One of my favorite places to stop when I am in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is Zook's Roadside Stand where you can find an amazing array of homemade jellies, jams, and baked goods. Have any of our readers been there? It's on Old Philadelphia Pike as it grinds its way eastward out of Lancaster through Intercourse and into Bird-and-Hand. That's a very pretty drive if you don't do it during a peak tourist time when it turns into a nerve-jangling, car-clogged artery. Here's my haul from last time I visited there. The corn relish was amazing, the apple butter creamy and sweet, and the homemade catsup was pure tomato bliss. Last time I was there I was working on my book of true Amish experiences (I hate calling it a memoir,but that is what it is) entitled "Not So Simple." That is also the name of my new blog. While I was there I also ate at a restaurant called ":The Family Cupboard"...it was a buffet and I was underwhelmed. Have any of our readers been there? What did you think? As I describe in the chapter (the book won't be out for awhile), I always have mixed emotions when visiting Lancaster County....It was once such a peaceful, pastoral place and there are still swaths of bucolic beauty for people willing to find it, but it's definitely a place that is under an enormous encroachment from technological and societal pressures.
I have eaten at Family Cupboard and I always get the buffet. Lancaster County serves food that we don't make in SC, and I always want to get some of everything while I'm there. I get a small bowl of chicken corn soup, ham balls, filling, tapioca pudding, cranberry salad, red beet eggs, chow-chow, cracker pudding, etc. I actually think that the Family Cupboard in Lititz is better. There are other buffets that I eat at that are probably better. Shady Maple is, I think, the largest buffet and it amazes me that their food is so good considering that they cook in such huge quantities. Dienners is probably the more reasonably priced among all the buffets. Not as large of a selection, but offers all that I can hold at one time!
We visit Lancaster pretty often. It is the closest spot we have to the wonderful Amish community. The word "underwhelmed" for the Family Cupboard is spot on. That is EXACTLY how my hubby and I felt. It really was just OK at best. We went once and never returned. If you want to try some REALLY yummy eats try "Dienners" located in Ronks PA. which is near the central hub of Lancaster County. Their prices are AMAZING and the food soooo good!
Emmy, thanks for that...I've heard a couple of good comments about Dienners, I guess I just picked the wrong place, I'll head to Ronks next time!:)
I haven't heard of Zook's but, I didn't travel that way too often when I lived in Lancaster simply because of the traffic. I can't say anything about Family Cupboard because I haven't gone there.
Shady Maple though, I have. I love the entire complex. Good's, the farm market, and the smorgasbord. <3
We've been on that road many times, but I can't say we've ever stopped at Zook's. I'll have to keep an eye out for it the next time we get out that way. It's been a while - we're about due for a visit.
I was not impressed with Family Cupboard on my visit there either. It used to be the location of the Amish Barn restaurant. That was a place I really enjoyed, and every trip back to Lancaster that I take I miss having Amish Barn as a dinning option. There are so many great restaurants, large and small in the area, its sometimes hard to decide where to eat!
I havent eaten at the Family Cupboard but have many times at the Amish Barn. Didnt they have a garden out back? If that is the same place, I have some nice pictures of the gardens.
We usually visit Lancaster several times a year. We have never eaten at Family Cupboard. Our favorite place so far is Katie's Kitchen. We are always looking for new "out of the way" places so thanks for the tip on Zooks. We will try to find it next time.
Pastor Ralph Unroe
Have not visited the Amish Restaurant but have eaten at Bird in Hand and Deiners many times while visiting in Gap. Both of these locations have great food and if you leave hungry, it is your fault. I have neices who work at Bird n Hand and they take the best of care when folks visit.
Deiners go out of the way to feed you the "goodest" around. I go especiall for breakfast for their Pink Grapefruit sections, which I have found at no other places.
All arounbd good folks.
I just came across this posting and must have missed it back in March! I spend a huge part of my life in Lancaster County. Although I am from CT, I consider Lancaster my other home:) The Family Cupboard is "OK" and it has changed since ownership has switched throughout the years. Deiners is a great place and one that many find only by "word of mouth" from the locals. Zooks is great as is Katie's for a good traditional amish meal. For quality meats and my son's favorite fresh whipped butter we love Stoltzfus Meats. There is another great farmstand off the beaten path across the street from Hayloft Candles (South Groffdale Rd. in Leola) It is run by an amish family. They have an array of canned goods, breads, shoofly and whoopie pies and even handmade decorative items. They even take orders to make the breads. I mostly love their produce and even have requests from my colleagues to load up the car prior to my return trip home.
I too have mixed feelings about the commercialism that has consumed Lancaster. This was my annual vacation destination as a child and it was a very different place in the 70's and 80's than it is today. However, since I have been regularly staying for the last 14 years since I had my own child, you have to learn where to go and where to avoid! Of course, route 30 is a tourist trap, as well as the Philadelphia Pike. Going out and exploring for so many years I choose to travel and spend my days "off the beaten path". I have, and am actually living with a "former amish" family for a month this summer. They left the amish after 45 years and have sadly been shunned. I enjoy my time immensely with "Katie" and the rest of the family and have learned so much. This is the Lancaster County I love. Grasshopper Ridge has one of the most breathtaking views in all of the county. It is here when I wake up every morning, sit outside with my cup of coffee in hand and just take it all in. The beauty, the endless greenery, the sun, the smells and the utter peace and tranquility only broken by the sound of the whistle from the Strasburg Railroad in the distance and its waft of smoke that streaks across the bluest skies! There are many "secret" places in Lancaster that we have made our own. We are away from the horns, traffic and bustle of the tourists. We run and jump and play with few distractions. They have become "our" spots that I am always hesitant to share them with the rest of the world. That is what makes our time in PA so very special!!
We go to several places in Lancaster every year- and we have been to both Zook's and Family Cupboard. As wherever you go, if you see the locals go there, then you know it's a great place. We also love a teeny, tiny bakery just outside of Bird in Hand, a lovely bookstore near Nickel Mines (I think) and some great annual garage sales. We stay out of the tourist spots. Thanks Kevin!