Like all good Dutchmen, I am always looking for a good deal. So when I was able to get a $100 Restaurant.com voucher for $10, I couldn’t pass it up.
Unfortunately, Restaurant.com’s inventory is very limited. Three years later, I’ve only used one coupon, that was at Christine’s Creekside Inn.
But I made myself a promise that I would use it this year, so I went on a spending spree and picked up a variety of certificates to use throughout the summer.
One of those that I picked up was for $25 off at the Cafe at Maple Springs. Looking at the dinner menu listed on Restaurant.com, I was confident that we would have no trouble hitting the $37.50 minimum purchase to use it.
So a few weeks ago, Julie and I set aside a Thursday night to drive to Birdsboro and enjoy dinner.
The Cafe at Maple Springs is set inside a strip mall along Route 724, inside the borough limits but just west of downtown.
The dining room was smaller than I was expecting. Less than 20 tables—mostly wooden booths—were draped with black fabric tablecloths.
The bigger surprise was when we were handed the dinner menu, which included only sandwiches, burgers and salad and none of the dinner entrees and pasta dishes I had seen on the menu online. Instead, they offered a handful of “homestyle” options like stuffed peppers and pot pie.
It was only then that I looked on their Facebook page (the restaurant does not have a website) and saw the fine print on the dinner menu: “Served Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m. until close.”
So we ordered a couple sandwiches and resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to return.
This time, I made sure that our return visit was on a Friday. We were anxious to try items like brown butter crab and chicken picotta.
But when we arrived, we were once again disappointed to find that there was still no dinner menu. A few homestyle options were all that were available.
I decided to order off the homestyle menu, and in my frustration I said “meatloaf” when I actually meant “shepherd’s pie.”
In a feeble attempt to reach our $37.50, we decided to order six Chesapeake wings to start.
Before they arrived, we got our side salads, which came with our homestyle meals. The salad was hearty, a bountiful pile of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, carrots and cucumber. After polishing it off, the wings seemed completely unnecessary.
I saved the last of my ranch from the salad to use for dipping my wings. As the name implies, the wings were doused in Old Bay with some additional herbs tossed in. The Old Bay made them just a little salty, but overall they were very tasty.
When my main course arrived, two slabs of meatloaf were piled atop each other with a mound of mashed potatoes, all drowning in gravy.
The meatloaf was a little spicy and a little salty, a product of just a little too much garlic salt in the mixture. Otherwise, it was very good and very filling. The mashed potatoes were also good, but I could have done without the corn because it didn’t add much except some color.
Julie ordered chicken pot pie and was happy to see that it was “real” Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie, not the kind that’s served in a shell.
It was actually very good, one of the better versions I have tasted at a restaurant. And they certainly gave plenty of it as half of it went home with us that night.
Our waitress brought a box for Julie’s leftovers, along with our check. For all of our food (and a soda), it was still only $25. It would have taken at least one more person to hit our minimum, and for the first time ever, I was actually upset about a restaurant having low prices.
I didn’t bother asking whether they actually have a dinner menu at all anymore because it no longer mattered to me; I already sold my coupon back to Restaurant.com for credit so we can try somewhere else.
Everything we had in our two trips to the Maple Springs Cafe was very good.
But I just can’t shake the fact that I was left wanting something more.