Written by Scott Miller
The harvest season is in full swing here in Lancaster County. On my way to Garden Spot Village each day, I love watching the Amish farmers working their field, bringing in the bounty that we enjoy on our tables.
Lancaster County has long been known for its fresh produce, great baked goods, cheeses and other goodies, and a visit to Pennsylvania Dutch Country isn’t complete without a meal at one of our famous smorgasbords. But as delicious as traditional recipes may be, local menus aren’t limited to ham balls, buttered noodles, chow chow and shoo fly pie. If you’re a “foodie,” you’ll find a world of flavors here. In fact, the lifestyle site Thrillist just listed Lancaster as one of “9 Surprisingly Great U.S. Food Cities You Have to Visit.”
In its Sept. 19 post, Thrillist Travel highlighted “an inventive, international array of flavors fed by Amish farms,” and said that Brooklyn would envy Lancaster for “its farm-to-table restaurants, and at such low prices for high-end dining.” The article gave shout-outs to the beet sandwiches and meat pies at Aussie and the Fox, Indian food from Himalayan, the handmade burrata at Maison, Swedish pancakes at OnOrange and the seasonal gnocchi specialties at Alton Brown. For coffee fans, the article recommended Square One, Prince Street Café or Passenger Coffee.
The folks who live at Garden Spot Village know they can get great meals in Lancaster, Lititz and other towns throughout the county. They also can eat well without leaving campus, with boutique dining at the Fireside Café; The Coop, our French bistro; and our groundbreaking dining venue, The Harvest Table.
At The Harvest Table, executive chef Michael Pezzillo and the Sodexo team whip up delicious dishes from across the country and around the world, and touch-screen ordering kiosks let you “have it your way.” Pezzillo is the former owner of Café Mosaic and a farm-to-table chef who plans menus around what’s fresh. As part of the Sodexo team, he has access to thousands of tested and proven recipes. The Sodexo collection includes Mindful by Sodexo, dishes that balance nutrition with enticing flavors, and favorites from celebrity chefs like cookbook author and Emmy® Award-nominated host Marvin Woods and Food Network star Anne Burrell.
How good is our food? So good that people who live in the surrounding community often come to The Harvest Table when they’re looking for a nutritious, delicious and reasonably price meal. There’s a lot to choose from: 100-percent Angus beef burgers; sustainably sourced seafood; Italian, Mexican and Asian dishes; a soup and salad bar; artisan-style deli sandwiches…. And did I mention homemade desserts and hand-dipped ice cream?
Plus, the atmosphere is as appealing as the menu. In a nod to the region’s agricultural heritage and in recognition of our location in the county’s “garden spot,” the design is a clean, contemporary interpretation of a traditional corncrib. On the walls, jars of brightly colored pickled peppers, beets, chow chow and other examples of local produce remind us to be thankful for the bounty of God’s earth — and to savor every delicious bite.