Travel Guide PA: Revere Tavern (Paradise)

The Revere Tavern was my favorite Lancaster restaurant as a child. I’ve always been a history buff, so maybe it was just because this was a chance to dine at a historic tavern. Built in 1740, the building served as a stagecoach stop for nearly a hundred years before it was purchased by Stephen Foster’s family. It was at this very spot where he wrote many of his poems. Shortly after that, it came under ownership by the Buchanan family, including future president James Buchanan years later. So it’s not just an old building. There really is some history here. Unfortunately, I do not remember much about the food. It was time to make some new memories.

With a lot of the local, smaller businesses closed on Easter, this was the perfect opportunity to visit Revere. They have a very popular Easter Brunch, and we had made reservations weeks ahead of time. The place was pretty crowded around the noon time we arrived, though not filled to capacity. We were sat in a room right off of the original tavern. The buffet was located in the modern banquet room, which was actually a pretty far walk from where we were seated.

The buffet spread itself, at first glance, was impressive. The two rows were set up like a T, with the hot items against the back wall and the cold down the middle of the room. There was definitely something for everyone. I’ll try to list some of what they had: scrambled eggs, bacon, Eggs Benedict, turkey with gravy and stuffing, poached salmon with rice, cheese blintzes Seafood Newburg, chicken fingers for the kids, sautéed string beans, roasted potatoes, ham, prime rib, lobster bisque, chicken and corn chowder, an array of rolls, breads, donuts, and pastries, fruits, four or five different kinds of cheese, olives, smoked lox, Caesar salad, cole slaw, potato salad, Ambrosia, cold vegetables and dip, and probably ten other things I cannot remember. There. That’s the longest sentence in the history of this blog. But how did it all taste?

First and foremost, the Seafood Newburg was out of this freakin’ world. Seriously, if I went up there and all I was allowed to take was that, I would have been a happy man. Shrimp, crab, scallops, and other fish tossed in a cream sauce. To say it was luscious does not do it justice. Everything from the taste to the aroma just blew me away. The menu said this was a specialty, but how many restaurant “specialties” are overblown? This was not the case. I hope it’s on the regular menu, because I would go back just for that. While we’re on the subject of rich seafood dishes, that lobster bisque was also incredible. The epitome of decadence is all I can say. You could taste the real cream in every slurp, with enough pieces of lobster to please anyone. My friend also had the poached salmon (in addition to everything I had), which he thought was great too.

I was not crazy over the Eggs Benedict (hard to pull off in a buffet) but he loved the turkey he had, saying it was tender and juicy. That’s the one thing I noticed. Nothing was cold or dry from sitting around. Everything was smoking hot. Even the cheese blintzes, which were sweet and creamy—I never had one before. There were also slabs of ham and a roast beef which they would carve for you upon request. I did not get a chance to try either. I was too busy loading up on that Newburg.

The cold items definitely outnumbered the hot, but I thought the layout was beautifully presented. There were so many different kinds of cheese, including brie, all sliced thin perfect for the soft, airy rolls which were there in bounty. There was also a dessert table featuring whole slices of chocolate cake as well as trays of mini pastries. Comically enough, there were even chocolate covered peeps.

Our complaints were only minor: 1) The walk from where we were sitting to the buffet. Yes, that’s not a catastrophe but when carrying hot food and soup, trying to navigate through three different rooms (while other people do the same) was tricky. 2) There could have been some more breakfast items and maybe an additional entrée. They advertised breakfast, and technically, there were only three breakfast items (bacon, Eggs Benedict, and scrambled). I didn’t really mind, but he loves breakfast and was disappointed. As for adding entrées, I know this is brunch not dinner, but at $28.99 a person, there could have been another one.

The price is something we knew about, and I am not bothered by it except for the above observation. Soft drinks and coffee were included. Alcoholic beverages were extra as to be expected (though quite a few places do throw in one Mimosa with your purchase of a brunch buffet). But I am not complaining about that. The servers did not push drinks from the bar, and the Mimosas we had were $5.75 each. I can live with that, especially since they were mostly Champagne and only a tad bit of orange juice.

Rating a restaurant based on a holiday buffet is tough. I am giving them 4 out of 5 stars, but I think that’s fair. We both enjoyed the meal and would come back again for dinner, and possibly the brunch again next year. The Revere Tavern offers a unique setting, and the food was good. Dare I mention the Seafood Newburg again? I’ll be dreaming about that for a while. Our server was very friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere and vibes were relaxed. If we come back and have another solid outing, then I can definitely see this rating climbing higher.

The Revere Tavern is located at 3063 Lincoln Highway in Paradise, Pennsylvania. 

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