Franklin House: Valparaiso, IN

On a recent afternoon out in Valparaiso, I had a couple hours to kill while my son was at a rehearsal and I wanted to try out a new eatery. I only get out to Valpo a handful of times each year, but each time I try to seek out a place I haven't tried because there's just such a good food scene there. So, I asked Siri for some spots nearby. There were a couple that I've heard good things about and wanted to try, but being a Monday between lunch and dinner time, a few of those weren't yet open. I did find, however, that Franklin House was just a couple blocks away. I'd heard good things and hadn't tried it, so I drove right over.

A sign indicated that it's the oldest pub in the county. It dates back to 1857. I was pretty hangry, so I got in quick and found a table. Being from Illinois, I forget that when you go to Indiana people can still smoke indoors there. I haven't been in a restaurant or bar that you can smoke inside for a very long time. If I wasn't so hangry, I may have moved on to another spot because I'm not a smoker, but I'm glad I stayed because my burger was pretty fantastic.

As soon as I peeked at the menu, I realized that I had tried Franklin House before at a burger fest where they were serving their House Burger - with Swiss cheese, bacon, fried egg, peanut butter and mayo on a pretzel bun. That's not the kind of burger you forget.

I decided to build my own burger and got provolone cheese with lettuce, pickle, tomato, spring mix, mayo and bacon & onion jam on a brioche bun paired with some tater tots. The burger was outstanding. That bacon & onion jam - OMG. So good. And I hadn't had tots in forever and they always remind me of high school cafeteria days, so had to get those. I don't know what they do to them, but they were really delicious - very crispy without being greasy.

I'd ordered a salad, thinking it would come first, but I asked for a side salad, so I guess I goofed and she brought it as a side. Anyway, the salad ended up being monstrous and I wanted to eat the burger while it was hot, so I tried a bite and took the salad home. It made a nice dinner later in the evening. The burger and tots were more than filling. I took home half of the burger, too. It was an awesome lunch and a spot I'd revisit it again for sure.

Franklin House
58 Campbell St.
Valparaiso, IN