The Delaware diversion was a purely collector’s impulse. At one time, I dreamed of visiting all the restaurants listed in Roadfood, but after several years of fairly diligent Roadfooding, I’ve hit only a few hundred of those restaurants; I don’t think that goal is viable. But I still have a ‘collect them all’ mentality. So I’ve reduced my goals to smaller collections; I’m still trying to eat at all of the Roadfood honor roll (37/100), and I’m trying to eat Roadfood in every state (40/50).
But we hadn’t previously eaten in Delaware, and from Pittsburgh, Delaware is not really en route to anything but Delaware. So I was tempted into the detour because we were already so close.
We chose Dutch Country Cafe as our destination because the Roadfood review mentioned breakfast food and we thought we could get there in time for brunch. But the drive was slow, albeit pleasant, and they were no longer serving breakfast by the time we arrived.
The Dutch Country Cafe is in the Dutch Market, which appears to be a former big box store in a strip mall that’s been divided up into a bunch of small Amish stalls. The effect is very utilitarian and severe.
We sat at the counter, and this may have been a mistake. The service was extremely lackluster; we had to wait a long time to receive drinks, a long time to get our order taken, a very long time to receive our food, and a very long time to receive our bill. I never did receive the soup that I ordered. When I asked for the bill, I said in my best chilly tone, “please take the soup off the bill”. The waitress said, “Oh, did you still want that?”
We saw later that there was booth seating on the other side of the kitchen. Perhaps if we had chosen seats there, we would not have felt forgotten and forlorn.
The lunch menu did not seem to have much Pennsylvania Dutch character. The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was the chicken and corn soup. Had I received the soup, I might have an opinion about that.
I got an American sub, with salami, white cheddar cheese, fresh juicy tomato, and pickled peppers, piled high enough on a sub roll that was necessary to eat it open-faced because the sandwich could not be closed. It was actually a very good sandwich, particularly because of the tomatoes.
Lori’s beef and bacon melt was much less nice. It tasted much more of grill and grease than beef or bacon.
Afterward, I got a very nice soft pretzel at the pretzel stand across the aisle.
With our late arrival, the excruciating slowness of the service, and traffic delays around Wilmington, we had no time to enjoy Philadelphia at all this day. It would be an error to judge the whole state by this bad experience, but nevertheless I was muttering “stupid Delaware” for most of the trip.
We had dinner with our friends Seth and Karen in Cherry Hill. Karen had prepared a beautiful feast, including four different types of quiches, a very fancy vegetable tart with cucumber and carrot rosettes, and a beautiful caramel apple tart. We were very impressed that she could do so much, particularly with four young children.