By Kevin Williams
US 30 east of Lancaster is a carnival of cultural capitalism. All in celebration of Amish culture, the area has devolved into a miasma of malls, amusements, kitschy tourist stops, and plenty of restaurants. One of these places is Dutch Haven.
One place that can't help but catch your eye is Dutch Haven, it's bright windmill pinwheeling in the air.
It was just before 9 a.m. and my first choice -Dienners, an Amish buffet next door - was closed for renovations. SIGH. The sign said they'd reopen tomorrow. Well after I was gone. But Dutch Haven appeared to be open and I was drawn in by their signs for shoofly pie.
I had been in the store scarcely a second when a man appeared seemingly out of nowhere with a plate offering me a sample of shoofly pie. And it was a generous sample. SIGH, I was planning to buy a slice anywhere, but now I felt obligated to after taking a freebie even though the freebie was enough.
The store was established in 1946 and, man, if I could jump into a time machine to see how rural the area must have been back then....but it certainly is not today. They have whole shoofly pies for sale and sell by the slice, plus batches of local, Amish-made root beer, gifts, and other goodies for sale. I bought a slice of shoofly and some treats to take home to the girls. The gentleman behind the counter asked if I was going to eat the pie now, and I nodded. To which he offered to warm it up in a microwave and add whipped cream. He handed me a plate with a slice of shoofly buried in a mountain of whipped cream......Dutch Haven is definitely a place I'd visit again, of all the touristy type things along that stretch of US 30, I found it to be one of the most authentic...yes, it is kitschy, but they have been around since 1946, they have to be doing something right. And that something is shoofly pie! Take a look at more photos from my visit below:
It's a shame that you didn't have more time, you could've driven to the Shady Maple! It's an experience!
Believe me, I REALLY wanted to check out Shady Maple, but I just decided I didn't have time....I was bummed for sure!
I agree their pie is wonderful. We have camped at Country acres just down the road. Our favorite Amish store is Countryside Road Stand on Stumptown Road, Ronks. If you want a great restaurant try Good & Plenty at the family style dining room. it’s on 896 Smoketown Road.
Thanks, Janet, I went in their parking lot, but I just didn't have time...I was more looking for a buffet,but Good N Plenty looks amazing!
Seeing your visit to Dutch Haven brought tears to my eyes. I'm guessing my first visit there was probably 1955 or so. It was a traditional lunch stop on the way to the Jersey shore. A bbq sandwich, root beer and shoo fly pie with whipped cream. Unfortunately, I no longer live in central PA, and am craving the above right now. My Mother loved the Shady Maple too. Thanks for your great posts.
Mary, wow, you basically have been going to Dutch Haven as long as it has been around...I am envious that you were able to visit back then before it become so touristy...I mean, I love the area now, but back then I bet it was pure paradise! - Kevin
Thank you for the pictures. Saw the shoo-fly pie and my mouth watered. Looks so good. Bet it would be great with ice cream too.