Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feliz Janucá - Happy Hanukkah

In Mexico, Hanukkah is written Januca and is mostly celebrated the same as every where else with some variations in the food and games. Food for the Festival of Lights is often "buñuelos" which are fried fritters drenched in sugar syrup and also balls of corn dough filled with marmalade. The game of "dreidel" is called "toma todo" and the dreidel top is a "pirinola". A Mexican "piñata" in the shape of the dreidel is also popular.
Happy Januca to our patrons starting their celebration tomorrow night!
Check last year's post for more info on Januca in Mexico.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Collection for Jake & His Unit in Iraq

If you are a regular diner at the Franklin Inn, your server may often be Kim Woods. Kim is the proud mother of five children who have also worked at the Franklin Inn at some point over the years. Her children might have greeted you and seated you, prepped or cooked your meal, served you, or washed your dishes. The faces of the Woods girls, Jenny and LeeAnn, might be familiar to you, but behind the scenes contributing to your delicious meal on any given night, could have been one of her sons, Jake.

Jake Woods is currently serving us in Wajihia, Iraq with the 2nd Battalion 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters Company. Franklin Inn patrons (I knew we had the best customers!) have spontaneously offered items to Kim for the weekly care packages she sends overseas. Hot sauce from the Franklin Inn has traveled to Iraq in one of these boxes! It got me to thinking that more of the Inn's patrons might like the opportunity to show support of our Service Men and Women and their families in a personal and tangible way. We could all pitch in and send a huge Christmas Care Package to show Jake and his Unit how much we appreciate them. When I discussed this idea with her to make sure it would be okay to make you all aware of Jake's service, Kim said, "Whatever you can do would be appreciated."

I asked Kim to give me some specific ideas which are below, but she says "Whatever he gets in a package is appreciated. Most of it - I think - is just the thrill of getting a package at all. It helps him to know that we haven't forgotten him and we appreciate the sacrifice he's made. It's tough to not be home for Christmas."

Some things that the soldiers like to receive are:
  • Drink mixes in the individual drink bottle packages.
  • Any snack food like peanuts, pistachios, chips (lunch size), cereal bars, pop tarts, rice krispie treats, chocolate pudding, sandwich crackers etc. Dry cereal is a big hit!
  • Quick meals like cup-a-soup and Easy Mac are great.
  • DVD's are appreciated - new or used.
Kim says that any size is fine - "warehouse club size" to "grocery store size."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Burritos to End Slavery

Sunday, November 15

6:30-8:30 at the Franklin Inn
Space is Limited. RSVP Required.
Must RSVP to Mark Helsel at
Visit this link for more info:

Third.Motion is hosting a screening of the new movie "At the End of Slavery" here at the Inn. The movie is produced by the International Justice Mission and narrated by Danny Glover and features music from Moby and Johnny Cash. See the trailor at

Join them to watch the movie and eat some great food, of course! All for a good cause...The International Justice Mission.

You must rsvp to the address above. This event is NOT organized by the Franklin Inn. We can not accept your rsvp.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dia de los Muertos "Day of the Dead"

We'll be celebrating the Day of the Dead at the Franklin Inn this Saturday, October 31st. I must admit that the holiday seemed kinda creepy to me until I learned that for most its a day to remember and honor the memory of their loved ones. Once I got past the morbid connotation skulls and skeletons hold for me, the artwork is quite fascinating and beautiful.

Here are a few links to read about this color and festive holiday:

Teacher Pack of Information about this holiday




Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vote for Your Favs in Pittsburgh City Paper Poll

There's another Best of Poll being taken. This time by Pittsburgh City Paper. Check it out and vote for your favorite Mexican Restaurant. Help us not be the best kept secret in the North Hills. We'd like the rest of the city to know that we have great restaurants in the 'burbs too. Ask your friends to vote too. Thanks so much.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mexican Independence Day Celebration

Similar to our 4th of July, Independence day is celebrated in Mexico on Sept. 15th and 16th. They call it the Fiestas Patrias (Patria means Country). It is their biggest national holiday...more popular than Cinco de Mayo!

Join us
September 14- 19
for a week
long celebration
of the “real”

Food & Drink Features
Tequila Tasting on Tuesday, Sept. 15
Win Prizes
And other Surprises

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

T-shirt Contest Finalists...

Thank you so much to all who took the time to enter the Inncredible T-Shirt Design Contest. We appreciate your efforts. Wow. We have super-talented patrons at the Franklin Inn! It was so hard to narrow it down. But, based on input from our customers, employees and the t-shirt printer--here are the four finalists. Now, it is your turn. You have a tough decision to make with these amazing designs. Come on into the Franklin Inn and cast your vote. All voters will be entered to win one of the new t-shirts. Only one vote allowed per visit. Voting ends August 3rd. are the finalists:

Design by Amy Peters. If this design wins, we will probably use
bright solid colored t-shirts in various colors.

By Jamie McCullough
If this design wins we will move the artwork up a bit
for those who like to tuck in their t-shirts.

By Christian Ghirardi
If this design wins, the t-shirt will be white.

By Matt Lorenz
If this t-shirt wins there are two options
this one and a dark shirt with the graphics in white.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More t-shirt designs

Here's some of the designs dropped off to the restaurant. If you don't see your design here, email me to make sure I received it. The scans aren't too great, but they'll give you the main idea. My scanner isn't working and I had to use John's which has a smaller window and washes out the colors. I've been getting some feedback regarding your favs. Please keep your comments coming.

Christopher Simonic

Front of shirt

Back of Shirt

Brendon Beatty

Jillian Scott & Lucas Ashby

Unknown....if this is yours...let me know

The colors are all wrong and it is completely circular...Maddie Pope

Morgan Halyama

Colors are brighter and it is completely circular...Maddie Nellis.

Karyn Pappert

Dale Pappert 1 of 2

Dale Pappert 2 of 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The t-shirt designs are coming in....

Here are some of the designs submitted for the InnCredible T-shirt Contest (in no particular order....just how I grabbed and uploaded them). Hard copy submissions aren't included here yet. I'm hoping I have time to scan them and add them this week (lol!). If you emailed me a design and it is not below....I didn't receive it. If you dropped one off at the Inn or mailed it to me via snail mail and want to be sure I received it, feel free to ask me at I'll confirm your entry via email. You still have time to submit your own design. Details are on the website.

Which is your favorite design so far? Let me know.
Matt Lorenz 1 of 2

Matt Lorenz 2 of 2

Keith J. Schmiedlin

Michael Ross

Jamie McCullough

Christian Ghirardi

Jacqueline R. Dully

Lauren Kachinko

Lucinda Weibe

Amy Peters

Pam & Dominick Toth

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tap your creativity now!

Time is running out to participate in the InnCredible T-Shirt Design Contest. Get those entries into me now. Here's something fun to spark your creativity. Go to You can put your own face on Mona Lisa, the cover of Glamour Magazine or a piece of Warhol art and more. Be warned that this is very addicting. I spent way too much time doing this today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Family Meals To Go

We know you are busy so we've created a way for you to have a fresh home made Mexican Meal on the go. Click here for details.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Join us at the Franklin Inn for the festivities Friday May 1st thru Tuesday May 5th (don't forget we will be closed on Sunday). We have great food and drink features planned, door prizes and other festive surprises. Send your friends a Cinco de Mayo e-card and ask them to meet you at the Inn.

For more info on Cinco de Mayo History, check out these websites:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Administrative Assistant's Day at the Inn

Do you have Super Employees? Be a Super Boss!
Recognize your staff with a fun, festive, casual lunch
at the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant!

Our fresh-made food is delicious and our lunch prices are great (see lunch menu online). We've even added on an extra server to make sure you get back to work in a timely manner if you want too...just take it easy on the margaritas!

Are you a Secretary, Virtual Assistant, or Administrative Assistant? Dine at the Inn any time on April 22 and give us your business card. We'll give you a Ben Buck gift certificate good towards a future visit. If you don't have an assistant and you do your own administrative work...give us your card too. You need a break!

Bring the party back to the office! Win Chips & Salsa. We will be holding a drawing with all the business cards for a bag of our homemade chips and Salsa for your office . After the drawing we will be sending an email with special certificates to all who enter, so make sure your email is on your card. Every office is a winner.

Franklin Inn Gift Cards make great gifts of appreciation too. A $10 or $15 gift card can accomodate lunch for two. A $20 or $30 gift card can cover dinner for two.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

30 Years of Memories Contest

Thank you for the memories and for sending the great stories. I've only been a member of the Cibula family for around a decade [Editor: Wendy]. So, many of you have memories that go back farther than mine at the Inn. All entries were put into a drawing to win a Franklin Inn Gift Certificate. Congrats to the winners: Shirley and Lois. If you missed the contest, feel free to add your favorite Franklin Inn Memory to this blog. Maybe you'll win a consolation prize. You can find more stories on our website by clicking here. They aren't all there yet, but I'm working on it.

The Franklin Inn has become our newest favorite local restaurant! I don't think we ever ate there until we moved to the north hills. We had a blast celebrating John's 40th birthday in December with 15 of our friends. What a nice casual and comfortable atmosphere with great food and affordable prices! - John & Martha Walton

On the recommendation of a friend, I had lunch with a co-worker at the Franklin Inn. We loved it! When our boss (who takes us all (6) out to lunch fairly regularly) asked for suggestions for lunch we both said “The Franklin Inn”. Everyone loved it and when our boss picked up the check – he said “I really like this place.” Not only does the Franklin Inn have delicious food, the prices are great too. It has quickly become our company’s favorite lunch spot. Thank you. - Kathleen Conlogue

Lois and I moved to the North Hills in 1983. I learned of the Franklin Inn in 1984. We have been loyal patrons ever since. We knew the first owner. And, of course, Dougie the waiter. We used to be at the Inn so often that Doug would “slip” us a free quesadilla or sangria once in a while. [Editor's note: All patrons of the Inn will get a free dinner on their b-day. Just join the Inn Crowd so we know when to send your gift certificate!] We took Doug out for a goodbye party his last day at the Inn. We befriended Dolly, who knows just how we like our sangria. And, Mary Kay is the best. I had my resignation party at the Inn. Needless to say, I ended the evening with the sombrero on my head. Thanks for such great memories!- Sheree Girty and Lois Zebrouvis

I had my first date with Lori at the Franklin Inn on March 16, 2007. We have been together ever since. When asking her out for the first time, she expressed an interest in Mexican food. At that moment, we both mentioned the Franklin Inn simultaneously, and the date was set to meet at the Franklin Inn. The first date was very enjoyable, and the food was great as always. In addition, a late winter storm dumped about 4-5 inches of snow that day and evening on Pittsburgh. It made for perfect setting while enjoying my first date with Lori. - John Odzga

My favorite memory of the Franklin Inn occurred on a snowy cold night in March of 2008. My husband invited four of our closest friends to join us for dinner to celebrate my birthday. As the evening progressed my husband presented me with a gift bag. As I opened up the bag I first took out two Margarita glasses, then I found sunglasses, a hat, sun tan lotion, a shovel and a bucket to dig in the sand. Finally, I opened a card to find a picture of a beautiful resort located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. My husband had booked a trip to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Not only did the Franklin Inn contribute to the Mexican theme, but it is also my favorite restaurant. I will always remember this special evening at the Franklin Inn. - Lee Ann

Probably my best Franklin Inn story is when Ziggy and I would move Lou's van in the parking lot daily, whichever one of us came in after Lou we would move the van, turn it around, move it from one side of the lot to th
e other, etc. It was so funny to see the look on his face when he would go out to get in the van and would not know where to find it or how it got there. There was one day when he and Zig had been sitting there for quit a while and I moved the van, he went out and came back in and accused Zig of moving it and Zig had never moved off the stool. The last straw was one day when Zig and I were both there and neither of us could go out and move it and Mary Kay was just coming into work and I went to the men's room and asked her to move it and she moved it to the bottom of the lot, after that Lou did not leave his keys in the van any longer. I hope you enjoyed this one, I know that we all did as it was going on." - Timothy H. Kimbel

Congratulations to the Franklin Inn! We (my husband, daughter and I) were just at the Inn tonight and saw your announcement. Have you really only been in business for thirty years? It seems like just yesterday that we discovered the Franklin Inn. (Well.... actually.... it about 28 years ago! In fact we enjoyed our discovery so much that 26 years ago-today(January 15)-we celebrated our wedding dinner at the Inn with friends! Over the years we have returned to the Inn reminiscent with fond memories. Tonight was our daughter's first visit to the Inn so of course we had to share our stories with her and now with you in celebration of the Inn's 30th anniversary. Congratulations and Best Wishes for many years to be!- Rod and Glenda Yount

Read the rest of the stories here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Famished for Fajitas?

Visit the Franklin Inn this week for our Fajita Fest. Enjoy chargrilled chicken or steak, sauteed Spanish onions, and colorful bell peppers served on a sizzling platter with warm flour tortillas, sour cream and our homemade salsa and guacamole.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day in Mexico Celebrates Friendship & Love

"La amistad es lluvia de flores preciosas"
"Friendship is like a shower of precious flowers"
Aztec Poem (Source: Inside Mexico)

Bring your lover or your friend to the Franklin Inn and celebrate Valentines Day Mexican-Style. February 14th is celebrated in Mexico as the Día de San Valentin, or more commonly: El Día del Amor y la Amistad, the "day of love and friendship." People commonly give flowers, candies and balloons to their romantic interest, but it's also a day to show appreciation for friends. It's a time for people to show appreciation to the people they care about.

Bring your sweetie or your pal to the Franklin Inn for great food and some good conversation, because according to a Mexican Proverb, "Conversation is food for the soul."

For more about the origins of Saint Valentine's Day check out

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What is a Relleno?

Relleno means to stuff. Chile Relleno is a Mexican dish that originated in the city of Puebla, consisting of a roasted fresh pepper (the poblano pepper is named after the city of Puebla).

At the Franklin Inn our Chiles Rellenos are popular. Mild chile peppers are stuffed with Jack and Colby cheeses, batter dipped and deep fried, and topped with a sweet tomato and onion sauce.

This weekend our cooks will kick it up a notch with our Special Feature: Diablo Relleno. Fresh poblano peppers stuffed with spicy chorizo and potato and topped with melted Monterrey Jack Cheese and salsa.

If you are a vegetarian or can't make it to the Inn this weekend, you can order our Chile Rellenos any night of the week, but if you like spicy chorizo, join us this weekend for the Diablo Relleno.

If you have your own twist on a relleno, let us know how you make your version.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What are Tomatillos?

Tomatillo - pronounced [toh-MAH-tee-YO] is a relative of the tomato and member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Although they are often called green tomatoes, they are not the same thing as tomatoes. They are related to tomatoes but a different genus. Tomatillos were first cultivated by the Aztecs. The name "tomatillo" comes from the Aztec "miltomatl," which means "round and plump with paper." (The Aztecs called tomatoes "xitomatl.") Tomatillos are also called husk tomatoes and Mexican tomatoes. In Mexico the fruit is called tomates verdes, tomates de cascara as well as fresadillas. The tomatillo is used when it is still green and is an essential ingredient in salsa verde.It provides that tart flavor in many of the Mexican green sauces you enjoy.

If you'd like to give tomatillos a try, let me know how your recipe turns out. You can
also enjoy tomatillos at the Franklin Inn. You'll find them in our green salsa which is great for dipping with chips and atop our chimichangas. The Colorado Green Chile Enchiladas and Grilled Chicken & Green Chile Quesadilla also include this great little Mexican fruit. Ask your server for a side of the green salsa to enjoy with any of your Franklin Inn Favorites.

For a limited time this weekend the Franklin Inn is featuring our Chicken Enchiladas with Green Tomatillo Sauce. A creamy sauce blending green tomatillos, a little onion, diced green chiles, and cilantro over our fabulous chicken enchiladas. A classic favorite among Inn patrons.