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Sep 11, 2009 12:11 PM

Family Style in Lancaster (Tourist Traps allowed)

My mother-in-law is in town, and wants to head up to Dutch country for a day. She has never been up there, and I figured we could drive around and enjoy the rolling hills and quiet atmosphere that accompanies the post-Labor Day tourist areas. We will be wandering aimlessly, so no particular desination is in mind.

I know she is going to want to get a late lunch/early dinner somewhere, but I'm not sure where to go. I do know that she would like a family style type place, which means I'll likely head to a tourist trap, unless there is something good that is off the beaten path. I've seen other posts, but the one that most closely mirrored my issue was from 7 years ago.

I admit that I've been to Good'n Plenty or Bird-in-Hand or one of those oversized places, and it wasn't too bad (the location was very pretty and it was a convenient stop), but I figure there has to be one that is better than the rest. Or just less bad.

Any thoughts?

(As an aside, how come I can't set up email notifications for replys to this thread? Am I missing something?)

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  1. Shady Maple in East Earl, the best of the tourist traps. We lived in Lancaster for 11 years. We have been away for 10 years, but these places don't change much.

    Unless I've been missing something; to my knowledge, no email notifications for replies (I know Trip Adviser has that feature).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karen K

      Shady Maple? I'll check it out - although, I'm probably going to get asked, "do they offer family style, or is it just a plain buffet?" The website makes me think the latter, but I'm not sure. Me? I think it sounds fine.

      The reply thing is strange. If you comment on an article, you can choose to get an email if someone responds, but not in the forums. I don't get it.

      1. re: nbs2

        Personally, I can't stand Shady Maple, though I am not an expert on any of these places since I avoid them. Which is why, since Trip Advisor was mentioned above, I would consider going over there. There are loads of folks on TA that LOVE all the tourist trap places, and tend to overlook the lack of quality more than those here at Chowhound. They may be better at giving you an experienced answer. A simple search may even provide the answer you are looking for. Good Luck, and have a nice time with your mom. :)

    2. I love Shady Maple, but it doesn't have the homey family style service that your MIL might be looking for. As far as Buffets, Shady Maple is the king of them all and you won't be disappointed. I don't know if they are open on Sundays.

      I would give a big check plus to Good 'N Plenty. The food was good and the setting was nice. I went with my visiting in laws and thought I 'd hate it, but I didn't, thankfully. We were seated with a group from Kentucky and really enjoyed talking with them and even gave them some ideas of what to do/see in this area. It wasn't a matter of quantity of food, but the quality was pretty darn good. And the driving around GnP is pretty and relaxing.