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Jan 8, 2008 08:47 AM

Lancaster Weekend

Will be visiting Lacaster on the weekend of 19 & 20 January. Have been many times in day trips for outlets and amish stores. Now will be staying for the weekend at a B&B and was wondering if anyone out there had any rec's for dinner. Most of what we have done in the past was fast food or Heaven forbid a Chain restaurant. But now we are looking for something better. Will arrive Saturday morning from Baltimore suburbsand leave sometime late Monday afternoon. Looking for probably 3 good meals.

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  1. If you're going to be in the area of the outlets, I'd definitely recommend Olive and Jasmine Asian Bistro ( It's an independently owned Asian-fusion that is a welcome change from the chains (Applebees, Fudruckers, Roadhouse) that surround and overshadow it. It's a "white tablecloth" place, but it's still very casual, and it's BYO. Most importantly, the food is really good, the prices are very reasonable, and the service is wonderful. And, if you check out their website, you can print out a coupon for 15% off your check.

    1. Where will you be staying? For a good dinner out one night, I would definately suggest Gibraltar.


      2 Replies
      1. re: sballard

        Gibraltar is a definite recommendation. Be sure to make a reservation for a weekend visit.

        1. re: sballard

          Yep! I'll second the rec for Gibraltars. Very fresh, delicious fish. They have great cocktails. Their desserts are some of the best in town. And, hands down, the best espresso.

        2. Miller's Smorgasbord - if you're into that. Way better than the chains and much more appropriate than a suburban Chinese restaurant, don't you think?

          At Miller's, you get prime rib, ham, peel and eat shrimp, decent fried chicken, a huge salad bar, etc etc etc. Desserts are passable. Definitely go hungry. When I viist Lancaster, I always go here early in the day to place my reservation - it's just quintessential Dutch country to this NYC ex-pat.

          4 Replies
          1. re: FoolForFood

            I tend to pass up most "eat-till-you're-stuffed-and-can't-move" places if favor of freshly-prepared food and good service. But, as they say, "different strokes..."

            1. re: CindyJ

              I've had nothing but great service at Miller's. Granted, it's not white tablecloth service, but the wait staff is very courteous. As for the quality of food - everything is freshly prepared. Nothing is frozen, no sauces come pre-made in pouches, etc. It's basically what I get at the Farmer's Market in Wayne.

              People make weekend trips to Lancaster for a reason (i.e. to take in everything Dutch). You can get half-#$#% Asian food in every American suburb. Excluding Indian buffets, there's nothing special about any Asian restaurant that's outside of a Chinatown or Koreatown, etc.

              1. re: FoolForFood

                Well, that's crap, imho. Olive & Jasmine is good food -- if you're going for an entire weekend, there's only so much smorgas-borging that one can do. If you're looking for some non-chain, non-smorgasborg dining in the vicinity of the outlets, Olive & Jasmine gets my vote.

                For the smorgasborg experience nothing beats Shady Maple as a dining event. I love taking folks new to Dutch Country here just to watch their jaws drop. You'll venture a little further out, but the food -- not to mention the experience (the place is insanely huge -- everything that's both right and wrong about this great country) -- is worth it.

                For other non-chain dining options outside the realm of Dutch Country eats, I'd recommend Fiorentino's (nice & creative Italian -- two locations -- go to the one by the airport for less of a wait) or El Serrano (yummy Peruvian).

            2. re: FoolForFood

              although all you can eat is not my favorite either I would tend to reccomend either Yoders on Route 23 (decent quality and more frequented by locals then the tourist places) or Stoltzfuss's on 772 SE of Intercourse
              Stoltfuss's started as a butcher shop (they still have stands at several farmers markets) and the Sausage and Ham loaf they serve are their own and quite good.

              On the other hand I haven't been there in about two years and several posts since then are negative.

            3. It has been over a year since we have been to Lancaster. For day trips, we used to stop at the Willow Valley resort for the buffet lunch. For regular dining, the Olde Greenfield Inn (but I don't think it is open for lunch on Saturday). For a weekend visit, I have heard good things about Gibralter and we are considering it for our next trip to Lancaster. While the first two may not be the standard CH recommendations, both are far superior to a chain -- please don't drive that far to eat at an Applebee's or Fudruckers.

              1. RJJR -you have a very ecclectic set of restaurants recommended here. If you provide more specifcs (price range, cuisine, ambiance, etc), we could do a better job of pointing you in the right direction. I personally avoid the "authentic" Amish places, and prefer to find places that can wine and dine me like a Philly-restaurant. But, that's just me. Hope to help!

                6 Replies
                1. re: armartin

                  I am not looking for extremely high end, but I do not mind paying for good food. Cuisine - we will eat just about anything, seafood, steaks, burgers. There will probably be another couple now joining us, so maybe not as romantic as I was originally thinking. We (wife and I ) will be staying at the King's Cottage Bed & Breakfast for the first time. Other couple some hotel not sure where. We have been to Millers in the past for a breakfast once, but neither of us are into the "eat til you're stuffed and can not move" any longer. We enjoy good food fixed properly. Thanks for all of the rec's so far and please keep them coming.....

                  1. re: RJJR

                    RJR You wrote:
                    "We have been to Millers in the past for a breakfast once, but neither of us are into the "eat til you're stuffed and can not move" any longer. We enjoy good food fixed properly."
                    Why do you assume that dining at restaurants like Miller's calls for eating yourself into a stupor and that because the food is served buffet style that it is not. " fixed properly? ". It is up to the individual Diner as to how much food he/she chooses to consume. Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to stuff youreslf. As for the preparation. I'd wager that the food served at places like Miller's and Stoltzfuss's is fresher than many other higher end restaurants due to high turnover. Other Posters offered suggestions as to places they like and thought you might like. Since you indicated that on previous trips, you had eaten at chains and fast food places most Posters would have thought that a buffet would be a step up for your eating comfort zone. When you posted, you should have specified that you were not interested in a buffet setup

                    1. re: Tay

                      I did not mean that I thought that Millers or other buffets were not fixed properly. I meant that I enjoy good food at a nice sit down restaurant, and not feel like I am being crowded or fighting the masses from all of the bus traffic that I usually see at those places. I also meant that we were not in Lancaster long enough in the past to look fo or stop at something other than a chain, as my wife and daughter had shopping on the mind. I checked out the Gibraltar web site last night and it looks very good, I believe we will try that and also check out the indoor market, we have been wanting to check it out in the past and never got around to it. My paperwork is at home and I had also checked out one of the brewing companies which I believe was Lancaster Brewing Company, which intrigued me with a very nice menu, I am looking forward to possibly trying that also.

                      1. re: RJJR

                        There is a new brewery right across from Gibraltar, called Iron Hill. I had a nice lunch there a few weeks ago. Their beer sampler is very good, and not very expensive. I also second the recommendation for Carr's, especially if you are going to already be at the Market...very convenient. I also second the recommendation for Olive and Jasmine Bistro if you are going to be down around the outlets. In that general vicinity, there is really nothing better.


                      2. re: Tay

                        Tay - I couldn't have said it better.

                      3. re: RJJR

                        For something a little bit different (but definitely Chow-worthy), how about the Market in downtown Lancaster? I believe it's open Saturday morning, and it's the longest operating indoor market in the country, I think. It's easy to collect a meal among the different vendors, although less easy to find someplace to sit and eat it -- there are only a few small tables and they're usually in high demand. Definitely something to do at least once on a visit to the area.