Located on Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville, the restaurant, brewery and general store are steps away from the up-and-coming little-engine-that-could Hyattsville Arts District. The store and restaurant are in a landmark building built in the 1880’s as a blacksmith and carriage shop. As such, Franklin’s remains a lovable, family-friendly community staple.
The restaurant part of Franklin’s is two stories. The walls are slathered with bright colored paint, and the buzz from the upstairs bar carries down into the main dining room. Families, couples, high school students – this is a hometown kind of place. The casual feel makes it perfect for Sunday afternoon lunch but the bar and brewery transform it into an ideal Friday night bar spot.
Franklin’s brews 10 beers in-house, ranging from the light Bombshell Blonde to the dark spicy Pepper Stout. You can try them in a small flight of four beers, or the full tray of ten samples. I particularly liked the Sierra Madre Pale Ale and the Rubber Chicken Red.
The beers pair perfectly with the American food menu. Franklin’s has a well-run rotation of specials each day, and a big menu with staples. The food isn’t outrageously fantastic, and wouldn’t end up on an Eat Like Me, but sometimes that’s okay. I can get down with some simple, fresh American food, too.
My accomplice recommended the fries in buffalo sauce with blue cheese dip. When describing them to me before we got there she says, “they’re steak fries, and… omnomnomnom scarffle snarfle!”, which pretty much said it all. The food is simple but fresh, the yummy Not My Mothers Waldorf Salad had crispy green apples and bacon. The entrees are heavily focused on seafood, but I wound up getting the steak tacos because they spoke to me.
The general store is the next reason to visit Franklin’s. Perfect for holiday shopping, there is literally something for everyone in there. Unique toys, like ugly doll, and wooden kitchen sets and silly stuffed animals make it fun to shop for children. Farther back the store has jewelry, fun kitchen utensils, notebooks, greeting cards, and then a wide selection of wine and beers by the bottle. An excellent selection of soaps and lotions, but also gag gifts and silly Urban Outfitters-style sassy trinkets. Almost anything you can think of, you can buy at Franklin’s.
Between the beer, the food, and the general store, Hyattsville could be the perfect holiday shopping, drinking and eating destination for those of us who avoid Tyson’s Corner like the plauge.