Foodies unite. It is time to explore new sorts of eating hubs and this one is for the masses.
First of all. I am hardly a foodie. But I also know a good dining experience when I am right in the midst of it.
And trust me when I say this, Good ‘n Plenty restaurant in Lancaster County, PA is one of the best eating out experiences my family and I have had in a long time. And if you skim through my site you will see we are not eating-out novices. So this is a pretty strong statement I am making.
Traditional Amish Cooking at Good ‘n Plenty
Why masses? Because since inception of this restaurant, 1969, it has grown from small homestyle eating to holding over 600 people in one dining room. And it gets full – often.
Visiting Lancaster County you can’t avoid Amish culture, traditions and dining. Even though this restaurant isn’t owned by Amish, the food is certainly inspired by their cooking style.
Amish food is hearty and country style. And since we are in the heart of farmland USA, the food is also full of veggies, meat and poultry.
What is Homestyle Dining (Family Style)
You are probably wondering – what is homestyle or family style eating, right? I wondered the same thing before we had a chance to do it.
Basically, it is cafeteria style when you share a table with 20 people. If you are with a group of 20 or more, then you don’t get to sit with strangers who become fun companions while eating delicious grub. In our case, we were seven so we had a chance to meet other travelers in the area.
At first my oldest son was super reluctant to share the table with complete strangers. But, either we got lucky or this was the way things turn out at Good ‘n Plenty, but they were so fun and kind and made our time that much more enjoyable.
However, the food and our waitress was the true attraction.
She was probably my mom’s age, so very grandmotherly. You can tell she loved her job and loved taking on the role of a country granny serving delicious homemade food.
Here’s the Breakdown of our Meal
Roast Beef salad – I have never tasted this before, but the best way to compare it is to tuna fish salad but instead of tuna you have roast beef. What a great idea.
Cole Slaw – this is no ordinary slaw. It has no mayo. Fresher, less greasy and by far more tasty then the normal one.
Bread and butter – the bread is baked on premises, but the best part is what you can put on it. The butter is freshly whipped and they also have this super tasty apple butter (extremely traditional topping in this part of the world).
Fried Chicken and Mashed potatoes and Browned Noodles – Oh My! – this is my favorite part of the meal. I’m a huge lover of mashed potatoes and fried chicken. But I have never tried browned noodles and if I understand it correctly it’s almost burning the butter and adding sugar to noodles. It was so tasty I had like five helpings. (Don’t tell anyone!)
Dessert – Amish County is known for homemade pies. The one I recommend everyone try is the Shoofy pie which has a filling of a molasses and raisin mix.
Ice Cream – Ice cream is served on everything here since there are so many dairy farms in the vicinity. Let’s just say, my kids were in Ice Cream heaven.
Special Treat – The Kitchen Tour
I don’t know how we got so lucky, but I just happened to ask one of the owners if my kids and I can take a tour of the kitchen. If they can feed 600 people in one sitting this homestyled-meal, I wanted to know how.
Plus, my oldest boy has been taking mini-chef courses for the past two years and it was a real cool treat for him to see firsthand how a restaurant works in the back of the house.
Most of these dishes can easily be done at home as long as you have the right bakeware sets.
After a delicious meal you have two choices: either go to your car and take a long nap, or join in the outdoor fun.
There is an adorable playground and petting farm which my kids enjoyed for a long time after our meal.
This was without a doubt one of our absolute favorite restaurants in the area and if we had more time I would have eaten here over and over again.
If you are visiting Lancaster County and have time for only one restaurant – this is the one!
Recommendation – when you visit this restaurant come with an empty stomach (almost go on a one day fast before hand) this way you will have no guilt at all eating ten helpings of each yummy dish.
Fun Facts and a Bit of History
In 1871 the farmhouse that would become Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant was built.
Christ and Dolly Lapp purchased the farmhouse in 1969 to make their dream of owning a restaurant come true.
The grand opening of Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant was in 1969 with seating for 114 guests and family style dining.
In 1971 the Dutch Room was added to increase seating to 600 guests.
Christ opened the Bird In Hand Farmers’ Market in 1976.
In 1978 a much larger waiting room was added.
In 1995 it got another addition and renovation.
To accommodate small groups and business meetings the Open Harvest Room was created in 1995.
2008 – Begin menu dining with the introduction of Harvest Platters
Information for Good ‘n Plenty Restaurant
When you come here do the homestyle dining experience. They offer the al carte menu in a different room, but the whole fun is really in the family style eating.
Address: Route 896, Smoketown, Lancaster County, PA 17576
Hours: Open Mon. – Thurs. 11:30AM – 8:00PM; Fri. & Sat. 11:30AM- 8:00PM; Sunday 11:30AM – 5:00PM
Amish Cooking – Good ‘n Plenty Restaurant Review