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30 pies top menu at Dutch Diner

TAMPICO -- When talking about the little Tampico restaurant, area pie connoisseurs whisper the name in a tone reserved for holy places and mystical happenstance.

Dispatch/Argus file photo

Beverly Adamson, co-owner of the Dutch Diner Family Restaurant, Tampico, poses with one of her daughters, Alicen Adamson. The diner is named for former president, the late Ronald Reagan, whose childhood nickname was ``Dutch.

The Dutch Diner.

Hidden behind the friendly facade of hot coffee and home-cooked meals is a den of iniquity for the calorically challenged. A holy grail to seekers of the exquisite crusts and scintillating fillings. A nirvana for those with ala mode on the mind.

``We have about 25 pies on the list but do several other varieties so, in all, I would say we make close to 30 different kinds of pies,'' Beverly Adamson, owner of the Dutch Diner, said.

``I wouldn't want to say what my favorite is, the customers' favorite would probably be the black raspberry, coconut or banana cream pie then chocolate and chocolate peanut butter. It's kind of seasonal, in the summer strawberry and strawberry cream pies are real popular. Of course, you have your old standbys, the apple, cherry and blueberry.''

The Dutch Diner also sells pies-to-go with 24-hours notice, a brisk business year-round but a tremendous amount of work around the holidays, according to Mrs. Adamson.

``The day before Thanksgiving we baked 265 pies just for take-out orders, not including the pies we made for our own customers in the diner,'' Mrs. Adamson said. ``During the summertime, on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, we make 50 or 60 fresh pies a day. We are told quite often people can't buy custard or raisin cream pies, or some of the special pies that you have to make from scratch anywhere else. We are always happy to hear that.''

Mrs. Adamson took over the diner's operation in 1995 from Stanley and Alta Heading who ran the operation for 14 years, and has worked hard to keep up the reputation for the town's legendary delectables.

``It's a tremendous amount of work but I look at it as an investment,'' Mrs. Adamson said. ``I took it over to provide a means to educate my children.''

Mrs. Adamson has 12 children, nine daughters and three sons, who often pitch in around the restaurant, doing chores from bookkeeping and payroll to waiting tables and doing dishes.

The Dutch Diner, named in part for Stan and Alta's Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, has a lot of significance for the little town of Tampico.

``Tampico is also the birthplace of former president Ronald Reagan so it really fit perfectly with the town.'' Mrs. Adamson said. ``I really enjoy the people, it's an extended family of sorts and I think the customers feel the same way. Someone once told me every small town should have a Dutch Diner.''

-- By Todd Welvaert (January 26, 1998)

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