No Utensils Necessary: Harrisburg’s Manliest Meals

Looking for a savory feast fit for a king?  Harrisburg Magazine has you covered.  Set your hungry eyes upon some of the most mouth-watering, finger-licking, belt-loosening, manliest grub this area has to offer.

The Boss Dawg, Smoke

Co-owner and executive chef Josh White has fondly nicknamed Smoke’s signature sandwich “The Nap Taker.” This succulent entrée consists of hickory-cured organic pulled pork, smoked for 16 hours, topped with homemade coleslaw, house-cured bacon, local cheddar cheese, crispy onion straws, tangy pickles and Smoke’s own jalapeno and bacon glaze, all loaded onto a fresh Terrenetti’s roll. “You’ll definitely get looks of awe and whispers of ‘ooh, what’s that’ from the dining room when The Boss Dawg is being served,” White says. He suggests pairing

The Boss Dawg with a side of melt-in-your-mouth mac and cheese.

Josh and his wife, Jenna, co-own this popular “proudly BYOB” restaurant. They pride themselves on promoting a laid-back community feel and for selecting as many local and organically grown ingredients as possible. “Everything from our meats and seasonal produce, to flour and cornmeal are all locally sourced from small family businesses. …We’re definitely not your typical barbecue joint.”


2308 Patton Rd., Harrisburg | (717) 695-3148

The Carnivore, The Pizza Grille

What began as a specialty pizza-of-the-day quickly became a permanent fixture on The Pizza Grille’s menu. Especially popular with men, the over-loaded Carnivore consists of three times the meat, cheese and sauce of the average pizza pie. Customers can choose up to three meats from a variety of delectable options, including pepperoni, meatballs, bacon, hamburger, sausage (beef, pork or turkey), chicken or chicken chorizo.

“We are known for our homemade pizza dough, house-made soups and dressings and our service,” owner Douglas Barry explains. The staff works diligently to provide customers with exceptional service, quality dishes and a fun atmosphere. And patrons approve. The Pizza Grille has been voted Simply the Best pizza every year since 2003.

The Pizza Grille

3817 Gettysburg Rd., Camp Hill | (717) 920-5350

901 State St., Lemoyne | (717) 731-6717

1007 Ritner Hwy., Carlisle | (717) 218-2320

Macho Nacho, MoMo’s BBQ & Grill

According to MoMo’s owner, Mike Moran, the story behind his Macho Nacho goes something like this: “Our BBQ Nachos were fast becoming a huge hit at our City Island ballpark stand when a regular customer asked for a side of beans with his nachos.  He was having trouble balancing the nachos with the rest of his order, so he dumped the beans on top of his nachos.  It looked so tasty that we had to make another for ourselves.”  And thus, the Macho Nacho was born: a quarter pound of juicy pulled pork on a crisp bed of tortilla chips, smothered in MoMo’s lager cheddar sauce and award-winning Sweet Caroline’s barbecue sauce, topped with Luau Baked Beans and dusted with MoMo’s house-blended barbecue rub.

MoMo’s full-service restaurant opened in May 2011.  Along with numerous awards won from the National BBQ Association, this barbecue joint boasts 10 large screens “for all the sports action,” over 150 craft beers “to quench any manly thirst” and live music four nights a week.

MoMo’s BBQ & Grill

307 Market St., Harrisburg | (717) 230-1030

Jackson Burger, The Jackson House

The Jackson House’s signature, award-winning burger is a favorite among customers, and it’s really no surprise. Who wouldn’t love to stretch their jaws around a half-pound of beef, charbroiled over an open flame, topped with melted American cheese, crumbling bacon, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato and zesty “Jackson Sauce” on a fresh toasted sesame roll?

Looking for more? The Kegris family invites patrons to complement this belly-busting burger with an order of fresh cut french fries smothered in Cheez Wiz and topped with bacon, homemade pepper shooters (hot cherry peppers stuffed with Genoa Salami and sharp provolone cheese), Philly-style potato salad or NY-style slaw.

“The average person will not leave our restaurant hungry after consuming this hefty half-pound burger, paired with a side of fries and pepper shooters, all washed down with a vanilla or cherry Coke,” Dave Kegris brag. It’s no wonder local diners consider this downtown fixture a gem.

The Jackson House

1004 N. 6th St., Harrisburg | (717) 238-2730

Baby Back Ribs, Shakedown BBQ

Shakedown BBQ sold over 15,000 pounds of their popular baby back ribs last year. Asks owner Christopher Heilig, “What is more manly than a full rack of baby backs grilled over a bed of charcoal and applewood before being finished in a smoker?” No forks or knives are necessary when eating Shakedown’s fall-right-off-the-bone barbecue, “just fingers and animal instinct.”

Shakedown BBQ opened in the summer of 2009 when Heilig and his business partner, John Hoffman, opened a roadside trailer – lovingly named “Bertha” – near the truck stops on Rt. 39. Two years later, Shakedown’s loyal “BBQ Heads” followed Chris and John to their current restaurant location in Grantville, where they built a stage for the live, local music hosted nearly every summer Saturday.

“We are a BYOB establishment, and it’s a great place to come hang out with some friends, bring a cooler of your favorite beverages, a lawn chair and, of course, a big appetite,” Heilig says. “Hang out for the evening, throw a few games of horseshoes, enjoy the sunset and listen to some killer live music.”

Shakedown BBQ

668 Firehouse Rd., Grantville | (717) 469-4167

The Belt Buster, Texas Roadhouse

Every man desires the perfect steak, and Texas Roadhouse is up to the challenge. At their Harrisburg location, chef Talond Luckette grills tender 32-oz “Belt Busters,” certain to put a sated smile on the most hardened of faces. Texas Roadhouse’s steaks can be selected by the customer and prepared rare to well done. All steaks are served with two sides.

For the manliest of meals, Talond recommends their fresh green beans cooked with bacon and onions and a loaded baked potato overflowing with sour cream, butter, cheddar and (of course) more bacon.

“Our two-pound, Texas-sized steak is sure to lure men in because it is a challenge that any true man could face and overcome,” says manager Shelle Roberts. Along with mouthwatering fare, Texas Roadhouse boasts a unique “culture and atmosphere, with a family-friendly environment” that patrons won’t want to miss.

Texas Roadhouse

3529 Union Deposit Rd., Harrisburg | (717) 565-1194