Showing posts with label Lancaster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lancaster. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fine Dining at Carr's and a Stop at Dutch Haven

Our Lancaster getaway was short, but sweet. As I mentioned in my previous post, the proprietress at our B&B at the Creekside Inn not only served delicious breads during breakfast, but she also slipped them on a plate and put them on a dresser near our bed, lest we might be a tad under the 3,500 calorie mark for the day.

The first night of our stay we returned to the LancasterCentral Market area and enjoyed a delicious meal at Carr’s. I ordered the steak and cake, which came with a small filet topped with crab, creamy scalloped potatoes and a crab cake topped with a remoulade sauce. My steak was done to perfection, but you have to make a very special crab cake to warrant a rave from me. I prefer mine made with very few breadcrumbs. My husband very much enjoyed his lamb trio, which consisted of a leg, burger and sausage. He said the sausage was unbeatable, the burger was moist and flavorful and the leg slices were enhanced by a top-notch tzatziki.

Dinner at Carr's in Lancaster

Service was attentive and our waitress was pleasant. When the bill came, Mike acted surprised, so of course I couldn’t stop laughing at this face.

On to the Touristy Stuff

After another wonderful breakfast at the Creekside Inn, we made our way to Dutch Haven in Ronks, a kitschy Amish Country landmark, best known for its shoofly pie and its oversized, illuminated windmill that rotates, beckoning visitors to stop and have a look.

Dutch Haven in Ronks is a Lancaster County landmark

The minute we set foot in the door, we were presented with another sweet treat by a helpful staffer. Can you guess what it was? Why, shoofly pie, of course—with a side of whipped cream. My mother made quite a few shoofly pies back in the day and those unfamiliar with the popular Pennsylvania Dutch dessert have likely been spared the yawn-inducing wet bottom vs. dry bottom debate and ’ll kindly spare everyone the details. 

Let’s just say I’ve never been a fan of either, but I have to admit that this one was exceptional, with a nicely balanced flavor, which is to say it wasn’t as cloyingly sweet as I remember.

Prepare to spend about a half hour browsing the variety of merchandise from Amish furniture, to souvenirs, jewelry, jellies and jams. I purchase a jar of pepper jelly to pair with cream cheese for my holiday entertaining.

Here’s a great video of what visitors can expect at Dutch Haven from my friends over at Retro Roadmap:

Next Stop: Amish Village

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Stay at a Historic Creekside Inn

We checked into the cozy Creekside Inn for a change of scenery and a nice two-day getaway to celebrate our anniversary.The old stone house, which dates back to 1781, is situated near a creek along a road that leads from Paradise to Gordonville, Pennsylvania.

Front view of the Creekside Inn

My husband selected our digs several weeks ago. The spacious three-room suite called “The Creekside,” featured a bedroom with an impressive floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace operable in winter. A private bathroom was located off the bedroom and a spacious, comfy sitting room featured a couch, chair, desk and big-screen TV.

Bedroom at the Creekside Inn

Fireplace in our room at the Creekside.

Sitting room at the Creekside.

Although we were on a strict schedule, we did find some time to relax in the homey, carpeted sitting room and the bed in the adjacent room seemed custom made for a great night’s sleep, especially this time of year.  Adding to the quaint two-day stay was the clip clop of the horses outside as they made their way down the road. The horses passed often throughout the day and night. Only once was I awakened out of a deep sleep, on a Monday morning at 2 a.m. by teens hooting and hollering, which I found amusing. I was later informed that Sunday night is “date night” in the Amish community.

View from the room.

During our visit, the inn was full, with all six rooms rented out to guests from Boston, Delaware and Maryland, which whom we had the pleasure of conversing with each morning during the 8:30 breakfast hour.  

Our hosts, Cathy and Dennis Zimmerman, were quite hospitable from beginning to end, with Dennis helping my husband with our bags and Kathy toiling in the kitchen to craft magnificent breakfasts featuring eggs, sausage, apricot bread, juice, coffee and tea one morning, and a delicious, moist apple bread paired with blueberry French toast, bacon, homemade English muffins and the same drink offerings on morning two. Each day, we found homemade pastries in our room, half of which I had to decline to adhere to at least a semblance of a diet. I can just taste them now. No wonder the Inn received a “Certificate of Excellence” from Tripadvisor.

Creekside Inn History

The Zimmermans pay homage to the original homeowners and commissioned a painting of David Witmer, Sr. and his wife Esther Kendig, who oversee operations in the dining room where guests enjoy breakfast.  Two stone tablets in the wall of the house read “Bilt by David & Esther Witmer in the year of our lord 1781." Witmer, according to the Zimmmermans, purchased the land from Jacob Fierre, son of Philip and Mary Warenbuer Fierre and was part of the original tract granted to Mary Fierre by William Penn.

Skilled in farming, milling and bridge and road construction, Witmer likely met many influential people and added to that circle of influence when he became engaged politics and community service.

Witmer and George Washington became personal friends and according to records held by Witmer’s descendants, David traveled to Philadelphia to meet Washington as he was en route to New York for the inauguration in 1789. Several years later, Washington was said to have paid a visit to the area, visiting a mill to study hemp processing.

During our visit, we took the time to explore the property, traversing the nearby concrete bridge and onto the property that abuts Pequea creek. Despite it being the first week of October, everything was still green and lush. We considered ourselves lucky as a tornado was said to have touched down in the area just a few days before and a huge tree across the street was being chopped into manageable pieces and hauled away the day we arrived.

A stroll along the creek.

Next up: Doing a Bit of the Touristy Stuff in Lancaster County

Saturday, October 3, 2015

On the Road to Paradise

Today my husband and I decided to head for Lancaster County for a weekend visit to a bed and breakfast located in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Although we were concerned about Hurricane Joaquin, we decided to stay the course, rather than cancel and it turns out we were spared a rainy trip. 

Before reaching our destination, we decided to make a pit stop in Lancaster to explore the city and the Central Market. After we parked the car and stepped out onto the street my nose detected a familiar smell. “Do you think they have Ramen here?” I asked my husband as we walked out of the parking lot onto the street. I soon had my answer. 

Issei Noodle was located nearby in the Central Market Mall. And to think I thought they only operated in Carlisle. Of course, we HAD to stop in and indulge. I ordered my favorite spicy tan tan ramen. Ground pork, Bok choy, and ramen swimming in a hearty pork broth, jazzed up with chili oil available at each table, was the perfect, steamy dish for a brisk, autumn day. My husband opted for the Haru warm ramen with the pan-fried noodles, shrimp, chicken, ground pork and fresh vegetables, which I must say was outstanding, but he rebuffed my advances, on his dish that is, so that’s something I’ll have enjoy at a later date.
Haru Warm Ramen at Issei Noodle in Lancaster

Spicy Tan Tan at Issei Noodle in Lancaster

Lancaster Central Market

Lancaster Central Market is known as the oldest, publicly owned, continuously operating market in the United States. Today, people from milesaround flock to the market which features about 70 vendors selling everything from meat, to produce, to breads, flowers, herbs and ready-made specialties.


Central Market known as the oldest, publicly owned, continuously operated market in the United States.

If we weren’t full from lunch, we could have been tempted by sweets like spicy peanut brittle, pumpkin fudge or sticky buns, or any of the many Pennsylvania Dutch specialties available. Mike had his eyes on Greek dishes like pastitsio, moussaka and keftedes, but we knew that dinner was just a few hours away, so we were content to file the information away for another day.

Lancaster Shops

We strolled along West King Street, stopping in a few shops where they offered a variety of items like women’s apparel, accessories, perfume, soaps and cute cards for various occasions. Of course Mike quickly tired of that and I lost him for a bit—which is nothing new. I found him down the street snapping pictures of a Masonic Lodge.

Reunited, we passed a building with an interesting sign out front depicting a “Rabbit & Dragonfly.” We stepped inside a foyer and found the set up a bit confusing and wondered where to go next. After standing in a vestibule, we peered into another standing area and two doors later, we found ourselves in a very large coffee shop staring at a man playing chess. Soon we spotted four others at a table in the rear of the room chatting amongst themselves amidst bookshelves. We discovered that we had stumbled upon a coffee shop/performance area and to a very limited extent, a bookstore.

One thing that caught my eye was an old typewriter, which I captured in a picture. 

On our way back to the car, we passed the Fulton Opera House dating back to 1852 and touted as the nation’s oldest continuously operating theatre. It has the distinction of being one of only eight theatres to be named a National Historic Landmark. 

Soon we were on our way to our next destination, a B&B, dating back to 1781. Tomorrow, I'll post more about the historic structure located in the little village of Paradise, Pennsylvania.