We just can’t stay away from Elk Creek Cafe. I was heading into my physical therapy appointment when I got a text from Missy who threw out the idea of getting together at Elk Creek Cafe. Her main interest was the band, The Poe Valley Troubadours and I immediately thought of the chance to take Arron and Amy along to enjoy more of their delicious vegetarian food!
The staff greeted and seated us cheerfully and we joked a bit with Tim Bowser. I clued him in to my authorship of my past Elk Creek Cafe review and he got a chuckle knowing who was behind it. Heartfelt and sincere, I think this place is just the best and got it listed on Happy Cow as a top vegetarian friendly restaurant in this area.
We ordered our drinks and opted to share the cheese platter as we chatted and decided what we were going to order. So many temptations were being served all around us, most noticeable was the thick slabs of Blueberry Bread Pudding dessert. We kept seeing it walking by us like the beautiful girl from Ipanema, never stopping at our table yet we admired it just the same.
I decided on another refreshing summer soup that was a special on the chalkboard, the Cantaloupe Cucumber Gazpacho would go perfectly with my favorite Roasted Beet & Fennel Salad!
Amy and Arron also split a Roasted Beet & Fennel Salad and Amy got the Grilled Cheese Sandwich that I had been coveting for a long time. It came with the house made chips and looked like a plate of classy comfort food, warm and cheesy on 2 thick slices of the house made bread.
Jim got the vegetarian entrée special of the evening, Tomato & Cheddar Pie and a Tomato Salad. The salad was much like a light version of the Tomato Panzanella Salad he had before, same dressing on a side salad without bursting with soft croutons.
It’s hard to pick what we liked best. The soup was again the model of a unique gazpacho, chilled and a tiny bit peppery, lightly sweet this time with the two subtle flavors that have been grossly bastardized by soap and hand sanitizers – cucumber and melon. No phony fragrance or flavor in my bowl, a little fresh oil and I was smiling with every reviving spoonful.
Jim’s meal had my fork aggressively stabbing onto his plate for more than just a taste. The flaky exterior of the Tomato & Cheddar Pie wrapped itself around a warm, eggy, cheesy custard that hugged big toothsome hunks of local tomato. “It’s like something my grandmother would have made,” Jim noted approvingly. Mammy Gable might not have added the hint of basil but it was the perfect touch to this hearty dish.
More libations were ordered, good friends Missy and John showed up and The Poe Valley Troubadours added their good energies to the dining room. All was right with my world; I was surrounded by my much-loved family, dear friends, best vegetarian food in the region and happy tunes. It couldn’t get any better…
OMG – it DID get better. We ordered the most blissful couple of slices of central Pennsylvania heaven, the gorgeous Blueberry Bread Pudding! Beautiful upon the plate, yes but the real delight was the eating of it. Cut like thick slices of pound cake, the demi sweet bread pudding was hot and energized with huge tart and juicy blueberries. The topping wasn’t whipped cream nor ice cream it was a delicately sweetened dollop of butter that melted in a dreamy way all down the sides. If the description hasn’t gotten you drooling, let me convince you by saying I do not like bread. I gag at the thought of pancakes and french toast, I throw half of my sandwich bread away regularly and would have never ordered bread pudding from any other restaurant. Leave it to Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks to make a perfect ending to a perfect evening.