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Fine Dining in or near Lancaster- Dinner Recs?

I understand what you're saying. And I think that the original poster and relatives could probably find something on the menu at any of the three -- Maison, Citronnelle or JJJ -- and be happy.. My favorite meal at Maison, though, was Porchetta Di Testa (rolled sliced pig's head) followed by a pasta with rabbit ragu. And I have plenty of friends and relatives who would never consider eating either. The small menu at Maison can get smaller pretty quickly when you have food aversions or aren't up to trying something new/different. Citronnelle has a similarly small menu, but may be a bit safer, especially if French is not too "ethnic". JJJ has a larger menu, though many dishes have Asian or Mexican slants. But my parents have eaten at JJJ and been happy and they are not adventurous eaters.

Apr 10, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Fine Dining in or near Lancaster- Dinner Recs?

Maybe I'm getting too hung up on the words "typical American", but when I read that I think of a place like The Log Cabin (As it once was, at least. I haven't been there in decades.) where a baked potato is offered. And you wouldn't find a baked potato at Maison, Citronelle, or JJJ.

Apr 09, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Fine Dining in or near Lancaster- Dinner Recs?

Wow. This is my list in the same order, except I have not been to Gibraltar. But I'm not sure I would call any typical American cuisine which is why I hesitated recommending them. All may have some good basic items on the menu but are at their best if you're adventurous

Apr 09, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Lehigh Valley Eats

I'm rarely in that area, but I'll throw out a few ideas for others to comment on.

Aci Halal Meat & Turkish Restaurant (Allentown): Stopped in here for lunch once and had a kebab sandwich which was really, really good. Looking forward to going back for dinner.

Soumaya & Sons Bakery (Whitehall): Going to try to stop by here this weekend on my way through for takeout. Looks great from what I've read.

Taqueria El Carreton (Reading): Got some tacos here when I was killing time in Reading one day and they were great. The Beef Cheek and the Chroizo were my favorites. The other food I saw coming out looked interesting. Can't wait to try this place again.

Apr 08, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

good cheap eats and one good cheese steak

I'd prefer provolone on just about any other sandwich. But not on a cheesesteak. And it's not only a flavor thing, it's textural. The whiz mixed in with the steak and the onions pulls everything together. Provolone just hangs out on the side of the roll, reluctant to get involved.

As for the ingredients, it may not be cheese or food, but it is cheese food, and that's something.

Apr 02, 2014
ahab in Philadelphia
4

good cheap eats and one good cheese steak

Jim's on South Street is the best I've had. But I've only ordered with whiz.

Also agree with previous posts recommending DiNics and Paesanos.

Apr 02, 2014
ahab in Philadelphia

good cheap eats and one good cheese steak

Why no whiz?

Apr 02, 2014
ahab in Philadelphia

Help fill in the blanks....Lancaster

I agree that the Fridge wouldn't be the best place for kids after a long day at DW. The original rec was for takeout. As an adult, after a long day at DW, I would welcome the chance to leave the rest of the family back at the hotel and make a trip downtown to pick up the pizza (and hope for a wait so I could enjoy a beer).

Mar 26, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Help fill in the blanks....Lancaster

Great! The banh mi are pretty good, but on the smaller side. My wife and I usually split one and order some other things. You really can't go wrong with the basics here -- bun, soups, etc... But if you're in the mood for something different, we also like the following which are not on every Vietnamese menu (from their website):

CM 7. Xoi Ga Lap Xuong A steamed sweet sticky rice plate topped with stir-fried shredded chicken and yellow onions, Chinese pork sausage, green onions and fried shallots. Served with a special soy sauce on the side.

BC 1. Banh Uot Cha Chien Steamed flat rice noodles and fried Vietnamese pork bologna topped with bean sprouts, cucumbers, basil and fried shallots. Served with nuoc mam sauce on the side.

And by the way, this is the our kids' (age 4 and 6) favorite restaurant.

Mar 23, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Help fill in the blanks....Lancaster

Never been to either bakery, so I don't know. Good luck and please report back on your trip!

Mar 23, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Help fill in the blanks....Lancaster

Sounds like a good trip. The kids will have fun. Activities for the kids seem to be your focus, and with that you're going to be more limited with food options. (I can't think of much great in the way of food near Dutch Wonderland or the RR.) But I think you can still sneak in some good meals.

After a day at Dutch Wonderland I would need an adult beverage or two. The Fridge in Lancaster makes very good pizza (the best I've had in the area), and has a great selection of beer by the bottle to go. Looks like you can call ahead, get their pizza specials for the day and order to go. It's super thin pizza, so plan accordingly.

I think you'll enjoy Lititz, and Tomato Pie Cafe is a good lunch option. Lancaster to Lititz to Chocolate World to Lancaster is certainly doable, but the kids will probably be tired again, so if it were me I'd look for something on the casual side for dinner. JoBoy's in Manheim serves pretty good BBQ, is kid friendly and is not too far off the route on your way back.

As for your first night, if you're looking for something on the lighter side, I would recommend Rice & Noodles. Very good Vietnamese that looks like it would be on your way over to Dutch Wonderland. Get there on the earlier side (before 6:00) because it will get busy.

Mar 23, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

The General Sutter Inn - Lititz, PA

Wanted to make a note here for future reference... I just learned that the inn and pub just got a new executive chef at the end of 2013. Haven't been there myself, but met someone who works there and had great things to say.

Feb 14, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania
1

Chinese in Lancaster

Let's keep this thread alive! I'd love to find a good Chinese restaurant in the area.

Tried Mojo near Lititz recently with friends and came away unimpressed for a second time. A little bit of everything I tend to dislike about Chinese in the area -- a little too sweet, a little too saucy, no real depth. The textures and flavors that make great Chinese great just weren't there.

But I'm willing to push on. Has anyone had any experience with Hong Kong Garden or Yang's. They've been on my radar for a while, but would love any opinions before we take the plunge.

Feb 05, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Aussie and the Fox - Lancaster

Thanks for the report! I've been really curious about this place. It's a shame when poor or slow service saps the enjoyment out of a meal. Definitely going to check it out and cross my fingers that we hit them at a good time with the service. That burger sounds interesting... Never order the turkey sandwich! It will always lead to disappointment.

Feb 05, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Hunger n Thirst (Lancaster) - Nice Meal, Great Baguette

Had our first meal at Hunger n Thirst this weekend and overall we were impressed.

Arrived at around 7:30 and the room was full until we left. The beer selection was great and the food was definitely good enough to bring us back for another visit. The tuna tartare taco was the least popular item of the night. The filling was nice, but we felt that the flour tortilla didn't work with it. Too chewy and flavorless, awkward and distracting. My mussels were good and a side of fries was excellent. Really, really good fries. A couple of people at the table had the vegetarian meal and enjoyed it. A burger disappeared from another plate before I even had a chance to look it over. There are a bunch of items on the menu that looked interesting and my wife and I might have ordered the prix fixe (3 courses, $35) if we weren't there with a group.

Attached to the restaurant is a market and bottle shop, which were closed when we were there for dinner. But we were driving by the next day and stopped in. Couldn't resist taking a baguette home. Had no plan for it, but it looked too good to pass up. Wound up standing around the kitchen with my wife and kids devouring it mid-afternoon. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and still slightly warm. Seriously the best bread I've had in a long, long time. Wow.

Will definitely be back over and over for that baguette and to try some of the meats and cheeses from the market. Glad to have this place in Lancaster.

Jan 26, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Chinese in Lancaster

Looking forward to any suggestions. Since moving back to the area, we haven't explored the local Chinese out of fear/expectation of disappointment. Would love to learn of some good options. Worst case scenario you can take a short road trip to R&Z's Ping Pong in Wayne. We stop there on every trip to Trader Joe's.

Jan 24, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

It wouldn't be mentioned on this specific thread because it doesn't fall into the "ethnic" category.

As far as being mentioned in other posts, my guess is that it just doesn't generate that much excitement. It's a beautiful place, but I found the menu and food to be a bit boring during my one visit. (Not bad I should say, just boring.) If I'm going out for a fairly expensive dinner in Lancaster (or anywhere) I want the possibility of being blown away. And that's much more likely to happen at a restaurant like Maison or a few others. I'd almost certainly receive more pleasure from a meal at any of the above "ethnic" restaurants than at Cork & Cap -- and at 1/3 the price, saving enough for the occasional splurge at Maison, Citronelle, etc. At least that's my pleasure maximization calculation! Everyone's is different.

Jan 21, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Thanks. Will definitely make another visit! The pork chop sounds great.

Jan 19, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

What are your favorite dishes there? We were there once, but it didn't leave a lasting impression either way. Will definitely give it another try!

Jan 18, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

We tried Le Viet Bistro tonight for the first time and were pretty impressed. Banh Mi was great. Absolutely perfect bread for the sandwich! Didn't love the noodles in my Bun Bo Hue (is this what your husband had?), but liked it overall. Kids loved the pho, and the spoonful of broth I had was good and brightly flavored. Other food coming out of the kitchen looked interesting, especially the crepes. Good to have an alternative to Rice and Noodles (which we love) and will definitely be back.

Jan 17, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Called earlier today, and they're still open.

Jan 17, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Ha! We've only been there for lunch, and never has there been more than one other table of diners. We figured they must do a killer dinner business. Looks like they're still around, but I wonder how they survive. I think they've started doing the rotisserie chicken only at night now, so we may have to go back for dinner and check it out. Shame they're not busier. Their food really is good.

Jan 16, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Hope they all live up to my recommendation. One more note: I don't believe that any of the above serve alcohol. So if that's important, you may want to confirm and BYO if allowed.

Jan 15, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Should have warned in my post above that Khom's is primarily takeout. One or two small tables inside which are fine for a quick lunch, but not much more.

Jan 15, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

New(ish) ethnic eats in Lancaster?

Here are some options that you haven't mentioned. Not all new, but all worth a visit if you haven’t been.

As for Himalayan Curry and Grill, I've only been for the weekend buffet lunch, but was impressed with the food. Everything I had was nicely done.

Rice and Noodles – Vietnamese – Lancaster: Love this place. Great friendly service. Beyond well-executed versions of the standard pho, grilled pork, spring rolls, etc. are some interesting dishes – Xoi Ga Lap Xuong (steamed sweet sticky rice with shredded chicken, pork sausage and shallots), Banh Uot Cha Chien (flat rice noodles and Vietnamese pork bologna), decent banh mi, and a variety of good soups.

Onion’s Café - Korean – Lancaster: Serves diner food (omelets, French toast, burgers) and Korean. Still working my way through the menu, but soups have been really good. Ramen Duk Kuk (choose spicy) is ramen soup with chewy half-moon rice cakes. Tofu stew is wholesome and satisfying. Kim Chee stew adds some more tangy flavor (and a bit of meat.) Service can be frustratingly slow, but food is worth it. BYOB.

Manna – Asian Fusion and Sushi – Oregon Pike, Lancaster: We enjoy this on occasion. A cut above the other Local Asian Fusion places like Mojo. Good sushi for the area. Fish is fresh and good, on par with Blue Pacific. But chefs can be a bit heavy-handed with sweet sauces on the sushi rolls. Other dishes are done with obvious care in ingredients and execution. BYOB.

La Borimex – Mexican – Ephrata: My favorite Mexican in the area. (Not exactly a lot of competition, I know.) Very casual place, a dozen or so tables in a Mexican store. Some hits, some misses, but misses are easily forgiven since we're happy to have an option other than the typical PA chain Mexican. Good tacos, especially the Campechano chorizo/asada combination. Excellent house salsas. Good red rice and black beans that come with platters.

Khom’s Egg Roll Paradise – Cambodian – Eggrolls are outstanding. Filled with pork and shrimp and angel hair noodles, denser (and more addictive) than the typical Chinese egg roll. Vegetable egg rolls are great too. Curry Stew with sweet potato and eggplant is so satisfying and full of flavor. Other dishes generally very good, mostly hits with the occasional miss.

La Costena – Peruvian – Lancaster: Great rotisserie chicken if they have it. Get the Peruvian hot sauce to go with it. Other dishes are generally good as well.

El Maizal – Colombian – Lancaster: Bandeja Paisa for a meal that will require a nap. Variety of creole dishes.

Jan 15, 2014
ahab in Pennsylvania

Restaurants in Lancaster

Not sure about the red chile sauce. I like their tacos, especially campechano (steak and chorizo). The alambre was good. Did have some tender grilled steak once that wasn't quite so tender. But fajitas have been good. And their two house salsas, red and green, are great.

Dec 18, 2013
ahab in Pennsylvania

Restaurants in Lancaster

La Borimex in Ephrata is probably the best Mexican we've had in the area. (Not exactly a lot of competition, I know.) Very casual place, a dozen or so tables in a Mexican store. Some hits, some misses, but misses are easily forgiven since we're happy to have a option other than the typical PA chain Mexican.

Dec 16, 2013
ahab in Pennsylvania

Cheesesteak at PHL?

Chickie's and Pete's is probably your only option. Not anything special, but, hey, you're in an airport. Get the crab fries and a beer and be happy you didn't fly through Harrisburg.

Dec 07, 2013
ahab in Philadelphia
1

One night in Philly, best non-Italian restaurant

Agree with the many others that have recommended Zahav. Amada and Vedge are also great options. I would rank them in that order if choosing just one to visit. But you can't go wrong with any of these. Had a beet dish at Vedge that will haunt me until I figure out how to recreate it at home.

Nov 08, 2013
ahab in Philadelphia

Restaurants worth reviewing?

Meant to say that if we suddenly had all the dining options of a bigger city like NY or Philadelphia here in Lancaster, there are only 5 - 10 existing restaurants that could keep my interest in the new and improved dining landscape. Probably closer to 5. I need to stop posting in a rush! Or you need to learn how to read my mind...

Yes, NY could keep someone busy for a long time. I lived there 10 years ago and loved every minute. And we explore Philadelphia any chance we get now. Going to Vedge next week!

Oct 24, 2013
ahab in Pennsylvania
1