by Amanda Weber
Personal Chef & Caterer
Have you ever been some place and wondered why in the world you haven’t been there before? That is how I felt on my first visit to Whispering Orchards Café & Country Store. As soon as your tires hit the drive that rolls up to the cafe, you are greeted by beautifully ancient trees outstretched over a sizable barn holding everything from chickens and llamas to pheasants and baby bunnies. A working orchard with trees dating back over a hundred years, the rural Cleveland property holds acres of apple trees, antique outbuildings, and the occasional peacock strutting its stuff. After admiring the adorable goats, we made our way into the café.
If the farm-to-fork restaurant wanted to coast on the grounds’ allure, it would probably do just fine. Fortunately, Sue and Chuck Holzwart give the kitchen the respect it deserves. The creative spark shows in daily specials like blackberry bread French toast, potato kugel, or apple bacon and spinach omelets. The highlight of my breakfast is walking in the front door to check out the nine different daily specials prominently displayed behind the register. Once seated in the cozy loft dining room, with gingham covered windows over looking the front orchard, the easy part of my morning has ended. I am now tasked with deciding what to order. Whatever I choose, I know, will be the right answer as everything is as fresh as you could get. The eggs are from the chickens that welcomed you to the property. The bacon is extra thick cut and smoked just up the road. And all the bread is baked in-house. If the food was any closer to your plate, you would have a chicken on the table! Like anyone with a favorite breakfast place, I have a few dishes that are my go-to. If I am craving something sweet, I will order the bread pudding. On this particular day it was sour cherry bread pudding served with your choice of meat (I always get the bacon), toast, two eggs any way, and their famous apple jelly. This is a big plate of food! The quality is phenomenal and the variety is just what I am looking for to start to my day. My other favorite dish is the potato kugel. A call back to a bygone era and a darn delicious one at that! Also served with all the fixings, this is a meal that will keep you full for a long day on the farm, or a lazy Sunday on the couch!
After you have had your fill in the restaurant, take a short walk to the country store to purchase some of that delicious apple jelly or a gallon or fresh pressed cider. Along with local honey, maple syrup, and during autumn, all the fresh apples your heart desires! And come the holidays, don’t forget to order a few pies. After you are stocked up for the ride home you can walk out the door and wave, or even give a little pat, to the animals before heading out.
Every adventure to Whispering Orchards is one not soon forgotten. We always have a lovely morning of breathing in fresh air, enjoying delicious food and exploring all that this local gem has to offer. I can say with confidence – a day spent here relaxing and making memories with loved ones is a day well spent.
W1650 CTY RD MM,
Cafe & Apple Store Hours
Monday through Saturday
6 am to 1 pm
6 am to Noon