Travel Guide PA: Buttonwood Grill (Lahaska)

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I left Buttonwood Grill yesterday feeling the same way I felt years earlier after multiple visits to nearby Hart’s Tavern: “People eat here because it’s there, not because it’s particularly good”. Both of these restaurants are located at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska. It is a quaint location of specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants. Make no mistake, I love this place. But aside from a lunch at Nancy’s Village Cafe earlier this year, I never had a meal that wowed me, and I’ve been coming since I was a small child. Are they all run by the same person? Did I always happen to come on an off-day? Or is the market for tourists who do not want to venture outside of Peddler’s Village so great that the food does not have to be good in order for the businesses to be successful? I’m going with the latter.

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Our meal yesterday was not bad, just average. We ordered the onion ring stacker as an appetizer. While they were crispy, homemade, and fried to perfection, they didn’t really taste like anything. No flavor in the breading/seasoning, and couldn’t even taste the onion. A Parmesan dipping sauce that came with it was in a cup so tiny that no ring would fit in it to dip, You had to scrunch them or break them in half. While I would never let such a small detail detract from an overall score of a restaurant, that was the direction we were headed.

For drinks, I had a Stella Artois on tap for $6. Not bad. It came ice-cold in a Stella glass which was a nice touch. Will had some kind of hard cider. Both times it took nearly 15 minutes to get drinks. The service (which was friendly) came and went, and when it went, it disappeared. I actually ordered a second beer before my meal came and it arrived when I was almost finished with it. Before handing us the check, her asking me if I wanted another one was rather tacky considering I had only taken three sips of the most recent one.

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The house specialty at Buttonwood Grill seems to be the burgers, which they boast are handmade and consist of three different cuts of meat. Stupid me, I should have ordered one, but went instead with the “Kennett Square” Pizza. This was topped with two kinds of local mushrooms, roasted garlic, Gorgonzola cheese, truffle oil, and just a hint of sage (an herb I actually hate, but it was so mild I could barely taste it—thankfully, because the menu did not state this). I actually thought my pizza was quite good. The crust was thin, crispy, and the overall flavor had a nice earthiness to it. However, the addition of the truffle oil led to this being a greasy affair. It just dripped everywhere. Will ordered the vegetarian shepherd’s pie. I took one fork-full and thought it was disgusting. Like eating sand. He thought it was just “okay”. In place of meat was quinoa, and it was topped with a mashed potato and cauliflower mixture, and also included spinach and wild mushrooms. For $16, the portion was also incredibly small and came with no side.

Would I come here again? Maybe, but it would be to try one of the burgers which they are known for. It wasn’t a disastrous afternoon. Not many times in November do you get a chance to dine outside on a deck with a cold beer and not be freezing. That part I did like, that they still offered outside dining. Prices were not exactly terrible ($12 for the pizza, $8 for the onion rings). This was just one of those places. I think I’ll stick to Nancy’s for the time being. Buttonwood gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.

Buttonwood Grill is located at Route 202 and Street Road, Peddler’s Village, in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. 

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