Come Back Inn: A Historical Treasure

The crime partner came home, took one look at what I’d left on the stove, and gave me a short list of restaurants he’d rather go to than endure my cooking.

I’ve learned not to sweat the little things. Life is too short.

Come Back Inn
Come Back Inn dining room

So we ended up at Come Back Inn, a Germantown Italian restaurant and landmark. Perhaps THE Germantown institution.

The bar at Come Back Inn, that ornate mixture of old wood, deep arches, heavy columns, and inlaid wreath, dates back to 1836 when it added some glamour to Kolbs, an oyster bar on the river.

The owner and bartender Cathy Zachari quickly notes that there was also a restaurant on the site of Come Back Inn that dates back to 1836. Just accept it. There has always been a Come Back Inn on Swan Street, if under a different name.

We started off with the Caponata, an incredibly rich salsa with eggplant and olives along with your traditional salsa ingredient: tomatoes. It was served with oven fresh pita chips. This turned out to be incredibly filling.

Tip for vegans: If you are trying to go vegan at Come Back Inn, you just need to proclaim yourself at the start of the meal. Otherwise, they will sprinkle parmesan cheese on everything. The caponata could be vegan if you take this step.

pesto mushroom pastaWe followed up with the mushroom pesto pasta. The crime partner had to remind me that pesto often contains cheese, so this is not necessarily vegan. You’ll have to ask. I can attest that it was delicious, however.


We infused all this good food with a Piluna primitivo from the Greek side of Italy. At $28 a bottle, it was too good not to pair with dessert. So we fell off the wagon a ways and got the lemon cake and the tiramisu. Que bella!

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