It was one of those cold, frigid winter days when you want to stay inside with a nice wood fire. My son and I were preparing to run some errands, when I heard a little voice say “can we first go to that place with the really good hot chocolate?” I knew just what he meant, and I’m an easy mark because I love The Country Deli. It seemed logical that we should prepare ourselves properly before proceeding with the boring task of Christmas returns. Request granted.
If you’re not from the area, you would likely never know about The Country Deli. And if you are from here, you still might not know about it! If you travel Route 352 between West Chester and Media, you pass it every day. It’s easy to miss, so once you find it you will want to add it to your favorites on your GPS. It was not until I wrote this that I realized the restaurant is actually in Gradyville, not Edgmont. But it is Edgmont Township. I can remember when I first discovered this charming restaurant. It was after a delicious breakfast with my husband, our son still in his carrier, that I listed my first property right around the corner. For weeks I would drive up and down Route 352, trying to find it again, always driving past the sign a few times before I found it. It was fitting that the sellers and I celebrated their sale with lunch at the Country Deli.
The Country Deli has been owned and operated by Don and Constance Butler for the past twenty five years. Their daughter and son-in-law, Bryan and Dawn Carroll, are continuing the tradition and now manage the business on a day-to-day basis. Drive by at lunchtime or any weekend and the packed parking lot will tell you all you need to know–they are doing something right. But, if you like concrete reviews, you don’t need to look to hard to find them on line.
During the week, The Deli serves as a meeting spot for new moms, hikers coming from Ridley Creek State Park, grandparents, businessmen and everyone in between. The Deli is most well known for its delicious breakfasts and lunches and they also offer dinner two nights a week–Wednesday and Friday are pasta nights and it’s BYOB. It’s also nice to know that if you live in Middletown, Thornbury or Edgmont township, going out to breakfast doesn’t need to be a three hour affair.
I’ve been to restaurants where the focus is more on atmosphere and less on the food. But, to the locals who have been coming here for 20+ years, everyone agrees that their recipe for success is good food at affordable prices served by people who genuinely care–and the atmosphere is great! Every time you go you see the same people. There is something very comforting about that, like coming home to grandma’s kitchen.
What makes this place even more endearing is its well-known cookie jar collection. There are about 150 cookie jars throughout the dining area. The collection was started by Don and his wife, picking up a jar up here and there and it grew over time. Occassionally they will receive a donation from someone cleaning out their home, in the hope that the cookie jar is not that far away and the donor can come back and “visit” it from time to time.
If you go, I recommend off-peak times for a relaxed and less crowded experience. My favorite menu item is the grilled turkey breast on Russian black bread. Not great for the waistline, but good for the soul. Hmmm, I may just need to go back and double-check my facts!
The Country Deli, 1176 Middletown Road, Gradyville, Pa.
Hours : Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
from 6:30AM until 2:30 PM. On Wednesdays and Fridays, hours are 6:30 AM until 8:00 PM.
Gradyville, Edgmont and Glen Mills are great places to live!
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Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media, Pa.