Inn Season
The Plumsteadville Inn puts a fresh spin on the tradition of offering good food and good times
by Leigh Stuart

One might think that a historic neighborhood institution, one that’s been for generations, might be easily tempted to fall out of fashion with the times. Yet the Plumsteadville Inn in Pipersville, a venue that has been welcoming weary and hungry travelers since 1751, proves that such a statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

While “The Plum,” as it’s known in the neighborhood, has indeed been providing “Burgers & Beer, Lobster & Cheer” for years, the cuisine at this Bucks County mainstay is anything but old news. In fact, the restaurant’s lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus successfully blend tradition with the ambition to explore new territory.

General manager Matt George, who has been with the restaurant for several years, explains that The Plum achieves this feat by holding true to a number of dishes that have become customer favorites. At the same time, the team at The Plum continues to strive to introduce new items that highlight the freshest local ingredients and innovations in the culinary arts.

The Plum has met customers’ ever-growing desire to enjoy cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. Embracing Pennsylvania’s rich farming culture and heritage, the restaurant now works with foods from such nearby providers as Tussock Sedge Farm in Blooming Glen, which is east of Perkasie, and Haring Brothers Meats in Doylestown.

“We like to support local businesses and farms,” George says. “We like to bring in local heirloom tomatoes, local grass-fed beef, local eggs and dairy products; our chefs are really on top of providing the best products available.”

In addition to bolstering the local economy, the decision to work with local purveyors ensures that customers are enjoying meals prepared with top-quality meats and produce. “You just know you’re getting the freshest product, because it’s not traveling,” he says. “Ours are the first hands, besides the farmer’s, to touch these products.”

Another way the kitchen stays at the top of its game is by adding new tools to its repertoire. One unique piece of equipment that has been helping the staff prepare highly regarded dishes is a smoker, which the kitchen uses to prepare anything from chicken, cheeses and beef to fruits de mer to vegetables. George says that the one-of-a-kind smoky flavor of the items that go into the smoker comes from a house-specialty blend of woods. “We use [the smoker] for a lot of specials,” George explains, noting one recent popular special featured smoked tomato soup garnished with rye croutons. The kitchen also likes to utilize smoked heirloom tomatoes to accent, or star, a number of dishes.

Devising the lineup of seasonally rotating offerings is, as one might imagine, no small task. George explains that the menu that customers ultimately see is the brainchild of not just The Plum’s two chefs but also the sous chefs, management staff and even the team of servers. “It’s a whole restaurant effort, not just one person,” he says. The entire process of creating the menus, from initial brainstorming to the fruition of the final ideas, takes two to three months and, ultimately, the production of approximately three seasonally adjusted menus each year. Desserts, too, rotate, but often include options such as housemade tiramisu, bread pudding and crème brulee.

With so many minds working to devise each menu, the spectrum of ideas ends up being vast and colorful, featuring ingredients and culinary influences and styles from across the globe. One thing that always remains in focus, however, is the utilization of in-season products. The staff at The Plum even changes the drinks menu four to five times a year to include cocktails that feature seasonal herbs and fruits.

“We focus on seasonality,” George says. “We use a lot of locally grown heirloom tomatoes, we make a lot of fresh salsas to serve with fish dishes, and we make seasonal salads.”

Of course, there are certain dishes and mealtime traditions that are classics for a reason. Brunch at The Plum, for example, stands tall above the competition. Served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, the brunch buffet offers an array of dishes to suit any diner’s taste. Set up in the main dining area, the buffet includes a carving station that features a rotating selection of meats such as bone-in ham, rib eye, pork loin or turkey, all hand cut to order. Offerings also include a made-to-order omelet station, a waffle station, a selection of breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon, eggs Benedict, a cold station offering salads and seafood, and hot lunchtime items such as Asian stir fry. There is also a chocolate fountain complete with sweet treats for dipping. Guests can even enjoy mimosas and Bloody Marys for just $3 each.

In the end, The Plum offers customers the winning recipe of food and fun. As George says, “We have a great atmosphere. Part of the building was built in 1751, so the surroundings feel nostalgic. We’re upbeat, family friendly; we have great food, and we’re always running great specials.”

The Plum’s happy hour, which offers guests half-priced appetizers and a dollar discount on libations from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, has even been named “Best of Bucks.”

As is par for the course with The Plum, there are plenty of surprises in store for the future. George says diners will want to keep an eye out for a new menu in April, which will highlight a selection of dishes featuring the best fruits and veggies the spring season has to offer.

The Plumsteadville Inn
5902 Easton Road
Pipersville, PA 18947
215-766-7500 |

Photograph by Rob Hall