Patrons eat in the Fountain Room at the Glen Rock Mill Inn.
Patrons eat in the Fountain Room at the Glen Rock Mill Inn. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS BIL BOWDEN )

Manager Alyssa Quinteros, 28, remembers eating at the Glen Rock Mill Inn with her family when she was a teenager.

Sometimes it was open, sometimes it wasn't, she said. They usually called ahead.

"I remember there were times when it was really, really good," Quinteros said. "It would switch hands, and it was not so good. It was not a consistent place."

Her family bought the business about two-and-a-half years ago and tries to keep customers' guesswork to a minimum.

"We still have people who call all the time and say, 'Are you going to be open?'" she said.

I dined at the rustic eatery on a recent Friday afternoon. I sat in the fountain room, one of four dining areas.

Old bottles and photographs of historic Glen Rock line the walls.

A pastry chef at the Glen Rock Mill Inn makes pastries, candies and baked goods on site. A favorite dessert is the key lime cheesecake.
A pastry chef at the Glen Rock Mill Inn makes pastries, candies and baked goods on site. A favorite dessert is the key lime cheesecake. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS BIL BOWDEN )
Pieces of the mill - such as beams, tools, barrels and wheels - stand as a reminder of what the building once was.

Quinteros said most of the antiques accumulated through various owners. When her family bought the inn, they kept the décor the same.

I ordered a small greens salad with homemade herb vinaigrette and a bowl of cioppino, a tomato-base seafood stew.

I rarely taste such fresh produce in salads. It was as if the cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms and romaine lettuce were handpicked that morning. The stew was hot and flavorful, filled with shrimp, scallops, clams and fish.

Quinteros said the restaurant buys most of its seafood and produce locally to maintain freshness and support the community. It also serves wines from local wineries, including Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown, Four Springs Winery in Seven Valleys and some from Adams County.

She said buying locally makes a difference in the food, compared with ordering from a major supplier.

Quinteros said customers know what to expect from the kitchen. Her brother and classically-trained chef David Carpin has worked in restaurants and catering for years, and studied food in Ireland.

Patrons eat dinner behind a window at the Glen Rock Mill Inn in Glen Rock. The quiet, old-fashioned restaurant is filled with antiques and historic
Patrons eat dinner behind a window at the Glen Rock Mill Inn in Glen Rock. The quiet, old-fashioned restaurant is filled with antiques and historic photographs of the town. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS BIL BOWDEN )

She said he experiments with different sauces, such as a dill remoulade paired with crab cakes, the most popular menu item.

"He learned a lot of different types of food," Quinteros said. "He's at a point now where he knows what he does well."

She said Carpin changes certain menu items seasonally and tries to accommodate all customers and their many tastes.

Quinteros said her family's main goal in taking over the restaurant was to make it a place where people know exactly what they're getting.

Consistency is important in maintaining a business. Customers choose to revisit a restaurant based on past experiences. With bad food, service or management, it seems like someone just isn't trying.

A popular entrée is crab cakes, sautéed green beans with sundried tomatoes and truffle mashed potatoes.
A popular entrée is crab cakes, sautéed green beans with sundried tomatoes and truffle mashed potatoes. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS BIL BOWDEN )

When a business does try, it shines through a dining experience. When I go back to the Glen Rock Mill Inn, I know what to expect.

Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, lzaleski@ydr.com or on Twitter @YDRCheapEats.

If you go

LOCATION: Glen Rock Mill Inn, 50 Water St. in Glen Rock

CUISINE: American

LEIGH'S PICK: Cioppino ($6) and greens salad with herb vinaigrette ($4)

PARKING: Yes

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

PRICE RANGE: $3 to $24

ALCOHOL: Yes

SMOKING: No

ACCEPTS: Cash and credit cards

TAKEOUT: Yes

KID'S MENU: Yes

DETAILS: Call 235-5918 or visit www.glenrockmillinn.com

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