Altland House known for chicken & waffles, beer
Location: 1 Center Square, Abbottstown
Jess' pick: Chicken and waffles, $14.50 ($7 on Sundays)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Price range: $5.50, soup of the day, house salad or Caesar salad; $31, filet mignon with red bell pepper thyme salad, portabella demi and red skin whipped potatoes
Alcohol: Yes, full bar plus house brews
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes
Details: Call 717-259-9535 or visit altlandhousegrillandpub.com
I like Ike's taste in food.
The former president Dwight Eisenhower used to stop at Altland House in Abbottstown on the way to his Gettysburg farm. And when he did, he would order the chicken and waffles, a dish the restaurant has served for more than 100 years.
The inn was built in 1790 and to this day, hosts travelers. In addition to guest rooms, the building is home to a downstairs pub, featuring live entertainment and pub fare; an upstairs grill, offering fine dining; and a banquet room for special events, corporate meetings, rehearsal dinners and the like.
General Manager Ryan Haugh is the third generation of his family to operate the Altland House. His grandmother bought the inn in the 1950s, after waitressing there.
Since, the business has expanded to catering at multiple locations, from Majestic Theater in Gettysburg to Valencia Ballroom in York and Liberty Forge Golf Course in Mechanicsburg.
One of the latest additions are house beers, which started about six or seven months ago, Haugh said. Selections include Altland House Red, Altland House APA, The Alt German Altbier and German Chocolate Imperial Stout. Some of the brews are also featured in menu items like the Braised Short Ribs ($18.50) and Braised IPA Stroganoff ($15).
On a frigid Sunday in February, I stopped by the Altland House Grill. Inside are photos of the inn/restaurant through the years, including one large portrait spanning the width of a back wall.
What's also interesting inside are a few booths at the center of the restaurant, all curved and facing outward, forming a clover. Tables and booths along the walls offer additional seating. One table seems to get a prime view, sitting in front of bay windows overlooking the town square. (Hint: If it's date night, consider making reservations and requesting this table.)
On Sundays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., patrons can order from a brunch menu, which includes a "bottomless" fruit and pastry bar and virgin Bloody Mary station. Brunch menu items range from Ginger Bread Pancakes ($13) to Filet Oscar ($23.50) and Tempura Fried Stuffed French Toast ($12).
At the same time on Sunday, you can choose from the grill menu (think of it as a dinner menu), pub menu (lunch) and Caribbean Month menu (specials lasting through February that'll make you think you're at a balmy tropical location instead of chilly York County).
Whew. It's a lot to choose from. On the grill menu alone, you'll find pizzas, salads and "Chef's Selections" – entrees created by chefs at various Altland Hospitality Group locations.
But I couldn't come to the Altland House and not try the dish it's most known for -- chicken and waffles. These days, it's served fairly upscale -- the round waffles are layered with red-skinned mashed potatoes, chicken gravy and pulled chicken. On the side of this "tower" are carrots and broccoli. The waitress offered more gravy if I desired.
With the check's arrival came a pleasant surprise – chicken and waffles are half price on Sundays. All day. $7. A historic price for this historic dish.