Dutch Treat

Published: December 30th 2011
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Pennsylvania Dutch CountryPennsylvania Dutch CountryPennsylvania Dutch Country

Roadside view on the way to lunch
Today is the first of the break days.

I spent the day doing laundry, catching up on paperwork, and the other things that people usually travel to get away from.

On a road trip, there is no choice about doing it eventually, and doing it as I go makes it easier.

Very importantly, I got the car washed.

All the bad weather meant a great deal of road salt, and it will corrode the car if left on too long.

I did allow myself one treat today.

Philadelphia is reasonably close to Lancaster County, the original home of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

The name is a misnomer, a mispronunciation of Deutch, meaning Germany.

Members are part of two closely related religious sects, the Mennonites and the Amish.

Both believe in strict biblical teachings and a very simple lifestyle.

One of the best aspects of the culture is the cooking, which is very good when done well.

Unfortunately, the area has become a rather large tourist attraction, so many restaurants have discovered they can prosper by catering to undiscerning visitors instead of relatively sophisticated locals.

Finding a good one takes quite a bit of
Buggy in a restaraunt parking lotBuggy in a restaraunt parking lotBuggy in a restaraunt parking lot

A clear sign that a Pennsylvania Dutch eating place is a good one.

Here are some hints:

1. Anything described as Amish is definitely not. The Amish do not advertise themselves, since it violates the Biblical precept against vanity.

2. Describing something as “Pennsylvania Dutch” is stating the obvious in this area, and a clear sign that the place is aimed at tourists.

3. Most of the best restaurants are small affairs to keep the quality high. A tour bus in the parking lot is a serious red flag.

4. If there are lots of cars in the parking lot, this is a good sign. If a large percentage of them have out of state plates, this is a very bad one.

5. Amish do not own restaurants but Mennonites do. If employees wear the distinctive Mennonite dress, this is a very good sign. A hitching post in the back for buggies is an even better one.

The place I ate was quite good.

Comfort food, salad, and pies, served all you can eat.

I got change back from a 20 afterward.

I ate so much that I ultimately skipped dinner, which is typical for a visit here.

Since good restaurants tend to turn into bad ones after they receive a lot of publicity, I’m not going to mention the name.

Do your own research 😊


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