Mrs. Gibble's regular menu to change Tuesday

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Rachel Hain and Kelsy Moore, servers at Mrs. Gibble's Restaurant, will continue to give customers all the corn fritters they can eat as the business converts to an ala carte menu. The family-style meals will still be offered on holidays and for reserved gatherings.

A well-loved tradition is changing, but not disappearing entirely.

Mrs. Gibble’s Restaurant is known for its family-style service, with food  placed on the tables in bowls so patrons could eat as much as they wanted of the side dishes - potatoes, vegetables, salad and famous homemade corn fritters.

But people’s dining habits have changed in the last several years, and Kim Eshleman, with her husband Rodney, noticed that they were eating less. Therefore, when the couple offered an ala carte choice two years ago, it was a hit, especially with senior citizens.

That meant they received an entree, one side dish and all the fritters they wanted.

“It has taken off,” said Eshleman. “Our regular customers like it, and thank us for offering it. New customers like it too.”

Plus, the price is lower.

Serving both kinds of meals at one table was difficult, and after much discussion and prayer, the decision was made to switch course. Eshleman began notifying customers that the serving style would change on Nov. 18. Ala carte won out.

The response has been positive, which humbles Eshleman.

“Our heart aches because we have to change from family-style,” she said. “Offering both wasn’t working.”

A tossed salad will be added to each order, though, as that was the extra dish most requested.

However, for fans of family-style, it will still be available on Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, at banquets, and if a group calls ahead for that service in the main dining room.

Mrs. Gibble’s celebrates its 39th anniversary this month. Vernice (Gibble) and Sonny Eshleman adopted the family-style service when they opened the restaurant because it was unique and family oriented.

Corn fritters have long been a defining feature of the eatery, and will remain so.

Mrs. Gibble’s is open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7325 Molly Pitcher Highway.