Savoring Gettysburg one bite at a time

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — — Halfway through the eight-stop Savor Gettysburg Food Tour, I was slowing down. I had already eaten chicken fajitas and pork carnitas at El Costeno, followed by gooey macaroni and cheese with big lumps of crab meat at One Lincoln. I had sampled more than a few varieties of hard cider and red wine at the retail shop of Hauser Estate Winery.

Now, seated at the rustic wooden bar on the second floor of the Garryowen Irish Pub, I looked warily at the dish in front of me, laden with yet more food: a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes topped with a single sausage slice and slivers of caramelized onion; a six-bite serving of shepherd's pie; and a tiny breakfast sandwich, consisting of a quarter-sized sweet biscuit, topped with a round of ham and a quail's egg.


"Fun fact," said our tour guide, Lori Korczyk, in the same cheerful tone she had employed all morning, whether she was telling us about the excellent local restaurants or the horrific Civil War battle that had made thw town famous. "We're only halfway through."

She was right — after the Irish pub, we ate a sweet brie gougere with raspberry compote at the charming Cafe St. Amand, followed by a frosted cupcake washed down with a creamy cinnamon latte at the Gettysburg Cupcake Cafe. Then we walked to the Historic Farnsworth Inn for a melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin fritter and a serving of savory game pie, loaded with bits of turkey, duck and pheasant and topped with a flaky crust. Our final stop was Mr. G's Homemade Ice Cream, where we each ordered a scoop of house-made ice cream.


I was on the Savor Gettysburg tour with six other people — sisters Natalie and Victoria Temple, who live in Hanover, Pa.; sisters Ellie and Laura Ruff of Philadelphia, in town for a wedding; and Joni and Max Kaiser, who live in Nebraska and added a few days to a Gettysburg business trip. None of us had been on a food tour before, even though they are offered in cities around the world, including Annapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

"I'm really surprised nobody has done this before," Korczyk told me as our tour began. But perhaps nobody else had combined Korczyk's knack for organization, comfort with public speaking, and interests in both Gettysburg's food and its history.

Like many people who gravitate toward Gettysburg, Korczyk is a Civil War buff, a re-enactor with the 2nd Rhode Island Company D. She started Savor Gettysburg in March.

Her tours, offered spring through late fall, are a carefully orchestrated three hours and 15 minutes of food, drink and history. Each restaurant stop was precisely 15 minutes, except for 20 minutes at the wine shop because "I don't like when people gulp wine," she said.

While we sampled one or two signature dishes or drinks at each location, Korczyk told us about the business, its owners, and any history associated with its site. As we walked from one eating spot to the next, she stopped at some of the town's most famous sites, telling us 151-year-old stories and showing us the hotel where President Abraham Lincoln finished composing the Gettysburg Address and the home of the sole civilian casualty in the battle, Jennie Wade.

Gettysburg, about an hour and a half from Baltimore, has a population of fewer than 8,000 people. But it bustles with visitors because it is, of course, home to the Gettysburg National Military Park, where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in 1863. And a steady stream of visitors means plenty of opportunity for ambitious restaurateurs.

"This is a really neat way to experience Gettysburg," said Laura Ruff as we left the wine shop, where employee Brendalynn Rakoske had poured us glass after glass of wine and cider while urging us to sample the red wine with dark chocolate made at the Wilber Chocolate Factory in Lititz, Pa. (Victoria Temple, three months shy of legal drinking age, was given a soda.)

Korczyk leads her tours for two to 12 people, rain or shine, on Saturdays and Sundays. We met at the El Costeno restaurant on York Street, where she gave us all little plastic bags with our itinerary, coupons for the places we'd visit, and a bottle of water. At 11 on the dot, she began by asking us to introduce ourselves, then she led us inside, where our first meal was waiting.


"If any of you are on a diet, you need to put that away," Korczyk warned us. "We're going to get our food on, in a big way."

If you go

For information and to sign up for a Savor Gettysburg tour, visit