Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now Available at the Inn: Dulce Vida Organic Tequila

Dulce Vida Organic Tequila is now available at the Franklin Inn.  This company produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila in the world and has received numerous awards.

Today we are featuring Dulce Vida's  Reposado Tequila. It is the winner of the highest honor, the Best of Category/Gold Medal, at the 2012 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.

Reposado, or “rested” tequila, is aged anywhere from two months to one year. Dulce Vida’s Reposado spends 11 months in American Bourbon Whiskey barrels to create a light yellow-gold, medium to full bodied tequila. When you taste it, you’ll notice delicate agave, barrel wood and citrus with strong fruit flavor notes and a mild, sweet finish. Check out Dulce Vida's website for more cool details about their completely vertically integrated methods.

Try it alone or sample as part of today's Featured Tequila Flight ($8). Let us know which you like the best:

Patron (Blanco)
Dulce Vida Organic (Reposado)
Tre Generations (Anejo)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Our Birthday!

The Franklin Inn is 34!
Stop in Today for Birthday Cake.
Thank you to all of our patrons, staff, and vendors through these years that have made 34 years possible. We love you!

We're so blessed for the opportunity to be your neighborhood restaurant all these years. We've made wonderful memories together. I "married" the restaurant over a decade ago, but many of you, and some of our staff, have been with the Inn even longer. You may have grown up with the Inn. A lot of our area's teens landed their first job with us. One of my favorite testimonials is from a child who wrote me, "I have loved the Franklin Inn all my life."We've had a lot of celebrations together: Birthdays, Marriage Proposals, Anniversaries, New Jobs, Retirement Parties, and more. A few years ago we ran a "Thank you for the Memories" Contest in honor of our 30th birthday.  You can read some of the stories on our website. Thank you for sharing life's special moments with us and for your continued patronage to our little restaurant.

I was going to order a cake for our celebration but Chris wants to bake it in-house for you. Join us today for lunch or dinner. No need for a certificate today. Your server will offer you a piece of cake while supplies last. Feel free to invite a friend and introduce him or her to the Inn as well. We love to make new friends.

Besides a free piece of birthday cake there are a few other things going on at the Inn Today:

It's $2 Tuesday: 
Dos Equis Amber Drafts are just $2 all day today.

Happy Hour Today (4pm to 6pm)
(available in both the bar and dining room)

$2 Draft Beers
Discounted Margaritas
Most appetizers are half off. 
Try my favorite: Black Bean Dip with Chipotle Pepper Sauce, Feta Cheese and Lemon Sour Cream. Yum.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reasons to Spend Black Friday at the Inn....

Franklin InnNOT located in the shopping traffic craziness. We're tucked away in Franklin Park just minutes from 279 (Camp Horne Road Exit) and 79 (Mt. Nebo Exit). And about 15 or 20 minutes from Ross Park Mall!

We open at 11am today. We'll cook you a delicious homemade lunch using the best ingredients. Fresh produce, homemade chorizo, the best meats from our butcher, Tom Friday, and more. If you've already been out there searching for deals, take a break and relax with us. 

Special Feature today is the oh so popular Steak Burrito: Char-grilled Steak and a creamy pimiento cheese sauce made with Monterey Jack in a flour tortilla and served with stir fry green beans.  One year we switched it up and tried something different. We heard "loud and clear" that the Franklin Inn Steak Burrito is an annual tradition for you.  Karen made you Tortilla Soup and John made you Butter Pecan and Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream today too. 

Mason Jar Margaritas! Need I say more? Felix is doing the "Happy Dance" because the Sam Adams Winter Lager is now available at the Inn. We've also got two new beers on tap: St. Nikolaus Bock and  a Little Sumpin' Sumpin Ale.


Happy Hour Today  - 4pm to 6pm. 
All draft beers are $2
Margaritas are discounted 
Half Price on most Appetizers

Enjoy all of the above while checking folks off your gift list.  No lines. No wrong sizes. No Returns. No Hassles Franklin Inn Gift Cards are a practical gift available in any amount. A great present for your loved ones, teachers and more. You may not be able to send them on a Mexican Vacation but you can treat them to a two-hour respite of relaxation with delicious food.

Don't forget that we can cater your Holiday Party too.  From one pan of something yummy for the potluck to large group catering....we've got you covered. Perfect for work luncheons, holiday parties, birthdays, Pharmaceutical reps, church functions & more. Enjoy your favorite Mexican food at YOUR location. 

Start your holiday season with us. We look forward to seeing you today. 



Monday, October 15, 2012

New Happy Hour!

We have a treat not a trick for you this Fall!
We are "happy" to announce that the
Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant now has a 
Fall Happy Hour!  

Our New Happy Hour is available Monday thru Friday from 4pm to 6pm in both the bar and the dining room.  Featured are the famous mason jar margaritas: $4 off a full mason jar and $2 off a half mason jar.  All draft beers will be just $2.  Half off of the Inn's delicious homemade appetizers too (except hot wings...we feature them Monday nights from 7-9 in the bar for 40 cents).

We have not had a happy hour in years (more than a decade).  John recalls his mom having one years ago. We are very excited about this and can't wait for you to visit us and check it out.  Enjoy and let us know your thoughts as we roll out this new opportunity for you to meet friends and enjoy our treats at the Inn.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's National Taco Day!

Share a taco with someone you love today
or someone you need to make peace with.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins (Vegan and Wheat free)

I'm getting lots of zukes in my CSA box so I'm looking for ways to use them up and wanted to find a dessert that Julia could eat.  I chose this recipe with a few minor tweaks and my non-allergy children loved them too.  I had to make them stop eating them so poor Julia could enjoy them.  I wish I would've doubled the recipe (while everything was still out and a mess!  I cleaned the kitchen up while they were baking.) but I wasn't sure how they'd turn out with the gluten free flour. These muffins are super-moist, a bit springy and tasty.

Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins (Fat Free, Gluten Free, Vegan)
by Speakin' Vegan on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 8:29pm ·
Servings: 12
  •  cups gluten free baking mix ( I used Tom Sawyer that I bought at Naturally Soergel)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (We also added Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks and Julia was heavy-handed!)
  •  tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 whole banana, mashed
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (I didn't have applesauce so I used olive oil here)
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin pan and set aside. If using paper liners, lightly spray inside of liners with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. In another bowl, cream mashed banana with applesauce and sugar (use extra 1/2 cup for a very sweet, dessert-like muffin). Add in milk, vanilla, zucchini and any other optional add-ins you might like such as vegan chocolate chips. Stir until evenly combined. Add flour mix to wet mix in 3-4 batches and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan and bake 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Adapted for gluten free diet from

Saturday, July 14, 2012

First top on the Ride for Ryan 2012...

The First Stop before the 2012 Ride for Ryan begins is Wednesday, July 18, at the Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant. Bring this coupon to the Inn for lunch or dinner and 20% of your bill will be donated to the Ryan Diviney Special Needs Trust.  You can enjoy a nice meal and help a family in need.

Please refer to our blog post about this event from last year for more information about Ryan, his story and his needs:

Here is a message from John Maletta regarding this year's charity ride:
"Scot Reed, George Gardner, Joe Maletta and I have upped the ante for this year’s Ride For Ryan bicycle trip fundraiser. We are planning a 480-mile, 6-day bike ride across New York state and southern Ontario to raise funds for Ryan Diviney’s Special Needs Trust. We are spearheading this very special effort for the son of my old college roommate and I am asking you to consider helping us. More about Ryan's story can be found by visiting

This is a targeted fundraiser to purchase a new piece of therapy equipment. The machine is called the RT300 from Restorative Therapy. The final price tag is $17,500. This is a vital piece of therapy equipment and Ryan’s Special Needs Trust does not have enough money in it at this time to cover the full cost of the equipment. The International Brain Research Foundation (IBRF) is advocating this for Ryan. Ryan has experienced a couple of broken bones during routine physical therapy because his bone density has diminished over the past couple years. This device provides electrical impulses to stimulate Ryan’s muscles to actually do the work. This therapy actually builds muscles, increases bone density, gives a cardio-vascular workout, and provides electrical stimulation that has the possibility to train the brain to work with muscles and to re-learn movements."

Maybe Felix will join the Ride for Ryan again this year. Biking 480 miles is not for the faint of heart! Our admiration, thoughts and prayers go with these men. Please join us next Wednesday to help give them encouragement, moral support and a fundraising kick start! You'll enjoy a great meal and help in the effort to raise funds for a family in desperate need. If Wednesday isn't possible, you can still make a donation. Visit to make a direct donation. Thank you for your consideration. Hope to see you on Wednesday!

This was where the 2011 journey started.


After 320 miles they were still smiling!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat now on draft & Three Chile Adobe Marinated Steak

First off, I want to let you know that we have a new beer on tap: Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat.

According to the company, "Brewed with just a touch of coriander spice, this award-winning Belgian-style beer has a slight creaminess, dry tart finish and soothing citrus. Winner of the 2006 Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival® and 2006 Bronze Award at the World Beer Cup® in the Herb and Spice category."    It goes great with spicy food!  Try it tonight with our special menu feature:

Sirloin Steak with Three Chile Adobe Sauce

While Karen is away, John gets to the kitchen that is! They usually chase him out except to allow him to make ice cream! However, with Karen on vacation, there is a little more elbow room. John was able to experiment and create a wonderful three chile adobe sauce. He toasted and pureed ancho, pasilla and chipotle chiles and cooked his sauce together with this puree and other wonderful ingredients like allspice berries, garlic and black pepper. He then marinated sirlion steaks in this wonderful concoction. These steaks will be grilled to your liking tonite and served with a special rice that John also created and, of course, stir fry green beans. We almost always serve stir fry green beans with our steak specials. I get unhappy emails when we don't! My iphone photo is not so great but the food is. Enjoy and let me know how you like it.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa Recipe

My kids are celebrating the end of the school year while I'm celebrating the start of the most wonderful produce time of the year! We are blessed here in Franklin Park to be surrounded by great farm markets. I've been frequenting Kaelin Farm Market and driving them crazy with my questions about which flowers I can plant in my yard (I have major deer issues. Do you? They think I plant flowers for their pleasure!). My yard may be a fight I can't win but one of these days I'm going to plant a veggie garden at the Inn.

Do you see three deer hiding and checking out my flowers? 
They think they are invisible!
Kaelins has given me great advice on which flowers to plant at the Inn too. My shady yard has very different conditions than the sunny restaurant.  Soergel Orchard has not been immune to my many questions. I attended the Herb Lady's seminar there a few weeks ago and have my herb garden started (BTW, they have a great little store behind the main market called Naturally Soergels. I'm able to get many items for my daughter with multiple food allergies there.).  My in-laws insist that Shenot's has the best fudge and later this summer will have the best corn around. I'm waiting for their blueberry picking.

Another source of local produce being enjoyed by my family recently is through my subscription to a CSA box from a farm near Zelienople, Kretschmann Organic Farms. Many Inn patrons have called and inquired about the mysterious wooden crates of produce showing up on our side porch Tuesday afternoons. If you want to learn more about it, just click here to visit Kretschmann's website. The Franklin Inn is a pick up site for local families that subscribe. It's fun to see what the box holds each week and a great learning experience for my kids. I look forward to making kale chips next with my fresh greens (Don't worry...they're for my family....we aren't replacing our tortilla chips!).

This is the home experiment version.
Don Kretschmann, emailed me last week to say that strawberries were having a "banner" year. He had extra strawberries that I could purchase. I said, "Heck yeah!" I needed a little inspiration and knew we'd be able to make you something special with these sweet June Gems! Not being able to wait for the strawberries to arrive with my weekly box, I raced to Soergels  (they have yummy strawberries growing now too). I wanted to come up with something awesome for you. After experimenting, a delicious strawberry salsa was born. We all loved it (including the kids!).  My Kretschmann strawberries arrived....Sweet, juicy, and delicious. They certainly are "banner" berries! I passed the berries and the recipe over to Karen. She took over, made a few tweaks of her own and prepared the salsa. Thus, our special menu feature:
We "fancied it up" a bit for you
with feta cheese and vinaigrette.

Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa
A plate of "fresh". Chicken marinated in rosemary, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and lime juice on a bed of green. It's topped with a strawberry salsa, sprinkled with feta cheese and given a zig zag of roasted garlic vinaigrette.

John, of course, had to steal away some of the strawberries for his own purposes.  He made you Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream that is out of this world.

I've been asked if I'd share the Strawberry Salsa recipe. So, here it is:

Wendy's Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa
(Adjust ingredient amounts to your liking)
* 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained & 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
(This is what I happened to have at home...when Karen made this at the Inn she told me she preferred all fresh tomatoes)
* 1.5 sweet white onion chopped  (I think red onion would be great too)
* 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (Go for more if you like more heat.  John wanted to add crushed red pepper flakes but Karen did not)
*3 Garlic Cloves, minced (personally, I could've added more but didn't want kill the kids!)
* 2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
* 1 tbs olive oil
* 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar (Karen used rice vinegar)
* Bunch of fresh cilantro chopped (save a few leaves for garnish)
* Salt to taste (I used just a pinch)

Mix it together by hand or with your food processor.  There you have it.  Great on grilled chicken and I bet fish as well.  Some of the staff were happy eating it with our tortilla chips too. If you make it let me know how it turned out and if you made your own tweaks. Or, you can let us do the work for you. Come enjoy it at the Inn while the strawberries last. Then, its on to the next harvest :  )  Kale chips anyone?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Troegs Summer Pils now on Tap

Bye Bye Shock Top....Hello Tröegs Sunshine Pils!

Now on tap at the Franklin Inn is Tröegs Sunshine Pils. Come on in and try this refreshing pilsner style beer available on tap or in a bottle. This dry and refreshing beer is brewed locally in a brand new brewery in Hershey PA.

From the company, " Hop fans rejoice! Sunshine Pils combines the crisp taste of European style pilsners with a kicked-up hop character to create a balanced, refreshing seasonal beer. Golden in color with a fluffy white head, Sunshine Pils is the perfect beer for Summer."

This beer goes great with salads and fish.  Pair it with our Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with jalapeno vinaigrette or one of our famous taco salads.  It would also be amazing with our fish tacos, mango shrimp or sizzling shrimp fajitas.  If you are more traditional, we'll make you a fish sandwich to wash down with your Sunshine Pils.

Here are the stats:
Tröegs Sunshine Pils®
Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBUs): 45
Color (SRM): Straw/ Golden
Availability: Seasonal
Malts: Pilsner, Crystal
Hops: Saaz, Hallertau Mitt.
Yeast: Lager


2011 Great American Beer Festival - Silver Medal - German-Style Pilsener
2009 Great American Beer Festival - Bronze Medal - German style Pilsner
2008 World Beer Cup - Bronze Medal - German Style Pils

Visit us today and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Here's how we make Diablo Rellenos

I happened to have my trusty iphone handy today while Karen was prepping the Diablo Rellenos for tonight's dinner special.  She put up with me taking a few photos as long as I promised to only show her hands (and not even her full about camera-shy!)

This dish, Diablo Rellenos, is one of our best selling weekend specials. The demand is so high that we often sell out. We are probably going to add them to the menu full time. The more traditional deep-fried version, Chile Rellenos, is available on our dinner menu and a great option for our vegetarian friends.

Below are our lovely green poblano peppers. Poblanos are usually mild. The red ones are a lot hotter than the green ones. Occasionally and unexpectedly you may experience a hot green poblano. When dried, they are referred to as an Ancho Chile.  The heat rating of a green poblano is mild and the Scoville rating is 1,000-1,500.

Karen hand roasts these peppers and then peels them to remove the waxy skin. It takes a while to do this but it improves the texture. Our green beauties from above look ugly at this point but looks are deceiving!
Here is the stuffing the Karen prepared to go into the roasted poblanos. Some of the ingredients include chorizo, onions, potatoes and pepper jack cheese. The meat and veggies are fully cooked prior to stuffing.
Karen generously fills each roasted poblano. Those are Karen's hands!

These guys are ready for you to order. They are fully cooked. Right about now, Phil and Steve are topping them with melted Jack Cheese and our also homemade salsa and serving them over rice.  I was unable to get a pretty photo of the finished dish.  I'll try again later. They don't photograph too well but boy do they taste good.  We will be serving these now through Cinco de Mayo.  They do sell out each night but Karen will be roasting more poblanos and making more for you in the morning.  It takes a lot of time to hand roast and peel these poblanos for you but, we think you are worth it. Enjoy! And, let us know what you think.

Update:  I wasn't able to get a "pretty" picture of the finished product.  I'm not a photographer. But, John managed to snap a pretty good one last night. Once I cut the background out, it doesn't look so bad.  The taste, however, is more than is gorgeous...a knock out!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chorizo Quesadilla, Ancho Honey Pork Tenderloin and more....

Here are the special features for this evening. All homemade of course especially for you:

* Mexican Wedding Soup
* Cheese Cilantro
* Hand made chicken or pork tamales
See how we make them here.
(click here to learn how we make our tamales)

 Ancho Honey Pork Tenderloin
Garlic & Cilantro rubbed roasted pork tenderloin drizzled with a flavorful Ancho Honey Sauce. Served with Cheddar Poblano Mashed Potatoes and Cinnamon Chipotle flat bread. 13

Chorizo Quesadilla
Two large flour tortillas stuffed with cheeses, chorizo and pico de gallo
then grilled. Served with sour cream. 12

Torta de Queso
A luscious homemade cinnamon graham cracker crust
cheese cake drizzled with Mexican hot fudge.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Music Munchies & Margaritas is a Must See!

Update!!! Music Night has been moved to the
3rd Friday of the Month after 10pm! 

Our regular musician are feeling confident to take open mic music night from Tuesday to Friday! It has been a blast and we've had some great talent show up each week. The music ability has been amazing plus this is a fun gang to hang out with.

Not a musician? Me neither! The only thing I play is a radio. If you aren't a musician just come hang out with a drink and a snack.

You are a musician? Come jam with us. This is an intimate venue so there is no need to be intimidated. It's been mostly guitars and drums but we think a fiddle or a banjo would be cool too.

Here are some samples of what you can expect most weeks. Excuse the quality. These videos (except the one of Brendon's dad) were all taken with my iPhone.  Amateurish.  But,  I wanted to give you a peek into what is going on Tuesday nights.


Brendon performing a song he wrote called "Bubble Up"

Brendon's Dad, Vince Beatty....

John (yes...the owner... and Wade)

Ben Wilson
Brendon Beatty
Dixon and Randy

This weekend at the Franklin Inn....

We have lots of tasty specials for you today.  

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Steak Burrito
Char-grilled Steak and a creamy pimiento cheese sauce made with Monterey Jack in a flour tortilla. Served with rice and stir fry green beans.  13.95

Mexican Mac & Cheese
A Mexi-American fusion of Cheddar, Jack, & Chihuahua cheeses, peppers, & chorizo topped with panko bread crumbs. Baked until golden and served with  Cinnamon Chipotle flat bread. 12.95

Save Room For Dessert

Dulche De Leche Toffee Cake,
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream,
Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae, Sopaipillas & More!
Ask your server for details.

Friday, April 13, 2012

T-Shirt Inspiration in a Salad Dressing Bottle

The Franklin Inn has seen many t-shirt designs over the past 33 years. None, however, has been quite as popular as our "Fill to this Line with Margaritas" tie dye.  How did this popular but simple concept come into being? Believe it or not a salad dressing mixer. It'll make sense soon....

Several years ago while cleaning his office; John came across a very old Franklin Inn t-shirt he had forgotten about. It said, "Fill to this Line with Margaritas."  He thought it would be fun to offer them again, so he asked me to create artwork for the printer.  I asked John where the idea originated. He guessed that either his mom or Aunt Noreen had created the tag line.

Upon further investigation, I found out that Aunt Noreen (who managed the Franklin Inn at one time) did indeed suggest it. Apparently, the inspiration was born from the process of measuring her homemade salad dressing in a bottle with lines for each ingredient. You know....oil to this line...vinegar to that line. She realized that the bartenders did the same thing when mixing up margaritas. They used the lines of the mason jar to guide them through the recipes. Ah ha! "A t-shirt with this concept would be great," she decided. Aunt Noreen was on to something. A simple but brilliant design."Fill to this Line with Margaritas."

The original "Fill to this Line With Margaritas" shirts were printed on solid colors. I suggested to John that we have them printed on tie dyes. Wow! It was a killer combination. They took off like wild fire and we've been offering them for several years now.  We can't keep them in stock. The staff and our patrons go crazy for them.

Folks are always asking me to call them or email them when we get this color or that size in. At first I tried to accommodate everyone's requests for colors and sizes, but honestly, I couldn't keep up with the requests. After all, I'm in the restaurant business....not the t-shirt business. Plus, there isn't much space at the Inn to hold shirts for pick up. I now order the most often requested colors and combinations and then offer them to our patrons on a first come, first served basis.

I have received photos of folks wearing them and heard stories of folks being recognized wearing them all over the country. John, himself, was stopped during a trip to OBX by another vacationer who recognized the shirt. He asked John if he also frequented the Franklin Inn in Pittsburgh (lol!).

This is my favorite patron provided tie-dye-wearing photo....maybe because I've given birth three times. I know there are other moms out there who can relate!  This is Terri about to give birth in the labor and delivery room!!! Btw, Terri owns a great business called Beyond the Office. Look her up. I have to give her a plug for her willingness to send me a photograph at this particular time! Don't you think she'd be fun to work with? I think she won this shirt by being the Mayor on Four Square. See! Make sure you check in. You never know.

These fun shirts are back in stock in the colors at the top of this page. These are real tie dyes that I have printed up locally by Touch of Grey Tees. If you have your heart set on a particular color or size, it is best if you don't delay your next visit to the Franklin Inn.

P.S. I'd love for you to send me a photograph of you wearing your Franklin Inn T-Shirt. Can you top Terri's locale?

Friday, April 6, 2012

John & Karen Make Crab Cakes

I love my little iphone! I was able to sneak a few photographs of John and "Camera-shy" Karen creating this weekend's tasty Fiesta Crab Cakes.  Here's how we make our crab cakes.....

Some fresh herbs, spices and veggies all chopped and ready to go. Don't worry. We didn't use all that fresh chopped garlic in your crab cake.

  John "massaging" the lump crab...

 while Karen mixes the wet ingredients.
John incorporates his crab with Karen's ingredients 
John makes a cake (left photo). Karen makes a cake too (right).

 John is impressed by Karen's crab cake, so he leaves the rest to her and takes a break. Shouldn't he be making ice cream?
Karen weighs the crab cakes to make sure they are 4 oz. each. Aren't they pretty? She makes the Red Chile Sauce too!
 She passes the crab cakes along with the plantains and asparagus to Phil and his crew. Who will cook them to perfection for you!