Hanover, Pennsylvania is a quaint small town where I have lived for the past seven years. Named after Hanover, Germany, it is located in south central Pennsylvania just five miles north of the Mason-Dixon line, and approximately seventeen miles southeast of Gettysburg. While the town itself has over fourteen thousand residents, the Greater Hanover area consists of several smaller areas such as Berwick Township, Conewago Township, Penn Township and West Manheim Township, bringing the population over fifty-five thousand. Hanover has several big-name chain restaurants such as Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesdays and Texas Road House. However, it also has some older, well-established restaurants with casual atmosphere, home-style cooking and reasonable pricing that appeal to seniors.
One of the older establishments in Hanover is The Victory Restaurant located on the main road in the northern part of town. Windows line the dining area, with tables seating four placed throughout the room. Breakfast runs from 7 a.m. until noon during the week, and 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sundays. The frugal minded patron can order two eggs, home fries, toast and a drink for $3.00. Those with a heartier appetite can order steak, two eggs, home fries, toast and coffee for $8.95. Prices for lunch are moderate, with homemade soups for $2.75, hamburgers for $1.80, and salads ranging from a small garden salad for $2.20 to a grilled chicken Caesar salad for $6.95.
The Victory Restaurant offers lunch and dinner platters, which include two side dishes of choice, priced from $6.95 up to $10.75. They also run specials Monday through Friday. Monday is Comfort Food Night with fares including meatloaf, roast beef, and chicken and dumplings. Tuesday is Regional Favorites Night, offering Pretzel roll sandwiches, Philly cheese steak subs, and crab cakes. On Wednesday, chicken wings and poultry are the main courses. Thursdays at The Victory are ½ Price nights for burgers and grilled chicken. Italian fare is the specialty for Friday night, and steaks are Saturday night’s special.
Ryan’s Restaurant, a buffet style establishment, is also located in the northern part of town on a road nicknamed “the golden mile”. Breakfast consists of buffet stands filled with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, home fries, toast, a wide variety of fresh fruits and muffins. The lunch and dinner buffets include anything from build-your-own tacos to meatloaf, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, a variety of fresh and cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, sliced roast beef, steaks made to order, fried or grilled fish fillets, shrimp, salads, puddings and homemade cakes and pies. The restaurant also offers a self-serve soft ice cream machine with many toppings from which to choose. Drinks come with each purchased meal and refills are free. Ryan’s offers discounts to seniors if they join the Senior Club. Adult rates are $7.95 per person. Many seniors in the Hanover area like the buffet for the quality and quantity of food for a price that doesn’t hurt the pocketbook.
Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery is located across from Ryan’s. Breakfast is served all day long, with lunch beginning at 11 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. The Perkins menu has a select set of meals for each category at reduced prices for seniors aged fifty-five and over. The large dining room has several sections with booths and tables in each. The breakfast menu for seniors includes specialty omelets, a short stack of pancakes, cereal, French toast or one egg Benedict, with prices ranging from $4-$6. Lunch and dinner fare for seniors offers soup, grilled cheese, various sandwiches, salads, Butterball turkey with dressing, chicken dinner, pork chops, roast beef or meatloaf. Each entre comes with a choice of two side dishes. The price range for lunch and dinner is from $6.95 – $12.95. Perkins is a popular restaurant with all age groups; so, many times there will be a waiting line of fifteen minutes before a table becomes open, especially on weekends.
Clair’s Diner has been in business for more than twenty-five years and is located at the southern end of Hanover. Breakfast at Clair’s is a favorite with seniors in Hanover, where you can order one to two eggs with bacon or sausage, toast and coffee; hotcakes with syrup, plain or Belgian waffles with coffee, all for under $10.00. The lunch menu offers club sandwiches, tuna melt, salads and homemade soups with prices between $6.95 and $8.95. Clair’s is well known, with patrons both in Hanover and several surrounding towns in Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, for their broasted chicken for dinner. Roast beef with mashed potatoes, ham and open-faced beef sandwiches are some of the other more popular dinner fare. Side dishes include corn, green beans, rice and very tasty corn fritters. Clair’s Diner makes all their ice cream on-site – a favorite is their homemade peach ice cream. Patrons are able to order ice cream for dessert or purchase their favorite flavor to take home. They also make homemade pies. My favorite is a dark chocolate cream pie, which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. Clair’s also offers carryout options.
All four restaurants offer tasty meals, reasonable prices and casual ambience. If you are concerned about prices, Clair’s Diner and The Victory Restaurant have the best prices along with excellent quality and atmosphere. Ryan’s and Perkins offer more variety in slightly more upscale settings with slightly higher menu prices