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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

[Smorgasbord I] Pennsylvania dutch style buffet: Shady Maple

We drove down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Thanksgiving weekend.
We wanted to do something different this year,
 and I have longed to visit Amish village for years.

The weather throughout the trip was gorgeous.
The drive was peaceful and nice, mainly thanks to the dual screen portable DVD player
we bought the day before the trip. The Boys were not bored :)

The two main purpose of the trip was

1) to see Amish Village
2) to enjoy Pennsylvania dutch "smorgasbord"

Haven't you heard about the smorgasbord,

I copy and paste the definition from Longman dictionary:

smor‧gas‧bord [uncountable and countable]
a large variety of different things:
a smorgasbord of art from around the world
2 a meal in which people serve themselves from a large number of different dishes [= buffet]

Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word as
"a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes)"

And Lancaster is very famous for Pennsylvania dutch style smorgasbord.
Maybe you already know that the word Smorgasbord is originated from Swedish.
I don't know why they started to use the word. But, it became a synonym of 
"Pennsylvania dutch style buffet"
 I'll post Amish village photos in my next post.
We took so many pictures, as usual.
So, I can't show them all at once.

I'll start with our first smorgasbord brunch today
and upload rest of the photos from our trip in 3-4 subsequent posts.

So, we had smorgasbord for three days in a row:

We tried to select the best-reviewed smorgasbord restaurants and it was a tough job as there were so many good ones out there!!!

We tried our best to try as many smorgasbord as possible~
All of them were really good.

Let's start with Shady Maple.

We checked in Hampton Inn in Allentown Friday night.
So, we had to drive another 50 miles to Lancaster on Saturday morning to have our first smorgasbord.

And when we parked the car,
we were shocked by the scale of the restaurant as wells as by the long queue!!

Honestly, I can tell you that Shady Maple was the biggest restaurant I've ever seen.
They have 1200 seats in the space of 110,000 square feet.

Pablo wanted to be held while we were waiting.
I understand that.
Honestly, I feel Americans are significantly taller then Canadians.
Why is that?
(Well, of course, I may be wrong.)

I thought we would not make it for breakfast.
When we joined the queue, it was about 9:45 and the breakfast is served up to 10 a.m.
But, come on.
We drove down all the way from Ottawa to have a nice smorgasbord~

Thank God!
We made it.

We prepaid for the meal
and we could get a table around 10:10~~
Yay ~

We were asked to leave this slip on our table until we are done with the meal.

You can eat as much as you want.
But, you are not allowed to take out food.
Well, it's fair and same with all the buffet restaurant I believe.

Well I took this picture when the breakfast was almost done.
But, the buffet tables were endless.
It was the same repertoire every 4-5 buffet bars though.

Gravy with biscuits, grits, and bacon~


Fresh fruits

Cinnamon buns and Pennsylvania Dutch's traditional Whoopie pie

You could get fresh pancake or eggs made for you.

This was my first plate :)
I started with eggs benedicts, bacon and hash brown.
Egg benedict was delicious even though the eggs were pan-fried rather than poached.

Pancake with blueberry sauce.
As you may guess, this was Pablo's dish. 

and then, he asked for a bowl of cereal.
Son, are you serious?
There were variety of food, and this son wanted a bowl of lucky charms~

Pork sausage and corned beef.
So yummy, but salty.
I would feel guilty to eat sausage and corned beef everyday.
However, I was on holiday~ 
And I allow myself to eat these sinful(?) stuff on holidays. :)
(I make lots of excuses to eat delicious food :()

We were done around 11 a.m., i.e. by the time lunch smorgasbord is about to start.

People were already lined up and waiting for a table.

Underneath the huge restaurant,
there is a HUGE gift shop.

I always believe that a nice restaurant without a pleasant washroom is not a really good restaurant.
That is why I always go and check the washroom at any restaurant.

This is the powder room on the way to  washroom.
I asked and the ladies in the scene were okay to be in the photo.:)

So I can definitely say that Shady Maple is a very nice restaurant :)

Then we went down to see the "fameuse" gift shop.
And there was one of the largest gift shops before my eyes~
I just checked and found out that the shop is 40,000 square feet.

Beautiful quilt.
Lancaster is famous for handmade quilts, mainly thanks to Amish ladies who have made quilts for their families for hundreds years.

I love Christmas accessories.

I had hard time there controlling my desire to buy whole bunch of stuffs.

Music box with punched discs.

As you see, it was so beautiful~~~

When we came out of the building,
there was a quasi farmer's market.

It's the high season for pumpkins~

I had a strong temptation to buy a couple of them,
but our car trunk was almost fully loaded.

So colorful Indian corns~

It surely was a beautiful day and
we left the restaurant site not before noon.

I'd love to go back to this gigantic, but also friendly restaurant in some years.

Shady Maple - Smorgasbord


  1. I want to try this smorgasbord, too. All the foods look so delicious. I feel like hungry. If I have a chance to be in Pennsylvania, I definately try this buffet.

  2. WHOA yeahhh! Looks killer! I gotta get me some! ha. Nice.

    James | shady maple gift shop