The Lancaster Pennsylvania Dutch

by Rosalieann Beasley January. 17, 2017 335 views


Amish carriage 1969

We were on our way to Penn Yan in upstate NY, and it is just a little too far to drive in one day. So I decided to stop off halfway. I wanted to revisit some of the places we went when we were living in Philadelphia in 1969, so I picked Hershey and Lancaster. In Lancaster, I wanted to do an Amish farm dinner and I wanted to go to the Central Market and that was only open Friday, Saturday and Tuesday. So we drove up Thursday night to Lancaster and got to the hotel in Lancaster by 2:30. Bob took a nap while I tried to figure out where to go for dinner.

I decided to give up on the Amish farm tour and dinner (which would have been about $50 each and would have been 3 hours) and just eat someplace where they had Pennsylvania Dutch food. I asked the hotel desk and they recommended Miller's Smorgasbord, and Plain and Fancy. I had been looking at Good and Plenty. Plain and Fancy and Good and Plenty were both family style. I looked at Good and Plenty menu and it looked very much like Dillard House (not a good comparison). Plain and Fancy was a little better and was $19.95 each. Miller's was $23.95 but there was a $3.00 coupon which would have made it pretty much the same price as Plain and Fancy, and they had steamed shrimp on the buffet which I thought Bob would like. So that is where we went.


Farm near Lancaster

We drove out to Miller's Smorgasbord (which is not actually in Lancaster and is really just a big buffet). There was a busload of kids that got there about the same time we did, but this is a VERY big place and there was plenty of room. They took us to a table,  #522, where I could parked the scooter by the table. But I had taken off my vest that holds me camera and forgot to pick it back up so I had to use my cell phone to take photos. I got a Swedish meatball (that was the special of the day), a piece of fish which Bob said was trout but I was eating salmon, a little slice of roast beef, 

Carving station

Carving station from a scooter

a little mac & cheese, some shrimp and a piece of yummy frosted raisin bread. I asked Bob to bring me the seafood chowder but he brought the cream of mushroom soup instead. They were across the table from each other so it was an easy mistake to make. I didn't eat all of that. Then I had a peach crumble pie.


My plate - from the left clockwise - salmon on mac and cheese, roast beef, shrimp, Swedish meatball, raisen bread

Bob had the spiced shrimp (mine were plain), the bread and mashed potatoes and a little brownie. He paid the bill with a credit card, (the waitress used the coupon on my phone to give us the discount) and tipped with cash.

The next morning,we got underway about 9 and first went to the Lancaster Central Market. Back in the 70s we toured this area on Spring Break and one of the things we did was visit this iconic marketplace but I have no photos from that visit and I wanted to get some on this visit. We went under an old stone bridge which looked like it was held together with bungee cords. After wending our way through the one way streets, we parked in the nearby parking lot ($3.00). I thought there were handicapped parking places, and there were, but they were in the street instead of in the parking lot like I had thought from the Google street view. 

Handicapped parking

Handicapped meter parking on the street - parking lot on the other side of the median

We found the one door that had a ramp for my scooter, and I went in and looked around. This is the country's oldest farmers' market, which is located in an 120 year old red brick building. 

Lancaster farmers market

Lancaster Farmer's market coming from the parking lot

Regional food specialties include Pennsylvania Dutch sausage, scrapple (a breakfast meat of pork scraps and cornmeal), and headcheese (like scrapple, an acquired taste). You'll also find preserves, including chowchow (pickled vegetables in a spicy mustard sauce), and bread and butter pickles Bob said everything was very overpriced and we couldn't buy perishable food anyway. 



I thought we might buy a souvenir or two. However everything was quite expensive and in the end we just took photos. So we left about 9:45 (just about the time a street performer was setting up outside) and started for Penn Yan.


On the way out, there was someone panhandling at a light.  That kept the person in the front of the line from turning left for several light cycles.  We were at the big civil war monument.  At least it was originally a monument to the Union soldiers that were killed in the Civil War, but it now includes other wars.The 1744 Treaty of Lancaster between the British and Iroquois was signed in the old Lancaster courthouse which stood on the site of the monument at the time. It also stands on the exact spot where the Second Continental Congress met during the American Revolutionary War on September 27, 1777, in the old Lancaster Courthouse. The courthouse burned down in 1784. The monument was formally unveiled and dedicated on July 4, 1874. Statues of four men representing the four branches of the American armed services surround the granite shaft near its base. The four branches represented by the men are the United States Navy, United States Army, Artillery and the United States Cavalry.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Cavalry. on the left, Navy (Sailor) on the far right and Artillery behind

 Genius of Liberty is the name of the lady on the top. The monument has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since April 2, 1973.  Because my view from the car was obstructed, I didn't get a picture of the Army statue.

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