New Freedom Restaurant and Coffee Shop
Location: 17308 Susquehanna Trail South, Shrewsbury Township
Jess' pick: Chef's Saute - Shrimp and Crab Pesto with cup of Cream of Crab soup, $17.99
Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Price range: $2.29, cup of soup; $39.99, 30 pieces of broasted chicken
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes
Details: Call 717-235-7664 or search New Freedom Restaurant on Facebook
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Restaurant owners count on the community for their business to thrive.
At New Freedom Restaurant and Coffee Shop, Vicky Papageorgiou says they've always gotten support.
"Everyone has been so nice," said Papageorgiou, who opened the restaurant seven years ago with her husband, Dimos. That's why they do what they can to give back.
Every February, for example, they host a pasta night fundraiser for H.O.P.E., a local nonprofit benefiting cancer patients and their families. Last year customers raised more than $4,000.
Other organizations and businesses hold their holiday parties, luncheons and other special events at the eatery.
What attracts patrons is not just the family atmosphere, but also the wide variety of menu options – from pasta to Tex Mex to steak and seafood.
What stood out to me on a recent Saturday were the six types of quesadillas available, vegetarian choices and all-day breakfast options.
Papageorgiou said the most popular items on the menu are the prime rib, broasted chicken and crab cakes "prepared in-house with chef's secret seasonings," according to the menu.
Being so close to the Maryland line and Baltimore County, I couldn't resist trying a crab dish. But instead of the crab cake, I opted for a chef-created sauté featured from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays.
The Crab and Shrimp Pesto arrived with my choice of a cup of soup or tossed salad for $17.99.
Cream of Crab soup was heavy on the cream with a good helping of Old Bay seasoning. The sauté was heavy on the crab with four large slices of bruschetta standing upright in a bowl of gemelli pasta.
The crab was not only plentiful; hunks were as large as the jumbo shrimp also in the dish.
Three other sautes were available the day of my visit -- Classic Seafood Scampi Pasta ($17.99), Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo ($13.99) and Neptune – hand-cut Black Angus sirloin topped with scallops, shrimp and crab meat ($19.99). Dozens of other entrees, sides and soups are switched daily and written on a paper menu insert.
Papageorgiou and her husband have a long history in the restaurant business. They previously owned Dairyland Family Restaurant in Red Lion and her parents owned Sunrise Restaurant in York City.
The atmosphere the Papageorgious established at the New Freedom Restaurant feels like home with a stone fireplace along one wall of a main room, which features multiple tables and booths. A counter with stool seating is in the center of the restaurant; another room is available for private parties.
Patrons pay their tab at a counter near the door, but to get there, good luck walking past a case of desserts. Whole pies and cakes can be purchased if you're feeling generous to share with with friends and family at home.