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Take this tasty tour of 6 unsung Southern York County eateries

Derrod Boone works behind the counter at his Jacobus eatery with two of his daughters, Brittany, left, and Destiny. Another daughter, Trinity, works there, too, as does his fiancé, Jen Sherman. Boone’s Vintage Café and Greybeards Antiques operate in the former Leader Furniture building. (Jim McClure, photo).

The towering Leader building atop the tall hill in Jacobus has long hosted two related businesses.

Until about 20 years ago, this hulk of a building, now Grey Beards Antiques, housed a furniture store and funeral parlor.

There was a time when many York County towns had such a combo.

Casket making was a steady business and required the sure hand of some who could also make furniture. So there was Goodling’s in Seven Valleys, Diehl’s in Mount Wolf, Zarfos/Burg’s in Red Lion and others.

Today, Boone’s Vintage Café and Java Bar joins Grey Beards to keep up the dual-use tradition.

Brittany Boone works away at Boone’s Vintage Café in Jacobus. (Jim McClure, photo)

Grey Beards attracts those looking for collectibles who enjoy their Zeke’s Coffee at Boone’s. And Boone’s hopes to add to its status as its own destination by offering ice cream to supplement its menu of paninis, wraps, melts and about the best chicken salad sandwich you can find around here.

Derrod Boone is a Baltimore native an the third generation in his family to work in the culinary arts.

He recognizes the importance of Grey Beards to his business, saying on Facebook that the antique emporium is Jacobus’ local museum with its three stories of gifts and collectables and a “historic old time feel elevator like the ones you would see in classic movies … .”

Boone’s eatery is one of those unhurried coffee houses in which you can bring your laptop and work for several hours or meet in a group for lunch with friends.

It’s not alone as an unsung, somewhat off-the-beaten-path southern York County place that is worthy of a visit. It’s a restaurant that would appeal to your sense of accomplishment in discovering neat, nearby place to break bread and hang out.

We profile here five other places that fit that category – quiet but really inviting treasures that might have simply escaped your attention.

We’ll work north to south from Red Lion, along Route 74 and then the Susquehanna Trail, realizing that this is just a small sample of delightful places awaiting your discovery:

Customers enter and leave Red Lion’s Red Brick Bakery through this tidy, narrow courtyard. Over the years, the restaurant/tea room has expanded by two addresses to the north along Main Street. (Jim McClure, photo).

Red Brick Bakery & Tearoom: This Red Lion eatery’s website says it’s “Tucked Away on Main Street,” which is right, and it describes its atmosphere as elegant and relaxed, which is also right.

But this tucked-away place in a red brick building is a busy place, with breakfasts and lunches, children’s and afternoon teas and a by-reservation-0nly evening “Chef’s Table.”

Common Grounds Cafe is a public cafe that is part of the Bethlehem United Methodist Church campus on Route 74 in Dallastown. (Jim McClure, photo).

Common Grounds Coffee House: We now move from Red Lion’s Main Street to Dallastown’s, and we find an unusual and commonsense dual-use place: A coffee shop connected to a house of worship – Bethlehem United Methodist Church.

This relaxed coffee shop is made for laptop use and eating, with heaping, thick sandwiches.

When you leave this place, you get a great view of the town, including Glatfelter Furniture, a family-owned store that reminds you of Leader Furniture when it operated in Jacobus.

For years, Festive Board has offered an array of delicacies from its Queensgate Shopping Center location. (Jim McClure, photo).

Festive Board: This business in the venerable Queensgate Shopping Center covers a range: specialty cheeses (they can order what they don’t have), 35 regular or specialty sandwiches, an expansive catering business and about 20 party trays that include a 4 1/2-foot sub that feeds 20 people.

With all this going on, Festive Board is relaxed with a quiet seating area in which you can eat or sit and nurse an ice tea.

Here’s a shoutout for a culinary masterpiece from Paesano’s Pizza of Jacobus. This dish – listed as small on the menu- tastes as good as it looks. (Jim McClure, photo.)

Paesano’s Pizza: We move onto the  Trail, back in Jacobus, to an eatery that’s different than others profiled here, but is a gem to discover: Paesano’s Pizza.

In everything you order, this family-owned eatery does more than you’d expect. You order a spaghetti with two meatballs, and you get three. You order a small calzone, and you receive a tasty, colorful pie with a golden crust.

Paesano’s does a brisk take out business, and its eat-in business is take out, too. The generous portion sizes mean that you’ll take some home.

The Village Coffee operates in an 1800s townhouse filled with antiques in Shrewsbury, and J.&B.’s Grill offers tasty food one door south on the Susquehanna Trail. (Jim McClure, photo).

The Village Coffee & Cream – This Shrewsbury coffee house operates on the first floor of an antique and gift shop in a 1800s town house.

So you can spend an afternoon there, with seating for coffee and laptop on the first and second floors. You can make a trip back to the coffee bar for rich ice cream made on the premises. (Try honey lavender.) You can – and should – visit next door for a full and tasty meal at J&B’s Grill.

And then return to Village Coffee for an expresso and more laptop time.

Here’s the thing: Take any slice of York County, and you’ll find many unsung, homegrown eateries. Even in this section of southern York County, there are a dozen more to try out.

And here’s a suggestion: It is time that we give eating at the chains a rest, or at least after we try places such as those represented here.

More: What is the most walkable town in York County? Shrewsbury might be it.