Appearances can often be deceiving and no more so than at Yoder’s Amish Village in Sarasota, Florida. On the outside you’re greeted by a cracked car park and a fading playground, yet inside lies some of the greatest pies you’ll find worldwide. We headed into the mid-day heat to grab a slice…and we weren’t disappointed!
The Joint: Yoder’s, 3434 Bahia Vista, Sarasota, Florida, 34239. Holla at their website here.
The Vibe: When thinking of where to find great food your mind doesn’t instantly jump to the Amish community, and certainly not all the way down in sunny South West Florida. Famed for their traditional values and stripped back take on modern life, there are little over two hundred thousand Amish people in North America currently. Debunking a commonly held belief that Amish people are withdrawn from contemporary communities is the Yoder family, found in Sarasota. They’ve been busy feeding families since 1975 and regularly server over 1,500 people a day.
Our first visit to Yoder’s was part of a tight schedule and the initial queue length curtailed our pie eating plans. The fact that the queue was out of the door was a good sign though and twenty four hours later we returned and took our seats inside the family friendly diner. It’s a quaint and bustling joint with an army of smiling and attentive staff and this instantly relaxes you. Whilst the Amish have strong links to Pennsylvania, and further back to the Netherlands, Yoder’s offer a really All-American menu. Many of those around us are tucking into mountains of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and great looking burgers. We skip straight to dessert though and opt for slices Chocolate and Peanut Butter pie and Florida Key Lime pie.
When our pies arrived a number of the other diners stopped eating and quite literally stared at our table and we don’t blame them one bit. The Chocolate and Peanut butter pie was a great mix of solid shortcrust pastry oozing with light and fluffy toppings. You’ve got delicious mounds of milk chocolate and peanut butter cream, a thick layer of whipped cream, and finished off with chocolate chips and shortbread crumble. It was absolutely huge in size and taste. It’s a challenge too, you’re stuffed far too early but can’t bare to leave anything sitting on your plate.
The Florida Key Lime pie was more reserved in appearance but certainly packed a punch with it’s sharp taste and dollop of whipped cream.
With over 30 pies to choose from, divided between cream pies and baked pies, you really are spoilt for choice here. One moment you’ve settled on the blueberry cream, and then suddenly you have a hankering for the caramel custard, before finally setting on a red raspberry cream pie. It’s all served with great hospitality and a very Mom & Pop vibe.
The great news is that the pies are all available as a takeaway option too, so treat yourself and take one for the journey!
The Price: $4.50 a slice, with a few dollars for unlimited filter coffee or a fruit juice.
Yoder’s was visited by Tom in June 2014