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Central PA restaurants


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I'm looking for input on everyone's favorite Central Pennsylvania restaurants. Anything from Huntington to Williamsport, Dubois to Lewistown.

I'll start this one off with a great Italian joint in Altoona, Lena's Cafe. This is a family run restaurant with much of the menu made from scratch. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I wouldn't even think of visiting Central PA with out having at least one meal at Lena's. I don't think Lena is still with us, but she was back in that kitchen for many years.

I recommend the homemade noodles and just get the italian dressing on your side salad. Make sure you ask for the fresh grated romano. And never pass on the homemade deserts. I like all of their pies apple, pecan, coconut cream.

This is a small place with a short bar attached to the restaurant. Nothing fancy. Paper placemats with the map of Italy. Some posters of peppers and tomatoes on the walls. Tons of charm from the staff.

Watch out for Louie. I'll call him the matre d'. He'll come by your table and charm you with his dry, comedic comments and sincere inquiry about the quality of your dinner. Don't expect him to crack a smile either.

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What, no Picture Rocks?

My son went to Bucknell and we sorta liked Tedd's Landing in Shamokin Dam at the corner of Route 15 and Route 11. It was not great food but good for the area. This time of year I'd be looking for the Shad Roe.

There was also a place in Northumberland that was popular, it had Railroad related decor. The name escpaes me. It might be the Front Street Station.

For breakfast there was a place east of Lewisburg and just east of 147 on route 45. The place was always packed with locals and the college kid always like the huge breakfast. It's called Good Wil's. I don't know if they served lunch or dinner.

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About halfway between Williamsport and Huntingdon you will find several worthwhile dining establishments in and near State College. These represent my preferences and I would enourage others from our area to nominate their favorites.

First, I strongly recommend Zola Bistro in State College for its innovative menu, excellent bar and drink menu, and exceptional wine list. I would also suggest the Carnegie House in Toftrees (near State College) and the Gamble Mill in Bellefonte.

If one is visiting State College with an eye on expenses, consider The Tavern, an American in State College, or Mario and Luigi's, an exceptional Italian restaurant which is a great place to bring the family and has a strong, consistent selection of pasta, seafood, chicken and veal specialities.

At the economy scale, consider Faccia Luna for its authentic, rustic pizza, the India Pavilion downtown, or The Corner Room, right across from the campus main gate at College and Allen in State College.

Enjoy!

Dan

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  • 2 years later...

I looked at this thread since my son will be attending Juniata College in Huntingdon this fall and we will of course have to visit on occasion. We were quite pleased with the casual Boxer's Cafe in Huntingdon. Not at all what I had expected. A large number of excellent sandwichs, good fries,about 6 micro brews on tap, and very friendly service. And a very cool old fashioned saloon type bar. And the prices were good too. We did not get to try Mimi's, the only white tablecloth restaurant in Huntingdon because it was full (it was orientation week and I hadn't made a reservation) when we wanted to go at around 7 but it looks interesting.

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The Fence Drive-In, located on Rt. 405 3 miles south of Lewisburg. Last of the true drive-in restaurants where the servers walk up to your car and serve you. Burgers, fried chicken, and fish sandwiches. Excellent food. In Danville, BJs make good ribs, and Danville Sub Shop makes the best hoagies and cosmos (a baked hoagie). Stop at the Bullfrog in Williamsport for great suds and food. Make the trip to Selin's Grove for more great food and suds. If you go about 9 miles south of Penn State in Port Matilda is some excellent roadside BBQ. Enjoy your trip!

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i have heard good things about hummingbird in woodward, and burley's in tyrone.

woodward is near state college. tyrone is on the other side of the mountain from phillipsburg, which is near port matilda. these are SMALL towns.

tyrone is also home to gardners candies. which is worth a stop if you find yourself in tyrone, for whatever reason.

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I recently picked up a book in a used bookstore called "Pennsylvania: Off the Beaten Path, 4th Edition" by Sara Pitzer. Cost me all of fifty cents. I looked up Sara Pitzer on Amazon/Borders and this book came up as 23rd bestselling of 28, 2 behind her "Cat Tales." The latest edition appears to be from 1997, so some of these places might no longer be with us.

She breaks down the state into 7 sections, with another chapter on PA wineries.

For this thread, I'll list eateries from 3, 4, and 5. For details, buy the book (what with copyright and all that)

1). Southwestern Pennsylvania

2). Northwestern Pennsylvania

3). Central Pennsylvania

Duffy's Tavern, Boalsburg Steak House,Tavern Restaurant (mentioned earlier), Stoney's Post House Tavern, Corner Room (esp sticky buns, also listed earlier), Ag Hill (ice cream), Eutaw House, Whistle Stop, Sweet Annie Herbs, Woodward Inn, Madisonburg Bake Shop, Bechtel's Dairy & Restaurant, Walnut Acres, Reighard House Bed & Breakfast Inn, Peter Herdic House

4). North Central Pennsylvania

Penn Wells Dining Room, The Log Cabin, Frenchville (the whole town speaks perfect classical French), Straub Brewery

5). South Central Pennsylvania

Katy's Kitchen & Tea Room (no relation to our own Katie far as I can tell), Hunter's Valley Winery, Historic Fairfield Inn, Hickory Bridge Farm, Brafferton Inn (breakfast), Jean Bonnet Tavern

6). Northeastern Pennsylvania

7). Southeastern Pennsylvania

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Sad to report that Bechtel's in Lewisburg went out of business. They couldn't afford the money to modernize the dairy in order to compete in the marketplace. Sad too because they had really good food and ice cream. The place will be sorely missed.

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  • 3 weeks later...
The Fence Drive-In, located on Rt. 405 3 miles south of Lewisburg.  Last of the true drive-in restaurants where the servers walk up to your car and serve you.  Burgers, fried chicken, and fish sandwiches.  Excellent food.  In Danville, BJs make good ribs, and Danville Sub Shop makes the best hoagies and cosmos (a baked hoagie).  Stop at the Bullfrog in Williamsport for great suds and food.  Make the trip to Selin's Grove for more great food and suds.  If you go about 9 miles south of Penn State in Port Matilda is some excellent roadside BBQ.  Enjoy your trip!

It's Selinsgrove, first off, and secondly, BJ's ribs are awfully bad. Selin's Grove?! *SNORT* I don't even want to get into what they do and have done in Danville to traditional Philly sandwiches, such as hoagies and cheesesteaks.

If you're looking for a choice of "suds," consider Russell's/Clancy's in Bloomsburg. The food (some of it) isn't bad, either.

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No, it's the Selin's Grove Brewpub located lin Selinsgrove!  LOL

Okay, take a step back.

A brew-pub? In Selinsgrove? Might as well wander down 522 and set one up in Beaver Springs.

Selin's Grove brewpub may very well be the finest brewpub in the state. Extraordinary beers. And kick ass birch beer to boot. It is an absolute treasure.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Selin's Grove brew pub definately pours great beer. You can also get a decent sandwich to wash down. A few comments: Go to the Fence and get a fish sandwich and/or their hand breaded shrimp. It is only open in the summer. In Lewisburg, Elizabeth's Bistro for up-scale food and price but can be casual dress. The Inn at New Berlin is similar and has a fantastic wine list. More to come later.

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  • 10 years later...
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