When a self-proclaimed foodie, such as myself, finds herself in Hershey, PA with a surprise addition of time during the lunch hour, Google becomes her best friend. After spending the morning of Labor Day shopping, and having a commitment that meant we needed to head home by late afternoon, I expected to only have time for a fast food lunch.* Having finished shopping early, Hubby and I immediately took to searching for what was not only open, but close, not too busy, and highly rated.**
*Uneventful, I know.
**Those are some tough specifications to meet on a holiday.
We headed in the direction of a few restaurants Hubby found, but one ended up being closed and the other’s parking lot was completely empty.*
*The restaurant was open, but an empty lot is usually a tell tale sign that something is wrong.
On the way, we passed a cute little building lit up by colorful flowers along the window sill and a rather full parking lot.
Another quick Google search confirmed that The Hershey Pantry was indeed the restaurant we should be headed to and not a fancy market as I feared it might be.
We parked by this gorgeous open air seating at the back of the building…
…but didn’t learn until we were inside that seating for outside was separate from inside.*
*And, of course, we could have just gone back out, but at this point–I was hungry!
The inside matched the busy parking lot and although it was lunchtime, most of the crowded tables were being served breakfast food. As I learned from the information Google quickly spewed out at me, The Hershey Pantry is known for their award-winning breakfast.
Which, I have to admit, made my heart a little sad.
Because I love breakfast.
But I wanted lunch.
I was in one of those I need a good, warm sandwich kind of moods. You understand, I’m sure. The Italian stuffed french toast pretty much yelled my name and waved all kinds of tantalizing flags at me in an attempt to get me to order it. I almost ordered the cinnamon bun or their grilled sticky bun* on the side, but decided not to with the interest of dessert also on my mind.**
*Who am I kidding? I wanted to order both.
**In case you didn’t know, eating is serious, serious business. One that requires quite a lot of thought and consideration.
No, instead of any kind of breakfast item, we ordered taco fries to start. The rippled potato wedges were a nice touch. I continually needed to remind myself they were potatoes, and not actually nachos. Hubby loved that the taco meat was on the drier side. It kept the fries from getting soggy, while still providing the taco flavor to each bite. It was almost like having a loaded potato–Mexican style. The fresh diced tomatoes were my favorite part.
Hubby ordered the BLT on grilled sourdough with provolone. The bacon was at that state of crispiness where the crunch is still filled with juicy wonderful greasy flavor.
Ah, bacon…the world wouldn’t be the same without you.
Here, friends, is the sandwich of my dreams. The sandwich which caused me to deny myself breakfast food:
Yes, it was worth it.
The only thing that could have made the Ultimate Grilled Cheese better was, you guessed it, bacon.* The buttery crunchy bread with the gooey cheeses and fresh slices of tomato were such a beautiful combination I didn’t even miss the almost mandatory bowl of tomato soup I usually have with grilled cheese.
*I may or may not have snagged a piece from Hubby’s BLT.
Our table was directly next to the dessert window and these desserts looked like they had been dolled up for a magazine photo shoot. Among the ones that caught my eye were a gorgeous chocolate cake and a perfectly stacked and iced Boston cream cake.
I later learned that the desserts come from Desserts, etc.* which is located just down the street. After asking our waiter what he recommends, we went with the Reese’s silk pie.**
*And in full disclosure, we had planned to go there afterwards, but found out they were closed.
**A true testament of Hubby’s love for me…he isn’t a fan of peanut butter.
When I tell him to make a better face, this is what I get.
And, naturally, I don’t have a picture of our dessert because, being so full from lunch, we asked for it to go. I had every intention of staging a beautiful picture once we were home, but the two-hour drive was simply too taxing and that pie was the perfect thing with which to recharge our batteries.*
*Translation: It was a pie of creamy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, goodness.
The Hershey Pantry
801 E Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA 17033