Best Dining In Chambersburg, Part three
Buffalo Bill

Chambersburg, PA

#324 May 18, 2012
Is the Chambersburg Moose lodge the biggest congregation of white trash this side of the Mississippi?

“Snarko ergo sum!”

Since: Jan 10

West of the Moon, PA

#325 May 20, 2012
DGS wrote:
After over 8 years since my last visit to the Schmankerl Stube restaurant in Hagerstown I was not disappointed in anything about my dining experience last night. My wife and two of my sons accompanied me for dinner at 6:30. My sons are 16 and 22, I mention this because the Schmankerl Stube is NOT for younger children. You will not find chicken fingers or mac and cheese but.........What you will find is lump crab covered filet mignon, cooked to perfection and served with snowed potatoes and brussel sprouts. My meal was phenomenal. We shared 2 appetizers between the 4 of us. We had the fried ripe tomatoes and the camembert cheese fried and served with a whole berry cranberry sauce. Both were excellent, presently in style and were reasonably priced. As I described my meal, I had a liter of Hacker Pschorr wheat beer (weissbier) with a wedge of lemon that was served slightly below cellar temperature. My wife had the same meal as I did but substituted bacon wrapped green beans for the sprouts and she was thrilled as well with her meal. My eldest had pork with German potato salad and some sprouts while my youngest had some wurst with sauerkraut (I tasted it and it was phenomenal) and spaetzl. My boys shared a slice of Blackforest Cake with brandied cherries. The meal was NOT inexpensive but service was amazing and the food could not have been better. Eight thumbs up!
Schmankerl Stube is a great place. I have been going there a couple times a year since 1994. The owner, Charles Sekula, is the most hands on restauratuer I have ever met. I don't remember a night when he wasn't there. He also does a great job with the food at Augustoberfest. It's going to be held August 25th&26th this year.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#326 May 21, 2012
Snarky Rules wrote:
<quoted text>
Schmankerl Stube is a great place. I have been going there a couple times a year since 1994. The owner, Charles Sekula, is the most hands on restauratuer I have ever met. I don't remember a night when he wasn't there. He also does a great job with the food at Augustoberfest. It's going to be held August 25th&26th this year.
He is always there shaking hands with folks as they come in - he really treats his regulars well, too. Something many Franklin County restaurant owners could learn a lot from. Looking forward to Augustoberfest.

Recently I've had the pleasure of comparing both Caretti's locations for lunch. Both have a really nice selection of specialty pizzas available by the slice for lunch. I had an awesome chicken parmesan and bruschetta slice at Route 30 Caretti's... but the garlic and fresh mozzarella slice I had at the Route 11 Caretti's blew me away. I hate to pick one over the other since they're both excellent (and better than Brother's which seems to be gobbling up all the area pizzerias) but the Route 11 is more authentic-New-York in my opinion.

That said, a friend I was with got the buffalo chicken pizza at the Route 30 Caretti's and raved about it. So I have to say you can't go wrong with either.
Eat at Joes

Shippensburg, PA

#327 May 21, 2012
POSTER wrote:
You might have to take Oak Forest off the list. Came by there a week and a half ago on a Saturday afternoon and they were closed. Looked like permanently but not sure though.
The folks who were running Oak Forest managed to do something very special.

They took a crappy restaurant - fixed nothing, and made it even crappier.

They started putting out those deep fried potato wedges as "home fries."

What a joke. You can't slice and grill a freaking potato!!?

I wont give them much praise - but try the home fries at some of the Greek restaurants - at least they know how to make this ever elusive dish.

And Oak Forest had one older-gal waitress who was WAY to chatty - and loud.

You could spend your entire meal listening to her loudly converse with customers. I think she was one of employees that was there before the recent group took over. She should have been let go when the new management came in...Nice guys finish last.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#328 May 21, 2012
Eat at Joes wrote:
<quoted text>
The folks who were running Oak Forest managed to do something very special.
They took a crappy restaurant - fixed nothing, and made it even crappier.
I have two interesting points that I'd like to make about Oak Forest based on your observations Joes, and please feel free to correct me if I'm way off base here...

First, Oak Forest should not have been that hard to keep afloat. There aren't many dining options out in St. Thomas, and while I realize there isn't exactly a booming population of free wheeling restaurant patrons, offering some simple food at reasonable prices should have been enough to at least keep some previous regulars going there and possibly prevent a few others from driving the extra 10 minutes into town. That's the key of course - how many potential customers drove by Oak Forest on their way to a better restaurant - perhaps even a barely-better restaurant - in Chambersburg?

That said, here's the downside to the area Oak Forest is located - servers. Where do they come from? St. Thomas is one of the few communities in the Chambersburg area that is readily losing population. There aren't a lot of families or young people living out there. There is no college student pool to pull from as many other restaurants are able to do. They really just have to take who they can get, likely to both cook and serve, so I can't say I'm surprised if they had problems finding quality people.

There is a waitress who shouts at everyone at Greenvillage Drive In and I always assumed it was because the average age of the patrons there is about 73.
Eater

Ardsley, NY

#329 May 23, 2012
Oak Forest was a respectable restaurant when it was under its original ownership. From there it was passed around by a bunch of shady Greeks who could careless about the quality if the food and service. These people should be forbidden from opening their shitty restaurants.
POSTER

Loysville, PA

#330 May 23, 2012
What are anyone's thoughts on how the 3 new restaurants opening this fall (Tex Roadhouse, Olive Garden, and Lonestar) will affect other establishments???
Dan the Man

Chambersburg, PA

#331 May 23, 2012
POSTER wrote:
What are anyone's thoughts on how the 3 new restaurants opening this fall (Tex Roadhouse, Olive Garden, and Lonestar) will affect other establishments???
Where will these restaurants be located?

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#332 May 24, 2012
Roadhouse, Olive Garden and Lonestar are all being built in the Gateway Ave/Noraland Ave shopping area.

Please remember people traveling north on Walker Rd to the Norland shops, please turn left onto Gateway Ave. There is no left-turn signal at the intersection of Walker and Norland, and the backup caused there is getting out of hand.

The restaurants make sense - Chambersburg's growing and they will pull significant business from I-81 travelers passing through. It will bring in jobs, inject some tax revenue and could spur more economic growth in the area. All good things.

It's unfortunate that Greene Township remains dry, as having a few of these places near the mall could really help boost the local economy. Oh well.

Last note - where in the world did Webb's Sports Bar and Grill come from? It's located at the old Cozy Inn/Food Palace building next to Ping's. It doesn't seem promising, but has anyone been there?
Eater

Chambersburg, PA

#333 May 24, 2012
The corrupt Italian family who took over the Cozy Inn and the Webb's bought it. Downtown does not have a classic all American sports bar so this is a welcome addition.

As long as they offer good bar fare at
Eater

Chambersburg, PA

#334 May 24, 2012
Sorry my post cut off. As long as they offer good bar fare at a reasonable price and create an atmosphere that has little tolerance for trash and drug dealers they should do just fine.
Dan the Man

Shippensburg, PA

#335 May 24, 2012
Eater wrote:
Sorry my post cut off. As long as they offer good bar fare at a reasonable price and create an atmosphere that has little tolerance for trash and drug dealers they should do just fine.
Even though they're corrupt?

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#336 May 25, 2012
I think Eater's point got lost in there. I don't think Webb's is run by Italians, at least not those who owned Cozy Inn - which was later sold to the family that owns Mario's. That venture didn't last very long and Food Palace took over, probably around 2009. That was owned by an Indian family. I liked the Food Palace and its eclectic menu, but it wasn't meant to be in Chambersburg. The building's been abandoned now for several years...

So if it is a classic sports bar down town with good bar fare at a reasonable price, I would also agree that it's a welcome addition.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#337 May 27, 2012
Um, Johnnie's (the restaurant, not the restaurant supply) has an Application to Dispense Alcoholic Beverage placard up in their window... whaaaat? Now this strikes me as bizarre, anyone have any info on that?

Add them to the old Edith's Pizza (purchased by the owners of Norland Pub), Cafe d'Italia, and the aforementioned Webb's...

Where are these liquor licenses coming from, especially in the same year we're getting three sit-down casual chains?
Rock Hoover

Chambersburg, PA

#338 May 27, 2012
Don't quote me on this, but I think they're all bidding on the same license. Not sure if it has been mentioned in this thread or not, but Hat's Hero's had this placard in their window as well (not sure if it's still there). I was like "really?" when I saw that Hat's had applied so I sought out an explanation. The story I was given was that the owner of Hat's was attempting to acquire the license via monetary bid with the intent of sitting on it for future use or future sale.

PA's silly alcohol laws have made liquor licenses more valuable than the damn power ball so I can understand people trying to acquire a license for safe keeping since I don't see them declining in value anytime soon. What I'm unclear on is where this license that everyone wants to bid on is originating from. As in... what bar it's coming from.

Also if anyone tries Webb's please post your thoughts. I assume they will be closed tomorrow so I doubt I'll make it there until maybe next weekend. If it's a closed quarters facility that allows smoking then I doubt I'll be venturing there too often. Hopefully smoking is prohibited.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#339 May 28, 2012
You know, that's very interesting Rock and it doesn't surprise me. I also find it disturbing that a business could be allowed to purchase a liquor license merely as an investment opportunity, given the positive economic impact a new restaurant could have on the area.

I'm not even sure who would make the final say on who gets a license, but it wouldn't surprise if it's the Chambersburg Council and then I'd be even less surprised if they allowed such a tactic simply to keep more of the devil's juice out of town.

If Hat's can afford a liquor license just to sit on it, then you'd think they could afford to upgrade their operation a bit.

I also agree with you on Webb's - if it's another smoky dive bar, or some sort of Pub/Dilly's clone, you can count me out. But we could really use a place to grab a beer and watch a ball game. Hopefully they'll have some craft beer too.

Not holding my breath.

“Dewey Wins”

Since: Apr 10

Location hidden

#340 May 28, 2012
There was a recent article in the PO discussing the liquor license availability, I don't recall it totally however I do remember them stating that Cafe d'Italia, Hats's, town and country cafe and I believe one other establishment had applied. According to the article these restaurants had presented applications and the borough would then decided based on the suitability of the application. As it is a development license I do not believe a bidding process is what is occurring, as you can not bid on that type of license.

In regards to Webb's, I decided with an open mind to stop in on Friday for a drink, with the understanding that this was there opening weekend. I went at around 10:45 pm I say this because most bars on a holiday weekend even new ones would have some patrons at this time. Well there were three people sitting at the "bar" I put bar in quotes because I have friends with nicer ones in their basements. Not being new to topix I know people will think I am being critical, however all I saw was opportunity lost and that is frustrating to me. As I sat down, one of the gentlemen sitting at the bar asked for my id, as I gave it to him he got up and walked behind the bar, so make that 2 patrons at the bar. He asked what I would like to drink and as I looked at the selection sitting on the shelves behind him my disappointment grew, for I have never been to a bar that had on its shelves where you would expect "top" shelf alcohol to be, multiple flavors of blue wave vodka, and other assorted alcohol that normally I would consider "rail." To those that don't know this is the cheapest alcohol a bar serves in its mixed drinks, kept on a rack in front of the bartender usually near a beverage dispenser. Furthermore, as I looked down I could see multiple empty budweiser beer boxes on the floor. However before I could ask what other beers they had I noticed something else, their cash registers. They were the ones you could purchase at staples with no charge machine in sight. So I Inquired if they accept credit/debit cards, to which I was told that they are an up and coming business so no. Well with no cash on me I was out of luck, said I hope you guys do well and left. Now there were some people in the back room, however I believe they were relatives and friends of the owners as they were coming in and out of the kitchen and behind the bar.

To answer your questions no one inside was smoking so lets hope smoking is prohibited, they did have 2 flat screen tv's flanking the bar so you could def watch a game or two, but craft beers I don't see happening. Lastly and most depressing is the fact that calling this place a pub/dilly's clone might be insulting those places. Now like I said before I know some might think I am being to critical and harsh, but honestly it saddened me as I had high hopes for this to be a place were you could go and enjoy a good drink and some sports. Hopefully my initial experience won't be the norm.
POSTER

Loysville, PA

#341 May 30, 2012
Effington wrote:
Um, Johnnie's (the restaurant, not the restaurant supply) has an Application to Dispense Alcoholic Beverage placard up in their window... whaaaat? Now this strikes me as bizarre, anyone have any info on that?
Add them to the old Edith's Pizza (purchased by the owners of Norland Pub), Cafe d'Italia, and the aforementioned Webb's...
Where are these liquor licenses coming from, especially in the same year we're getting three sit-down casual chains?
First I heard about Johnnies have an application. But the 4 new licenses are coming from a reevaluation of the county population. Apparently the LCB is now issuing 4 new licenses due to a population increase in the county. 3 are going to Olive Garden, Tex Roadhouse, and Lonestar. The last one is up for grabs for anyone who wishes to apply. As someone mentioned Town & Country, Cafe DeItalila, Hats, have applied and also Norland Pub has applied for the old Edith's location. there is a standard application to apply. Final decision is by the LCB not town council. If all applicants are equal then it is awarded on a first come first serve basis.
Eater

Ardsley, NY

#342 May 30, 2012
Johnnies restaurant is owned by crooked Greeks no?

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#343 May 31, 2012
Hey Whowants2cook, thanks for taking one for the team there going to Webb's. I looked into a little bit too and simply put, Webb's isn't there for us... it's just another dive bar downtown catering to people who live within walking distance. A damn shame if you ask me. These are not the types of establishments that improve Chambersburg, but I guess they can do what they want...

And thanks for the info on the license POSTER, I'll be interesting to see who gets that 4th license. I doubt that includes an economic development license though that's also probably up for grabs (unless that's what Webb's got).

I do hope they don't give it to an establishment that plans to simply sit on the license as an investment - it could really help both Cafe d'Italia and Town & Country, both of which are certainly deserving and would not attract "undesirables."

I'll just stick to Good-ta-Go.

I'm not sure if Johnnie's is Greek-owned, but their menu's identical to all the other "family restaurants" in town.

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