The wife and I took some friends to dinner at an Amish “restaurant” recently.
There is are large Amish and Mennonite communities near our home. Several families serve family style Amish cooking out of their homes.
After doing some detective work I got the phone number for one of these families. When I first became aware of folks doing this, reservations had to be made by mail. Now you call and leave a voice message. They do not answer the phone, the use of hte phone is minimized this way. A couple times per week the missus checks the phone messages and returns calls. She returned my call, we made reservations for a Friday at 6pm.
We arrived at the anointed time. The farm is a beautiful place. The live in a large white frame house with a walkout map basement. The driveway is wide, gravelled and leads to a large parking area in front of a BIG metal barn. I’m sure a family member built the barn for them. Not all Amish are farmers. Many around here build pole barns and red iron buildings.
Our instructions were to go to the east end of the house and enter the walk-in basement to be seated for dinner. The basement is large, 2,000sf or so. Long tables were packed in. They can feed about 120 people at a time. This family being somewhat liberal, they have a phone for business use only. They also have electricity AND gas lights. The electric lights were on. I believe the electric lights are used only while dinner guests are present. The gas lights are used the rest of the time. The kitchen has modern dishwashing equipment, I assume in order to meet the requirement of the country health department.
The meal was roast beef, baked chicken, turkey, ham, green beans, chicken noodles, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, yeast rolls, pumpkin or apple pie.
The food was glorious. The best of basic country food. Everything was best in class. Anyone would be proud to enter any of the dishes at the county fair. We’ll be back again and again.
This family clearly works hard at their restaurant business, serving lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. They have farming operations in addition to the restaurant, but it’s plain to see that the regular cash from the restaurant is a great help to the families involved and helps fund an independent lifestyle most people only dream of.
They are an inspiration. We all need to find our Amish Restaurant idea that allows us to interact with our customers directly, providing a simple and excellent product or service.
We made reservations for our next visit before we left the building.