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Lunching with my Compadres

Fran Garcia ‘26

Oct 6, 2023

If you walk straight from Main Hall and take a quick right down Church Street, you’ll find Compadres. The small, homey business has quickly become a staple in Mercersburg Academy students’ diet and one of their favorite places for students to eat off campus. 

Compadres is a Mexican restaurant owned by a Mexican family, the Ortegas, who moved to Pennsylvania around 20 years ago, opened El Sombrero in Greencastle six years ago, and then Compadres as a sister restaurant in 2022. 

Maria Ordoñez, Compadres staff member, stated that she loves to welcome students as they were both very educated and respectful to her and all the people working at the restaurant. She was saddened to see no students during summer and pleased when classes started several weeks ago.

Among the most popular dishes for students are the Beef fajitas, tacos, and the Burrito Rancho Nuevo according to Ordoñez. But these are only some of the many items you can find on the menu.

The Latino community is very small in Mercersburg. Still, Compadres founder and owner Mireño Ortega hopes to shine a light on the Latino community and the culture by sharing his family’s traditional Mexican recipes.

When entering the restaurant, you immediately hear traditional Mexican Rancheras. Rancheras are songs typically sung by small groups of mariachis. This music—and the smell of Mexican cuisine— brings a small chunk of Mexican culture to Farmland, Pennsylvania in a way that no one has done before.

Besides students from Mercersburg Academy who patronize the restaurant, you will also see families, firefighters, construction workers, and other people from the town.

Students and teachers describe Compadres as a lively place where the staff members will never fail to make you feel at home.

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