Come for the Battlefields, Stay for Dinner

Exploring Gettysburg and its famous Civil War sites will make a visitor hungry! And where better to go than to one of the region’s 16+ restaurants (discounting fast food joints and chain establishments)?

Of course, Gettysburg and Adams County is well known for its agritourism, with its orchards, farm stands, and vineyards. Now, local restaurants are increasingly taking advantage of the proximity of these local food sources to provide a real, from-farm-to-table experience for diners.

Don’t get me wrong — McD’s has its place on some of the day trips this Blog covers: if you’re thirsty or just need a quick bite because you need to “make time” to get somewhere else quickly, then, yeah, stop at a fast-food joint.

But not in Gettysburg! You’d be missing out on the wonderful food scene, a culinary experience that combines the best of food, wine, and history in a range of price points. Be sure to check out one of the restaurants listed below! Yes, come to Gettysburg for its Civil War history, but definitely plan to stay for dinner (or breakfast or lunch)!

The restaurants below are some of what Gettysburg and surrounding Adams County has to offer the culinary traveler:

Food 101
I think of all the places, this is the one I’m most determined to bring my family back to (after having visited it with a group of fellow bloggers). The first stop along our “progressive” culinary tour, we enjoyed prociutto wrapped around honey crisp apples on a bed of arugula, topped with a balsamic vinegrette reduction. The dining room is cozy, but modern and inviting. This is a place to come and chat and enjoy food, with friends. A block away from Lincoln Square, I wonder how many tourists miss out by not venturing further along Chambersburg Road?

Chef Corey Williams’ menu is built around reasonably priced salads, sandwiches, and artisan pizzas, making the restaurant popular with the local college crowd. You can find a comfortably familiar Caesar Salad, but there’s also the intriguing Asparagus & Bacon Salad and the Berry Almond Salad. Pizzas likewise offer the comfortably familiar — a Margherita Pizza or Classic Pepperone — but the Fennel Sausage & Broccolini Pizza and Wild Mushroom Pizza are begging to be tried.

If you’re looking for more dinner-like fare, then there’s the Bistro Steak (feta cheese crusted steak, potato wedges, roasted asparagus, pearl onions, rosemary veal jus), Sesame Crusted Tuna (citrus soy vinaigrette, arugula, sautéed haricot verts, candied jalapenos, avocado, shaved red onion, cilantro), or Sicilian Chicken (capers, olives, tomato, herbs, lemon, shallots, garlic, white wine, broccolini, roasted potatoes), among others, to chose from. Daily specials range from Glazed Salmon (honey apple cider-glazed salmon, butternut squash and brussel sprout hash) to the more casual Chicken & Prosciutto Sub (prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella, sliced roma tomato, greens, basil pesto aioli, served on — in?? — a baguette).

Getting there: 101 Chambersburg St, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Hours: 11 am – 9 pm

Dobbin House
Dobbin House is the oldest existing building in Gettysburg and a well known tourist lunch destination, but it’s popular among locals as well, making it a good stop for the culinary traveler.

Reverend Alexander Dobbin built the house in 1776 — when Gettysburg was on the colonial frontier — to begin a new life in America for himself and his family. Today his home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a colonial restaurant where candlelit elegance, hearty American

favorites in abundance, and gracious service bring back the sights, sounds and tastes of two centuries ago. We enjoyed Baked King’s Onion Soup — with hearty chunks of beef and onion lurking beneath the cover of melted cheese. Although a messy soup (for me — those long strings of cheese, oy), it was consumed too quickly! Although a generous portion, you’re left wanting more (it’s that good).

The menu also offers “sallades,” including Ceasar’s Sallade (which was reportedly invented in California in the 1920s), but it’s quaint and fun to see the allegedly colonial approach to spelling. For example, dressing is spelled “dreffing,” reflecting the long s being printed similarly to a cursive, lowercase f, which was common during the colonial era. Entrees include Primal Rib of Beef (standing beef rib, cooked to your choice of doneness in a reflector oven with its own juice steeped therein) and Veal Madeira (tender efcallopes of veal sauteed on a clear brisk fire. Finished with a madeira scented sauce and Penna. mushrooms), and Drunken Scallops (deep sea scallops sauteed with bacon and herbs, then drowned in Chablis), among others. If you seek light fare, or more informal fare, then consider eating in the Springhouse Tavern, located in the basement of the house.

What makes Dobbin House so fun, besides the menu, is the atmosphere. Canopy beds have been repurposed into, basically booths, so that you can, literally, enjoy dinner in bed. Other tables have wing-back chairs. Overall, the restaurant is decorated in luxury colonial style; servers are dressed to period. Enjoying a meal at Dobbin offers a refreshing change to tourists starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the Civil War-ness of the rest of Gettysburg. We tend to forget that Gettysburg is a town with a history that spanned both before and since that great conflict.

Bonus: This restaurant is reputed to be haunted!

Getting there: 89 Steinwehr Avenue, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Hours: The Springhouse Tavern is open daily from 11:30 am; the Alexander Dobbin Dining Rooms are open daily from 5 pm. Reservations recommended for the Alexander Dobbin Dining Rooms.

1 Lincoln Food and Spirits
Elegance is the byword for this well-established restaurant, in the lovely (and elegant) Gettysburg Hotel situated on the town’s center square. Chef Joseph Holmes wowed us with a variety of amazing creations not currently on the menu (but being planned for upcoming special events, such as the New Year’s Celebration, and the soon to be revealed fall/winter menu): crabcake fritters with scallops on a polenta bed; his take on a Phili cheese sandwich (tender roast lamb on a brioche bun) with delicate, fried onion rings; seared breast of duck with gnocchi, Brussel sprouts and baby carrots in a duck and lamb broth; and finally, drunken apple amaretto crunch (simply amazing).

As his Phili sandwich suggests, Chef Holmes takes comfort food, brings it a few levels upscale, and gives it a twist to bring out the wow factor. Wow it was — I’d return just to enjoy the Phili cheese sandwich, again. Currently on the menu are Maryland Crab Macaroni and Cheese. There’s also Peppered Shrimp Pasta (peppered shrimp with bow tie pasta, roasted garlic, mushrooms and roma tomato concasse), the clever Smokey Gnocchi (broccoli with‏ roasted peppers, smoked salmon, gouda and peas), Scottish Salmon Roulade (roasted pepper and pesto stuffed salmon roulade with a sweet pea and smoked salmon risotto) and Pork and Polenta (herbed and seared tenderloin of pork served with a soft goat cheese polenta and an apple and fig chutney), among others. Prices range from $5 to $13 for appetizers and light fare to $17 to $32 for entrees.

Getting there: 1 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg. Metered on-street parking is available in the vicinity of One Lincoln around Lincoln Square. A municipal lot is also available on Racehorse Alley located just behind One Lincoln and the Gettysburg Hotel. Fees are hourly and facilitated through use of payment kiosks.
Hours: lunch served 11 am to 5 pm; dinner is served 5 pm to 10 pm.

1863 Restaurant
Never discount hotel restaurants, and 1863 Restaurant is exactly why you shouldn’t! 1863 is a family-friendly, unique, casual dining restaurant, located in the Windham Hill Hotel, offering a wide range of appetizers, steaks, salads, sandwiches and desserts. The idea behind this restaurant is a comfortable, sophisticated steakhouse, amped up a notch (or four).

When we visited, Chef Andrew Ernest treated us to a tasting of some more unique dishes he created during a four-course meal that included Roasted Bone Marrow with artisan breads and rolls, a Wild Boar Mac N’ Cheese that is to die for, and his excellent Mixed Grill featuring Filet of Beef, herb crusted rack of lamb, pheasant sausage, fried potatoes, grilled corn, charred chickory leaves, served with a variety of sauces such as chimmichurri, onion-fig marmalade and au jus.

Getting there: 95 Presidential Cir, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Hours: 6:30 am – 2 pm, 5 – 10 pm

Fidler & Co
Josh Fidler began Fidler & Co 2 years ago, with a commitment to bringing local produce into his menus. Thus, you can expect fresh fruits and vegetables to be incorporated into the daily and weekly specials, as well as elsewhere in the menu. Brick oven pizzas regularly on the menu include BBQ Chicken, a Wild Mushroom with Cheddar and Thyme, Chorizo and Potato with Onion and a mix of Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheeses, as well the standard Margherita, Veggie, and Meat pizzas.

If a sandwich is more your thing, then consider trying Fidler’s Rettland Pork Burger topped by bacon, cheddar, and beer jam (!!) or the Pork Belly and Kimchi Sandwich with black garlic mayo served on a French roll.

Fidler’s brunch menu offers interesting choices, such as chicken and waffles, lemon ricotta pancakes, Chorizo Benedict, Cast Iron Frittata, Smoked Salmon Hash and more traditional standards such as French Toast, Omelettes, and sides such as scrapple, and maple bacon sausage.

All bread is baked by Gettysburg Baking Company, located onsite.

We enjoyed several pizzas, including a scrumptious apple and bacon pizza that I could have happily gobbled up alone, without sharing! In addition, there was a frittata, Greek Salad made with entirely local produce, and a Pennsylvania Dutch stand-by, Deviled Eggs.

Getting there: 213 E York street, Biglerville, PA
Hours: Lunch is served 11 am – 2 pm Wednesday – Friday; Supper served 5 – 9 pm Wednesday – Saturday and 5 – 8 pm Sunday; Brunch served 10 am – 2 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Although we didn’t exactly go on the Savor Gettysburg Food Tour during our whirlwind two days exploring Gettysburg’s culinary offerings, that’s a good way to experience a variety of Gettysburg’s restaurants, and several of the restaurants I visited above are on the tour (several others aren’t, and so, dang, I’m gonna have to go on the tour myself one day!). The tours take about three hours, and don’t go on a full stomach! Be prepared to eat, and enjoy! The tour visits seven very unique eateries, historic taverns, family owned bistros and a winery, along a mile-long route. All food tastings are included in the ticket price and is enough food for lunch. Tours run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Or skip the tour, and go on one of your own, checking out one of these wonderful local establishments.

Farmers Market Tour
One of the coolest tours I’ve ever encountered —  also run by Savor Gettysburg Food Tours — is a colorful walk through the local farmers market, guided by a local chef, Jeremy Schaffner. This will teach you a chef’s approach to farmers markets, and you’ll never look at fresh produce the same way.

In fact, you’ll learn that you start with the ingredients, rather than a recipe, to determine what you’ll cook up! 

Then, on to a local kitchen, where the chef teaches you how to turn your purchases into delicious, amazing dishes — teaching you their tips and techniques — that you helped cook! The chef will have you slicing and dicing, rolling pasta (if that’s called for), sautéing and flambéing. It’s very hands on, and ultimately, deliciously rewarding as you get to enjoy your creations.

Hours: Check the individual restaurants’ websites for hours.

Dogs: Although some restaurants offer outdoor seating where well-behaved pooches (not my beagles) are welcomed, please contact the individual restaurants to determine the extent of their welcome for canines.

Website: Savor Gettysburg Food Tours

This is one in a series of posts about Gettysburg. For other day trip destinations in and around Adams County, go to the Blog’s Find a Great Place to Day Trip or click on the Gettysburg or Destination Gettysburg label below.

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