“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” These days, it’s a business strategy we can all get our arms around. Take Gladwyne’s iconic Old Guard House Inn. Owner Albert Breuers knows what his customers want—and that, for the most part, is more of the same. The proof is in the pudding: Last May, the Guard House celebrated its 30th anniversary. And though there was much less fanfare than such a milestone deserves, Breuers’ loyal customers paid their respects by keeping the dining room full and packing the bar.
This is the perfect time of year to take in all that’s special about this cozy institution, with its three working fireplaces; hearty, homestyle-with-flair Continental cuisine; and great desserts. The bread pudding and apple pie with butterscotch ice cream are well worth the calories—and they taste even better with a glass of cognac or port sipped while chatting with bartender Joe Belza.
The menu changes about four times a year. But rather than cater to personal whims, Breuers and executive chef Frank Miller cater to their clientele with favorites like Dijon-crusted rack of lamb, Dover sole, jumbo lump crab cakes and seared venison entrées. Perfect for frigid winter nights: the meatloaf with black peppercorn sauce and mashed potatoes, and the filet or chicken pot pies. Plenty of locals come for the snapper soup and seared filet—the consummate blue-blood meal.
Head to the bar and settle in with one of Belza’s martinis and a lobster pizza, buffalo sweetbreads or weinerschliders (mini veal sandwiches). Or go more conventional with chicken wings, pork dumplings, mussels and fries, or chicken tenders. 953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne; (610) 649-9708, guard-house.com.