M-Th 11AM - 11PM; F-Su 11AM - 2 AM
(609) 777-5337 Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business, review updated September 2015)
Frankye’s is a clean, nearly-charming restaurant on the edge of Chambersburg with first rate Guatemalan food that focuses on grilled meats and seafood. The dining room tables are covered by white table cloths, and the floor sparkles. Yes, there is a large screen TV in the dining room, but depending on how busy they are, they will turn it off or at least turn down the sound.
This is a restaurant that’s grown on us over the years, and we now rate it as one of our favorites. Frankye’s menu is fairly extensive with a focus on grilled meat and seafood dishes. Mixed in with the Guatemalan specialties are standard European dishes (e.g. chicken with sausage and wine sauce, or chicken parmesan). We’ve realized that the chef knows his (or her) business: food always seems to be expertly prepared. For example, my Churrasco (essentially a Guatemalan-style steak platter) came with grilled, sweet plantain. In many restaurants in town this shows up reheated and completely forgettable. On this platter it was extraordinary: freshly and perfectly cooked so that the sugars in the plantain had caramelized, while the fruit stayed moist and tender, and with just the perfect amount of black char to add another flavor texture. By the way, the steak was good too: cooked on a proper grill and quite tender.
I’ve particularly loved Frankye’s Carne Adobada — grilled pork prepared with a dry spice rub (header image). The meat is perfectly cooked – spicy, tender, and still moist. It comes with hand made tortillas, a small scoop of black bean paste, rice, fried sweet plantains, and chismol, a smoky-tasting salsa made from tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. Your dish will come with small bowl of the chismol. If you finish this, your waitress will happily bring more; she can also bring you home made salsa verdes.
Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food and service, competitive with some of Trenton’s legendary Guatemalan dives. There’s a full bar, so you don’t need to BYOB (or can’t, depending on your perspective), and that’s probably where Frankye’s is trying to make its money.
Frankye’s has a lot of competition in Trenton, so why is it a favorite?
- Food quality is a cut better than many Guatemalan restaurants in town, and its consistently well cooked.
- The dining room is much more pleasant than most. It’s clean, comfortable, and nicely decorated. You can take your mom there without worrying about it.
- The menu is much more varied than most, with dishes you won’t find elsewhere, including an extensive seafood selection. You can also find a few Italian dishes on the menu.
Also, apparently, late-night on Saturdays, there’s quite a dance scene. I’ve never gone to Frankye’s at peak bar times, but I imagine it can be noisy.