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Boardwalks

Location: 3608 East Market St., Springettsbury Township

Cuisine: American

Rebecca's pick: Small round pizza with mushrooms ($5.99 plus $1.50 per topping), small square with pepperoni (same price), plus crab cake lunch basket ($12.99).

Parking: Lot

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday

Price range: $5.99, small cheese pizza; $14.99, crab cake dinner

Alcohol: Yes, free beer and wine for patrons 21 and older (limit two)

Accepts: Cash and credit

Takeout: Yes

Kid's menu: Yes

Details: Call 717-751-7711, visit boardwalksyork.com , or search Boardwalks in York, PA on Facebook

If you drive by Boardwalks in Springettsbury Township on a Friday or Saturday night you might have to do a double take for the crowd of people lining up out front.

This community staple was created by Don and Sharon Schultz back in 1996, but it took time for it to evolve into the restaurant people know today.

As the director of operations of a 23-store Domino's Pizza chain in Washington, D.C., Don Schultz had an interest in creating his own unique pizza. He opened Ledo Pizza but changed the business name to Boardwalks in 2006.

"I was inspired by some of the beach pizzas people look forward to getting when they go on vacation," Schultz said. "I thought I could bring a little bit of that summer time memory to York County."

It took him about two years to develop his round pizza, a flat crust pie topped with cheddar cheese. He also added a square pizza, which features a buttery crust and a sweeter sauce topped with provolone.

While the business found its home at 3625 East Market St. in the Food Lion shopping complex, last year seemed like a good time to move to a bigger space. Don Schultz wasn't keen on the idea at first, but when his wife suggested moving into the former George's Family Restaurant across the street, it seemed like moving might be a good idea.

They expanded their seating capacity right away, for a total of 130 seats, and doubled their sales almost immediately, Schultz said.

"Turns out she knew what she was talking about," Schultz said of his wife.

Boardwalks has been voted number one for crab cakes in York County two years in a row by the readers of the York Daily Record/Sunday News. They've received second for pizza, which Schultz said he hopes to beat in the years to come.

The restaurant also boasts free beer and wine for those 21 and older. Because the restaurant doesn't have a liquor license, Boardwalks can't sell the alcohol, but can give two servings away to each customer who is of age.

Business has been so successful in the new location, that Boardwalks will add breakfast service in May. Schultz recently hired a new chef, Chris Kiehl, to help with the transition. Schultz plans for the breakfast menu to offer gourmet options at diner prices.

My husband and I stopped by Boardwalks on a recent Friday afternoon for lunch. The crowd was moderate for a weekday afternoon but we were seated right away in a comfortable booth. The large space is filled with both tables and booths, as well as a lunch counter that is used as a work station or for backup seating during busy service. Several large TVs grace the walls and twinkling lights are strewn across the ceiling.

We ordered a small round pizza with mushrooms ($5.99 plus $1.50 per topping) and a small square with pepperoni (same price). We also ordered the crab cake lunch basket, which comes with two broiled or fried crab cakes and French fries ($12.99).

The food arrived quickly and we munched on a little bit of everything. The round pizza, which has a drier crust, was my husband's favorite, while the buttery crust on the square pizza was my favorite. Both are similar, but different enough to satisfy various pizza lovers.

The crab cakes were filled with lump meat and a bit of a bread crumb filling, but it still allowed the flavor of the crab to shine through.

Like many of Boardwalks' dishes, from the fettuccini alfredo ($10.99) to the chocolate brownies ($2.99), Schultz takes great pride in offering homemade items.

Many customers who come in will order the same thing each time. Some people have only ever had the taco salad ($7.99), Schultz said.

"We like being able to offer people a variety of things, but we make sure each item is well made," Schultz said. "People have helped make us successful in this area, and we're happy to give them what they want."

Correction

The original version of this story had the incorrect title of Don Schultz's previous job with Domino's Pizza.

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Check out our entire On The Menu directory here.

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