We arrived on a Tuesday evening in July, just before a threatening storm. We drove past the restaurant, and just by the look of the building, we decided to give it a try. How many times have you passed a restaurant by without setting foot in the door, because from the outside it didn't look right? George's had the 'look' that made us want to stop. We were greeted warmly the instant we walked in the door, and as the smiling hostess welcomed us, I saw the chalkboard menu of specials. The stuffed cabbage for $8.95 caught my eye, and I knew before I even saw a menu that was what I would order.
Minutes after we sat down, the storm hit with a deluge of rain, and the power in the restaurant briefly went out. We were certain the place would close, but power returned and we were pleased to stay where we were as the rain pelted down.
Our food arrived and as I took the first bites of homemade stuffed cabbage, I would have sworn my own Mom cooked it. It was so much like home cooking, had Mom not actually been sitting right across the table from me eating tasty meatloaf, I would have sworn she was running the kitchen.
The tomato sauce in my stuffed cabbage was seasoned to perfection, thick without a hint of water in the bottom of the dish. The cabbage was perfectly cooked, and the mixture of rice and ground beef inside was just what I expected – perfect. The food at George's was considerably better than what I expect to find in any chain restaurant, and the prices were considerably lower. A similar meal in a chain establishment would have cost double what we paid at George's.
Restaurant food is, of course, a little like a game show. You 'spin the wheel', so to speak, and take your chances. Looking for a neighborhood eatery like George's, your 'wheel spin' may land you a jackpot of great food, without emptying your wallet.
Great food, friendly, comfortable atmosphere, reasonable prices – you can't beat that, and that is what we found at George's Family Restaurant in Lancaster/Mountville, PA.
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.
He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.
He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.