- 1 of 6 Photos | View More Photos
The village of Sugarcreek is not afraid to showcase their Swiss heritage. From the famous Cuckoo Clock in the heart of downtown, to the authentic Swiss Village architecture that is reflected in almost all the buildings in the area and their signature Swiss Cheese, Sugarcreek has come to be known as the "Little Switzerland of Ohio."
Just outside of the village sits Beachy's Country Chalet Restaurant, whose exterior also boasts this Swiss Village architecture. A large mural of the Swiss Alps is painted on the building above the entryway, giving you a taste of Swiss heritage and geography.
A co-worker and I traveled to Beachy's in order to partake in a meal of authentic Amish and authentic food from the Swiss Heritage. We were promptly seated in a wood booth with beautifully painted pictures on the ends that captured life in Switzerland. The entire restaurant had a cozy, Swiss feel and even our waitress donned Swiss attire.
As we scanned our menus, we noticed foods for every appetite from salads and sandwiches, to platters of Chicken and Roast beef and sides of fries, mashed potatoes, vegetables and coleslaw.
We quickly decided, in order to get the full Swiss experience, we would have to indulge in a couple of the largest platters on the menu.
My co-worker ordered Beachy's Amish Sampler which included a sampling of pan fried chicken, ham, roast beef, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, vegetable of the day (green beans for us), and finished off with a sampling of pie.
I chose the Double Swiss combo which included heritage food such as the Wienerschnitzel (a lean and tender grilled veal cutlet,) Bratwurst and Sauerkraut. This meal came with three sides in which we chose the Roesti (Swiss home fries) and homemade noodles.
German phrases followed under each heading of the menu like; "Mia shaffa hatt un gleiah goot essa,"- meaning "we work hard and like to eat good"- was listed under Amish and Swiss Entrees. Having ordered from this category, we knew we were in for a good meal. "Vass iss amm cacha heit," might be asked when referring to the special of the day (What's cooking today.)
As we waited on what was sure to be a most filling lunch, we were served a basket of fresh bread with butter and apple butter for spreading. Dave Beachy, manager, joined us to share a little bit of the history on Beachy's while we waited for our dinner.
Growing up Amish and being the youngest of seven boys made Beachy no stranger to the kitchen. "Being the youngest I was stuck in the kitchen helping mom," said Beachy.
When he was older, Beachy moved to Florida to help his brother manage his restaurant. After three and half years of managing and working in the kitchen, Beachy decided to move back home and use his talents to start his own business.
On Labor Day of 1988, the restaurant Beachy designed himself came to life. "When we opened up at first, we only served the construction workers and their friends and families," said Beachy. But it didn't take long for the locals and travelers to notice the new restaurant and start trickling in. Not wanting to say no to new business , Beachy said they served 600 people their very first day.
Being born and raised Amish has helped Beachy not only in the kitchen, but also in communicating with the locals and his employees. He has found that developing a relationship with his employees is key and offers to drive many of his employees to and from work each day. "I've developed a good relationship and rapport with my employees," said Beachy.
For almost 25 years, Beachy's has been serving up good food and good service. "If I keep having great food and great service, they will keep coming back," said Beachy.
Beachy is always looking for ways to improve upon his restaurant and add to the menu. Recently an employee suggested adding Amish wedding chicken to indulge the people's interest in authentic Amish food.
Just as their families did for them, Dave and Linda Beachy hope to provide good, wholesome food to their customers. They promote the community by purchasing fresh ingredients locally when they can.
"I do really see the value in working with the local community," said Beachy. And in return, they see a lot of support from other local businesses.
Once our food arrived, we were overwhelmed by smells and the sheer size of the meal before us. The mashed potatoes were the creamiest potatoes we had ever tasted and were by far our favorite. Each piece of meat was tender and cooked to perfection. While my co-worker found herself ogling over the mouth-watering chicken breast, I found I very much enjoyed the Bratwurst and Sauerkraut. The Roesti was certainly not overlooked, the pan fried potatoes covered in Swiss cheese were very tasty.
As we patted our stomachs from a most delicious meal, we were sent home with a small slice of Strawberry pie (which was also delicious once we had room to indulge a little more.) One final phrase on the menu can easily sum up our lunch experience, "Na dess is vass ma recht essa heist" - Now this is what you call real eating.
Beachy's Country Chalet Restaurant is located at 115 Andreas Drive North East in Sugarcreek. Beachy's is open Monday-Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information call 330-852-4644, visit www.beachyscountrychalet.com or find them on facebook.