I know I promised this review last week. I put it off a little too long so I’m going to try to write about everything I can remember. We had a pretty big group, so if any of you are reading this, feel free to chime in below in the comment section.
Ever since I moved to Pittsburgh, I’ve read various reviews about the Franklin Inn, most of which said that it is one of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to check it out, but I was never 100% sure where it was and it always kind of just slipped my mind.
With my upcoming move from Pittsburgh, I’m trying to make it a point to try all of the food spots on my list that I’ve still yet to make it to – so the Franklin Inn was the first on that list.
On the ride there, my buddy Will decided to do some research of his own by reading some online reviews from his phone, since he had never heard of the place. Mixed in with some really good reviews, there were several reviews mentioning that the bar service was horrible. “Well good thing we won’t be eating at the bar”, was my response.
When we finally arrived (it’s about a 40 min hike from Penn Hills) – we found our friends, of course waiting at the bar. They said it was about a 30-40 min wait for a table, so we sat down with them and ordered some drinks along with chips and salsa. The NCAA tournament was playing on the big screen tv and we eventually just decided to stay at the bar and just order our food from there so that we could watch the games and forgo the wait for a table. The bar service seemed just fine at this point…
I went with the “Mexican Mini Combination” – which according to the menu: “Create your own dinner with smaller versions of your Mexican favorites.”
I decided to add 3 items for a cost of $13.95. I chose a burrito, an enchilada, and a chile relleno. Now I realize that the menu does say “smaller” version, but for $13.95 I still expected an average sized burrito. Well in this case, the word “Mini” is no exaggeration. If you check out my picture on the right, the burrito is literally big enough for about 2 bites.
I really wish the burrito was a bit bigger, because it was really good. The meal did come with 2 sides and I chose the Mexican rice and the bean and corn salad, which is served cold.
My friend Will went some sort of enchilada meal (I think the Frisco Enchiladas) which I think he really liked as well. It was served with a side or rice and a side salad, although I don’t think he was a fan of the dressing.
Our other friends are nacho connoisseurs, so they of course had to start with the Nacho Grande. For only $8.95 they got what looked like about 3lbs of chips, meat, cheese, and whatever else you would usually find in a pile of nachos (were they missing jalapenos?). They weren’t their favorite nachos ever, but being nacho connoisseurs, they are hard to please. I tried a few nachos and I enjoyed them. If you are trying to get the most bang for your buck, go with the nachos.
A few other notes from what I can remember:
- I didn’t have a margarita, but several people in our group ordered more than one each, which to me means that they liked them.
- The chorizo burrito was the surprise hit of the night. The “nacho couple” ordered it and shared it with the group. It was definitely my favorite item from the night, with a really good smokey flavor.
- For being located in the middle of nowhere, the place was pretty packed the entire time we were there, with a lot of people waiting in the lobby for tables when we left.
And that brings us back to the bar service. Sadly one member of our group, Doug, arrived a little later than the rest. Although he did place an order for food, he never received his food. Doug was not happy with the Franklin Inn and vowed to boycott it for the rest of his life. Overall though, I must say that the service was really good, with the bartender even calling each of us out by name – unfortunately she just forgot about Doug.
I liked the place. The food was great, though my bite sized burrito was a little disappointing. I’d definitely go again if the place wasn’t 40 minutes from my house. Unfortunately, I’m leaving Pittsburgh soon, so this will probably be my first and last visit to the Franklin Inn for the foreseeable future. If you love Mexican food like I do and you want to try something different, then add the Franklin Inn to your list.