I hardly consider myself a foodie, but I do think that I know a good dining experience when I taste one.
That’s why you can trust me when I say that Good ‘n Plenty restaurant in Lancaster County, PA is one of the best eating out experiences my family and I have had in a long time.
Traditional Amish Cooking at Good ‘n Plenty
In 1969, the restaurant opened as a small mom and pop eatery offering home-style food. Since then, Good ‘n Plenty has grown so much that it consists of a large dining room where you can easily fit 600 people. And it gets full – often.
When you visit Lancaster County, you can’t avoid the Amish culture with all of its traditions and food. Even though this restaurant isn’t owned by Amish, the food that they serve is inspired by the Amish recipes and cooking style.
Amish food is hearty and served family style. And, since Good ‘n Plenty is located in the heart of farmland USA, the food is full of the freshest veggies, meat and poultry.
What is Home-style Dining (Family Style)
You might be wondering about what home-style or family style eating is, right? I wondered the same thing before we had a chance to do it.
Basically, the restaurant layout is cafeteria style, where you sit at large tables with 20 or more other patrons. Strangers become fun companions while sharing delicious grub. In our case, we were only seven, so we had a chance to meet other travelers in the area.
At first my oldest boy was reluctant to share the table with a bunch of strangers, but luckily everyone was super nice and it ended up being a fun experience. Sharing made our time there much more enjoyable.
However, the food and our waitress were the main attractions.
The waitress was a lady around my mom’s age and very grandmotherly. She was really nice and always smiling. You can tell she loved her job and loved taking on the role of a country granny serving delicious homemade food.
Here’s the Breakdown of our Meal
Roast Beef Salad – This was a new dish for me, it is something like a tuna fish salad but instead of tuna you have roast beef.
Cole Slaw – It is not an ordinary slaw. It has no mayo. I loved it! It was fresher, less greasy and by far more tasty.
Bread and Butter – The bread is baked on site, so it’s as fresh as the veggies. You can enjoy it with a bit of freshly whipped butter or opt to try the super tasty apple butter, a local favorite.
Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes and Browned Noodles – Oh My! – This was my favorite meal. I’m a huge fan of mashed potatoes and fried chicken. However, I have never tried browned noodles. They’re prepared by almost burning the butter and adding sugar to noodles. It was so tasty I lost count of how many times I went back for “seconds.”
Dessert – When you are in the Amish County, you have to go for the homemade pies. The one I would recommend is the Shoofly pie which has a filling of a molasses and raisin mix.
Ice Cream – Ice cream is served on everything here. Let’s just say, my kids were in ice cream heaven.
Special Treat – The Kitchen Tour
We were in the best of luck that day! I just asked one of the owners if my kids and I can take a tour of the kitchen. I had to know how they can feed 600 people in one sitting.
Plus, my oldest is truly into cooking lately. He is even taking a mini-chef class. This tour was a real cool treat for him to see firsthand how a restaurant works in the back of the house.
After filling up on a delicious meal, you don’t have a lot of choices. You can either go to your car and take a long nap, or join in the outdoor fun.
This restaurant has an adorable playground and petting farm, so we chose the outdoor fun. My kids spent a lot of time playing with the animals.
I have to repeat that this have been one of our absolute favorite restaurants in the area. If we had more time I would have definitely come back.
If you are visiting Lancaster County and have time for only one restaurant – this is the one!
Recommendation – Food is hearty here so when you visit this restaurant come with an empty stomach. In fact, if you can, I’d say try a one day fast beforehand!
Fun Facts and a Bit of History
In 1871 – The farmhouse that would become Good ‘n Plenty Restaurant was built.
In 1969 – Christ and Dolly Lapp purchased the farmhouse to make their dream of owning a restaurant come true.
In 1969 – The grand opening of Good ‘n Plenty Restaurant, which included seating for 114 guests and family style dining.
In 1971 – The Dutch Room was added to increase seating to 600 guests.
In 1978 – A much larger waiting room was added.
In 1995 – The restaurant got another addition and renovation.
In 1995 – To accommodate small groups and business meetings, the Open Harvest Room was created.
In 2008 – Good ‘n Plenty began offering menu dining and introduced the Harvest Platters.
Information for Good ‘n Plenty Restaurant
When you come here try the home-style dining experience. They offer al carte menu in a different room, but the whole fun is really in the family style eating.
Address: Route 896, Smoketown, Lancaster County, PA 17576
Hours: Open Mon. – Thurs. 11:30AM – 8:00PM; Fri. & Sat. 11:30AM- 8:00PM; Sunday 11:30AM – 5:00PM