Good ‘N Plenty...Over 45 Years of Good Food and Plenty of It! By Brad Igou
hen you mention Lancaster almost anywhere in the United States (and beyond), people think of the Amish and PA Dutch cooking. When thinking about dining out here, many choose to enjoy their meals family-style, and for years that meant an all-you-can-eat feast at “Good ‘N Plenty.” The iconic restaurant opened in 1969 and remains one of Amish Country’s legendary dining experiences. That the same wholesome hearty meals have been consistently served here is probably best explained by the fact that Good ‘N Plenty remains in the same family that started it. Christ and Dolly Lapp passed the baton (or is it the platter?) to their son and his wife, Glen and Brenda Lapp, partners with Glen’s sister and her husband, Judy and Don Eisenberger. Over 45 years ago, Christ Lapp bought an original farmhouse, and meals were served at the long tables we all associate with this style of dining. Having quickly learned from the ladies that they didn’t like crawling over benches to sit down, chairs were provided instead.
Dolly Lapp brought with her all the things that had made family-style dining successful… simple, home-cooked food, traditional recipes, and all the food brought to the table and passed among fellow dining visitors whom you did not know, but who soon became part of that table’s “family.” Conversations followed as the platters were passed around, refilled, and passed some more before you heard the moans of delight as the desserts finally arrived at the end of the meal. For the first years, there was so much business from tourists and bus groups that they just took the phone call reservations and then had to shut off group meals at 5:00 pm so that they had room for walk-ins. For many visitors, eating at Good ‘N Plenty had become a tradition. Bus groups were arriving, as they still do, and more seating was needed beyond the 200 people they could serve in the farmhouse. People were waiting in line up to two hours to get a place at a table. So, in 1971 the larger “Dutch Room” was added to serve several hundred more and now Good ‘N Plenty can handle 600 guests at a time. Of course, since those early days, the facility has been modernized and is more spacious, with a lovely gift shop and wonderful bakery. Located on the Lower Level, the bakery is filled with traditional PA Dutch favorites, seasonal treats, and award-winning delights. Skilled and experienced bakers are busy every day making fresh baked bread, family recipe shoo fly pie, whoopie pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, sticky buns and much, much more.
22 • Amish Country News • October 2015 • www.AmishNews.com
Notwithstanding the changes over the years, you’ll still see people eating in the original farmhouse, clearly visible from the road as you drive down Route 896. You’ll still be treated to the same local favorites that are staples on the family-style menu. More recently, the Lapps heard requests from people who wanted the same great food, but perhaps not the full all-you-can-eat meal. So in 2008, they introduced menu dining with “Harvest Platters,” including entrees like their famous chicken, meatloaf, roast beef, baked chicken pie, pork and sauerkraut, sandwiches, and desserts. You might try my favorite, the PA Dutch Sampler --- one piece of white or dark chicken, one slice of meat loaf, and a serving of pork and sauerkraut, with choice of two sides Just last year, the restaurant began GNP To GO! You can call ahead and a bucket of chicken, sides, and desserts will be waiting for you when you arrive, all ready to take home or back to your hotel to enjoy. Over the years, the successful dining formula and food quality has resulted in several awards. Good ‘N Plenty was chosen as one of AAA’s Top 10 Best “Down Home Dining” restaurants in North America, and has been voted as “Best Local PA Dutch Restaurant” for the last 17 years. In 2014, founders Christ and Dolly Lapp were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau. Continued on Page 26