FEATURED VENDOR – KLINGER’S ON CARSONIA
Our Neighborhood Place!
by Denise Gierula
Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same. (Feel free to sing along at home!) You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
It’s always the Cheers theme song that comes to mind when I visit Klinger’s On Carsonia, a family-operated, casual restaurant and pub located at 721 Carsonia Avenue in beautiful Pennside. Mark Klinger said, “I think how close this community is helps our business. It’s hard to step foot in the door and not know someone if you are from the neighborhood. It is great for us to be able to have a place that means so much for so many people”.
As if you needed yet another reason to get up early Saturday morning and come out to our market, Klinger’s is a weekly vendor at the Antietam Farmers Market and a crowd favorite. Their market menu includes their ever-popular breakfast wraps (portable so you can still shop), mac and cheese, frozen take home soups and chili, those addictive hand cut potato chips and more. I asked Mark what made him decide to join our farmers market in addition to running a restaurant and he replied “Many customers mention to us that they wish they could just go to the store and purchase some of our products because they are different than you can get at the store or even at other restaurants. The market was the first real opportunity we’ve had to put our products out for the masses to purchase to take home and eat at their convenience.” A large container of Klinger’s chili is a staple in my freezer. Thawed in the microwave, their chili is nutritious and delicious paired with a salad and cornbread. It makes a quick and easy meal on a busy weeknight and is always on my weekly farmers market-shopping list…along with Klinger’s potato chips.
Established in January 2010, Klinger’s On Carsonia is owned and operated by Mark Klinger and his brother Aaron. Mark is quick to acknowledge that without the support of his parents, Dennis and Ginny, he would never have been able to achieve what may have only been a dream. Mark has years of restaurant experience stemming from his Kutztown University days as a manager at the local McDonalds, where he got hooked on the fast paced, high energy restaurant business, to The Works and Chili’s. Mark said, “I learned a lot about running a great restaurant in my experiences, but there were always things I wanted to do differently. When a friend told me about “the old Maxie’s” being available, I brought the whole family along to look at it. From the first minute we walked inside we knew it was exactly what we were looking for.”
Mark told me, “Just the accomplishment of achieving one of my most ambitious life goals was the greatest joy I’ve known to date. Now the challenge is to keep pushing the envelope and continuously try to make things better. We are always looking at what we can do next to keep the business moving forward.” This past spring, to prove their forward moving and thinking, Klinger’s created an Antietam Farmers’ Market “farm-to-table” dining experience for their customers. “The market special we did was a fun chance for us to show that you can put an entire meal together from the vendors we have at the market. It was challenging for us because we really tried to use something from every food stand at the market. The result was a menu that included two appetizers, one entrée with sides and two desserts. Since then we have changed over to some products available at the market and plan on bringing in more products for weekend and holiday specials,” stated Mark.
The Klinger family endeared themselves to our community when they restored the Carsonia Park wall mural, a remnant of the building’s previous life as Maxie’s Carsonia Inn. Mark remembered, “The whole family loved that the mural was there as a reminder of how the community was back in the days when Carsonia Park was open. My mother, Ginny, is the person who deserves the most credit for the preservation of the mural. She fell in love with it when we first walked through the building. She did some research and found an art gallery in Doylestown that was able to restore the mural inch-by-inch and then re-mat it and install it where it had hung for decades. Many of our customers chipped-in to the cost of the restoration and their names are on a plaque next to the mural.”
The endearment toward Klinger’s continues as they participate in our market. Come out and join us on Saturday, August 22, for Historic Carsonia Park Day at the Antietam Farmers Market where the crew from Klinger’s will be on hand to prepare carnival food for your eating pleasure, reminiscent of days gone by.
Visit Klinger’s website at www.KlingersOnCarsonia.com and check out their Facebook page for specials. Reservations are highly encouraged for groups of six or more in order to eliminate your wait time at the door. I asked Mark what he thought made a good neighborhood restaurant. Was it the scene, the food, the prices, the convenience? Mark answered, “I think it a combination of everything you just mentioned. We always want to be viewed as an affordable everyday option for food or to just relax.” Start making plans for the holidays and reserve Klinger’s rear dining room, large enough to seat 45 of your closest family and friends. Did you know they also have a catering and special event menu?
So whether you need to eat, work or play, come spend time at Klinger’s where they feature free Wi-Fi, and have 15 flat panel HDTVs so you won’t miss the games while grabbing some of the best food in town! As their website says, “Klinger’s features great food at a great price, a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly staff. Our goal is to make you feel at home.” Where everybody knows your name…
Klinger’s On Carsonia shares one of their customer favorites:
KLINGER’S MAC & CHEESE
Cook 1.5 lbs pasta of your choice (we use Cavatappi)
In a separate pan: (Melt together on low heat)
2 lbs Velveeta Cheese
1 qt Half & Half
Combine cooked (drained) pasta and sauce mixture.
Stir in 1 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1 cup of shredded cheeses (we use a cheddar and Monterey Jack mix).