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Thurmont area family style? Peter Pan?

  • k

When I was a kid I remember going to a (I think) PA Dutch style restaurant in the mountains near Thurmont. ALl I really remember is delicious food on big platters and sides of cottage cheese and homemade apple butter. Any ideas? How about The Peter Pan restaurant -- anyone know if that still exists??

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  1. No Peter Pan anything anywhere near Thurmont, MD, alas (according to yellow.com).

    could you have the name wrong?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Peter Pan was a separate restaurant. Alas it may be gone. It was a civil war era mansion where you waited in the gardens among peacocks and deer for your table (you were called over an intercom I think) and then took your table (complete with finger bowls) where everything came with seemingly endless baskets of huch puppies. The family style place . . . no idea what the name of it was or if I could find it again. But, I remember loving it. Guess I have to settle (hardly settling) for Baughers

      1. re: Kathy Siegel

        The old Peter Pan restaurant was on Rt. 355 south of Frederick. My parents took us there every year on the last day of school as a treat (we were NEVER taken out to dinner!). I only remember hushpuppies with bits of cheddar cheese in them...

        It has become the Cracked Claw (formerly of Gaithersburg), which is a crab/seafood place that has off-track betting. Not even close to the ambience of the old Peter Pan, though I hear they might still have a peacock or two.

    2. Peter Pan was in Urbana and today it's a gambling hall and crabhouse.

      1. I remember the Peter Pan fondly - my family had lunch there ~1978 for my brother's graduation from Mt St Mary's in Emmitsburg. I was only 14 but I remember how beautiful the place was, and my family did not eat out much in my youth. Yes, there were peacocks outside in cages & you could buy a tall PP glass with your drink inside. Last time I went there was ~5 years ago for their karaoke night. It was Cracked Claw by that time, still had the lovely decor inside, but darker lighting & no peacocks. The lovely patio area outside was deserted, with all the tables taken away. Sad. I haven't been back since.

        Thurmont has 2 buffet places, and the food is fine for what it is & the cost is good: Cozy Inn (which has unusual little cabins you can stay in) & Mountain Gate Inn. My hubby, daughter & I had an early Sun. dinner at Cozy last fall - food was good but I saw a cockroach crawling under platters on the buffet. EEWWWW

        When in Thurmont/Emmitsburg, if your day is not full of a trip to Cunningham Falls or Greenbrier Lake for swimming or hiking, visit the nearby Blue Blazes Whiskey Still, or the lovely Grotto of Lourdes near Mt St Mary's. Or go duckpin bowling in town. Or else visit the Firefighters Memorial, or Shrine of (American saint) Elizabeth Seton, or the Catoctin Zoo. Gettysburg is not far. Rte 15 goes thru lovely country, terrific leaf-viewing in the autumn...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lori S

          As I remember it this place wasn't a buffet but family style where serving size platters were brought to the table. But, the mountain Gate Inn sounds familiar -- do they or did they serve that way?

          1. re: Lori S

            Thank you for sharing your memories of the Peter Pan. My husband has kept one of the Peter Pan glasses. It is dated 1976! I was going to put in a yard sale (lol).. But, I think I will keep it.. Sounds like a place to remember :)

          2. Peter Pan went out of business over 20 years ago. My kids and I enjoyed the food there (choice of ham or chicken or beef), the peacocks, and the sewing machines with treadles used for tables. I think its a Pizza place now. Sorry. It was a good bit south of Thurmont. If you want to go to a cool place in Thurmont, try the Cozy Inn dining room. Not gourmet, but lots of good food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: van

              Actually although Peter Pan technically went out of business....I know last year Cracked Claw @ Peter Pan in Urbana(the original location) started offering on Sunday only the traditional Peter Pan menu....which I believe may serve somewhat family style. In addition according to the website for Cracked Claw the menu still includes corn or apple fritters and cottage cheese....HTH

            2. I can't tell you a thing that I used to eat as an entree at Peter Pan, but I remember the taste of that amazing cottage cheese and apple butter as if it were yesterday. Probably the only difference is the lower amount of salt in the Peter Pan version compared to the currently available packaged brands like Breakstone. FWIW, I'm most reminded of Peter Pan's cottage cheese when I buy Horizon brand Organic cottage cheese, routinely available at Whole Foods.

              1. The Mountaingate Family Restaurant is there now. It's not too bad. I've stopped there for coffee on the way to Gettysburg.

                I prefer the Shamrock Restaurant. Also a family restaurant. A nice place, with good Irish food. Great desserts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Manassas64

                  This may not help with Peter Pan which I also remember but if you are looking for a very good family style restaurant try Friendly Farms in Upperco Md., just off of Rt 83, exit 27. Try their website http://friendlyfarm.net/index.html

                  1. re: RJJR

                    It is a lovely ride out to Upperco, but bring a book or cards and be prepared to wait when you get there. We made it there once, earlier this year, and was well-pleased with the experience.

                  2. re: Manassas64

                    I haven't been to Mountain Gate in a few years, but they had amazing buffets all day. For lunch, they had about twenty different types of pies available. If you like hearty country cooking, this is a place that you have to check out. It's an amazing sight to have so many quality dishes on a buffet.

                    1. I know you posted this query a while back, but could you be thinking of the Dan-Dee? It was a small motel with an attached restaurant near Frederick, Md. They served food similar to the Peter Pan Inn, and it was all family style. Sadly, they went out of buisness about 8 years ago, but I still remember their fried chicken and the fritters rolled in powdered sugar like they had at the Peter Pan.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: T.Thomas

                        As I was reading through this thread, I was trying to think of the name of the Dan-Dee. We only went there once or twice (it was farther than Peter Pan, and not as elegant). It was also so long ago that I cannot really remember the food. Early this year (I think), I did go back to try the "old" menu featured on Sunday at the Cracked Claw at Peter Pan. It wasn't bad, and they even had apple butter and cottage cheese (albeit at a salad bar rather than in the relish tray). But the decor was as if you put a sports bar, a crab shack and Peter Pan in a blender. Just a little strange.

                        I remember reading a couple of years ago that the last owner of Peter Pan (who also owned the Kapok Tree in somewhere in Florida, as I recall) had died. Truly the end of an era.

                        The Cracked Claw
                        3363 Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD 21704

                        1. re: pgreen

                          The Kapok Tree is on US 60 in Dunedin, FL. Don't know if it's still there or not.

                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                            Doing a little googling, I found this "tribute" link to the Kapok Tree Inn: http://benzplace.com/kapok/

                            It says the last one closed in 1991 (there were 4, apparently, if you count Peter Pan). The menu and decor are clearly the same, right down to the relish trays.

                            1. re: pgreen

                              Wow! Drove by this place for years. You couldn't really tell from the road how wildly extravagant this place was. I had no idea. Reminds me of another such establishment in Lake Wales, FL named Chalet Suzanne. It's a gourmet French restaurant with strange little cottages that rent by the night. It sits on several acres and has it's own airstrip. Mostly, folks that travel by private aircraft are the only ones that could afford to eat there.

                      2. Good fried chicken can be had at Dempsey's Grille in Middletown, MD, not far from the old Dandees.

                        Dempsey's Grille
                        116 W Main St, Middletown, MD 21769

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mister Big

                          Is it as good as Dan Dee's was? I looked over the menu and noticed they had hush puppies/corn fritters. Dan Dee had some like the ones they served at the Peter Pan, dusted with powdered sugar. I used to love those! Are Dempsey's anything like that? Also, would you happen to know what happened with the Dan Dee. Went one year and the next, POOF, gone:( I really miss it.

                        2. The restaurant you remember is still there. It's called the Cozy Inn and it still serves great family style dinners and there are still rooms available for overnight accomodations. There is another one within a short walk called the Mountain Gate. No motel, but decent food.

                          The Cozy is a family tradition for us around Christmas. The place is decorated like Times Square. There are photos everywhere of former Presidents who've enjoyed the accomodations and the food. It isn't far from Camp David, so it has seen its share of dignitaries over the years.

                          Quite often we include a stop at the Catoctin Mountain Zoological Park on the way if we go in warm weather. There are also some wonderful parks nearby, a lake and waterfall, camping area and other amenities.

                          1. I remember that restaurant so well. I went to college in Emmitsburg, MD and we went there often. The funniest thing is that I remember that they had these delicious corn fritters covered in powdered sugar. Sad to hear it's gone, but that was a really long time ago. I'll never forget the Peter Pan.