You are driving down the highway, hungry, looking for a good place to eat. Do you stop at the first diner or restaurant you come to or do you continue down the highway looking for a familiar chain restaurant? Driving through small-town America, are you willing to stop at a restaurant you see off the main road?
It has been said there is not a Dive out there that I’m not willing to try and regret later. If trying different restaurants was a baseball game, I’m batting 400. How do you know if a restaurant is a hidden gem if you don’t stop and give it a try? Firehouse Grill is one such place. If I had not ventured in, I would never learned that it is a hidden gem.
It is my mission to share the hidden gems I have found and steer people away from the places I swear I will never go back to. The Road Warriors amongst us know of places that they are willing to take a drive to go back to. Whether you stumble on a good place to eat while traveling or go to a restaurant because of word of mouth, these are the places that need be shared. The adventure is rolling the dice and trying new places.
Traveling to Gettysburg or just passing through, stop at the Lincoln Diner. Whether you are hungry or just love the Diner experience, then you will enjoy the Lincoln Diner. For better then 60 years the Lincoln Diner has been serving locals and tourist alike. Originally established in 1955 as the Varsity Diner, it became the Lincoln Diner in 1971. It is easy to understand how this Diner has lasted more than 60 years. Good food matched with friendly staff is a winning combination.
If you want a taste of Americana go to the Lincoln Diner first thing in the morning. They open at 7:00 and are hopping by 7:15 This is one of those restaurants where everyone seems to know everyone. The waitresses greet the guest by name. Even though this was the first time I was there, I was made to feel welcome walking in the door. Looking at the menu, I had a major dilemma, what to order. They have a menu filled with my favorite comfort foods. On this particular visit My waitress helped me solve the dilemma by asking a simple question how hungry are you.
I didn’t instantly gravitate towards the Reuben Sandwich. I was leaning towards their Bacon Cheese Burger. My desire to compare their Reuben to local Irish Pubs helped my settle me late lunch choice. Lincoln Diners Reuben is served with a healthy portion of corn beef and sauerkraut, topped by Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. The one thing that sets this sandwich apart is the thick slices of rye bread. This is a hearty sandwich, that should be considered when visiting. I like my onion rings to be thinly cut and crispy. The Lincoln Diners Onion Rings met my expectations. I was impressed with my lunch, but I learned from my waitress is that breakfast is were the Lincoln Diner excels.
When I went to the Lincoln Diner for breakfast, I was on a mission to try their pancakes. I was told that they pride themselves in making all the batters by scratch. In fact all their menu items are made using family recipes. I believe my pancakes lived up to the hype. They were heavy but airy. I wish I knew what was in the batter because they tasted good, but a little different. I want to know what the difference is. The meal as a whole I could not finish. Three large pancakes, two eggs, and bacon was a bit much. To me bacon says a lot about a restaurant. I use Denny’s as the standard by which to judge all restaurant’s bacon. Denny’s bacon is the worst, usually thins slices of flavored grease. Lincoln Diner’s slices were thick, not over greasy. I’m a definitely interested in trying other menu items.
In my travels, I’m not looking for Americana when selecting a place to eat, but I appreciate Americana evident in my choice. Lincoln Diner is a classic and well worth a visit. When I think of the Lincoln Diner, I think of the famous painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. I will certain visit again.
In my opening statement about Road Warrior Dining, I talk about hidden gems, Firehouse Grill is just that. Firehouse Grill doesn’t really standout on the street. The restaurant is flanked by an antique shop on the right and a pawn shop on the left. So what makes Firehouse Grill special; it is because it is Americana. Go to The Firehouse Grill at 6:15 A.M and you will experience Americana firsthand. By 6:30 in the morning the coffee is flowing, and the restaurant is packed. The old timers are drinking coffee and swapping stories. Firehouse Grill is a restaurant that makes you feel like you are partaking in an extended family meal. First thing in the morning the clientele is predominantly farmers getting ready to start their day.
It says a lot about a restaurant that has a line of people waiting at their door at 6:00 A.M. on a Saturday. The Firehouse Grill has a steady crowd all day long. Just as with breakfast, lunch has its regulars. As people come through the door the waitresses ask them if they are having their usual. Along with the standard lunch fare, they have daily specials. My favorite is the meatloaf. One thing about the Firehouse Grill, they do not serve dinner, they are open 6:00 A.M to 2:00 P.M, six days a week. They are closed on Mondays.
Looking for a hearty breakfast, Try a Firehouse Grill omelet with sliced potatoes. The selection of omelets isn’t much different than most diners, the difference comes in how they are prepared. They do not scrimp on ingredients. My preference when it comes to omelets is their sausage link with American cheese. I can’t say enough about the slice potatoes. I’m not a fan of home-style potatoes; I actually prefer shredded. The way the Firehouse Grill prepares their sliced potatoes, has me rethinking my feelings towards home-style potatoes. The potatoes are sliced about a quarter inch think and fried to golden crispy brown. They are seasoned just right; I didn’t have to add salt.
As much as I enjoy their omelets, I equally enjoy their French Toast. No thin slices of bread here. The bread is thick with a delicious eggy center, grilled to perfection. Even though I enjoy maple syrup, it’s not needed with Firehouse Grill’s French toast. One of my biggest complaints when I eat breakfast out is usually the bacon. It is hard to find a place that actually serves something other than a limp, greasy slice of bacon. Firehouse Grill’s bacon is thick and crispy; again, I have nothing but praise. If omelets or French Toast is not your thing, Firehouse grill has a full breakfast menu.
Americana has a home in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, it is called the Firehouse Grill. If you want a good meal. that gives you feeling of home cooking, go to the Firehouse Grill. There is a reason people line up at 6:00 A.M; come experience it for yourself. Have you been to the Firehouse Grill or have a favorite breakfast place? Share your thoughts below.
I have passed the Dutch Corner Restaurant several times; each time, I tell my self I need to try it. So today I ventured in. If you read the reviews on Tripadvisor.com, you would have the impression that this is a great restaurant, you are in for a real treat. I must have choose a bad day. First of all, there was no one at the front door, so I wondered around to find someone to tell me, that you seat yourself. Then I waited another 10 minutes, until I got up and asked a waitress for a menu. Even though I was seated in her section, she did not realize I was there. I have to say, once she knew I was seated in her section, she was highly professional and very attentive.
I like the interior of the restaurant. There are two main seating area’s and a section of dinner style counter seating. The rustic look was a plus. The restaurant is clean. Tables were immediately bused as patrons left.
The Dutch Corner Restaurant seems to be geared towards breakfast. Their menu has a large selection of breakfast choices. I stopped in at 11:30, so lunch was on my mind. I was almost swayed to change my mind after watching the meals other patrons were served. Staying the course, I ordered the Dutch Corner Cheese Burger. In their description, they state they make the burgers in house. So, I had fairly high hopes of a juicy, tasty burger.
Looking at the picture you might notice that there is no cheese, Strike one! Not receiving what I ordered was a major turn off. If you read what they say about themselves on their website, they talk about home made food. I have written about eating with your eyes, my eyes said “Boring,” Strike two! The burger reminded me you buy frozen out of the supermarket meat section. A little salt and pepper would have helped. The fries were good.
To give Dutch Corner a fair review, I ordered the burger the way it is shown on the menu. I say this because I am not a fan of mayo on burgers. They serve their burgers with mayo, I’m ok with mayo on a burger only when, the burger is full of flavor, a higher quality beef, and seasoned properly.
There may be a time I will try Dutch Corner again. As I state earlier, the breakfast dishes looked really good. Not having any prior knowledge of this restaurant, may breakfast is their thing. The reviews I read on Tripadviser.com are all positive, so I may have to come back and order breakfast some morning.
I can’t recommend Dutch Corner Restaurant. Even though, I may go back at a later date and try their breakfast. If I do I will update my review.
It is said you eat with your eyes. I believe this to be true. This can also be true when your are looking for a place to eat when you are on the road. I questioned whether I should try Sogo Japanese Steak House. The exterior should have gave me clues about the quality of the food served inside. Then again, there are a lot of strip mall restaurants that are fantastic. Walking in Sogo’s, it had a modern appeal. Neon lighting setting the mood, with the classic Japanese decorations.
I was immediately seated by a friendly host. My waitress made sure I had a menu as soon as I was seated. So my initial concerns were fading.
The menu was limited. Being advertised as a Japanese Steakhouse, I did not expect Sushi to be the predominate option. Given I don’t eat fish, I focused on their grilled options. Usually when I eat in a Japanese restaurant, I order Gyoza as an appetizer. With this comes certain expectations. When my waitress returned, I ordered hot tea, Gyoza, and Teriyaki Steak.
My first surprise was when the tea was served, there was a tea bag in the cup, instead of the traditional pot of tea. I was even more surprised when the Gyoza was served. At first glance I wasn’t sure why they thought it was a good idea to serve on a tray that you could have mistaken for something out of a diner. Secondly, the pieces were over cooked. I like my Gyoza a little crispy, but… I mention certain expectations; I know what Gyoza tastes like. The flavor of their Gyoza was off. It could have been because it was over cooked or maybe the oil they used.
Back to eating with your eyes; when the main course arrived it looked good and I couldn’t wait to try the teriyaki steak. Not only was the steak good, but some of the best teriyaki steak I have ever had. Perfectly cooked, thinly sliced, medium rare. The teriyaki sauce was well balanced, not overpowering. The steak was a little on the pricey side, but it was well worth the price. The steak could have saved the meal if it wasn’t for the bland fried rice. It is just wrong to have to ad soy sauce to a dish to give it flavor.
I cannot recommend Sogo Japanese Steakhouse. I know I am a picky eater, but I the side dishes are just as important as the main dish. If you are looking for better than average teriyaki steak, then Sogo Japanese Steakhouse may be what you are looking for.
Does living half your life in the Southwest of America make you a Mexican food expert, probably not. Does frequenting restaurants that close in the summertime and family goes back to Mexico make you an expert, probably not. What it does is make you a Mexican food snob. LunaZul considers themselves a Tex-Mex restaurant. I would put them up against any of the Mexican restaurants I have frequented in Arizona and California.
Everything on the menu is good! Even though I love all Mexican food, I usually keep to a few favorite dishes. When visiting a new Mexican Restaurant, one of the first things I always try is their chimichangas. This is probably because I fell in love with the way chimichangas are prepared and served in Yuma, Arizona. LunaZul’s chimichanga is very tasty. One major plus is they do not fill it with unnecessary fillers such as potatoes. Another passion is chili rellenos. LunaZul’s chili relleno is the most unique I have ever had. They actually stuff them with your choice of meat. How can you go wrong with Poblano chili stuff with cheese, breaded, and deep fried, then smothered in sauce. LunaZul took that an elevated it by stuffing their chili’s with your choice of shredded meats.
As I stated earlier everything on LunaZul’s menu is good. I would recommend the Chipotle Enchiladas pictured here. For those that like their food on the spicy side, the Hot Winter combination plate should suffice. The Hot Winter is a sampler plate with a Habanero base sauce. I recently tried their Mexican Sampler and may have found a new favorite. On the Mexican Sampler I especially enjoyed the asado de Puerco, followed by the shredded beef flauta.
LunaZul has become a lunch time favorite. If you are in the Hampstead Maryland and want to try good Tex-Mex food, give LunaZul a try. Her you will find, good food, priced right, and portions that leave you feeling satisfied. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable. LunaZul is not only the type of restaurant you want to tell people about, you want to return to.
O’Rorke’s is more than a place to get a cold beer and a good meal. O’Rorke’s is a place where couples and families come to meet. I expected the place to be empty due to it being a chilly, rainy Saturday morning. I was surprised no sooner had I been seated that people started to flow in. I heard a woman tell the hostess, that she needed seating for seven. Her family was traveling from different parts of the area to meet for lunch. Shortly after they were seated a party of six bellied up to the bar. Just like with the party of seven, O’Rorke’s was a central location for them to meet. Within less than an hour of opening O’Rorke’s was busy. I can only imagine what it is like when tourist fill the streets.
O’Rorke’s is your typical Irish Pub. From Boston to Los Angeles, when you stop in an Irish Pub you can expect the menu to have the standard fare; Bangers and Mash, Shepard’s Pie, Fish and Chips, and my favorite, a Reuben Sandwich. If you are looking for something that sets O’Rorke’s apart from other Irish Pubs, it has to be their house made chips. When you order Fish and Chips in most Irish Pubs, the fish is served with steak fries. O’Rorke’s chips are thicker then commercially produced potato chips. They have a satisfying texture and were salted just right. I’m not a fan of steak fries in general, so the chips actually enhanced the meal.
Prior to driving to O’Rorke’s, I had already looked at their menu online and I planned on ordering their Reuben sandwich. First of all, I love Reuben’s and secondly I wanted to compare their sandwich to their cross town rival, Garryowen. The Reuben sandwich at O’Rorke’s was to much for me to eat. I ended up taking half of the sandwich and chips home. The sandwich was comprised of a generous portion of corn beef, covered in sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and Swiss cheese. It was served with house made chips and corn fritters. The portion was large enough to fill a hearty appetite or have take out. Both Garryowen and O’Rorke’s Reuben sandwiches are worth drive. One sandwich is not better than the others. So, the next time I am hankering for a Reuben, I will have to toss a coin.
Just like the first time I went to O’Rorke’s, I had a specific item on the menu I was looking for. In this case I wanted to try their Fish Basket. I saw on their menu, they make their Fish and Chips with Cod. Given I only eat Fish and Chips if they are prepared with Cod or Flounder, I knew I had to come back on a Friday and try their version of Fish and Chips. As with their Reuben, they did not disappoint. The fish was fried to perfection. The flavor was light, seasoned just right. If I don’t like a fish, I will hide the flavor with tartar sauce. No Tatar sauce required. Just as with the Reuben platter, the chips were cooked to perfection. No need for adding salt. If I was to suggest anything, I would reduce the amount of chips that comes with the Fish Basket.
O’Rorke’s is definitely a restaurant I will return to. I can’t say enough about about the food. If you are spending the day in Gettysburg, then O’Rorke’s should be your destination for good food.