March 2004 Dirt Cheap Eats

The last thing you'll do at Franklin's is eat. First, browse the general store, where you can buy frames, earrings, specialty soaps, wine and beer, bags of candy (you pick) for $3.50 a pound, and oddities like chocolate voodoo dolls and life-size stuffed dogs.

If there's a wait, relax on a bench or sit in a large hand-shaped chair. Like the old hardware store the space once housed, the restaurant is funky, with exposed brick, bright yellow walls, and patchwork tablecloths. Upstairs is a bar devoted to Terps fans.

The kitchen serves everything from Vegetarian Cottage Pie–chili smothered with cheese and piled high with mashed potatoes ($10.95 and enough for two)–to a plentiful appetizer of chicken satay ($5.95) and barbecue chicken pizza ($10.95). Franklin's brews its own beer; house drafts are $3.95.