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Brandywine Valley/Longwood Gardens area recco?

  • j
  • 9

I would appreciate recommendations on good eating establishments in this general area - prefer tasty and not too posh! Home- or traditional style foods favored for a rather critical group of midwesterners ( aka my family)

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  1. Hi, Jen--

    That used to be a favorite destination of my family's. I don't remember specific restaurants, but the fact that most sticks in my mind is that Kennett Square PA bills itself as "the mushroom capital of the world." Most restaurants reflect this, and you can get 'em stuffed, sautéed, souped and whatnotted. I recall being pretty happy with that sort of thing.

    My dad always bought pounds and pounds of mushrooms to bring home. I have great memories of him cleaning, slicing, lightly sautéeing, then freezing tons'o'mushrooms the day after a trip there.


    1. I wish I could remember the name for sure, but I think one of the places I enjoyed while I was staying in the area was the Brandywine Brewery. It's a brewpub with above average food and decent beer. What really made the place memorable was the super-friendly service and the fantastic home-baked pretzels (can't remember if you order them or if they just come, but don't miss them if you go) . They also make mustards in several shades of hotness for dipping.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Have you ever been to Pace One in Thornton, PA? It's about 10 minutes from LongWood Gardens, off Route 1. Excellent country inn atmosphere, top notch food. Very charming. Great place for family gathering.

        1. t
          Tom McKenney

          Try Iron Hill Inn in West Chester or Buckley's Tavern or Cromwell's Tavern on Rt 52 in Delaware. They are all within 15 minutes of Longwood.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Tom McKenney

            thanks for the recommendations, Tom. Could you provide any more info about these places, what you like, what they do well, etc? again, thanks, Jennifer

            1. re: jen kalb
              Rebecca Hodgson

              Jen - I grew up in Wilmington but now live to eat to live in NYC. I just wanted to give you confirmation of two of Tom's choices. The key to my confirmation being that both Cromwells and Buckleys will appeal to the tastes of a midWesterner yet satisfy the East Coast/NYC Chowhound in you at the same time. Buckley's and Cromwells are similar but Buckleys definitely has the upper edge (in my mind). Also it is closer (approx. 5-10 minutes closer) to Longwood Gardens. Despite the fact that I like Iron Hill okay, I would say that better food can be found at the other two. Atmosphere - Cromwells is inside and dark pub-like. Buckleys is dark inside too but has a roofdeck so if the weather is nice you are set. Also, someone else mentioned Pizza by Elizabeth, they do have very good thin thin crust pizza - especially considering where they are located - yet the atmosphere is more like being in a deli which has added a few booths for customer convenience (read - not cozy but rather cold) as opposed to in an actual restaurant - despite checked tablecloths. Wherever you go - Enjoy. and hey smell a few of those flowers at Longwood for an ex-suburban ny city chick!

            2. re: Tom McKenney

              Longwood has a great restaurant now. If you want to go else where, there's the Dilworthtown Inn, Pizza by Elizabeth in Greenville,or The Gables on Rte 1 in Chadds Ford

            3. Try Krazy Kat's at the Inn at Montchannin in Montchannin, DE, close by Winterthur. Call 1-800-COWBIRD.

              1. n
                Norris Heintzelman

                There are the two places that my husband posted about on 1/15/00:

                The Charcoal Pit is a truly great burger and ice cream shop. They also have grilled chicken for the health conscious.

                The Asian Palace is like no other chinese food you have ever had. It is home style authentic chinese, and everything we've gotten there is wonderful (but we're partial to the twin delight). The atmosphere is very casual, plastic tablecloths and everything (a newspaper review that the owner will be happy to show you, felt that going to the Asian Palace is just like going home, great food, lots of attention, low key atmosphere). The prices are a bit higher than other chinese restaurants but that's because they do not scrimp on the raw ingredients and you'll taste the difference right away.

                Both are on Rt. 202 south of Rt. 1 (the road where Longwood Gardens is located), and are probably 20 minutes or less from Longwood.

                Another really good place is in the Painter's Crossing shopping center at the intersection of 1 and 202 (5 minutes, maybe, from Longwood). Cafe Ole (which has nothing to do with Mexican food) is a coffee and sandwich shop. Sure, there are millions of those, but this one has really, really good coffee and sandwiches. The coffee they serve is Green Mountain (get the Kenyan) and the sandwiches are made with very fresh artesian bread (made by Le Bus, for those who are familiar with the area). I'm not a big sandwich fan, but these are GOOD. Also I believe that the baked goods are all locally made. They have expanded and now have a grill for hot food, but I haven't tried it yet.