I'd love for you to think that I am super organized, that I planned every small detail of the great three week summer vacation and left no detail un-researched but I'm not and I didn't. I planned some things and I kind of knew what we were going to do but most events were planned while we were driving using the boyfriends smart phone. Sometimes we would drive to a restaurant that were closed, other times we would hit a diner that really wasn't all that special but occasionally we would luck out and be pleasantly surprised at where we ended up. The Dutch Eating Place was one of those surprises.
When we went in search of the Dutch Eating Place we didn't realize it was located in the Reading Terminal Market. We walked up and down Arch Street looking for a traditional restaurant front but we couldn't find it, we saw Reading Terminal Market but ignored it. It wasn't until something caught our eye that we realized the restaurant was part of the market and we had been walking by it the whole time. Walking inside of the Reading Terminal Market was something else, it reminded me a little of an indoor version of the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv (only much smaller) with the farm fresh produce, fresh meat, poultry and fish. I get a little giddy at busy markets so we got in line to be seated before I bought a whole salmon.
The Dutch Eating Place is a popular breakfast destination for both tourists and locals so be prepared to have to wait a short while for a seat at the counter. Once you're seated you'll be handed a few laminated menus and be pointed to the daily specials on a chalk board near the end of the counter. If you've ever wanted to try scrapple, a loaf made of scraps of pork stewed with cornmeal, sliced and then fried, this is the place to try it. As appealing as that sounded, I opted for the apple french toast while the boyfriend chose one of the specials, blueberry pancakes with turkey bacon on the side. There's nothing fancy about the food and don't expect perfect presentation with someone dabbing drips off the side of the plate, but the food is made from scratch and the ingredients are fresh from the farm. Even the gigantic globs of butter slapped on the side of plates is homemade. For $12.00 (before tip) we had breakfast for two with two coffees, an orange juice and a side of turkey bacon that the boyfriend still raves about. It was one of my favorite breakfast experiences of the whole trip and the cheapest.
After breakfast we walked around the Market looking at the various vendors and drooling over some of the offerings of other restaurants. Thankfully I didn't buy a whole salmon but I did want to return to the Dutch Eating Place for one of apple dumplings they had on display. We return but ordered our dumplings to go and ate them at one of the many seating areas while watching people shop. The dumpling was incredible; a tender baked apple in a cinnamon, sugar, butter concoction wrapped in pastry and then to make it even more decadent I poured heavy cream over top. Breakfast dessert has never been so good.