The General Sutter Inn

My wife and I are attracted to restaurants that are located in a more historic setting. There certainly room in the restaurant world for those looking at a more modern-looking trendy restaurant, but there’s also room for those that look for something a little bit more historic, perhaps a bit more quaint. The General Sutter Inn provides just that.

The General Sutter Inn is located in the historic town of Lititz right off the main square across from Lititz Springs Park and diagonal from The Wilbur Chocolate Factory. It was built about 1764 as an answer to travelers visiting the town of Lititz. It has evolved over the years. Here is a write-up on a little bit of the history from the General Sutter’s Inn website.

In 1776, the Moravian town of Lititz was born. Conceived as an experiment in utopia, the village was named to honor the Bohemian town of Lidice where, in 1756, the followers of John Hus had received sanctuary from religious persecution and formed the Moravian Church, the oldest of all Protestant denominations.

It was called “Litiz”. To ensure that inhabitants would be “free from all dangerous and worldly connections, and live a peaceful and quiet life in Godliness and Honesty,” the Town Regulations of 1756 were adopted. Only those who signed the Regulations were allowed to live in the town. It was “for the necessary entertainment of strangers and travelers” that in 1764 the present Inn was built and named the “Zum Anker” (the sign of the anchor).

The Inn became the Lititz Springs Hotel, then in 1930 the name was changed to The General Sutter Inn to honor John Augustus Sutter, a California Gold Rush pioneer, who lived his last seven years in Lititz, and is buried in the Moravian Cemetery.

The General Sutter Inn is a 10-minute drive from the Hertzog Homestead Bed and Breakfast which makes it quite assessable and close. When eating at the General Sutter, you’ll find parking along the street, also some parking that sits in behind the Inn and some various parking lots nearby. Even if you have to walk 5 minutes to get to the restaurant, it is well worth walking through this historic town.

The restaurant’s historic facade is echoed in the ambiance and decor when one enters the restaurant. The music was not too loud and easily able to be talked over. What was perhaps a bit more of the challenge was talking over the loudness of the conversations going on throughout the room. Again it was a Friday night when we went; at least people are talking. We’ve been to restaurants where there were couple’s out to eat; it seemed like there wasn’t much conversation going on and that just makes me feel sad. But here friends, couples, and families were out celebrating the end of the week and perhaps the weddings that they were a part of. There were one or two weddings that were happening at the restaurant around the time that we were visiting.

The service was phenomenal.  We were served, not only by our server, but also by the two assistant managers on duty. This meant that our food, our requests, and the things that we had questions about were answered in a timely manner and because of them, there was a good flow to the evening.

One in the areas that one can eat when dining at the General Sutter Inn is their outdoor patio. The outdoor patio is quite beautiful, though seasonal. It is only available for dining in the spring, summer, and early fall. But it does provide a more quiet place to eat.

We absolutely love trying tomato bisque and calamari whenever we go to a restaurant. Their tomato bisque and calamari were superb, and I would highly recommend them. It was some of the best tomato bisque that I’ve had in Lancaster County.

For our main meal, we chose to order off the sandwich menu. They have three different menus: a sandwich menu; a pub menu; and an entree menu. My wife ordered the lump crab cake sandwich that came with onion chips; though I was skeptical, they ended up being absolutely delicious. I ordered a grilled turkey burger because I was looking for something a bit more healthy; it came with brie cheese and cranberry sauce. I ordered fries with mine. The dressings on the turkey burger meant that I didn’t need to add mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, or any other condiment. It was delicious just as it was.

If I were ordering off the pub menu, I would have ordered fish and chips. In fact, when I asked my wife what she thought I was actually going to order, this was her answer. I also liked the shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. They looked amazing coming out of the kitchen.

Off the entree menu, one can also order crab cakes, Scottish salmon, filet mignon, and variety of other dishes including some that are vegetarian.

They also have a dessert menu, so if you eat somewhere else, it’s worth dropping in just for that. They serve an apple toffee pie, a salted caramel apple cheesecake, a limoncello cake (a favorite of my wife’s),and lemon toffee pudding that sounded amazing.

We walked away absolutely loving our experience at the General Sutter Inn. We highly recommend it, and a visit to this restaurant is well worth it for the food, the ambiance, and the service. We will definitely be going back.

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