Editor’s Note: In 2021, Michael and Nicole Borrell began reviewing Lebanon Valley’s restaurants and eating attractions as the Lebanon Valley Food Critics. Since then, the couple has aimed to offer unbiased reviews of the eating and drinking establishments the Lebanon Valley has to offer. LebTown is pleased to be partnering with LVFC to share these reviews with our readers. Bon appétit!

It came time for our Friday night dinner, so we went through all the suggestions from our followers. Several followers told us to travel to the east end of the Valley and so we visited 501 Bar and Grill.

501 Bar and Grill

7646 Lancaster Ave.
Mt. Aetna, PA 19544

Phone: (717) 933-1488


Mon: 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tue: 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wed: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Thu: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Situated in the small village of Mt. Aetna, this stand-alone neighborhood tavern offers a dining area joined by a J-shaped bar with high top bar tables.  

Entering the waiting area, you notice several “Best of the Valley – Best wings” awards on the wall. So of course, I was going to give them a try.

On the menu were a variety of unique sauces, 30 in total. We settled on trying three half dozen orders ($6.50 each) with the sauces black devil (hot & BBQ), dragon (mustard, mild & horseradish) and blackberry combustion.

Menu items are indicated with a “#” based on hotness level.

Our wings came out with plenty of sauce on the wings. Load up on the napkins, it will get messy.

The wings themselves were smaller in size and over-fried, causing them to be dried out. The wing sauces themselves were beyond amazing! If the menu says it’s hot, believe me…it’s hot.

Three orders of wings, with dragon, blackberry combustion and black devil sauces.

Our favorite of the three sauces we had was the blackberry combustion, but all 3 were great.

For our entrees we chose the Cannonball Burger with hand cut fries ($12.00) and broiled crab cake ($16.00).

A Cannonball Burger and fries.

The burger, with 501 BBQ sauce, bacon, onion hay and cheddar jack cheese, was ordered medium and came out close to well done. The BBQ sauce has a sweet, smokey flavor which made for a delicious taste.

I ended up taking the remainder of the burger home for leftovers. It re-heated very well and made for a very delightful second meal.  

The crab cake was house blend of blue crab and seasonings topped with butter and old bay. A nice crispy outer shell gave way to a hand-packed crab filling. The flavor of the blue crab stood out in this dish.

A crab cake with a side of the loaded cauliflower.

For a side, we selected a side salad and the loaded cauliflower. You don’t see this as an option too often, so we had to choose it.

A side salad.

Our take: 501 Grill & Tavern has a neighborhood feel and mixes the friendly pub atmosphere with an enhanced dining menu. The ticket times for food were higher than average. The wings were over done but the sauces were top notch and we do want to try more. We applaud the menu as it offers several options you will not find other restaurants and a nice variety of meal options without trying to do too much. Our waitress was very sweet and helpful. We will give this place another visit.

We give this place ???

If you have a restaurant you would like us to visit or review, whether a place you like or are nervous to try, please message us on Facebook or email lvfoodcritics@outlook.com and let us know. We thank everyone for the recommendations and the kind words we have received.