The main reason we ended up discovering Spruce Forest Artisan Village was the repeated recommendations of Ranger Mike to eat at Penn Alps Restaurant. The restaurant is located in Grantsville, Maryland, about an hour from where we live. So we had never been there. But Kaylan’s request to see four states in one day meant that we had the perfect excuse to try it out. So the women of Wedgewood and Tom and I headed there for lunch.
Penn Alps Restaurant is one of the ubiquitous “Amish” restaurants that you see all over Pennsylvania and Ohio. Basically it is a homestyle restaurant trying to cash in on the ideal we have of Amish home cooking. The restaurant was originally the log cabin Little Crossings Inn and Stagecoach stop. You can still eat in the log cabin portion of the restaurant, but it has been expanded six times so the log cabin part is hard to find.
The core of Penn Alps Restaurant’s menu is the salad and soup bar. In addition to hearty soups, there are rolls and desserts. You can also order from the menu. When the Wedgewood women ate there, all of us had the soup and salad bar except Tom and Kaylan. Tom ordered a tuna salad sandwich and Kaylan got a reuben. The salad bar was good enough, although the greens weren’t as fresh as I like. Tom said his tuna salad sandwich was very good. Kaylan said her reuben wasn’t as good as the ones her mother makes.
I ordered the salad bar so I could get some dessert. The blackberry cobbler was the best thing I ate that day. It tasted fresh and homemade and was delicious served warm with ice cream melting down into it. The Wedgewood women said the other desserts, part of the soup and salad bar, were good as well.
Tom and I enjoyed our meal there very much, so we decided to eat there again when we went back a week later. Unfortunately we were not as fortunate in our menu choices. The salad was wilted and the rolls were hard. We both ordered the Swiss mushroom burger special. While the french fries were good, they were from a freezer bag. The worst part was the burger was also from a freezer bag and tasted like those cafeteria burgers we used to get in elementary school. The mushrooms were canned and had such a strong taste I couldn’t eat the burger.
So, I guess I would say my two meals at Penn Alps were a mixed bag. The first meal was great – at least in part due to the company. And, although I love my companion for the second meal, the burger was awful. Tom and I will eat there again, but we will be more careful about our menu choices. This is a good example of a restaurant trying to do too much. Not everything will work and the quality slips.