Monday, December 8, 2014

The Peppercorn Pantry

One place I've passed several times and wondered about is the Peppercorn Pantry in Aplington, Iowa.  This summer I finally walked in, took a look, and decided it would be a great place to review.  So when my family was invited to sing at a Gideons dinner and meeting at the Peppercorn, I seized the opportunity to take some photos.

The tea room is spotless and beautifully decorated in an elegant but rustic style in anticipation of the holidays.  A sign near the entrance advertises a few dishes (quiche, spinach pie, and orange almond chicken) at $8.95.  Chicken Salad Croissants, Crab Louie Salad, and Wild Rice and Ham Soup are marked as $6.96; and a scrumptious array of pies are available at $2.95 a slice.
In the gift shop you will find Peppercorn Pantry salad dressings and vinaigrettes, J.R. Watkins soaps and detergents, a variety of coffee beans, candles of all scents, scarves and jewelry, greeting cards (my weakness), and much more!  Downstairs is a flower shop.
The Peppercorn Pantry is owned by Mary Meyer, and she runs it with the help of her son Caleb.  Local high-schoolers are employed as waitresses.  The Meyers live on a farm outside of town that has been in their family for over 100 years.  They use as much home grown produce as possible in their cooking.
The first course served was this beautiful salad.  I won't pretend to be a salad-lover; my philosophy is that eating a first course of salad is not a good idea because it fills precious space that could better be reserved for dessert.  But it was good as far as salads go; my favorite part was the croutons!
The main course was green beans, potatoes, and a roll with choice of chicken or roast beef.  The best way I can think of to describe the taste would be to say it was like a home-cooked meal, except nothing was burnt (an occasional side-effect of my cooking).  Everything was scrumptious.  The green beans were exceptionally delicious, and the potatoes and chicken were flavorful.  But... the best was yet to come!
When a waitress reads a list of pies: Southern Lemon, French Silk (lower right), Peaches 'n Cream, Coconut Pecan Fudge (upper left), Snickers Cheesecake, Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake (lower left), and Raspberry Parfait (upper right), what do you do?

 My siblings and I decided the wisest course would be to delay our order until after other tables had been served, so we could see the pies as the waitresses walked by.  We finally made our choices (above), and all were quite good!  

I'd definitely recommend the Peppercorn Pantry to anyone looking for a delicious, home-style meal.
What's your favorite flavor of pie?  Do you have a favorite salad?

68 comments:

  1. gosh, the pies look awesome! the whole meal does. :) cute place!

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  2. This place is sooooooooooooooooo good! I love the design of the place and of course would love to try all those pies they got there :)

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    1. I do want to go back and try some more flavors!

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  3. what a great way to decide on desert!!! looks like an awesome spot, don't you wish you would have tried it sooner?!?!?

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  4. Wow- That looks good. I didn't realize where you lived. We have good friends that live in Aplington. That sounds like a wonderful restaurant. xo Diana

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    1. Cool that you have friends in the area! Do let me know if you come this way to visit. It is a great place to eat.

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  5. Oh my goodness, this post has made me hungry! What a wonderful place.

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  6. That looks like a delightful place to visit! French silk is the pie to die for!! [I found a recipe and just make the pie filling on its own in a very, very small dish of dessert. Can't each much at one time!]

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  7. Yum! This place looks so neat! And I am so hungry now! ;-)

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  8. AGH! THE PIES! i am starving now.
    anyway, what a wonderful place!i love your enthusiasm over things/places like this!

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    1. Now I am starting to feel starving again! I think it's contagious ;)

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  9. This place looks so cute and oh dear...my mouth is watering looking at the food! :D If I ever go east, I'll have to visit Peppercorn's.
    My favorite flavor kinds of pie are apple, blackberry (though I haven't had that in ages) and pumpkin!

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    1. Blackberry pie is delicious! I had some this summer. If you ever go east and visit the Peppercorn Pantry, do let me know! I'd love to meet you!

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  10. It's a very cute place and the food looks so good! I like Lemon meringue pie.
    PS - my Dad was a Gideon. :)

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    1. Ooh, Lemon Meringue pie is good if it's made just right--not too sweet or tart. Neat that your dad was a Gideon. From what I've heard and seen they have a worthy cause.

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  11. Those pies. . .I am a dessert lover too, Bethany :) My dad and I always manage to find room for dessert even after a big meal. The Peppercorn Pantry looks like a charming place.

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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  12. The dessert looks lovely but at my place are the same. My favourite salag is Greek Salad and cheesecake..

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    1. Awesome to hear you have many of the same desserts in Poland! :)

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  13. I've come visiting from Al's Photography Blog to see who else still has the old tractors he featured recently - we still have some here in Scotland.
    This looks a real treasure of a place. Those pies would do me for a meal alone!
    Nice to discover your blog.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Linda! The pies were quite filling!

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  14. The cakes looks out delicious.
    Have just eating a Knacke bread, but would like to eat this a delicious piece of cake.
    Best regards, Irma

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    1. Knacke bread sounds interesting...from Wikipedia it looks somewhat like a cracker.

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  15. The pies do look rather tempting!

    Your right, the land in my picture is grazing land - sheep and maybe a few cattle, but the truth is that the whole area now relies more on tourists than farming.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  16. My mouth is watering! The Peppercorn Pantry looks great, and the gift shop is definitely a place to browse.

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    1. Yes, I might just head back there sometime to satisfy my urge to buy more greeting cards!

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  17. OHMYGOSH...everything looks so delicious! And your photos are fantastic. It sounds like a really nice place, and it certainly looks it. I always like to keep my salads simple, so that they don't fill me up. And as far as pies go, it's really hard to choose one, but I do like pumpkin pie, lemon meringue and pecan.

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  18. Great review and a pretty place.. The meal looks yummy and the desserts would be my favorite. Have a happy day!

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    1. Sounds like we're like-minded, Eileen! You have a great day as well!

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  19. This place looks so good I may have to put it on my list of "destinations" for a future road trip! Wow, everything looks delicious. My favorites are rhubarb pie and Caesar salad. Thanks for sharing your photos and following my blog! Have a great day.

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    1. If you ever do come this way let me know! I'd enjoy meeting a fellow blogger, and I'm sure my grandpa would enjoy talking with you about the railroad!

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  20. Bethany wonderful place and beautiful photos. I like cheesecake, this is my favourit. Greetings

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  21. I like the rustic decor and love the idea that they use as much homegrown food as possible. Great review!

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  22. Oh wow all those pies look yummy and could be my favorites. i do lean toward pecan pie though

    The pantry looks like a great place to eat.

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    1. Ah! Pecan pie is one of my favorites too!

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  23. Now I'm hungry :) Great pictures! Such a pretty place and everything looks delicious.

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  24. What a terrific place. The atmosphere shines through your images. I love reading these reviews. Well worth you time...you found a new, grand establishment.

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    1. Yes! I really like the elegant small town atmosphere.

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  25. This looks like a very nice place. I love homegrown ingredients in my food. Don't worry about salad taking up space that should be filled with dessert - as my friend used to say, we just lay the dessert on top!

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    1. Ha! I guess that's what we have to do! :)

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  26. Hi Bethany! This looks like such a cozy, friendly and inviting place, and the people who run it look like very nice people!

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    1. I think that's a pretty accurate evaluation! :)

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  27. Those pies look so mouthwatering, I can't really decide which pie is my favorite I love the ones you have listed, they all have tasty names :) my current favorites are apple cinnamon and sweet cherry. Love the faux painting they applied on their walls the place just looks very cozy.

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    1. Your current favorites sound pretty good! (But then just about all pies sound good to me!)

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  28. That looks like good home cooking...my favorite kind of restaurant. I would have been very happy with the salad you enjoyed and my favorite pie is blueberry. Now off to the train show.

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    1. I haven't had a blueberry pie in a while. My mom has a couple blueberry bushes, and they do produce some berries, but so far not enough for a pie.

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  29. Hmm. Never thought of a salad with that perspective. Maybe they should serve the dessert first. How do you choose which one to try first?

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    1. Now that's an idea ;). Whichever looks the best is the one to choose.

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  30. They should pay you to advertise! Looks like a charming place and my kind of food. I know what you mean about cooking. My husband use to joke that I didn't use a timer...I used the smoke alarm!

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  31. Oh Bethany, my food choices are a bit unusual so I'll leave the tasting to you :) but I love the inviting warmth, smiling faces of Mary and Caleb and rich colourfulness of this beautiful post. Heading to another of your posts now. I hope you are enjoying a beautiful day in Iowa!

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    1. Thank you! It's pretty cold here, but brrrr...eautiful. :)

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  32. Oh my! What wonderful pies!!! :-) I know I couldn't decide. Boy, I have gotten so behind with you I see. In fact, I have with most everyone in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations! This is a lovely restaurant. I am so glad you shared it with us! Have a blessed Christmas with your family! God bless you now and in the coming year!

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    1. Blessings to you too, Marie, and have a happy New Year!

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