While Yoders Deitsch Haus in Montezuma stays plenty busy with local business throughout the year, many families across Middle Georgia, including mine, have made a special trip to the restaurant a holiday tradition. If you enjoy freshly made home cooking in generous servings, its still worth the trip.
The building is basic, the service is efficient, but the food is the star. With the exception of the fried fish and fried shrimp, everything is made from scratch. During this time of year, of course, most of the ingredients start frozen, but once seasoning, care and plenty of butter is added, it tastes as good as nature intended.
We came on a Friday night at first, but after an hours drive we were very disappointed to read the handwritten sign on the window that said they were closed to go to a wedding. Undaunted, we came back the next morning, a few minutes before their opening time of 11:30 a.m. Luckily, they let us in about 11:25 a.m.; 10 minutes later the line was out the door and stayed steady the whole time we were eating.
In the cafeteria line, they get you started with dessert: chess pie, apple, custard, coconut cream and even shoo fly pie, the traditional Mennonite pie made with molasses. The custard pie was as good as it gets and the apple was flavored with as much clove as it was with cinnamon.
Next in line were the entrees: roast beef, fried fish or shrimp, white or dark fried chicken, or meatloaf. I wanted to try the items that were not homemade to see if I could tell: The breading on the fish was very heavy but the fish itself was substantial, whole and tasted absolutely fine. The homemade fried chicken was moist inside and crunchy outside and the roast beef was tender and thick with gravy.
The vegetables we tried included the creamed corn with tons of butter, the same baked apples that were in the pie, slightly bitter collard greens and cheesy broccoli casserole. Other items included fried okra, potatoes and gravy, and rice.
Beverages are limited to tea or water, but a friendly server comes around frequently with refills. Because you control the price of your meal, a family of four could eat quite easily on less than $25.
The money you save could be spent on the many homemade cakes, pies, breads and doughnuts for sale in their bakery. The 50 freshly-made loaves came in sourdough, light wheat and cinnamon oatmeal, and the doughnuts were all gigantic. The pecan pie is so rich you might wish you had cut yourself a smaller slice, and the fruitcake is as heavy as a lead ball.
Take the pleasant drive into Macon County and feel yourself adjust to small town life. The food is good, the prices are fantastic, and the scenery is all Georgia.
Yoders Deitsch Haus
Address: 5252 Ga. 26, Montezuma
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $1.75-$3 per item
Rating: 3 stars