Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tell us your Franklin Inn Story and Win a $30 Gift Certificate

The Franklin Inn is now celebrating 30 years. That's a long time! If the walls could talk - we'd hear some great stories...but they can' we need your help.

We are collecting your Franklin Inn memories from these past 30 years: Photographs, anecdotes of good times at the Inn, birthday celebrations, engagement surprises, etc. Email them to me at or enter them in this blog in the comments section below. You can also drop off your story during your next visit to the Inn. Submit your Franklin Inn Memory by January 31, 2009 and your name will be entered to win a $30 Franklin Inn Gift Card.

Thanks for the memories!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Feliz Janucá - Happy Hanukkah

We'd like to wish our Jewish patrons a wonderful celebration as they begin their Hanukkah observances at sundown this Sunday. I was curious to see how the Festival of Lights is celebrated in Mexico. I couldn't find much. Below is what I did find regarding Hanukkah celebrations in Mexico. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of this blog entry and let us know about your Janucá traditions from Mexico.

Festival of Lights in Spanish is Fiesta de las Luminarias

In Mexico they call the Dreidel game Toma Todo

Recipe for Bunuelos de Hanuka (Hanukkah Fritters)
You have to scroll pretty far. Last I counted, it was the 11th recipe down.

Bimuelo, instead of latkes?
Neat little history and recipe from a man whose grandfather was a Sephardic Jew.

The first verse and chorus of the dreidel song in Spanish:
Yo tengo un dreidel. Lo hice de barro.
Cuando se seca, Juego al dreidel mucho.
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, lo hice de barro.
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, lo jugaré.

(In English: I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.
When it’s dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.)

Hanukkah in Mexico Blog Article

Happy Hanukkah!
Cibula Family and Staff of the Franklin Inn

Holiday Hours

We will be closed to celebrate Christmas
December 24th & 25th

We will also be closed January 1st.

Yes...we are open on New Year's Eve!

Starting with Sunday, January 4th,

we will be closed on Sundays, so that our staff can

relax and enjoy a day with family and friends.

Do we need to start carding the Trick or Treaters?

Don Wolfkill, Rick Morton, and Dean Romagnoli enjoying their favorite Friday night Haunt on Halloween. The photographer, Mark Albright, is not pictured. Thanks for the photos Dean!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thank You for Voting Us the Best!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The Franklin Inn was voted the best Mexican Restaurant in the 2008 Post Gazette Reader's Choice Poll. Thank you to all of you who voted for us. We look forward to continuing to serve you the freshest homemade Mexican in a friendly and casual atmosphere. To see all the restaurants that won and to view the PG Restaurant Guide, you can visit the Post Gazette here:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Half Way to Cinco Celebration

Wednesday, November 5th is Half way to Cinco de Mayo.
Half Way = Half Off Sauza Hornitos
Join us at the Franklin Inn for the half way to Cinco de Mayo Celebration this Wednesday. We'll be featuring half price Sauza Margaritas, half price flights of Sauza Tres Generaciones. There will also be prizes and other surprises. So come on out and celebrate with us. As always your favorite homemade Franklin Inn Menu items will be available.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Win Franklin Inn Gift Cards!

Two upcoming events where you could win Franklin Inn Gift Cards.
October 14th & 18th: Pilates for Pink - A Stronger Core to Find a Cure.
The Up Stretch Pilates Stud
io is conducting "Pilates for Pink" classes benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. No experience necessary for women to take part in classes on October 14 and 18 in a "Pilates for Pink - A Stronger Core to Find a Cure" class at Up Stretch Pilates Studio in Bodies R Us Women's Gym on Rt. 19 in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Register with your advance donation of $10 or more for each class with a check or money order to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, or bring in your printed email donation receipt from A Chinese auction drawing to raise additional awareness and fund research for a cure will be held on October 14th. Tickets are 3 for $5 or 8 for $10. Call 412-983-7818 or email to register and learn more. More info is available on her blog at for a list of the auction prizes including the Franklin Inn Gift Card.

October 29th: Trunk or Treat at Heritage Church Parking Lot 6pm-7:30.
Bring your family to Heritage Church (at 2262 Rochester Road in Franklin Park - a block south of the Franklin Inn) for a safe and fun evening of trunk or treating. Refreshments will be served at this free event. Prizes for best trunk and costume. You could win cool prizes including a Franklin Inn Gift Card and a Mihelic Shop 'n Save Gift Card. For more info on this event, check out the flyer here for more details or call the church at 412-366-1338.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mexican Independence Day Celebration

Join us at the Franklin Inn as we celebrate Fiestas Patrias on Tuesday!
Visit our website to see how you can get one of these cool and festive margarita cups.

Similar to our 4th of July, Independence day is celebrated in Mexico on September 15th and 16th. They call it the Fiestas Patrias (Patria means Country) and it is their biggest national holiday even more so than Cinco de Mayo. The history of this day goes back to September 16th in 1810, when Father Hidalgo rang the church bells in his church in Dolores and called on the people to take up arms to gain independence from Spain. That same bell is now rung each year. On the night of the 15th, the President of Mexico comes out on the balcony of the National Palace and rings Father Hidalgo's bell. He repeats some of Hidalgo's words, starting with: "Mexicans, Long Live Mexico!" (¡Mexicanos, que Viva México!). The crowds gather in the Main Square, and answer; "¡Viva!", as he waves the flag from the balcony. At the end of the third ¡Viva Mexico! the crowd goes wild waving flags, ringing noisemakers and spraying foam. Then fireworks light up the sky as the crowd cheers. After this, there are fireworks, music and a great fiesta that lasts into the night. This ceremony is repeated in cities and towns all over Mexico. The Governor, or the Municipal President gives the Cry of Dolores. In foreign lands, the Ambassador or Consul does it. Houses are decorated and flags are placed in windows and on cars. The next morning, on September 16th, most cities in Mexico have a big parade.

You can find more information regarding this holiday at the following links:

Friday, August 22, 2008

What is a Plantain?

Good question since we are serving them at the Franklin Inn this weekend. Widely used in Mexican cooking, especially the Yucatan area, plantains are related to or a type of starchy banana used for cooking. They seem to be referred to a lot as the cooking banana or banana potato. The fruit is a deeper yellow than the bananas we buy as fruit around here, and they are larger with a thick skin. Plantains are highly nutritious being a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They are also high in carbohydrates and a great energy booster. Plantains are not eaten raw and are usually prepared as a vegetable dish or sweet desert. They can be used in various stages of ripeness for different types of recipes. They are sweetest when ripe which is when the skins are black. Like bananas, plantains will ripen after they have been harvested.

Let me know if you use them in a recipe.

Here are some links about them.
Gourmetsleuth - more about them - recipes
Yucatan Breakfast recipe
Plantain and Lentil Stew (you have to scroll towards bottom of page to view recipe)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frankin Inn House Potato Pepper Soup

Here is the often requested recipe for the Franklin Inn Potato Pepper Soup. The Cibulas were inspired to create this soup from their various research and travels. This recipe makes a gallon of soup, so you'll have some to share with friends or be the hit of the potluck dinner. It's a little unexpected for a potato soup not to have a cream broth, but this unique soup is a hit with our patrons. I've brought it to my church's Soup'n Inspiration and it is gone in seconds! You could probably play with it and add more peppers, etc. if you'd like to turn up the heat. Let me know how it turns out for you.

10 ounces Onion - Spanish
2 cloves Garlic - Fresh Peeled
8 ounces Poblano Peppers
10 ounces Tomatoes
1 1/4 lbs Potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons Base-Chicken
1/2 tablespoon Salt - Classic
1/2 Bunch Cilantro
2 quarts chicken stock
(we use Franklin Inn stock, but you could buy cans of prepared stock. Good stock is essential.)

  • Heat 2 quarts chicken broth with 1.5 Tbsp chicken base
  • Dice Spanish onion, Tomatoes and potatoes in 1/4" size
  • Fine chop garlic cloves
  • Dice Fresh poblano peppers
  • Add above ingredients to chicken broth and simmer for 1 hour
  • Add fresh cilantro about 10 minutes before soup is done.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve garnished with shredded Monterrey Jack & Colby cheese and a sprig of fresh cilantro

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tequila Tasting was Terrific

Now we all know why Franklin Inn's Margaritas are the best North of the Border. Thank you to all who attended our Tequila tasting last night. Attendance was better than expected for 9pm on a week night. I hope everyone made it to work on time.

A special thank you to Charlie Cherico, our Sauza rep, from Southern Wines. He presented a great educational talk on tequila. We appreciate his time spent at the Franklin Inn and the awesome goodie bags and t-shirts he gave to our customers at the Tasting.

The Tequila Tasting was part of our weekend long celebration of National Tequila Day. Our staff and patrons have already been giving us ideas for the next event. Thank you to Charlie and Denise for sharing the pictures below. I still can't find my camera!

Photos above: Charlie presenting information on tequila; Patty, John and Franklin Inn Patrons "tasting." Photos Below: Wait, I think that one is staged...Denise is that a Diet Pepsi on the table that you forgot to crop out?;Wendy and John having a rare moment out late together with out the children.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

National Tequila Day

This Thursday, July 24th is National Tequila Day. The Franklin Inn is celebrating with a Tequila Tasting. We've invited our Sauza Rep, Charles, to teach us a little about this special ingredient that reaches all the way back to the Aztecs in Mexico. One of the elements that makes tequila unique is the Blue Agava plant. A beautiful plant that looks like a cactus but is really a member of the Lily family.

There are two categories of Tequila:
100% Blue Agava Tequila
- 100% of the sugars come from the Blue Agave Plant
- Bottled only in designated regions of Mexico
Mixto Tequila
- At least 51% of the sugars must come from Blue Agave
- May be shipped in bulk and bottled in other countries

There are four types of Tequila:
- Joven: (or Gold): Unaged Tequilas that get their color from added caramel colorings.
- Blanco (or Silver): Unaged clear tequila.
- Reposado (or Rested): Aged for at least two months in wooden barrels.
- Añejo (or Aged): Aged 12 months or more in wooden barrels.

For more information on Tequila, come to the Tequila Tasting at the
Franklin Inn on Thursday, July 24th at 9pm.

Interesting links about Tequila:Agava Facts
Tequila Quiz
The Mexican Tequila Academy
Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico

Drink Recipes Using Tequila

Cooking with Tequila
More Cooking with Tequila

Friday, July 18, 2008

Enjoy a Tropical Escape at the Franklin Inn

Key Lime, Ocean Blue, Pink Hibiscus, Banana & Mango. These colors of our new t-shirts have inspired our Tropical Escape Weekend at the Franklin Inn. Enjoy fruity sangria, John's homemade mango ice cream, Karen's homemade banana blast, our fresh crab tostada and other seafood as well as your regular Mexican favorites. And, as always the best Margaritas in town. Sunday is also National Lollipop day, so bring the kids for a lollipop. Don't cook. Grab a couple friends and enjoy a few hours of a Tropical Escape.

Have a Happy Lolliop Day

Sunday, July 20th, is National Lollipop Day...
The Franklin Inn will be celebrating by giving suckers to the kids this week and on Sunday we will have the coveted ring pops while supplies last (Grace and Joey's pick!). I bet you are wondering what lollipops have to do with Mexican food. (Well...nothing, but I've discovered a website that lists all the holidays. I'm just having too much fun thinking of the possibilities. Did you know that August 8th is National Sneak Zucchini on to Your Neighbor's Porch Night? Next week is National Tequila Day.) Lollipops are so fun and festively colored just like our little Mexican Restaurant, so why not celebrate it. I looked lollipop up in the English to Spanish translator. It came up with Piruleta. If someone out there is fluent in Mexican Spanish, let us all know if this is correct.

Here are some links regarding Lollipops. I have not made any of these recipes, but they sound good so please let me know if you attempt it (you could always leave a sample at the Inn). ¡Día feliz de Piruleta!

History of Lollipops

Recipe for making your own flavored suckers.

When Suckers Were Good...How to Make a Delicious Lollipop

Recipe for Dipped Oreo Chocolate Suckers

The Science of Candy Recipes

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Tropical Color T-shirts Available

Mexican tropics inspired t-shirts are here. On the front is the now famous "Fill to this line with Margaritas" that Aunt Noreen Cibula created many years ago. On the back is the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant logo that John's dad, Henry Cibula, designed. Currently all sizes and colors are available. Children's tie dyes are also available. They feature the logo only.

You can pick up your t-shirt at the Franklin Inn while supplies last.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Calling All Chocolholics!

Did you know that July 7th was the official Chocolate Day? We couldn't pass up the opportunity to celebrate chocolate. It's our duty as a Mexican Restaurant. After all, chocolate can be traced back to the Mayans and the Aztecs. Check our website later for details on the yummy food items that will be featured this weekend at the Franklin Inn. In the interim, here are a few sources of information on the history of chocolate and chocolate recipes. And, don't forget to try our Chicken Enchiladas Poblano Mole. It's one of our house specialties.

Savory Chocolate...add chocolate to your recipes
Chocolate: The Exhibition...everything you want to know about chocolate
Health Benefits of Chocolate...interesting
Chocolate Glossary of Terms
The Chocolate Challenge...Do you think you know your chocolate?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Closed July 4th...See ya on the 5th

Just a reminder that we will be closed on the 4th of July so that our staff can spend the holiday with their families. We will reopen on Saturday, July 5th at 11:00am. Join us for lunch or dinner. Check the website for more details on our weekend specials.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Vexing Salad Vote?

We had trouble this week with the salad poll. I only received a few votes and several people told me that they were unable to vote. Did you have trouble voting for your favorite salad at the Inn this week? If so, please post your favorite in a comment to me here. I'm going to start a new poll today. Let me know if you are having trouble placing your vote for this one. Thanks.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Your Favorite Margarita...Traditional Wins!

Mason Jar Margarita Mania...The Franklin Inn's Mason Jar Margaritas are famous! Those of you who have experienced one know why. And, now we know which flavors are your favs. The recent poll on this blog revealed that the majority of you prefer our traditional margarita (John's favorite too). Our new Mango Margarita took second place. Wow are these new Mango margaritas popular. Visit the Inn tonight for one of our specialty margaritas frozen or on the rocks: French, Blue, Melon, Mango, Strawberry, Raspberry, and of course, Traditional.

Salad Season...Our kitchen uses the best produce in our salads and the finest ingredients in our homemade dressings. We've created some exceptional salads for you. Let us know your favorite in this week's poll. I know my favorite.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Winners of the Father's Day Prizes

Congratulations to Reed Harvey & Larry Meuller! They won the Father's Day prizes. Reed and Larry will both receive a gift bag with a Franklin Inn Gift Card and some other "manly" goodies. Thank you all for visiting us and entering the raffle. If you didn't win the Father's Day raffle, you can still be a winner. Join the Inn Crowd today. You'll receive $5 in Ben Bucks to use for your next dinner at the Franklin Inn and other goodies will be coming your way.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Franklin Inn Featured on the Gourmet Eater Last Night

The Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant was featured last night on the Gourmet Eater hosted by Gregg Mathis. You can listen to our interview at the link below. Choose Episode 7. I was a little nervous and I think I missed a few of his questions, because I couldn't hear him all that well at times, but overall, I think it went well and it was a lot of fun. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Welcome to the Franklin Inn Blog

This is a blog for patrons of the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant. A great group of people who enjoy fresh-made Mexican food served in a fun and casual atmosphere. Thank you allowing us to serve you for close to 30 years.