Family Tradition Restaurant

In Restaurants by Eric FontanaLeave a Comment


Delicious homemade food and excellent service are one of the main reasons people keep coming back to a restaurant. Well Family Tradition Restaurant in Harrisville excels in both. This place has been around so long that back in the day long before interstates 79 and 80 were built, it was the only place to stop and eat once a traveler left Pittsburgh that was heading north. Originally named “The Spot,” Pearl Phillips originally purchased the restaurant in July of 1947 and then the bordering property in 1955, at which time she put in fuel pumps. The previous owners, Dave and Carolyn Carr purchased the restaurant from Pearl Phillips in 1985. In the Fall of 2022, the Carr’s sold the restaurant to Mark and Colleen Claypoole, who want everyone in Western Pennsylvania and abroad to see how when you enjoy a meal at Family Tradition, you become part of the family. Let us see what makes Family Tradition Restaurant so special.

The Difference – The employee retention at Family Tradition is nothing short of spectacular. Many of the employees have been at the restaurant for over 15 years. They have a cook that has been there for over 33 years, and a server for over 34 years. Some of the servers started doing dishes before the age of sixteen and have now been with the restaurant for over a decade. Family Tradition starts employees out young at 14-15 years old, and teaches them to have an old-fashioned work ethic that most employers will tell you is extremely hard to find these days!

Roughly 95% of the food is cooked to order/homemade. The portions are also sizeable so there is a good chance you will bring food home!

Catering/Future expansion – Family Tradition offers full-service catering! Call them for your future event needs! Family Tradition is also planning to expand in the spring and build a covered outside patio that will seat around one hundred people. They also plan to install a fireplace which will also be available to rent for in-house catering.

Breakfast – Family Tradition offers classic Breakfast picks such as “Steak and Eggs” which is a 7-ounce flat iron steak served with two eggs, home fries, and toast. The “Harrisville Hurricane” is two eggs, ham, and cubed home fries layered over Texas toast and smothered with homemade sausage gravy. If you are looking for variety the “King of the Road” features two eggs, two bacon strips, two sausage links, two slices of cinnamon swirl French toast, home fries, and toast. Family Tradition also offers three egg omelets. The “Kitchen Sink” is for the bigger appetite. It has four eggs, ham, bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, American cheese, home fries, and toast.

Broasted chicken – Family Tradition is known for their famous broasted chicken. They marinate the chicken in special seasonings then drop it in a sealed pressure cooker containing hot oil. This gives it an incredibly juicy, tender texture and a classic, crunchy coating. The result is a culinary masterpiece full of flavor! You can get the chicken as whole wings with your choice of wing sauce or order it as an entrée where you get hand selected pieces of chicken (drum, thigh, and breast).

Sandwiches – There are a myriad of sandwiches to choose from. Try one of their old-fashioned hot sandwiches such as the “Mile High Stacked Meatloaf Sandwich.” It features thick sliced meatloaf stacked high between fresh Texas bread and topped with beef gravy. It is served with mashed potatoes and your choice of applesauce or coleslaw. They also have a hot turkey and hot roast beef sandwich. You can get an Italian or buffalo chicken hoagie, hand breaded cod, BLT, Rueben, and other delicious sandwiches!

Burgers – All burgers are made with fresh sirloin and are served with your choice of French fries, cottage cheese, applesauce, or homemade coleslaw. Burger selections include “Swiss and bacon,” “Pizza Burger,” “Bacon BBQ,” “Mushroom and Swiss,” “Ghost Buster,” “Healthy Burger,” and the “Lotto Burger” which is a double stacked cheeseburger!

Entrees – Choose from one of their country dinner selections such as the broasted chicken dinner, deep fried chicken tenders, grilled ham steak, or liver and onions. Seafood selections are shrimp, Norwegian cod, breaded shrimp and chicken combo, baked lemon pepper cod, or the breaded shrimp and cod combo. If you are in the mood for a steak, Family Tradition has a marinated New York Strip, Cajun sirloin, or chopped sirloin.

Collegiate menu – COLLEGE STUDENTS LISTEN UP! For those nearby colleges/universities such as Slippery Rock and Grove City, this is a wonderful place to get a meal and is extremely affordable. They even have a Collegiate Menu for you! Selections such as the “Harrisville Hangover,” which consist of three eggs, two pieces of bacon, two pieces of sausage, home fries, and your choice of pancakes, toast, or a biscuit. Other menu selections include burgers, hot dogs, meatball sub, Texas Mac-n Cheese bowl, chicken tender wrap, and more!

Other menu items – Family tradition also has delectable salads, chili, soups, pastas and more! Their dessert menu offers a ton of options as well!

My Final Take

My final take – Referring back to this place’s rich history as noted earlier in the article, Family Tradition is a landmark in the community. One of the things that most struck me after spending a brief time in the restaurant is when you are there, you feel like part of a family. The staff is so pleasant, friendly, and genuine. It is no secret why this place has been so successful for such a long time. A big aspect of running a business is investing in the business and being involved in the community. The current owners have big plans such as the future one hundred seat patio mentioned earlier in this article. If you are anywhere near the Harrisville/Butler County area, you need to check this place out!

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