My wife and I had a lovely Saturday afternoon that was centered around lunch with our friends Tom and Bernadette. They live in North Jersey, at least a couple hours from us, so we decided to pick a place that was relatively close to the half-way point between our two homes and settled on The Yardley Inn.
It fits in nicely with our mini-trend of eating at old inns and taverns in recent months. The building was an inn and roadhouse known as The White Swan from the 1830s through the late 1950s. It was reopened as the Yardley Inn in 1979. While it’s no longer an actual inn, it is a large restaurant with multiple rooms and banquet facilities.
We thought we may have underdressed when we exited our car after parking and saw a group of people in suits and other very nice outfits entering the restaurant. It turned out they were attending a high school reunion and we were dressed appropriately for the regular dining area.
All of our visits to old inns or taverns in recent months have been for lunch. And at each one, albeit to a lesser extent at the Yardley Inn, they’ve had fewer menu options than would have been the case for dinner. That’s not surprising. Most people aren’t in the habit of ordering steak or prime rib for lunch. They also probably get a much bigger crowd for dinner. But it did leave me with a somewhat difficult decision when it came to ordering.
I’m sure some of you noticed the cheesesteak on the menu. Of course I considered it; as well as the burger. But in addition to having that massive Curly’s steak a few days ago, I’ve got a big week of cheesesteak-eating ahead of me. So unless I had good reason to believe that the Inn’s steak would be good enough to at least merit serious consideration for my Top Ten list, I wasn’t ordering it. And my only knowledge of it came from one photo posted on Facebook with a good – but not great – review.
I also gave at least quick consideration to the crab cake and fish and chips. But I was concerned the former wouldn’t be enough to eat, and decided a deep-fried lunch wouldn’t be in my best interest as far as the latter goes.
Then there was the all-appetizer option, which would have been deviled eggs with smoked trout, followed by the crab bisque.
I did wind up keeping the deviled eggs, but instead of soup, I went with the B.E.L.T. sandwich (BLT with egg) for a second course.
While we waited for our first courses, this basket of extremely good citrus muffins was dropped off to hold us over. I had hardly had any breakfast and was happy to put a couple of these away. The outer rim of the tops had a nice bit of crispiness.
Bernadette, Tom, and my wife shared an order of crispy Brussels sprouts and chickpeas with Vietnamese sauce to start and all seemed to enjoy it.
I was also happy with the deviled eggs. About the only thing that can make me not like a deviled egg is the presence of too much mayo. That wasn’t the case here, and the smoked trout, along with the pickled mustard seed, trout roe, and dill, all went together well to create a nice overall flavor.
Our main courses were up next, and Tom went with the crab cake that I had considered. He was clearly smitten with it, as well as the charred corn salsa that it came with. I thought it looked impressive, but still wasn’t sure it would have been enough to eat given my bigger-than-usual appetite Saturday afternoon. (That Curly’s cheesesteak could have expanded my stomach)
I didn’t hear what my wife had ordered and had no idea what it was when the plate was dropped off. It turns out the item in the below photo is a charred cauliflower steak. The entire concept is foreign to me. But as long as she was happy with it – and she was.
Bernadette also went with the B.E.L.T. sandwich. I ordered mine without mayo, a condiment I have a strong aversion to and will only eat in limited circumstances – such as a little mixed in to make deviled eggs. Honey mustard is the best condiment for a BLT. It’s sweetness mixes perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon. But that wasn’t an option today, so I went sans condiments.
The egg is on top of the bacon in the photos and was fried over medium. I’m used to a little more bacon on my BLTs, but the presence of the egg at least partially compensated for that. The brioche bread was toasted perfectly.
I wasn’t expecting the fries, as they weren’t mentioned as an accompaniment on the menu. But they were good and a welcome addition to the plate. The sliced pickles, one of which went to my wife, were also a nice touch.
Tom and Bernadette had to head home after lunch, but my wife and I had a second destination in Yardley lined up for dessert. A longtime friend of mine lives in the town and has mentioned the Ice House on Facebook over the years. It’s a few blocks from the Inn, and the walk was needed after lunch – especially given that it would end with more food consumption.
Yardley is in Bucks County, PA, next to the Delaware River, just north of Trenton. Its little downtown reminds me of a miniature version of New Hope, a larger Bucks County town that sits alongside the Delaware.
I should have taken a photo or two of Main Street, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. Of course, I never forget to take photos of the places that we eat at.
The Yardley Ice House is in a rear parking lot and not visible from the road.
They have a large array of water ice flavors in addition to soft-serve ice cream.
My wife tried out the key lime pie water ice, while I went with one of my standbys; a vanilla cone with chocolate jimmies – what we call sprinkles in this region.
We were both happy with our choice, although this soft-serve wasn’t up there with the great version I had at Dairy Palace in New Castle, Delaware, last month.
As always, thanks for reading. I’ll be back in a couple days with another cheesesteak report of significance.