After a long drive from Ohio, by the time we arrived to Intercourse, PA after 6pm, there was little to do but eat dinner and then check into the bed and breakfast to sleep off the soreness that had set in after a 7 hour drive.
On our usual trips to Lancaster County, we usually head to the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. However, since there’s usually a LONG wait, involving two separate lines (one for the cashier, another to wait to be seated), and since it was near closing time already, we just decided to stay in the Intercourse/Bird-in-Hand area and went to Good ‘n Plenty instead.
Now, this isn’t a place we’re unfamiliar with – I’ve been going for years, I even remember a German Club field trip in high school that involved this restaurant and one of my classmates who ate nothing but chicken. We had our after-wedding dinner here almost 11 years ago. And we’ve been there a handful of times since. And in all of those years, things haven’t changed at all (except maybe the price).
The concept is this – you’re seated at a big long table with several other families – all strangers. They bring out huge overflowing dishes of just about every Amish food you can think of – fried chicken, ham, beef stew, mashed potatoes, brown buttered noodles, homemade bread with butter and apple butter, chow chow, vinegar slaw, corn, green beans, and a couple of other things I probably don’t even remember. You pass the dishes around the table, and if the dishes get emptied, the servers bring more. While in concept this sounds like a great way to get to know other people, in reality, it all depends on the luck of the draw. The food is excellent (especially the brown buttered noodles). The company was not. I spent my entire meal getting glared at by some old biddy halfway down the table because I dared to take seconds, nay thirds of the noodles. Even though I didn’t take seconds of anything else. And I didn’t escape a glare when I took this picture either.
So I left sort of hungry. I held back a bit, because I didn’t want to validate her stereotype of the piggy fat person. Even though I probably did anyway. There’s a certain amount of peer pressure in those situations, that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I just want to eat what I want to eat with the comments about how much I’m eating coming from other tables, not my own. It’s a great business model for them. And oh, how I love the food. Just wish they had an option for anti-social folks like myself. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind sharing a meal with strangers, I just want to make sure they’re on the same wavelength as I am before I do.
And at $17.91 (plus tax and tip) per person, you really have to work hard to eat your money’s worth. I just wish I had been more motivated and less influenced by passive aggressive BS from the others at the table.
If you’d like to go: Good ‘n Plenty, Rte 896, Smoketown, PA 717.394.7111