Gettysburg, PA: A Gastronomical DelightMar 31, 2015 09:56AM ● By Vanessa Orr
A flight of beers at Appalachian Brewing Company
Did you know that President Lincoln’s favorite dishes were chicken fricassee and chicken pot pie? Neither did I, until I took the Savor Gettysburg Food Tour, which not only provides participants with the chance to learn some little known historical facts, but also lets them sample mouthwatering local fare while wandering through the streets of this charming rural town.
The brainchild of tour guide Lori Korczyk, Savor Gettysburg takes visitors on a three-hour walking tour of the city with stops at seven different restaurants. On my tour last year, I got to sample fajitas and carnitas at El Costeno Mexican Restaurant; blue crab mac and cheese and a spinach salad with walnut, cranberry and bleu cheese chunks at One Lincoln; Pennsylvania wines and ciders from Hauser Estate Winery; shepherd’s pie at Garryowen Irish Pub; brie gougéres, a croissant with melted brie and raspberry compote at Café St. Amand; Civil War-era fare at the Farnsworth House Inn & Tavern; and amazing desserts at both the Gettysburg Cupcake Cafe and Mr. G’s Homemade Ice Cream. This year’s tour includes the Gettysburg Baking Company and Café on the Square, and Korczyk has also added a second tour option—the Savory Sweets Tour.
Though only in its second season, more than 500 people have already taken the Savor Gettysburg tour, including locals and tourists alike. “I recommend that people new to Gettysburg make it the first thing they do, because it’s a great way to get the layout of the city and see where everything is,” said Korczyk. “I’ve also had people who have been coming to Gettysburg for 20 or 30 years tell me that they’ve never been to some of these restaurants because they always go back to the same places—it’s something new and exciting for them to do.”
Having never been to Gettysburg before, I have to agree that it was a great introduction to the area. The tour, which is an easy mile walk, takes visitors through some of the most scenic parts of town and into some of the historic buildings that were witness to the Battle of Gettysburg. There’s nothing quite as stirring as seeing the home of Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, the 20-year-old woman shot by a Confederate sharpshooter, making her the only civilian casualty of the fighting, or looking up to see a cannonball still embedded in a home’s wall, or almost stumbling over a cannon named Penelope, preserved in the sidewalk after an overcharge of powder ruptured her barrel in 1855.
While I enjoyed all of the restaurants that we visited, I was especially taken with the Garryowen Irish Pub, which was voted the second best Irish pub in the world outside of Ireland, as well as with One Lincoln, which is located in the Gettysburg Hotel. The hotel itself, which was opened in 1797, is located just a few steps away from the Wills House where President Lincoln worked on the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln fans should also make sure to check out the photos on the wall of Mr. G’s Homemade ice Cream in the historic Winebrenner House—one picture shows the muddy, unpaved route that the president walked while on his way to deliver the Gettysburg address, and you can even stand beside a ‘witness tree’ outside, now more than 150 years old, that was there on that fateful day.
In addition to all of the tantalizing tastes offered on the food tour, there are many other wonderful options for those who have built up an appetite wandering one of the most visited military parks in the country. The 1863 Restaurant, located in the Wyndham Hotel, offers casual comfort food that evokes an earlier time—items include duck, trout, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, rabbit and ribs, among other offerings. A walk just across the parking lot will land you at Appalachian Brewing Company, where you can try flights of beer all brewed in Harrisburg. I recommend the Jolly Scot Scottish Ale, but they make seven beers year-round as well as monthly small batches and seasonal offerings, so you’re sure to find something you like.
More than two dozen bed-and-breakfasts also offer their own unique dishes. At the Baladerry Inn, for example, chef and owner Judy Caudill, who runs the inn with her husband, Kenny, says that guests can stay a month and enjoy something different every day. The inn has certainly earned a reputation for taking care of its guests—built in 1812, it was used as a field hospital and treated more than 1,500 men during the Battle of Gettysburg. And for fine dining, I recommend Sidney at Willoughby Run, which offers views of the battlefield along with small-plate delicacies created by Chef Neil Annis.
For a true farm-to-table experience, a stop at Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm & Market is a must. The 500-acre farm produces more than 100,000 bushels of apples each season, as well as peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, berries and more. They even offer classes to teach you how to make your own apple dumpling (mine was delicious!) and it’s a great way to learn more about where your food is coming from, as well as how important it is to preserve the area’s apple heritage, which predates even Civil War history.
Hungry to learn more? Visit www.DestinationGettysburg.com or call 717-338-1055—and don’t forget to ask about the Wine and Fruit Trail. You can also visit www.SavorGettysburgFoodTours.com. To learn about any of the businesses mentioned in this article, visit:
1863 Restaurant: www.wyndham.com/hotels/pennsylvania/gettysburg/wyndham-gettysburg/hotel-dining/1863, 717-339-0020
Appalachian Brewing Company: abcbrew.com/brewpubs/gettysburg-gateway, 717-339-0020
Baladerry Inn: www.baladerryinn.com, 717-337-1342
Café on the Square: 717-339-0009
Café St. Amand: www.cafesaintamand.com, 717-334-2700
El Costeno Mexican Restaurant: http://elcostenogettysburg.weebly.com, 717-339-0029
Farnsworth House Inn & Tavern: 717-334-8838
Garryowen Irish Pub: http://garryowenirishpub.net, 717-337-2719
Gettysburg Baking Company: www.gettysburgbakingco.com, 717-334-2367
Gettysburg Cupcake Café: www.gettysburgcupcakecafe.com, 717-334-9909
Hauser Estate Winery: www.hauserestate.com, 717-334-4888
Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm & Market: www.hollabaughbros.com, 717-677-8412
Mr. G’s Homemade Ice Cream: 717-334-7600
One Lincoln: www.onelincoln.net, 717-338-5455
Sidney at Willoughby Run: www.SidneyWilloughbyRun.com, 717-334-3774
Wyndham Hotel: www.wyndham.com/hotels/pennsylvania/gettysburg/wyndham-gettysburg/hotel-overview, 717-339-0020