We were treated to an overnight tour of the Holmes County area and the local offerings for Christmas. Our lodging, about as far from Amish as possible. The Carlisle Inn in Sugar Creek (one of many) includes the following reality versus what some people might expect…(modern temperature control instead of hand fans or burning dung; satellite tv instead of stories around the fire; hot tub and pool instead of butter churning; etc.). Might have enjoyed a simpler excursion of fire and barn raising, but the resort option is wonderfully relaxing in a quiet and comfortable setting. Just be sure to leave room in your trunk for cheese/chocolate/canned goods and time for quilt studying.

'Bout that…we loaded our own trunk up at a few recommended spots driving through the area…the following places contributing to our vehicular cornucopia.

The Ashery http://www.asherycountrystore.com: Stopped there once on the bike, its much bigger now. Bagged candies of every stripe, soup mixes, pastas, meats, and loads of spices, and on and on. We left with caramels, dried fruit, pickled mixed veg and sweet cauliflower, and on and on.

Heini’s http://heinis.com: “Where the cheese is made.” And it is. You can tour to actually see it being made and take home whatever sets your curd. Nearly every one of the copious options has a Tupperware of samples so you can toothpick your way to classics or surprises. Candy, fudge, cured meats, mustards and jams are also found in wide varieties.

Crafts and supplies galore at The Lone Star Quilt Shop for, well, quilts...and boots...and ice skates...and guns; Wendell August’s local mega-mart forge gift shop https://www.wendellaugust.com/location/berlin_oh; and the handiwork of Earnest Warther http://www.warthers.com: with intricate carvings (we didn’t do the tour) and kitchen cutlery. We had a great and relaxing time.


Boyd & Wurthmann
 Berlin, Holmes County, Ohio        Date of Visit  01/16/15

Easily the best meal we had in country was at Boyd and Wurthmann’s in Berlin. The main drag in Berlin reminded me a lot of our bike trip through the middle of Gatlinburg where rolling country hills turn into a short but packed stretch of random attractions blinking from every sign. Just wild.

Hunkered down in the middle of the hoopla is a long time local eatery. I wouldn’t commit to authenticity in cooking etc., but the servers do chatter away in Pennsylvania Dutch amongst themselves and some of the customers.


Our server was sweetly nice and efficient. We started with chicken noodle soup and chili. The noodle soup was fine but nothing worth writing about. The chili was maybe the simplest I can remember but was simply excellent. Meat and beans suspended in a beautiful and richly spiced tomato broth. Both soups came with a stick of cheese (Swiss-like) and crackers. In Holmes county, cheese is EVERYWHERE. The chili needed neither the cheese nor the crackers.

Chicken Noodle Soup Was Fine But Was...

...Nowhere As Near As Good As Simple Chili

The soups were joined by thick slices of soft country bread and our server pointed out the requisite apple butter and another bottle. The apple butter was better than most, for me, I have had several I don’t care for but this had a nice cinnamony bite. The other bottle was something new for me. She said they make it in house and it’s a peanut butter spread. I think I definitively tasted honey, lots of honey, which put it somewhere between peanut butter and peanut butter fudge. Closer to the fudge. Fudge bread anyone? Yes please.



Expected The Apple Butter

The Peanut Spread Was Quite A Surprise

There were two specials. Perch and Yummisetti. Our server was nice enough to bring us a monkey dish of the yummisetti, which I would call Protestant Potluck Casserole. Noodles, ground beef, a mix of every cream of something soup...and the omnipresent cheese. Talk about stick to your ribs comfort food.

Steph wisely ordered the hot roast beef with mash and gravy. Falling apart roast, real mash and gravy. It all needed a little salt and pepper but both are right there on the table. Enormous and delicious. I was dumb. I ordered that Amish classic, perch. It was prepared dreck compared to the beef. My bad. Country fried steak, fried ham, chicken dinner, pork chops…I got frozen perch. It did come with a delicious and balanced slaw, but still, what was I thinking?

Yummisetti Anyone?

Slaw Was Perfect

I Have Nothing To Say

Now That Looks Like Food From This Area

Too full. Gonna burst. Three bites of yummisetti have settled in and don’t want company. Too bad. There is pie. We almost went without, we split a piece, two days away from sanity now we wish we had tried more. Intrigued by the black raspberry cream pie on the board of pies…many of which were being flipped backwards during our stay. I think we might be back to Berlin just for the pie. Thin crust with snap and a delicately balanced salt/sweet base for the filling. And then the filling. Thick and rich, loaded with sweet and tangy fruit, so good.

Blackberry filling, check. Crust, check. What’s this cream thing? Usually I don’t like the loss of flavor from a tasteless custard or some whipped cream mixed in. This just had a plop of lightly sweetened whipped cream which infiltrated the sweet filling slowly, allowing you first a fruity kick in the teeth, soothed by the rich cream, making the next bite so much easier to take. We will definitely be back for pie. That’s a big board. Don’t get the frozen fish and I think you’ll be satisfied at Boyd and Wurthmanns. Too full to walk to the car, or buggy, or bike…might as well sit and have some pie.

Leaving Without Pie Is Worse Than

Ordering Not Local Fish Special



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