Stars and stripes forever

. February 7, 2013.

You don’t have to be the President or First Lady to eat at The Whitehouse Inn; though the owner wouldn’t mind having the opportunity to serve a President one of these days. Located in downtown Whitehouse, The Whitehouse Inn isn’t merely named after the town, it is 100 percent all-American; right down to serving plates decorated with the American flag.
What began as an outing to try a local eatery in a nearby town turned into an entertainingly patriotic dining experience for my family. When the current owner’s father, Tony Fronk, bought the eatery and renamed it The Whitehouse Inn in 1995, it was a little more bar than restaurant. Over the years, it has evolved into a restaurant with a bar area. The All-American theme includes pictures and memorabilia hanging on every inch of the walls, and the stars and stripes menu, with items such as Pentagon Platters and Oval Office Burgers, all happened rather accidentally, according to Fronk.
Servicemen from the 180th Fighter Wing at the airport would often stop in for a meal and bring photos. Sometimes Secret Service men would bring photos. “Some are autographed. Some are released photos from the Secret Service,” said Fronk. “The ones of Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson stand out.”  Before they knew it, things had snowballed. Mr. Fronk had also purchased items to add to the growing collection and pretty soon the restaurant became ultra-patriotic.
Waiting for a president
Fronk said they’ve tried many times over the years to solicit a President to stop by and grab a bite. “We haven’t served a President yet. We almost got John McCain two years ago,” said Fronk. Though the Presidential motorcade may be a ways off from driving down Waterville St., Fronk said they are fortunate for their phenomenal local support, and expressed gratitude for the many friendships that have been formed over the years. “We are very adamant and fanatics about our food and making it a great dining experience,” said Fronk. You may not be from the White House or even a dignitary, but the longtime, loyal staff of The Whitehouse Inn will treat you just the same.
Presidential portions
Be sure to come with an appetite, because the portions are generous and you won’t go away hungry. Before deciding on the seafood combo (you guessed it-I just couldn’t make up my mind), I found much entertainment perusing the menu.  Senator’s salads, The Truman Tower, Lincoln logs, The William Taft, patriot sandwiches, etc. were just some of the catchy names.
The “small” Truman Tower of fresh cut and hand battered crisp onion rings was HUGE and came complete with a flag atop the tower and was served on a flag-themed platter. The presentation was unique, and the rings were tasty. The blackened chicken dinner my husband ordered was very tender and bursting with flavor. For $13.99 his entrée came with dinner rolls, soup or salad, and a side. I tempted my taste buds with their fabulous feta dressing on my salad, and the clam chowder was chock full of clams.
The kids’ menu came on an activity sheet laden with things to keep the kids occupied. For $6, there were eight entrée options (not including junior prime rib for $10.99), and each came with a drink, choice of fries, tater tots or broccoli, and a choice of applesauce, mandarin oranges, or pineapple slices.  And if they clean their plate, they receive gummy worms to go. (I am willing to bet even the non-members of the clean plate club get to go home with gummy worms.)
Kids eat for $3 on Mondays and Patrick the Magician entertains with tableside magic from 6-8pm.  Prime rib is a house specialty, and on Mondays the 8-10oz. entrée is $10.99.  Though the menu is extensive and offers everything from fish, chicken, beef, fish, sandwiches, salads and more, they offer theme nights during the week. Tuesdays are Mexican night, with a $6.99 all you can eat taco and nacho bar.  Or all you can eat fish and chips on Wednesday. Maybe Thursday Italian night will wet your whistle. On Sundays, a large brunch buffet is offered for only $8.99.   Whether you are a declared Democrat, Republican, or Independent, you’ll feel right at home at The Whitehouse Inn.