Wednesday, April 25, 2018
IF YOU GO
What: Das Dutch Haus
Where: 14895 South Ave. Ext., Columbiana
Phone: (330) 428-2236
Hours: Mon.–Thurs.: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat.: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sun.: Closed
There was something unusually comforting about our experience at Das Dutch Haus.
Perhaps it was because it was Holy Saturday and the restaurant and bakery were filled with families, both for their immediate meal but also stocking up on delicious pies for Easter.
Maybe it was the hospitality and genuineness of Jane Bush, the manager of the facility. Of course, the menu of this restaurant speaks softly about comfort food.
You won’t find any microgreens, neither fusion-inspired culinary incarnations nor, heaven forbid, any dishes with molecular gastronomy foams on the menu. However, on the menu you will find a simple prayer surrounded by a host of selections that will warm your belly as only a home-cooked meal can. But before we tell you about the food, let’s share a short history lesson on Das Dutch Haus. Founded in 1982 by Jan Bush’s father, Raymond Horst, and a partner, Ralph Winter, the Pennsylvania Dutch restaurant opened with seating for 60 guests. Today the facility can accommodate up to 400 patrons. “There is rarely a long wait, even for large parties.” explained assistant manager Zack Orville. Zack noted that 25 percent of the staff have been employed at the Dutch Haus for more than 10 years. Jane credits the quality employees of Das Dutch Haus as one of their strengths. “We are very blessed by the staff we have here.”
Jane and Zack sat with us to review the menu and offer some suggestions on their more popular dishes. We started our meal by taking a trip to their large soup and salad bar. Jane explained that they usually have two soups on the salad bar with one always being vegetable beef. She stated they sell close to 30 gallons of the soup every day, so we knew we had to try it. The soup was chock-full of vegetables, including carrots, green and yellow beans, corn, peas, tomatoes and barley as well as tender pieces of beef. The broth was rich and savory. Very satisfying.
The salad bar has various choices other than lettuce and the usual salad toppings. We tried three of their house-made salads including macaroni, bean and broccoli. The macaroni salad was creamy. The broccoli salad had a nice crunch. The three-bean salad had a nicely balanced sweet-and-sour dressing. All were very tasty, and you could tell they were made in-house.
The menu is quite ample, and there were a lot of things we wanted to try. Thankfully, Das Dutch Haus has family style and sampler dinners. We opted for the Dutch Sampler dinner as well as a roast turkey dinner and a helping of ham loaf.
We first tackled the Dutch Sampler. This dish is made up of chuck roast, fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and green beans. The fried chicken is pressure fried to ensure a crispy exterior while maintaining a moist interior. The chicken was simply seasoned and delicious. The perfect crunch, slightly salty with tender, juicy meat. The slice of ham had a hint of smokiness. The chuck roast was fork tender. The stuffing was moist and flavorful. Creamy mashed potatoes and gravy were the perfect accompaniments to this comforting platter. Just delicious.
Between entrees, Jane brought us out a basket of their rainbow-colored bread that is featured for the two weeks leading up to Easter. If you have kids, or are childish like us, this simple pleasure is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Next up was the roast turkey dinner. This is Thanksgiving dinner on a plate. A generous portion of roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy and cranberry sauce. We both love turkey and can’t figure out why most of us only eat it once a year. This dish, in itself, is a reason to visit the Dutch Haus. A wonderful entr e.
Lastly, we tried the ham loaf. This is a dish we have never had. It’s made with a mixture of ground pork and ham similar to a meatloaf and topped with a sweet-and-sour tomato sauce. It was melt in your mouth tender with a slight sweetness from the sauce. A pleasant surprise and something we’d have again.
Even if you haven’t visited Das Dutch Haus, we are sure you may have heard of their reputation for desserts. They have a large in-house bakery that makes everything including doughnuts, cookies, bread, cakes and pies available for takeout. Jane also noted that they make wedding and birthday cakes. Despite Mark’s penchant for Das Dutch Haus’ famous creamsticks, we opted for two slices of pie and a hefty piece of cake: apple pie with vanilla ice cream, coconut cream pie and German chocolate cake. There is something sure to satisfy whatever your sweet tooth is craving. All were wonderful.
With their salad bar and focus on traditional fare, you might be inclined to think that Das Dutch Haus is a bit out of the modern era. But what is wrong with fresh ingredients, dishes made like your mom would and friendly service in a family atmosphere? They know where they come from, and are comfortable with who they are. So when you are hungry for homemade, you just need to go to Das Dutch Haus.