Avoid Amish Tourist Trap in Sarasota

25 Jun

Sure, they can raise a barn, but can they prepare a decent meal at Yoder’s?

Yoder’s Amish Restaurant on Bahia Vista in Sarasota is a popular stop for tourists and snowbirds. Diners are lured by promises of folksy atmosphere and authentic Pennsylvania Dutch home cooking. Yoder’s advertising (at least the little bit that they do) raves about great home style cooking and award-winning homemade pies. I was somewhat suspicious from the beginning — something just didn’t seem right. Well, I finally popped in for lunch today … for the first and last time.

I ordered the baked turkey breast with dressing and gravy. The small portion was a bit overpriced at $8.95. They charge $10.95 for the large portion, which is too much money and food for this guy. The atmosphere was quiet and somewhat depressing. Sort of like Cracker Barrel meets “Witness” (1985 film about Amish life starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis). The food was pretty bad — unless you are looking to relive your time in public school cafeterias and/or the military. The turkey breast, which was shredded into countless pieces, was dry and flavorless. The accompanying dressing was bland and the gravy was that white, goopy industrial stuff that is served in the finest prison systems throughout our great nation. The tiny cup of canned cranberry sauce was probably the highlight of the meal. Pretty sad, huh?

Well, they can’t all be winners, right? If you must visit Yoder’s, I suggest you belly up to their carry-out counter and order a slab of pie to go. I heard that is pretty good too. Better be at $3.95 per slice.  I exited Yoder’s disappointed and about $13 lighter in the wallet. Avoid this tourist trap … there are much better options throughout the fair city of Sarasota.       

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