Philadelphia, Dutch Country Roads & Lehigh Valley12 stops
Philadelphia, Dutch Country Roads & Lehigh Valley
3 Days - 13 Stops
23 N. Market Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Smoked and cured meats are central to the diet of the Pennsylvania Germans and other farming communities in the state. Historically, preserving meat provided farmers with food high in protein, iron, and other minerals throughout the winter months after the slaughtering season ended. The ideal place to begin this cluster of stops is right in the South Central Pennsylvania town of Lancaster at the Central Market (1). Lancaster City is the oldest inland city in America, and Central Market is the oldest continually operating public farmers market in the country. Central Market began in 1730, the same year the city was founded, with farmers selling their goods out in a local field. The market later moved into town where the first market building opened in 1757. The current building, built-in 1889, is filled with dozens of food stalls offering a huge variety of charcuterie produced in the area, as well as many other food items.
At S.Clyde Weaver's, whose stand first opened in 1920 at the now defunct Northern Market a few blocks away, they still hang and ferment their own ring bologna, farm-style sweet bologna, semi-dry fermented sausage, beef sticks, jerky, and more. Next, make a stop at the Rooster Street Butcher's stall (they also have a main location and a restaurant in nearby Lititz) for all sorts of meaty treats, such as duck prosciutto, saucisson sec (a dried sausage with garlic, pepper, and wine), their locally famous Smoke and Whiskey sausage, and house-made pepperoni. Then check out the Farm2Table stall for bresaola, salami, and smoked salmon.
Don't forget to stop by The Turkey Lady stand for turkey bacon and turkey jerky. Long's Horseradish is also must-buy, including their stunning pink beet flavored variety. This business was founded in 1902 and has been in the same family for over five generations. Another favorite component of any Pennsylvania charcuterie board is the sublime goat cheese from Linden Dale Farm, a seventh-generation family-owned goat farm in the nearby town of Ronks. All of their products are lovely, but favorites include the chive chèvre and the honey lavender chèvre. Even those who are not fans of goat cheese will love Linden Dales' light, almost fluffy products. Finally, stop at The Herb Shop for a jar of Betsy Lantz's mustard to round out your charcuterie tray. This mustard is made in Lancaster and is creamy and smooth. It goes great with cured meats, deviled eggs, or pretzels. A secret recipe for over 30 years, this salt and preservative-free condiment will become a favorite of your whole family. The vendors at Central Market will fill your charcuterie tray with all of the best Central Pennsylvania has to offer—cheese, pickles, crackers, mustard, and more.
64 E. Main Street, Dallastown, PA 17313
Next, it is northward toward Dallastown to Nature's Platter (2) where owner Marie Fisher can design a custom charcuterie board, or you can purchase one that she has already crafted. She uses mostly Pennsylvania woods for her gorgeous boards. There is no better memento from your trip than a Nature's Platter charcuterie board that will last forever.
Charles Ilyes Roadside Stand
1181 Bucktail Lane, York, PA 17408
Rural Southeastern Pennsylvania has lots of charming roadside stands selling baked goods, jams and jellies, pickles, produce, and sometimes even smoked meats and cheeses. All visitors need to experience one of these special ways to purchase local food, but they can sometimes be hard to find. A stop at Charles Ilyes Roadside Stand (3) near York is a must for their smoked meats, as well as their seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many of the roadside markets in the area use an honor system when it comes to payment with an unattended basket or a cash box on-site. It is a refreshing reminder of the importance of trust between people. If you cannot get to the Ilyes farm-stand, you can also find them at the Penn Farmer's Market in York.
4500 Enola Road, Newville, PA 17241
Now for a long sleep at Dogwood Acres (5), where guests have a few lodging options, including RVs and cabins, as well as the option to pitch your own tent. All sites have wooden picnic tables, fire rings, and gas grills. There is truly something for everyone.
Black Swan Antiques
61 W. Front Street, Palmyra, PA 17078 (entrance in rear)
While so close to the Pennsylvania town of Lebanon, it is imperative to purchase some Lebanon bologna from Seltzer's. This bologna is a sweet, peppery, and slightly sour mixture that is unique to this part of the state. Many butcher shops make their version of it, but Seltzer's is the name that most people know. Seltzer's does not have a retail store, but there is an outlet inside the Black Swan Antiques (6) co-op in nearby Palmyra, if you want to purchase some before perusing the memorabilia and kitsch inside this fun antique mall.
724 W. Main Street, Annville, PA 17003
Pack up the Lebanon bologna and cruise on to Laudermilch Meats (7), which has been in business since 1919 and is now located in Annville, for more Pennsylvania German specialties, such as filled pig stomach, smoked sausage, and Lebanon bologna. Filled pig stomach is often referred to as Hog Maw. This dish consists of a stretched pig stomach, essentially a sausage casing, filled with potatoes, onions, sausage, and any other vegetables—often cabbage or carrots. Traditionally served in the winter around the time of hog butchering, hog maw is a great example of the Pennsylvania German (Amish) tradition of using the entire animal, similar to today's popular snout-to-tail cooking.
660 Old Route 22, Krumsville, PA 19534
Back on the interstate, you will see signs for Dietrich's Meats (8) as you drive along I-80. Dietrich's Meats and Country Store has been in this location since 1975 but was first founded in 1957. It is a real treat for anyone interested in Pennsylvania cured, smoked, and pickled meats. They smoke many of their meats out back behind the store. Their array of pickled meats is second to none and include ring bologna, kielbasa, snout, tripe, gizzard, heart, and tongue. Dietrich's is yet another example of the long Pennsylvania tradition of snout-to-tail cooking.
500 Schoeneck Avenue, Nazareth, PA 18064
Onward west to Nello's Meats (9) in Nazareth to see owner Nello Loiacono's amazing selection of cured, fermented, and smoked meats. At Nello's, travelers are able to experience something a little different from the Amish and Mennonite-influenced products common to the area, including sweet, velvety culatello, sweet lamb-filled Syrian Maqaniq, smoky Colombian and fresh Mexican chorizo, and cold, smoked pork-filled German Lachsschinken. Nello learned his trade from a top German sausage maker and started his business in a small garage. Visiting his store is one of those special days that visitors will always remember.
Morris House Hotel
225 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
A drive southward into Old City Philadelphia is in order to spend the night at the historic and charming Morris House Hotel (10). Built in 1878, this was once the home of a prominent Philadelphia family in an area where so many of the country's founders once lived. The hotel is in the nation's oldest diamond district and near the first theater in the country, the Walnut Street Theater. Take a walk around and window shop at the many jewelry stores and then catch a show at the theater before bed.
930 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The next morning, after a lovely British-style continental breakfast in the stately Morris House dining room, work up an appetite by walking about the neighborhood where the Liberty Bell and Ben Franklin's first post office are located. No trip to Philadelphia is perfect without a stop to DiBruno Brothers (11) in the Italian Market neighborhood (their other locations are fabulous, too). There, Finocchiona (Tuscan salami with fennel), spicy Calabrese sausage, and more fill the long glass case. Visitors can get an antipasto plate, visit their cheese cave, and peruse their large charcuterie accompaniments section. The people behind the counter here are very knowledgeable about their products and super friendly, so make sure to tell them what flavors you like and also ask about their favorite products. The folks at DiBruno Brothers are charcuterie royalty.
52 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Back near your hotel, Royal Boucherie (12) is a small brasserie in the same building that once housed a bar called Glam (think a leg shaped door handle and emceed banana eating contests). Today, Royal Boucherie chef Nicholas Elmi, a Top Chef winner, focuses on rustic French cuisine and serves one of the loveliest brunches in the city. Either downstairs in the pressed-tin ceiling bar or upstairs in the quieter garden area, sample the delectable house-made Chicken Liver Parfait and charcuterie board. The seasonal menu often contains house-made savory choices, such as Toulouse sausage with house fermented kraut. Philadelphia is a great walking city with flat streets, easy signage, and history around every corner. If you need a break after brunch, take a short walk up the street to the newer Museum of the American Revolution. At the museum, look for the first newspaper to print The Declaration of Independence, George Washington's war tent, and a lovely book published in 1773 called Poems on Various Subjects by America's first published black, female poet Phillis Wheatley.
718 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Then when you are ready for more hearty fare, visit Brauhaus Schmitz (13) for the last stop on the trip. This German Bierhall in south Philadelphia specializes in house-made sausages and German beer. Try Chef Belentin Bay's Krauterwurst (herbs/pork), kasewurst (pork, beef, and veal), feuerwurst (very spicy pork) and more before your drive home.