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Lancaster and the vicinity.. what to eat? where to go?

My husband and I are planning a get away to Lancaster this weekend and could use some suggestions. We are staying at the Doneckers Inn on Ephrata. We heard that the rstaurant there is really good and want to eat there on Thursday. The chef tasting menu looks amazing.. multi course meal with each course paired with wine. It looks good and seems almost too good to be true.. a seven course meal with wine for only $65/person. Has anyone does the chef tasting menu? Is it good? Is it really only $65 with wine.. or is there some fine print I’m missing?

http://www.doneckers.com

Besides eating at Donecker’s, we’re not sure where to eat or what to do. I went to the pa dutch country website and saw they have a “Flavor Fest” promotion going on. We might go wine tsting one day and they have some breweries we might try (though I’ve heard mixed reviews about Bube’s Brewery.. anyone been)?

http://www.padutchcountry.com/

Does anyone have any suggestions for us? We are not into the whole “Amish experience” which seems a lot of other visitors to that are are looking for? We’re really just looking to relax, have a few good meals.

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  1. Hey AmblerGirl - I have not eaten at Donecker's, except for a banquet, so cannot comment on that.

    I work in Ephrata, so I'll give you a heads up about Lily's, since you might get that rec. It's used to be good, but since about 2 years ago, it's been mediocre. Not sure what happened, but I've had a few people voice agreement with me on that.

    Just west of Ephrata is the Udder Choice, a place with good soup and sandwiches, as well as ice cream. They've been kinda slow lately, but the food is great. Just East of town in Shade Maple Smorgasbord, which is decent as far as that category goes. Breakfast there is awesome though - you won't need lunch.

    I was a Bube's a long time ago, and breweries can change dramatically over time. It was not good at all then. A better choice might be Stoudt's in Adamstown. They have awesome beer and very good food, both pub style and semi-fine dining.

    I'll let other make recs regarding other parts of the county.

    1. The tasting menu at Doneckers is excellent...wine is included with 3 courses.

      I was just there Saturday evening and the soup was a sweet corn
      bisque with apple and carrot julienne. Really good !

      1. Hi Ace

        I agree about Lily's being just so so for awhile, but I think there's a new chef. Did you see the review in the Reading
        paper ? We went last week and had the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese and it was excellent !

        1. http://www.haagshotel.com/home.html I ate here when I was a kid and I can't vouch for it today-but man--as I recall this was the real thing

          1. Here are a couple of suggestions since you'll be in
            Ephrata. If you head out of Ephrata on 322 West, you
            will run into Mt. Gretna. I think its about 10 miles
            or so. The drive is really nice, and Mt. Gretna is a
            neat little community tucked in the mountains. There
            is an ice cream shop there called the Jigger Shop. Would
            be a nice place to go for lunch.

            From Mt. Gretna, you could hop on 72 South for a few miles
            to the PA renaissance faire. I wouldn't go to the faire
            itself, but they do have a winery there with wine tastings,
            which is kind of fun to do.

            Later...Shawn