good list, but with slightly vestigial cooking.

Just driving around Amish country reveals some extraordinary moments: last summer we left the 21st century through a covered bridge to transit to another age. The flat morning sunlight caught a flaxen-haired Amish girl kicking her horses around at the end of a long corn row. We felt as though we had cheated time.

Strawberry Hill has the best and most extensive wine list in Lancaster. The owner, Dennis, used to show people through his cellar. I believe he stopped that due to shrinkage. I sort of like Haydn Zug but they need to lighten up a little in both cooking and atmosphere. Other places of note: Carr's just across the alley from Central Market. Some inventive things here, nice use of organic poultry and meats.

We love Prudhommes Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia. It is really nothing fancy but the food is the real deal. The owner David is a nephew of the famous chef Paul. This is one place were Lancaster beats Philadelphia as it is the best Cajun cooking in the area.

Also, El Serrano on Columbia Ave west of lancaster, The owners are from Chile and offer Mexican and Chilain food.

Two new places of note that I have yet to try but have high hopes for. The Rosa-Rosa Italian place just opended this week in an old factory that has been redeveloped on harrisburg Pike near the new ballpark. Lancaster is devoid of decent Italian cooking and I here they are going to try new things here. It is on my list

In the Hotel Brunswick, in downtown Lancaster, the kitchen and restaurant have been turned over to a local catering company. The thing of note here is that I understand they have hired Tim Olivett who cooked in Philadelphia at Moshulu and Rx amongst other places as chef. They have just opended and for now are only open on weekends. I am anxious to see what Tim and the other guys will do here.

Not Philadelphia, new York or Vancouver buy any stretch. However, I see it through the prism of someone who grew up here and has seen things change for the better.

I will defer my comments and opinions of the Amish and how they treat their animals so as not to spoil your memory

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Strasburg has a very nice little ice cream shop right on the main intersection. It is also home to the Strasburg Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad Musem, both of which are nice places to go. You can get lunch on the Starsburg railroad. Not fancy, but decent.

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A little late to the party, but I've been living in the area (well Berks County) for about a year, plus 4 years of College in York. One interesting place someone looking for PA Dutch coking might want to try is Shady Maple. While I'm not wild about buffets, I had one of the best breakfasts ever here. I've been told their lunches and dinners are even better. Unlike most buffets, their food is neither cold, nor over cooked and rubbery. For breakfast there were 2 made-to-order stations, one pancake and one egg, and then a whole bunch of other carts, both hot and cold. I have not been there for lunch or dinner, but if breakfast was any indication of the other 2, then I definitely would recommend it. I'm assuming it's too late for you, Daniel, but it might help others that are looking.

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In Elizabethtown (about 30 minutes west of Lancaster) there is a dairy farm that makes their own ice cream (Ridge View Dairies). I do not know that they do any sort of tour or anything. Their old milk store has been converted into a nice little restaurant where they do sell their ice cream (good caramel sundae) and milkshakes. Next to the restaurant is Redner's Warehouse Market (www.rednersmarkets.com) which *used* to be Ridge View markets and still sell their products including their delicious egg nog around Christmastime. I can pretty much guarantee that it is the best dairy-produced egg nog you have ever tasted. They skim the cream off the milk for it. It is so rich and creamy and delicious.

Further out Elizabethtown Road, there is a farm with their own store that sells raw milk, eggs and their own yoghurt (I believe). I know an Indian woman who shops there. You might even find the Lancaster County "delicacies" Cup Cheese (comes in a low plastic container and has the consistency of mucous, available in mild and sharp...) or Ball Cheese which is a translucent ball of cheese with a white powdery sphere inside, kind of like the yolk of a hard boiled egg.

As far as restaurants go...

If consistent crowds are the indication of places where the locals eat, it would be Country Table restaurant in Mt. Joy (20 minutes west of Lancaster). It is always packed. They have a nice menu (not my particular taste...) and a small country store and bake shop. They also serve their pies and cakes in the restaurant. I hear they have good hog maw (i.e., stuffed pig stomach).

My grandfather (who had a very Pennsylvania Dutch palate) always wanted to go to Hershey Farm restaurant (www.hersheyfarm.com) for his birthday. His wife would have recommended the Bird In Hand restaurant (www.bird-in-hand.com). The Bird In Hand bake shop used to sell these fabulous sweet rolls with crumbs (the crumbs very buttery and piled high) at Lancaster Central Market, but they don't seem to make them anymore... There is also the Bird In Hand farmer's market along that road. And yes, there are the towns with the names Paradise, Intercourse and Bird In Hand, and there's a joke in there somewhere that you can construct however you see fit.

For Shoo Fly Pie, the most moist, dense, crumby, delicious version I've ever had is from Dutch Haven along Route 30 East. (www.dutchhaven.com) I can't imagine they cost as much in the store as what's quoted on the web site. Maybe the shipping is the problem because these are *heavy* pies.

Edited by dmgood (log)
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My grandfather (who had a very Pennsylvania Dutch palate) always wanted to go to Hershey Farm restaurant (www.hersheyfarm.com) for his birthday

I will respect your grandfather and your memory of him. However, Hershey farms ought be avoided. 100% tourist schlock. It is right beside the site and sound theatre and serves bus business often. Please take my word on this one. Avoid this place.

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