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!

To celebrate an end of summer we headed to Schaefferstown on Friday night to the Franklin House Tavern.

The Franklin House

101 N. Market St.
Schaefferstown, PA 17088

Phone: (717) 949-2122


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

We had several of our followers suggest that we visit, and we’re happy they did. As we traveled southeast to Historic Shaefferstown and right off the square, we marveled at the beautiful tavern that was divided into separate dining areas throughout the first floor and a bar area in the southeast room.

We sat in a small room adorned with plenty of George Washington portraits and had wonderful company joining us.

We started out with drinks. The ever-popular slushies — one cherry berry and one margarita— plus a summer sangria and a Rusty Rail Blueberry Lime Sour beer. All were delicious and a good start to our evening.

A summer sangria.
A cherry berry slushie.

We ordered their crab dip as an appetizer and were not disappointed.

A crab dip appetizer.

The menu has a lot of great options for dinner. It was difficult to choose what to have, but luckily there were four of us so we got to share a few bites to see how everything was.

I got the special ravioli, a mushroom ravioli with a marsala cream sauce. There were five large-sized ravioli, and for the price I thought they could have had a few more, but they were filling, and the cream sauce was outstanding.

A mushroom ravioli with a marsala cream sauce, with a side of carrots.

My husband got the Frankies Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon, and a creamy Mornay sauce. Adorned with two strips of bacon on top, this is a rich dish. By initial looks you were expecting more but it was well worth it. The dish would be just as good without the bacon.  

A Frankies Hot Brown open-faced sandwich.

My dad got the chicken Chesapeake, a grilled chicken breast topped with a crab imperial. Another rich dish, this plate blended all the flavors together as not to overpower, allowing the flavor of the food to speak for itself.

A chicken Chesapeake, with a side of carrots and mashed potatoes.

For the dinners, they offer a vegetable and starch du jour. Tonight the options were carrots and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes deserved the supporting act award for these dinner dishes.  

The final meal of the evening was a full plate of beef calf liver and onions. Topped with a red wine and smothered in onion gravy, this dish brought back memories of old. I thought the onion gravy was a tad on the salty side, but not everyone at our table agreed. The liver was a good lean cut and left this patron full.

Beef calf liver and onions, with sides of carrots and mashed potatoes.

Our take: The Franklin House offers a menu of simple, common fare as well as some fancy, above the norm dishes. The chef gets a chance to be a little creative and provide a unique made-to-order dinner. The menu advises that your meal may take more time because it is being freshly made.

The menu does change slightly, depending on the season. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. They offer a few tables for outside dining. You should make a trip out this way, you won’t be disappointed.

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.