Mickey Whichard lives in Wilmar, “a little spot in the road near the Craven County line on Highway 17.” He and his wife, Freda, have a small farm near where she was born and raised. They are regulars at Yoder’s Dutch Pantry.
“You have to realize this restaurant sits out in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “You get people who drive 25 to 30 miles one way to eat there … on a regular basis.”
The restaurant is part of Yoder’s Farm and Garden Supply, a Southern States outlet run by Mennonites.
“These people do all of their own bread-making,” Whichard says. “If I had to recommend one item on the menu, I’d say they’ve got some choice French toast” — made with fresh-baked bread.
Then there’s the butter syrup. “It’s the color of butter, and practically everyone who eats pancakes or French toast there has it.” Think cream, butter, and sugar all mixed up into a rich, syrupy concoction, says former restaurant manager Linda Jo Koehn.
If you go on Saturday, go early, Whichard advises. The little bakery in the middle of nowhere serves as many as 250 people on an average Saturday morning.
Yoder’s Dutch Pantry
4102 N.C. Highway 118, Grifton
The French toast made with fresh-baked bread.