Pennsylvania - Lancaster County - Shady Maple (3 photos) / by Dave Hileman

There are occasions when your own rules are ignored. I break all of mine at Shady Maple. First, i don’t really like buffets, except…, I don’t often want a lot of food, except…, I try and eat carefully, except…., I never have two desserts, except…, and more. If I go to Shady Maple in eastern Lancaster County I show no restraint. The place is enormous - just the food line is over 100 feet long, plus several drink stands and four grills that cook various things to order. Cindy and I ate our “Thanksgiving” dinner here a day early (we were driving home on Thanksgiving) and it did include turkey (and for CJH - mashed potatoes and cranberry fluff). I had, ahem, salad, broiled cod, buttered whole potatoes (2x), brown butter noodles (3x) fried chicken, the aforementioned turkey, sauerkraut and pork (3x) green beans, garlic bread, grilled pork chop, pickles, ham and a small piece of grilled beef. By then three (or four) desserts seems reasonable and a root beer, a chocolate milk and three cups of coffee rather stingy. What sets this place apart is that the food is generally very good to excellent (I have had a couple of exceptions) and the price is more than fair. We paid a senior rate for lunch - did I mention it was lunch and the menu was more limited - of under $14.00 that includes tax and tip. We veer toward this place if our route is close, say 50 miles and worth it every time. Welcome to the largest buffet in the US. https://www.shady-maple.com

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Plate number two

Plate number two

From dessert to infinity and beyond.

From dessert to infinity and beyond.