Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Foodie Wednesday: Lacaster Eats

When my mom and I arrived in Lancaster on Friday it was lunch time and we were starved. We checked into our hotel (the Marriott Courtyard) and asked the woman at the front desk for a lunch recommendation. She recommended Isaac's Restaurant & Deli, she said it was a chain that was only in that region of Pennsylvania.

There happened to be one right around the corner where we were staying so we headed over there. Isaac's is a typical low-cost restaurant, the decor is a little cheesy, but the food is delish! We got our menu's (which were extensive) and immediately decided on Pretzel Bread Sandwiches. We couldn't decide what we wanted so we decided to get two sandwiches and go splitsies. I ordered the Salty Eagle (grilled ham, swiss cheese, fresh tomatoes and lettuce) and my mom ordered the Rose of Sharon (sliced portabella mushroom, fresh tomatoes, onion, spinach with melted provlone cheese). Both sandwiches were delicious but we both agreed that the Rose of Sharon was the better sandwich. What made this sandwiches extra special was the pretzel bread - it looks like a roll, but tastses like a soft pretzel - it was so good that we ended up purchasing pretzel bread to bring home with us!

Isaac's was so enjoyable that we returned on Saturday for lunch and visited the Staussburg location. I once again ordered a Pretzel Bread Sandwich, the Whooping Crane (sliced turkey, onions, fresh spinach, and swiss cheese, grilled). I think the Whooping Crane was my favorite of the three different pretzel bread sandwiches that we tried.

If I was back in the area I would definitely return to Isaac's! 4 stars

Friday night we headed to Gibraltar's restaurant for dinner. Gibraltar's is on the outskirts of downtown Lancaster and actually is practically on the campus of Franklin & Marshall. The restaurant was very fancy, a little fancier than we had anticipated. The restaurant was big and open and our waitress was very knowledgeable!

I ordered a ceasar salad to start and followed it up with the Salmon dish. The ceasar salad was delicious with homemade sourdough croutons but the Salmon was just OK. It was a little dry and it was a huge piece of salmon probably 3 times the actual portion size that you should eat. I ate about a third of it and was full!

Overall, my mom and I agreed that while this restaurant was very nice, the food didn't line up with the expecations. The restaurant was very expensive and fancy and we expected better food then was delivered. Not that our meal was bad perse, it was just OK.

If we were back in Lancaster, I can't say I would return to this restaurant. 2 1/2 stars

On Saturday we headed into Downtown Lancaster for the evening. We began the night at Checkers Bistro, also recommended by our hotel. Checkers doesn't seem like much from the outside, and our experience didn't start out great, as the hostess was incredibly rude, but we got over it.

Our waiter was extremely friendly and knowledgeable! I started with the half portion of the ceasar salad and then ordered the scallop dish for dinner. The ceasar salad probably wasn't as good as at Gibraltar but it was still a good salad. The scallops however were to die for - they were so good!!! We were both pleasantly surprised because the entrees at this restaurant were half the price of the entrees at Gibraltar's.

We both agreed that Checker's Bistro was a great restaurant. Very affordable, the food was delicious, and the atmostpher inside was very nice. The restaurant is bigger than you would think when you first walk in.

If I was ever back in Lancaster, I would definitely return to Checker's for a meal (and I'd probably get those scallops again!) 4 stars

Bird-in-Hand Farmer's Market

On Saturday we went to the Bird-in-Hand Farmer's Market on Old Philadelphia Pike. My mom had originally wanted to go on Sunday to bring home some fresh produce but we both realized it would probably be closed on Sunday. She wanted to visit it regardless so we headed over for a visit.

This farmer's market reminded me a lot of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, just much smaller (probably only 1/6 of the size). There were places were you could eat a meal, and places where you could by produce, jams, meats, desserts, etc. I was on a quest to find a delicious whoopie pie (and I succeeded!) My mom decided to make a couple of purchases at one of the jam sections. She bought a pear butter for herself, a sweet potato butter for her mom, and then a selection of james for each kid (I helped pick them out!) They had these mini sample jams that you could load into a little box, 6 per box. The varities were: Apple Cinnamon, Apple Raspberry, Pineapple, Peach, Pepper Jam, Blackberry, Blueberry, Grape, Strawberry, Red Raspberry and Four Berry. I'm excited to try out my sample jam pack!

All in all it was a pretty cool little farmer's market. I think we both wished we had gotten there earlier in the day when they were really stocked up, but at least we got to have the experience.

Post in Comments:

If you have ever eaten in Lancaster, what is your favorite restaurant?

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