Just outside historic Annapolis, in
a little shopping center called
Open Thursdays, Fridays, and
Saturdays, the PA Dutch Market is as traditional and authentic as any I've seen
Walking into the store, you run into wooden furniture, but after that nearly everything is edible. Fresh-baked breads crowd the counter next to the ovens where they were baked. Bags of grains, tubs of candy-colored sugars, and jars of fruit preserves line the shelves. The mix-and-match whoopie pies—any combination of six varieties for $5.95—means you can bring home this classic Amish treat in a range of novel flavors: peanut butter, mint, and banana, in addition to the standard chocolate and cream.
We ate breakfast in the attached Dutch Market Restaurant. A few highlights from the menu: scrapple, grilled sticky buns, and the "Fruit Bread French Toast," in which strawberry, peach, apple-cinnamon, or cinnamon raisin breads are served French toast-style. If you don't want French toast, most meals come with regular toast—two slices of hot homemade bread stuck together with so much butter they look like a grilled cheese sandwich. Full Pennsylvania-culture immersion is recommended for the geography-bending experience, but die-hard Marylanders can order the “Premium Crab Cake Sandwich.”
The market's "Olde Tyme Days" festival was held last weekend and included entertainment like free buggy rides. Lucky attendees left with prizes (sixth prize was five pounds of nuts; eighth prize was $20 worth of salads).
Photos: Above, Amish bakers prepare food as a young shopper looks on; Below, wagon wheels and murals of the four seasons decorate the Dutch Market Restaurant; by Alexandra Burguieres