Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eating Our Way Through Gettysburg

Many of you know Chris and I recently took a trip to Gettysburg. There are plenty of good places to eat there so I thought I'd recap some of those we ate at. Feel free to chime in with your favorites or your comments on where we ate or better yet didn't get to.

Inside the Victorian Cottage Breakfast Lodge
 We stayed at the Quality Inn Gettysburg Motor Lodge. Seeing that breakfast was included we ate there each morning. Eggs, sausage, english muffins, toast, cereal, fresh fruit, milk, juices, coffee, and tea were available starting way too early but they had food out until 10am. Good way to start each morning.

On Steinwehr Avenue

While there we received several recommendations on places to eat and we tried a bunch of them. One place we ate lunch at a couple of times was Hunt's Cafe home of the Battlefield Fries. Owners Scott and Donna Hunt serve up heaping baskets of fresh cut "boardwalk style" fries. The small basket was easily enough to share. The cheese steak sandwich was also very good. The restaurant is a bit cramped with the ice cream station, the Green Mountain coffee display, and the hundreds of military type hats and flags, reproduction signs and more that is available. I guess that's all part of the charm but the food was excellent and both Scott and Donna were very friendly. Recommended.

We also ate at the Lincoln Diner(no website that I could find) a couple of times. Once out of necessity seeing that we were eating late and there wasn't much open and the other from a recommendation. Located near the Gettysburg Train Station the diner is easy to find. The food was pretty solid for what you would expect. It's a diner. Nothing fancy. The meatloaf was good and I had an open faced turkey sandwich that I thought more than filled the bill. Desserts are spinning in a case near the entrance and looked good. The staff isn't the best in the world and probably need to tone down the negative discussions about each other while in earshot of customers. Overall though it's what you should was clean, the food was good, and the prices reasonable. I would definitely eat there again.

The front of Pickett's on Steinwehr Avenue
 Our first night in town we had to decide where to eat since we were both hungry from the flight and the drive. General Pickett's Buffet it was. The food was fresh and good considering you never know what a buffet will hold. The offerings while not huge were satisfying. While overall pretty heavy on the starches and fried food (what buffet isn't) there some other interesting items including a spicy seafood creole that I found really good. The chili was tasty as well. Ham and roast beef with two different levels of wellness were at the carving station. Don't forget to hit the desert station before leaving for a brownie (or two) and a slice of pie or cake. Prices were fair and the service was attentive but not bothersome. Pickett's does seem to cater to tour groups and buses so you may want to have a backup plan in case you pull up to 4 tour buses of teenagers.

The Dobbin House

What trip to Gettysburg is complete without a trip to The Dobbin House? Check our their menus here. We ate lunch at the Springhouse Tavern. Chris had an excellent onion soup. The sandwiches were good and the surroundings fun and interesting. The service was adequate. Not stellar not horrible. Just an FYI it is dark in the Tavern. Most of your light comes from the candles you find on the tables. Watch your step! The house itself is full of history and during the 19th century served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. After the battle of Gettysburg the house served as a hospital for both Union and Confederate troops. Be sure to look for the spring and also ask for directions to see the runaway slave hiding location.

The Farnsworth House

Another destination for many tourists is The Farnsworth House. This is kind of one stop shopping for tourists: inn, restaurant, ghost tour, dinner theatre, gift shop, bookstore, and more. The house still shows the scars from the Civil War with over 100 bullet holes in the south wall. We ate in the tavern. I had a good burger, but then it should be hard to mess that up. Chris again had onion soup (though not as good as at Dobbin House) and a ham sandwich. We had a very nice window table looking out over the courtyard. I imagine during season though this wouldn't be such a great table since the courtyard would be busier.

If you are looking for pizza look no further than Tommy's. Made fresh while you wait this was really good. Run by third generation family members Tommy's and other restaurants owned by the same family are Gettysburg institutions so to speak. We got there late one evening and the inside was empty. We got our pizza quickly and noticed that while after 8pm during a still slow season the restaurant did a good take out business. The restaurant was clean, within walking distance of several hotels (including ours) and the staff friendly. We were greeted coming in the door and thanked when leaving. If you go to their website be sure to check out the about us page. Great story!

Probably the only disappointing meal we had was at Momma Ventura's. Located just off Lincoln Square in downtown Momma Ventura's bills itself as Gettysburg's only true Italian restaurant. If that is the case then somebody needs to open something else to help bring up the standards a bit. The problem started early when the bread was cold and hard. Now this was not meant to be standard room temperature bread. It really seemed like yesterday's bread. There were two rolls to start (one for each I suppose) and when the waitress noticed the basket empty and asked if we would like more it was a race as to who could say no quicker. I had lasagna which was just OK. Not bad but clearly not the best I have ever had. Chris had baked ziti but didn't think too much of it. I believe canned pasta was the term used to describe it. At least Chef Boy Ar Dee has found a job in this economy huh? After looking at what appeared to be brought in food service deserts tightly wrapped in cling wrap sitting in the old display case standing by the front window we took a pass. Service was so-so, prices were too high for what the food was, and the food, well you read my thoughts.

On Steinwehr Avenue

Eddie Plank

I guess to make up for Momma Ventura's we found Gettysburg Eddie's. Named for baseball hall of fame Eddie Plank, who is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, this was a nice find. We ate dinner here two different nights and had the same waiter both times. I was pleasantly surprised he remembered us since it was not back to back nights. Both times the food was good as well. The first time we went Chris had the blackened chicken and I had the seafood platter. Both were good. The chicken was different from other blackened I am used to. In addition to the blackening seasoning it also came covered in BBQ sauce. A bit unusual but I did try a bite and it was tasty. The seafood platter was a combination fried and broiled and was good. For our second go around we tried our waiters recommendation of the english style beef sandwich and the Philly cheese steak. The english style won out but the Philly was good too. I guess the only disappointment was that they were out of shirts in my size. Chris said maybe Santa was listening though.

Overall we had a great trip and had some good food. I know there are places we didn't get to though so please post your favorites or what you think of where we ate.

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