Editor’s Note: Last year, Michael and Nicole Borrell began reviewing Lebanon Valley’s restaurants and eating attractions as the Lebanon Valley Food Critics. Since then, the couple has aimed to offer unbiased reviews of the eating and drinking establishments the Lebanon Valley has to offer. LebTown is pleased to be partnering with LVFC to share these reviews with our readers. Bon appétit!
Both of us took the day off in the middle of the week during the holidays, and the grandparents had the little critic, so we decided to head out for lunch, just the two of us. We opted to make it a little day date, so that means we sit down to eat. We decided to head over to the Gin Mill.
Located on the corner of Cumberland Street and 4th Avenue in Lebanon, the Gin Mill was suggested by several of our followers. It had been a while since we visited the Gin Mill; we ordered take-out from them back during the shutdown but other than that it’s one restaurant we don’t always remember when we’re trying to decide where to eat.
Lebanon Gin Mill
324 E. Cumberland St.
Lebanon, PA 17042
Phone: (717) 273-2729
Mon: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Tue: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wed: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Thu: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
We were excited to try it again and see if it lived up to everyone’s recommendation. We started out with one of the specials, the French Dip egg roll appetizer. I’m always a fan of egg rolls, and this paired a typical cheesesteak egg roll with a small dish of French onion soup to dip. What we tasted was a unique and yummy combination of two of my favorite appetizers! With an appetizer like this, of course our meals would be equally good.
I decided to try something I used to love to order when we went to the beach: a crab cake BLT. What could go wrong? Well … there were a lot of flavors on this sandwich, and it wasn’t as complementary as I thought it should be. The first layer was American cheese, which if it was melted would have been fine, but I had to scrape it off. That’s just a personal preference for me, and if I would have read the description correctly, I would have asked for it to be omitted.
The crab cake was good, but the other flavors of the sweet fire tartar sauce and bacon overpowered the taste of it.
I don’t consider myself a terribly picky eater and I’m willing to try almost anything. But I am not a fan of overly smoked meats, which is what I found with the bacon on this sandwich. Because of that, I had the other critic try it and he even said it was very strong on the smoke flavor. It would have worked beautifully on a BBQ-style burger, but on this sandwich, it was just too much. It was also very thick cut chunks of bacon, which made for difficulty chewing. I really wanted to like this sandwich, but it fell short and would have been better if it was more simplistic, maybe with just a simple mayo and bacon slices.
One redeeming feature of this meal was the Sidewinder Fries. Oh, were they good! Crispy on the outside, nice and fluffy on the inside. We’ll be ordering these again.
The other critic decided to have an old tried and true meal, fish & chips. The fish was good and crispy, along with the fries. You know those battered fries that are crunchy outside, they’re always good. However, for all that the Gin Mill offers, we were rather surprised that it wasn’t hand-battered fish, but it was the kind you order from the food service companies. The portion size was more than ample, made for a second meal the next day.
Our take: The Gin Mill offers American-style pub fare and dinner specials each night of the week along with a wide drink list. They put together menu items that could really make them stand out. Unfortunately, in our opinion, some of their dishes come up short. Though we didn’t have it this time, they put together a pretty good burger. Our service was good. It is nice inside with the cozy atmosphere.
We give this place ???.
If you have a restaurant you would like us to visit or review, whether a place you like or are nervous to try, please message us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We thank everyone for the recommendations and the kind words we have received.