But before last week, I had never visited Brown's during my time in York County, a little more than a year. You should have seen the look on people's faces when I told them that.
It's a mixture of surprise, disgust and pity. Perhaps a touch of envy, too, considering the joyous sensory overload of experiencing Brown's for the first time.
For starters, I would struggle to picture a more visually striking store. From the glistening floor to the perfectly arranged shelves to fruits without a single flaw or bruise, Brown's looks so clean and fresh. And for some reason, this put me in the mood to eat.
I visited the new Brown's Farm Market & Garden Center - Brown's North for short - which entered into a partnership last spring to run the retail side of Shiloh Nurseries. Brown's ships bakery, produce and deli goods from the original Loganville store to Brown's North daily to ensure freshness.
At the deli counter, I ordered a ham and Swiss panini with macaroni salad. While I waited for my sandwich, I couldn't resist some of Brown's pristine-looking produce. Most of it sits in shiny wooden crates on rustic-looking shelves, like someone plucked each piece of fruit from a modern-day Orchard of Eden.
I also experienced delightful old-fashioned customer service. An employee caught me by surprise when she offered to bag my locally grown peaches.
"Oh, I see you've already taken care of that," she said.
By the time a cashier rang up my cantaloupe, another worker in the deli brought my tray to the register, rather than just call out my number.
I ate my meal on a front porch outside the market overlooking a huge willow tree and the nursery. Hard to picture a more relaxing spot to eat lunch on a breezy, sunny day.
The thick, sweet slices of ham on my sandwich impressed me. Second guessing myself, I thought perhaps the atmosphere tricked me into thinking everything tasted wholesome and fresh. But, as I later learned, the ham came from Groff's Meats in southern Lancaster County.
Although not advertised as such on the menu, the macaroni salad, with its distinctive yellowish color, was definitely of the Amish variety. A few more hard-cooked egg pieces would have been nice. But the dressing was a wonderful creamy consistency and the flavor was spot on.
Frankly, I think I've found my new obsession with Brown's. I have so many things I want to try at Brown's - soups, salads and items from the bakery. It's not that the lunch itself was the greatest I've ever had. Brown's is more of an experience than a meal, and it's hard to imagine a more pleasant one.
Cheap Eats is a biweekly column on local restaurants' meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Wade Malcolm at 771-2101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
LOCATION: Brown's Farm Market & Gardent Center, 3100 N. George St. in Manchester Township
WADE'S PICK: Ham and Swiss panini with macaroni salad and chips ($7.89)
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
PRICE RANGE: $1.25 to $7.50
ACCEPTS: Cash and major credit card
KID'S MENU: hot dogs, grilled cheese
DETAILS: 767-4142, www.brownsorchards.com