Posts tagged ‘Lancaster PA’

Lancaster, PA – Home to Amusing Names

I was going to start this blog with a backdated restaurant excursion for my graduation meal, but instead I’m going to actually document my day, during which my friend and I took a drive to Lancaster, PA (aka Amish Country) to do a little sightseeing.

I’m from the suburbs of Philly, so Lancaster is about 50 miles west of where I grew up. Growing up, my family and I would visit there maybe once a year, usually to go outlet shopping. Today I had quite the different goal in mind – to take advantage of all of the small farms and farmer’s markets with tons of fresh produce and other fun products to try! In my hometown, we actually have a "Lancaster County Farmer’s Market" that features Amish and "English" farmers who come to sell their produce a few times a week, but in my opinion, there’s something so much more fun about driving directly to the farms and buying right from their front doorsteps.

We started our journey in the awkwardly-named town of Intercourse, PA. There, we ate at the Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant, which is known for serving "family style" meals featuring Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. The place was so cute; it looked like someone’s house, and was decorated with all sorts of knicknacks.

We opted to eat a la carte instead of ordering the family style – to my understanding, we would have been served samples of four appetizers, three entrees, five side dishes, and a choice of dessert. And as anyone familiar with Pennsylvania Dutch food will know, this food is not known to be "light".

Even the a la carte was more than enough food – with my entree of "homemade sausage", I got bread (from a bakery located in Bird-in-Hand, PA – another cute Lancaster County name) served with apple butter and the choice of two sides. I chose "potato filling" and green beans. The side dishes were each slightly disappointing; the green beans (which I absolutely love normally) seemed canned, not necessary when there are so many farms right in the general vicinity. And the "potato filling", a mix of mashed potatoes and stuffing, was a huge portion that, in my opinion, wasn’t seasoned well. The bread and apple butter were delicious, however (I’m a sucker for all things bread, and although it looks like a slice of "supermarket bread", it tasted light, fluffy and homemade), and the sausage was so flavorful. I ate all of the sausage, most of the beans, and left a good amount of "filling".

Although I was almost full from the heavy food, I couldn’t pass up a slice of shoo-fly pie. For those who have never had the opportunity to try this interestingly-named food, shoo-fly pie is a sort of molasses pie with a thick crumb topping. I’m actually not a huge fan of shoo-fly pie, but when in Rome…Luckily, this was delicious, and I ate it all but the crust.

We spent the remainder of the day driving down random roads and stopping by small stands to peruse the produce and other products, such as jams and baked goods they had to offer. I wish I had better pictures of the stands themselves, but one, I’m new at this blogging thing!, and two, Amish people do not like to have their pictures taken, and I felt rude doing so. I do, however, have a picture of the cookie (I ate half) and delicious, fresh lemonade (that came in a really cool glass bottle) that I got at Glick’s:

We also went south to Strasburg, PA (not so interesting of a name), which is known for the Strasburg Rail Road (apparently, Abraham Lincoln passed through on his way to being inaugurated). I absolutely love trains, especially steam engines (apparently, there’s a 5 year old boy in me somewhere…), and it was so much fun to revisit – we used to come to Strasburg every winter to ride the train with Santa :)

The town of Strasberg itself is quite picturesque, and we stopped at the Strasburg Country Store and Creamery, which, in addition to offering local "country store" type offerings (honey, peanut butter, pretzels, etc…) also had homemade fudge (I had an unpictured sample), as well as homemade ice cream. They had just made a batch of waffle cones, and they smelled so delicious, I couldn’t pass it up.

Out of money and exhausted from our day, my friend and I chose to end our trip here, and made the drive home (which took a lot less time…thanks, googlemaps for giving me such confusing directions). When I got home, I unloaded my loot.

I’m actually very impressed with the restraint I showed today – I even managed to put down the huge block of local butter that was so tempting.

For "dessert", or "dinnner", I ate my whoopie pie, which I’m pretty sure is an exclusive PA Dutch treat (correct me if I’m wrong!) Basically, a whoopie pie is some sort of creamy filling (mine was peanut butter, but I think it’s usually vanilla) between two cake-like ends (today I saw red velvet whoopie pies for the first time!) It was so.good., and I’m glad I resisted buying the pack of six…

So there you have it. A day Following Foodie around a semi-local location. I’m aiming for tomorrow to be a more "normal" day (filled with much healthier foods!), but I’m glad I got to emphasize what I hope this blog will be about – living a healthy lifestyle, with plenty of moderation, but also plenty of fun, travels and lots of good food along the way!

August 18, 2009 at 9:51 am 1 comment


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