Tommy’s Pizza

Best Pizza in Pennsylvania??

When my mind wanders at work, at times I will cruise the internet and see what catches my eye. There was an article on the Best Pizza Restaurant in each of the 50 States. According to the article, the best pizza in Pennsylvania was just 9 miles from me; Tommy’s Pizza in Gettysburg. So of course, I had to try it. When I visited Tommy’s it was hopping, talk about busy. You place your order at the counter when you walk in and then find a seat.  One of the things I appreciated is their menu is fairly simple. A lot of places try to do too much, but not at Tommy’s. They serve Pizza, Subs, Gyro, Stromboli, Salads, Wings, and they have your usual side orders. When it comes to pizza, they serve one style, thin crust, with about 30 different topping options. If you don’t feel like creating your own, they do have their Specialty Pizza’s, which include, Veggie, White, Greek, Supreme, Meat Lovers, and Gluten Free. I’m certain they can satisfy most of the pizza lovers amongst us.

Tommy's Pizza 2
Tommy’s Pizza Gettysburg

I decided to go with my standard order, Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pizza. This pizza was cooked exactly how I like my pizza cooked. The crust was slightly crunchy. The cheese along the edge was starting to caramelize. Just looking at the pizza you can see how generous they are with the toppings.

Tommy's Pizza
Tommy’s Pizza Slice Missing

The first bite of Tommy’s Pizza did not disappoint. There is a balance of cheese, sauce, and meat toppings. Some pizzas out there leave you wanting more of something, whether it be sauce, cheese, or meat. Not at Tommy’s.

I can see why this article listed Tommy’s Pizza as the best pizza in Pennsylvania. But, I would like to know what their criteria for making this selection was. There are so many good pizza restaurants in Pennsylvania.  Not that there is anything wrong with Tommy’s pizza or the restaurant I don’t think they are the best; I have what I believe is the best pizza in the area a block from my house, which is La Bella Italia .  Chiefly the difference is they have three different styles of pizza, my favorite being the Stuffed Pizza. My other reason is I like the sauce at La Bella Italia and Gallo Pizza and Italian Restaurant better.

Any time I can check to see what someone else calls the best, I will. If you are in Gettysburg and looking for pizza, check out Tommy’s. There is a reason they have been in business since 1973. Knowing how expensive it is to eat out, Tommy’s Pizza is a good place to take your family. Have you been to Tommy’s or have a favorite pizza restaurant you want to share, leave your comments below.

Corner Cafe

America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe in Portsmouth VA.

Now that I no longer live in Virginia, I always make a point of heading back to the Corner Cafe, in Portsmouth Virginia for breakfast, whenever I’m in town. America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe. When I lived in Portsmouth, my Saturday morning routine consisted of walking to the Corner Cafe for breakfast and good conversation. There is more to the Corner Cafe than good breakfast. Their menu is full of comfort food classics. Not to mention their daily specials.  When I say America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe, I base this on the sense of community built by enjoying comfort food with people from every walk of life.

Corner Cafe Bacon and Cheddar Omelette
Corner Cafe’s Bacon and Cheddar Omelette

What is so special about the Corner Cafe’s breakfast? Their three-egg omelette is a good example of why people return to the Corner Cafe. The eggs are light and fluffy. They don’t skimp on fillings such as cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, and meats such as country ham, bacon, or sausage. Nothing disappoints me more than when I don’t get a choice of cheese. This is never the case when it comes to the Corner Cafe. Another aspect of what makes the Corner Cafe worth a visit is they listen to how you want your meal prepared. I was not let down when I ordered crispy hash browns. The hash browns were served golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It may be a small thing; I also appreciate that I can order my English muffin grilled. The English muffin becomes saturated with butter, yum. If you haven’t tried an English muffin grilled you should.

Chain restaurants offer good breakfast choices. I’m not about to criticize a Denny’s or Perkins; but we need more community diners such as the Corner Cafe.  Community diners are like family. A place you know you will get a good home cooked meal, served by people you consider your friends. Do you have a favorite community diner? Have you been to the Corner Cafe? Leave your comments below.

Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant

Looking for a place to gather with Friends and Family, Friendly Farms in Upperco, MD should be at the top of your list.

Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant is a unique dining experience in Upperco MD. Why would people from out of state drive off the beaten path to Hereford in unincorporated Baltimore County, to dine at Friendly Farm? Is it the food or the dining experience. This is not your date night style of restaurant. This is a restaurant where you sit down with family and friends.  The uniqueness begins when you first walk in, prior to seating, you order your main dish. Then you find a table. Given that the meal is served family style, the servers will bring out bowls of the appetizers. Take what you want and pass it around. When your main dish arrives, the servers will bring out bowls of the side dishes.

Friendly Farm Roast Beef Plate
Friendly Farms Roast Beef Plate

Don’t go to Friendly Farm expecting a huge menu. Their menu ranges from Fresh Fried Chicken to Steak, and Seafood specialties. I recommend reviewing their website prior to going. I chose their Roast Beef, the thought of tender beef smothered in brown gravy appealed to me. The Friendly Farm roast beef lived up to my expectations. The sides that came with the meal were good, but the one side they don’t serve is mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes smothered in their brown gravy would have been perfect. If you not of fan of canned green beans, I would recommend skipping them. I myself prefer fresh or frozen green beans. The meal is finished off with a serving of ice cream.

The appeal of Friendly Farm is that this is perfect if you want to sit down with your family and friends and don’t want the hassle of cooking or the cleanup after a real good meal. You pay one price for the meal with comes with limitless drinks, appetizers and sides. The one appetizer that stood out was the Sugar Biscuits, not recommended for diabetics, a sweet warm biscuit coated in sugar is something else.

Friendly Farm Exit
Friend Farms Family Style Restaurant

I will definitely recommend Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant. Quiet and intimate, no. Family restaurant, yes. When I speak about destination drives, this is definitely a destination drive. Have you been to Friendly Farm; leave a commit below.

Jack’s

Jack’s in Pleasant Hill, CA is a destination restaurant. They have a diverse menu, that’s sure to please.

I have to admit Jack’s was not on my radar when I went to California a couple of weeks ago. Even though I have been there countless times, I had other restaurants in mind prior to my arrival. What a pleasant surprised when the hotel I checked into was less than a block from Jack’s in Pleasant Hill. I tend to not promote a chain restaurant, in the case of Jack’s I’m not certain if you can call them a chain restaurant. Jack’s is family owned. When I was eating there on a regular basis, they had two restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, now they have four. Their web-site touts their dinner menu as Greek-American inspired. You will find everything from burgers to salmon on the menu.

Jack's Zuchini Cakes
Jack’s Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini Cakes have to be one of my favorite appetizers. Jack’s Zucchini Cakes are made with feta cheese, tzatziki, and cucumber-tomato relish. Even though they are deep fried, they are surprisingly light. Jack’s has made it a little harder to share. They used to serve three cakes and now they serve two. Adding to my disappointment, they used to be a little larger.  I chalk this up to inflation, trying to keep cost down. Even still, Zucchini cakes are an excellent way to start a meal.

Jack's Fish and Chips
Jack’s Fish and Chips

I have a new favorite Fish and Chips. No need to find an Irish pub if you live within driving distance from Jack’s. The portion size was surprising. Jack’s serves three large fillets of Alaskan Cod dipped in their beer batter. The cod was light and flaky. They serve it with lemon and vinegar or tarter sauce. I found I didn’t need either. I’m not certain my picture does this meal justice, but their Fish and Chips now tops my list.

Jack's Buffalo Chicken Salad
Jack’s Buffalo Chicken Salad

Given that Jack’s was so close, I actually ate their, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my favorites in their salad section of their menu is their Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad. There is no need for an appetizer. I’m certain you will not walk away hungry. The Buffalo Chicken  has just enough heat for those of us that like it spicy. But it’s not too spicy, for those that can’t take the heat. I would highly recommend this for anyone who likes chicken wings and looking for a hearty lunch.

Jack's French Toast
Jack’s French Toast

The French Toast breakfast was just ok. Nothing to write home about. Maybe it’s because I have been spoiled by restaurants back home. My first complaint was that the scrambled eggs did not seem fresh. They appear to come out of a premixed container. The French Toast was good, but they have served better. Brunch used to be more of an event at Jack’s. Now it is good, but if I still lived their, I would look for another breakfast spot. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a family breakfast, Jack’s should be on the list.

With four locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, it should be easy to find a Jack’s to visit. I was impressed with the quality of the food and that they have kept the cost down. If I make another journey to the Bay Area, Jack’s will be on my list. Have you been to Jack’s? What is your opinion? Leave me a comment.

Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant

Family owned and operated, Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant of New Oxford PA, offers a taste of Italy.

It took a couple of tries to finally eat Gallo Pizza, but it was well worth the wait. One of the keys of making a restaurant a destination worth driving to is word of mouth. I was talking to a friend one morning in a coffee shop, when he recommended Gallo Pizza. The first time I tried to go there, the restaurant was closed and family was vacationing in Italy. Then the other day I was in a shop talking with the owner of Dawg Gone Honey. I told her I was looking to eat lunch. She recommended Gallo Pizza. The cherry on top was she told me they were back from vacation.

Gallo Veal Parm 2
Gallo Pizza Veal Parmesan

I have been looking for a good Italian restaurant in the area for a while now. I have visited Italian restaurants that claim to be authentic; yet they seem to forget something as basic as seasoning. This is not the case with Gallo Pizza. I decided to try their Veal Parmesan. Even before I took that first bite, I was pleasantly surprised by the portion size. There was definitely enough for leftovers. I tried the spaghetti with marinara sauce first. The sauce is balanced, well season, not overly seasoned. It wasn’t watery. The Veal is hand pounded, lightly breaded, and deep fried. My first bite left me looking forward to my next bite. This is exactly what I was expecting. I mentioned leftovers. Not today.

Gallo Stuffed Pizza
Gallo Stuffed Pizza

Stuffed pizza, another Chicago original. You might ask, what is the difference between a Stromboli and a Stuffed Pizza. The biggest difference is the pizza sauce is not baked inside the Stromboli, it is normally served in a separate dish. My preference between the two is the Stuffed Pizza. I can’t really say what is my favorite style of pizza. If I had to decide whether to go to New York, the original home of pizza, or Chicago, I would most likely choose Chicago. I do enjoy a good slice, but in Chicago you have both Deep Dish and Stuffed Pizzas to choose from.

Gallo’s Stuffed Pizza is execeptionally good. I wouldn’t be surprised if each slice weighed a half of pound or more. No cheap ingredients here. The meat lover’s pizza featured here has Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Sausage, Ground Beef, Bacon & Extra Cheese. They finish this pizza off with a light coat of garlic oil on the outer crust. Bite after bite, I could find nothing wrong with this pizza. Not all pizzas are created equal. Nothing worse than a restaurant using cheap tasteless toppings. This is not the issue here, Gallo’s Stuffed Pizza is one of the best in the area.

Gallo Pizza & Italian Restaurant is definitely a destination worth driving to. Just make sure you come hungry. Another plus is they are not over priced, so bring the family. Have you been to Gallo Pizza or have a favorite Pizza Restaurant, leave a comment.

Anchor Bar

Since 1964, the home of the Original Buffalo Wings is the Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY.

You have seven hours to kill and you are 64 miles from Buffalo, what do you do? The answer is obvious, drive to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY. The Anchor Bar is the home of the Original Buffalo Wings. From their humble beginnings in 1964, Buffalo Wings can now be found in almost every corner of the World. We  have Teressa  Bellissimo and her son to thank for that.

One of my coworkers through down the challenge. He said since you travel to Rochester NY for business, why don’t you try the wings. Of course I had to research where Buffalo wings started. Then more importantly are they still in business. Discovering the Anchor Bar was the birth place of Buffalo wings, I made it my mission to visit the Anchor Bar and try the original wings.

Anchor Bar Original Wings
Anchor Bar Original Buffalo Wings

Contrary to popular belief, not all wings are created equal. What separates the Anchor Bar’s wings from other bars and restaurants, is you can immediately tell they make them in house. the chicken is not overly processed. I chose the original flavor boneless wings for my taste test. The chunks of breast meat was tender and juicy. They were deep fried to a golden brown. As you can see in the picture, the wings were generously coated with their sauce. There is just enough heat for those that like their wings spicy. As you would expect, they have a selection of sauces that range from mild, to Jerk BBQ, original, to extreme.  I’m certain you can find the flavor and heat level you are looking for.

Anchor Bar Interior
Anchor Bar

What keeps you coming back to a bar or restaurant, is good food enough? In the case of Anchor Bar they are lacking in customer service. If you don’t mind being ignored by the hostess and figuring out on your own how to place an order, then the Anchor Bar is for you. Walking in I was struck by the unique decor. As a motorcycle fan, I was mesmerized by the classic motorcycles they have mounted on the wall. License plates from all over the country cover the walls, plus pictures of famous guest. So there is a certain uniqueness that you can entertain yourself with while being ignored. I have had bad service before, but not from the entire staff. I would hate to see how they behave when they are busy.

The bottom line; If you are traveling through the Buffalo NY area I wouldn’t dissuade you from trying the Anchor Bar. For myself, I have been there, done that. If you have visited the Anchor Bar please share your comments.

Garryowen Irish Pub

Garryowen is a traditional Irish pub in Gettysburg, PA. Enter Garryowen hungry, leave satisfied.

Here’s the challenge: Close your eyes, picture what an Irish pub looks like, then walk into Garryowen. Look around and take in the atmosphere, I would argue with anyone that Garryowen is a traditional Irish pub.  According to their website, Garryowen is reminiscent of Irish pubs back in the old country.

Garryowen bar 2
Garryowen Bar Gettysburg PA

 With what appears to be plenty of seating, you can expect to wait at least 15 minutes or more on any given night to be seated. This has a lot to say about the popularity of this establishment. Having dined in Garryowen on several occasions, they are well worth the wait. Once you are seated you can expect first class service.

Ulster Fry 2
Garryowen Ulster Fry

Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and Fish and Chips are dishes you would expect to find on any Irish Pub’s menu. If this is what you are hungry for, Garryowen will not disappoint. As you are reading down the menu you  will come across Ulster Fry. Traditionally Ulster Fry is served as breakfast in  Ireland. Garryowen’s Ulster Fry is served with grilled Irish bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, fried egg, grilled tomato, and house-made soda bread. What I found unique about the meal is the black and white pudding. Here in the states, when you think about pudding, you think about a sweet dessert. In England, Scotland, and Ireland, puddings are predominantly savory. The black and white pudding served at Garryowen, is best described as a tasty sausage dish.

Garryowen Meatloaf
Garryowen Meatloaf

If you are not certain about Garryowen traditional Irish fare, then try their meatloaf. Their meatloaf is served with a Smokey Honey BBQ sauce. I say it is good to the last bite. I would also recommend their Reuben sandwich for lunch. I can’t say enough about the meals I have had at Garryowen. 

There is no way I can talk about Garryowen without mentioning the selection of 120 + Irish whiskies, plus Ireland’s draft beers. They advertise the perfect pour of Guinness. I have to confess, I am not a fan of Guinness. But, they do have my favorite Danish beer on tap, Carlsberg.

Enter Garryowen  hungry, leave satisfied. When I’m in the mood to eat out, Garryowen is at the top of my list of restaurants that immediately come to mind. What makes Garryowen a place that ends up on Road Warrior Dining; of course its the good ole fashion Irish food. Then again, the selection of 120 Irish whiskies helps.

 

 

O’Rorke’s

If you are driving through Gettysburg Pennsylvania and desire a hearty lunch, O’Rorke’s should be your destination. Fine dining no; Pub fare yes.

Dinning Experience

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. 

ORORKES GUEST
Friends Gathering at O’Rorke’s

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.       

ORORKES RUEBEN 2. jpg
O’Rorke’s Reuben Sandwich

The Food

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. 

ORORKES Fish and Chips
O’Rorkes’s Fish Basket

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. 

Final Thoughts

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.