Foodie Road Trip: Amazing Food With A Side of History in Gettysburg
Tastes of Ireland, Civil War-themed fare and upscale options are sure to please any palate.
After a day spent on the site of the battle that marked the turning point of the Civil War, hunting for ghosts near Sachs Covered Bridge and imagining President Lincoln working on his famous speech in the David Wills House, you’ll be eager to charge into downtown Gettysburg for some delicious eats.
Foodies and history buffs alike can get their daily rations with a side of education on a trip to Gettysburg in stunning Adams County. As a former south-central Pennsylvania resident, I am privy to the plethora of dining options the town has to offer.
As you walk along Chambersburg Street admiring the Colonial Revival architecture, you’ll eventually eye the neon Guinness sign in the window of the Garryowen Irish Pub. This authentic eatery is one of Gettysburg’s most popular spots — and one of my favorites.
The Yuengling-battered haddock filet and salty fries in Garryowen’s fish and chips are fried to perfection. Their portion sizes are nothing to laugh at; though they could be made into two meals, you won’t want to stop. Visitors also rave about the Irish beef stew, shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash.
Author Craig Rupp — who recently wrapped up a film based on his novel, “A Gettysburg Christmas,” starring Lee Majors — says you can’t visit the Garryowen without trying the Scotch eggs, wrapped in house-made pork sausage and served alongside house-made dijonnaise.
“They’re a heart attack waiting to happen, but at that point, you don’t care,” he laughs, practically drooling at the mention of the dish.
A welcoming atmosphere coupled with a diverse menu of adult beverages (more than 150 Irish whiskies, thick Guinness beer and a superbly spiced bloody Mary are just a few featured items) will have you heading back for more.
If Irish fare isn’t tickling your fancy, the Blue and Gray Bar and Grill is down the road on the square at 2 Baltimore St.
There, you’ll have a battle of the taste buds as you determine which burgers, the Union or Confederate, are the best. Who will claim victory on your plate: The Gen. George Meade (Philly cheesesteak, onions, peppers, whiz or provolone, ciabatta roll) or the Gen. Robert E. Lee (ham, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, ciabatta roll)?
Are wings more your style? The Blue and Gray has 19 sauces for every palate, from the 14th Tennessee (honey barbecue) to the Gettysburg Ghost (a sauce that takes spice to a whole new level). Or share some Musket Balls — jalapenos, bacon and cream cheese, panko fried and topped with spicy white barbecue sauce — and wash them down with a refreshing Yuengling or Moscow mule.
Couples can plan a romantic date night with a show at the historic Majestic Theater at 25 Carlisle St. and a decadent meal at the quaint Dobbin House Tavern, found at 89 Steinwehr Ave. Established in 1776, The Dobbin House is the oldest standing structure within the town’s limits; it even served as a secret hideout along the Underground Railroad.
Start off with a bowl of savory Baked King’s onion soup with tender beef and a variety of melted cheeses. Salute your bartender with a Rum Bellies Vengeance (rum, coffee liqueur, grenadine and sour mix), a Dobbin House specialty, and slide your knife through the tender filet mignon. Top off your supper with fresh-baked Colonial breads and decadent homemade apple or pecan pie.
On your way home, stop to grab a bottle of Rebel Red at the Adams County Winery and some locally grown apples at Kennie’s Market. Be sure to head to the charming town this summer and fall as it commemorates the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Garryowen Irish Pub: garryowenirishpub.net
Blue and Gray Bar and Grill: bluegraybargrill.com
The Dobbin House Tavern: dobbinhouse.com