Tag Archives: Cafe

Tomato Pie Café

Have you ever wanted to be transported to Luke’s Diner in Stars Hollow, or the lunch counter of a Norman Rockwell painting? Try eating at the Tomato Pie Café in Lititz! This quaint eatery is a favorite watering hole among locals and visitors alike. No matter what time of day, it is always busy. Once inside amongst the delicious smells and cozy atmosphere you can’t help but feel a little cheerier; the perfect atmosphere for catching up with a friend.

Everything on the menu is delicious, but a slice of tomato pie is their specialty. Tomato pie, the namesake of the café, is an original family recipe consisting of seasoned red tomatoes baked in a flakey pie crust and covered with a cheesy topping. Slices are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and makes a savory meal for any time of day. The café also has a full expresso bar with a selection of coffees, lattes, smoothies, and teas. If you haven’t been tempted so far, just wait until you see the dessert counter- everything is baked in town at the Bakery at the Cupboard. In additional to the standard menu, specials change monthly so there is always something new to try.

Next time you are in Lititz be sure to stop by, but allow for extra time to be blocked out of your schedule- you will end up staying for a while.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm

Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Speckled Hen Coffee

Tucked between the historic bed & breakfasts and train attractions of Strasburg is a quaint café by the name of Speckled Hen Coffee. Excited to try something new, I ventured there for lunch and a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up.

Speckled Hen Coffee is located on Main Street in Strasburg with ample parking for patrons. Upon entering the café, I noticed the crisp, clean décor and ample natural light. There is a patio out front for al fresco dining on the warmer days. A room next to the coffee bar and main dining area features a table with toys for children to play with while the parents enjoy their coffee. Speckled Hen Coffee features beautifully finished concrete floors with tables near the large windows where you can watch the occasional horse and buggy trot by.

Their breakfast menu including omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and house-made baked oatmeal (just to name a few) is served all day, but I was in the mood for lunch and opted for the Turkey Bacon Jam sandwich with a side salad and a latte. Not only was the latte beautiful, but it was also hot and rich – perfect! They source their coffee from Passenger Coffee, a coffee roasting company located in Downtown Lancaster which speaks to their passion for local products and the Lancaster County community.

From the minute I ordered my sandwich, I couldn’t wait for the first bite… and it was flawless. Melted Gouda, turkey and bacon jam were married between two perfectly pressed pieces of wheat-berry bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Chips are offered as a side, but the fresh, tender lettuce they source from Meck’s Produce paired with their delicious balsamic dressing made me forget chips even existed. They take pride in their food by using fresh, local products and making many items in house, like their bacon jam.

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Turkey Bacon Jam sandwich with a side salad… Yum!

After a savory lunch, I was longing for something sweet. The pastry display was filled with sweet treats from macaroons to coffee cake. I opted for one of their special desserts this spring, lemon-lavender cake. The lavender created a floral aroma while the lemon added a refreshing element. It was a uniquely delicious treat, especially on a bright spring day. Also inspired by the flowers of spring, they have added a lavender latte and lavender and rose sodas to their menu for the season.

Lemon Lavendar Cake

Lemon Lavendar Cake

 

During my visit I had the honor of chatting with the café’s co-owner about the inspiration behind the café and its name. Their love for celebrating what makes everyone unique, their community and coffee inspired the name “Speckled Hen Coffee.” They show their community spirit through hosting Music Fridays to showcase local musicians and partnering with Zolé Art Factory to host paint nights to bring coffee, art and people together.

I can’t wait to visit Speckled Hen Coffee again, especially for their Wednesday Burger Night to experience their selection of gourmet burgers and dessert options. Did I mention they have house-made desserts AND Carmen and David’s ice cream?

Whether it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even just a quick cup of coffee, check out Speckled Hen Coffee for yourself!

A match made in Heaven

A cafe on the first floor and a working artist’s studio on the second floor. It’s practically a match made in heaven.

When I walk up the steps to Julia Swartz’s gallery and working studio, I welcome the smell of oil paints and fresh flowers. It’s somewhat intoxicating. The color and scale of the canvases – incredible! Julia is a skilled painter so there is a lot of amazing work to see in her gallery. When you go, make sure you have time to soak in each painting. This is not a place to rush.

One of the great annual gems of Lancaster ArtWalk is Julia’s “People’s Painting” event that invites every one of every age and skill level to contribute a few brushstrokes to a collaborative canvas. There’s really no plan ahead of time. Wherever the people take the painting is where it will go. Sometimes it’s weird and sometimes it’s amusing, but it’s always a fun time.

Equally enjoyable is the experience at Prince St. Cafe. The urban design motif is interesting and inviting. Exposed brick, reclaimed barnwoods and metal accents set the mood. But clearly the stars of the show are the drinks – any coffee drink you could wish for and maybe some you never imagined existed. I happen to enjoy their smoothies and chai lattes.

Place your order at the counter, find a seat and they’ll bring it out to you. If you have the time, I recommend getting lunch. The sandwich menu is limited, which means everything on it is good and well-prepared. It’s a space that you should linger in – not only for the ambiance and good libations – but also for the pristine view of the historic Fulton Opera House across the street.

Cafe Chocolate in Lititz

One of the reasons behind my family’s move back to the Lancaster area (after a 7-year stint in New England) was the desire of my wife and I to resume our date night. After 5 years of being attached at the hip to our two young boys, we needed some help getting our groove back. We love those lads dearly, but really how much of ANYONE can you take day-in-day-out for 5 straight years?

You have to think even Queen Elizabeth turns to the Duke of Edinburgh every once in awhile and says, “Hey baby, I need some ‘me’ time.” Among the many great things Lancaster County has to offer my family are the 4 grandparents from which my wife and I generously plunder time and childcare resources.

So what do we do with our newly found once-a-month freedom… sweet sweet freedom? We usually try to patronize a locally-owned restaurant followed by a trip to the Café Chocolate in Lititz, PA for dessert. If we’re lucky, the owner, Selina, will be there to chat us up about what’s going on with the Café and inform us on pretty much anything we ever needed to know about chocolate.

Real chocolate.

Not to be mistaken with the stuff you find next to the shrink-wrapped Mango-Peppermint Altoids in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. This stuff is the real deal. I’m not going to try to pass along all the chocolate-related info Selina has given us over the course of our visits there, but let’s just say if your only chocolate experience comes from eating the stuff that comes out of shiny plastic wrappers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise at Café Chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Pizelle

As one could well guess, chocolate is sprinkled liberally throughout the menu of lunch/dinner, breakfast, drink and dessert offerings to great effect. On our visits to the cafe, we have been impressed with not only the desserts we ordered, but our tasty beverage choices as well. I’ve had a mocha frapuccino there as well as an iced hot chocolate (my favorite so far), and both were excellent.

On our last visit, we recruited another couple so we could try their molten 60% Cocoa dark chocolate fondue. As the menu states, “A feast for 2, plenty for 4.” Which I took more as a personal self-esteem preservation recommendation than a serving size recommendation, because I could have eaten the whole pot myself.  It was that good.

Cubano Sandwich

The café itself is located in beautiful downtown Lititz, a nice little shopping district full of unique little shops and eateries that is literally less than a mile from my house. Selina has the place decked out in quirky art from around the world and is more than happy to have you come in and play a few rounds of Scrabble with your significant other while you enjoy the offerings.

I highly recommend it if you need to get your chocolate fix on. You do, unfortunately, have to provide your own childcare.  Our parents are all booked up for the foreseeable future.

At the Counter

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