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Jun 17, 2005 08:44 PM

Letterkenny/Chambersburg & nearby area (South Central, PA) ANY GOOD CHOW AT ALL??

  • d

I normally occupy the New England board (NH-centric) but am on a reconnaissance mission. My girlfriend and some coworkers are going to be in the Letterkenny/Chambersburg area for two weeks on an assignment. Trying to find them some good food to brighten up an arduous work schedule.

Looking at a map all the following towns appear to be nearby, but I haven't uncovered much of anything searching the PA board: Letterkenny, Southhampton, Chambersburg, Antrim, Greene, Shippensburg, Montgomery, Franklin, Fannett, Hamilton, Guilford, South Newton, Penn, Lurgan, and more. Is there really no excellent and/or interesting food in this area?

One of my pet peeves about how some folks post on Chowhound (all boards!), which makes researching unfamiliar areas difficult, is the location isn't posted in the subject line. Example: "ABC Grill - best service and most fascinating food I've ever had" So, if I have no idea where this place is, how would I know if it's 5 minutes or 5 hours from Letterkenny, unless I already know what town/city it's in?

OK - enough venting.... but my point is I may have missed relevant post about that area, but I wouldn't know it. I really did search and search....

Is that area really a good food wasteland?

Much thanks.

Dave in New Hampshire

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  1. j
    Joe the Goalie

    Look at Frederick and Hagerstown. The Bos-Wash urban sprawl is creeping up I-81 from Maryland. While I don't know the area well (I live in Harrisburg), my guess is that the good places are going to be south, in Maryland.

    Good hunting!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joe the Goalie

      Having lived in the area for my 15+ years and worked in the food industry, I am very familiar with the restaurants. Your best bet would be to make the trek north of Chambersburg to Carlisle. Here you will find a nicer selection of dining. Try: Market Cross Pub - great beers and good pub food (There is also one located in Shippensburg), Rillo's - Italian, fairly expensive, Piatto - BYOB, great Italian. Hope these help!

    2. I lived in Chambersburg until i was 18 and know the letterkenny area well. My dad works there and I lived about five minutes from the gate. The story of food and fun in Chambersburg is a complicated one. I will explain, grasshopper. The main food focus of the area is lots of food for cheap. Quality, service and taste are in second place. Add to this the fact that many areas are dry townships with no liquor sales, leading to a lack of national or chain restaurants. Many folks join clubs (VFW, ELKS, Moose, etc) because they have lots of food for cheap and liquor. This leaves less customers for individual restaurants, so there isn't the market to get really good food/service/etc. A fair amount of the non-chain restaurants in the area (more than 50%) are owned by the "Greeks," a group of interelated families of greek heritage, and their food all tastes the same. (Yes I'm serious) So, it makes going out very tricky. Many people do go out in Hagerstown (30 minutes south) because there are a lot of restaurants there, (less restrictive liquor laws there). Here is a comprehensive list of my thoughts on local restaurants in the Chambersburg area: Italian Villa in Greenvillage-decent Italian, BYOB; Montezuma on Wayne Ave.-- yummy mexican; RosaLee's-- yummy Italian and great bread; Olympia Ice Cream Parlor in downtown--Great Ice Cream and sandwiches; Igloo-- my favorite ice cream hands down; Cottage in downtown--good seafood and burgers; Hat's hoagies-- good sandwiches and homemade soup; Copper Kettle-- nicer restaurant, good steaks; Orchards-usually good, OK bar; Pibby's- good deli, fresh salads; Horrid reataurants to avoid--Franklin Star (greasy and old), Greenvillage Drive-In (bad service and cheap crappy food),Texas Lunch (Dirty!!)

      I hope this helps. If any restaurant is missing, it doesn't mean it's bad, just not good or bad enough to rate a mention. I recomend the grapenut softserve at the Igloo. Tell your girlfriend to have fun!

      PS Also tell her to go to Value City at the Chambersburg Mall. Bargains galore!

      2 Replies
      1. re: BunnyLuv

        BunnyLuv, you are my hero! Thank you so much for taking the time to put together an insider's overview of the food scene there. Entertaining - your way of painting the picture!

        I just sent your post to the GF. I also told her what you and the other poster said about driving a bit south to Hagerstown. Looks like it's only a half-hour or so...


        1. re: Dave B

          I just have to add ... I grew up in Shippensburg, worked in Chambersburg all through high school and college.

          The dining experience there is basically a wasteland, much as Sarah said. Very little to recommend, and Chambersburg's just starting to have some of the better chain places arrive with development, especially around the Walker Road exit.

          Shippensburg once had some good hometown food. It's pretty much gone. Only plug I have is for the place of an old classmate -- Knut's. It's about four doors off the square on King Street. Not bad food at all, good beer selection. If you're at the college for anything, that's probably your best option.