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Discerning Diner

Discerning Diner: Deck dining at its finest at Cold Springs Inn in Monroe Township

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One thing I love about summer is deck dining. The latest eatery I visited treats diners to some of the loveliest views in the area and is located near the Williams Grove Speedway on the Yellow Breaches Creek in Monroe Township.

On Saturday when my husband and I visited the Cold Springs Inn & Brewing Co., we arrived early with about 10 others to ensure a spot on the deck before the business opened at noon.

When the doors opened, we filed in to register with the employee standing at the reservation stand and were immediately led back out of the building to the bottom area of the two-tiered deck. (There is limited seating inside, along with a large bar, but during this time of the year, it’s all about the view.)

As we were seated, the hostess laid a plastic card on the table with a QR code, a COVID-era precaution that is slowly replacing traditional menus.

We started out with a few drinks to cool us off — he chose a craft beer, while I selected a strawberry basil gin cooler. The Cold Springs Inn operates under a brewery license, which allows the business to sell Pennsylvania beer, wine, cider and spirits. The cold (and tasty) drinks, along with the light breeze from the creek, not to mention the umbrella at the table, kept us comfortable during our visit as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The menu at Cold Springs Inn is manageable; you won’t find a catalog of selections to review when deciding what to order. It includes pub grub like fried pickles, chicken wings and nachos, as well as a selection of four salads, including garden, chopped, grilled Caesar and an enticing “summer salad,” comprised of mixed greens, strawberries, blackberries, mandarin oranges, Salemville Amish bleu cheese, candied walnuts and toasted coconut.

About half a dozen “handhelds” like burgers, pit beef, pulled pork and a belly-busting triple decker grilled cheese with bacon served on hearty Texas toast, round out the casual fare menu. Three additional items, listed as “CSI Features,” include trout and chips, ribs and clams.

For those with little ones in tow, Cold Springs Inn has something they call the “Guppy menu,” with hot dogs, chicken tenders, personal pan pizzas and grilled cheese, all under the bargain price of $5.

I had a hard time deciding between the summer salad and the “Pimento Chicken,” described on the menu as a char-grilled chicken breast, apple wood smoked bacon, sweet onion compote, pimento cheese, lettuce and tomato served on a toasted focaccia roll ($13). In the end, I chose the chicken sandwich. My husband selected the CSI char-grilled Angus burger served with melted Gouda, lettuce, tomato and roasted onions served on a brioche bun ($13).

Taking in the scenery is big here, and customers, as they wait for their order, can peer over the railings to spot trout swimming below and watch kayakers glide languidly down the creek.

Our meals arrived timely after about 20 minutes. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his juicy burger and it was gone before I knew it. The side of pasta salad, comprised of rotini, finely diced yellow and orange peppers, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, grated cheese and herbs tossed in light oil was also a hit. In fact, he ordered a second helping from our friendly and attentive waiter.

I enjoyed my chicken pimento sandwich as well. The meat was juicy and the mildly spiced pimento cheese added a unique touch to the sandwich. As for the seasoned fries, they were crunchy, nicely seasoned and served piping hot, as they should be. For a person who has been served insipid, barely lukewarm fries more often than not, this was quite the treat.

As we finished our meals and headed for home, we asked ourselves why we waited so long to visit this delightful place. The scenery was beautiful, service was spot on, and the food was fantastic. If you’ve yet to visit, I recommend you do it soon. We only have a few weeks of summer left, although I imagine the view is even more spectacular in the fall.

Next Up: Healthy You Café in Hampden Township.

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