Our stay at State College, Pa.

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Greymo
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2009/07/29 10:42:02 (permalink)

Our stay at State College, Pa.

We just returned from our stay at State College, Pa.
 
I made up my mind that , being that  I asked for suggestions, I was going to take advice from  the three posters that responded.
 
The first night we ate at Herwig Austrian Cafe, which is located a couple of doors down from The Diner on College Ave.  My son had read about it on another web site. This is one fun place to go.  It is very informal and the owner's son, who takes over for his father most evenings is witty and full of fun.  We only had one child with us that evening and she was delighted.
 
As much fun as Bernd (the son) is,  the food is very serious and excellent.  There are no menus; Just a large blackboard with everything listed on it.  You tell them what you would like; they take your order and pay. (cash only---but an ATM machine is located inside the restaurant.)  The first evening we ate there, I had an outstanding pork shank served with delicious sauerkraut and German potato salad which was also delicious. My son had a tomato soup, for a starter,  which was outstanding and would be best described  as a hot gazpacho.  I am going to try to make this at home.  This is a BYOB restaurant and they will put your wine or beer to chill if needed.   We liked it so well that we returned there our last night for dinner and  everything we had was just as good. (All of the schnitzels are  very good and their pork loin is so tender and delicious.)
 
Here is their web site  but they are now located on College ave in a much bigger place.
HERWIG'S AUSTRIAN BISTRO
 
The second evening we went to Faccia Luna at 1229 S. Atherton Street. It was Friday night and very crowded but did not have to wait for a table.  All the food looked great but we had already decided to have their pizza and so glad that we did.  Preceded by an outstanding antipasto, the pizza that we ordered soon arrived.  We had asked for extra crispy to be certain to have the bottom well done   and it was just perfect.  The sauce was very light and the cheese was outstanding.   I believe that the large 10 slice pizza was about $11.00.  I should mention that the service was perfect.  Busy as it was, they could not have given better service.  We decided that we had to look no further than here for great pizza and best of all, it was less than a mile from our hotel.
 
Saturday afternoon was the favorite lunch for the kids.  We went to  The Berkley Creamery for their homemade ice cream. It is located right on the campus of Penn State. The university has its own dairy farm and everything made at the Creamery uses fresh, Penn State milk.  Even on a quiet afternoon, we had to wait in line .  With the long list of  flavors offered that day, everyone was having a hard time deciding on what flavor they wanted.  It was no problem for me as I had already decided on Peachy Paterno.  It was delicious.
My daughter in law had the black raspberry and although she was happy with it, she wished that she had ordered the same flavor as I did.  The girls both had  cookie dough chocolate chip and loved them.  Great place......lots of tables inside and also seating outside. The cones were very large cost about $2.50 each.
 
We were glad that we had such a nice "lunch" as dinner that evening was quite disappointing.   We ate at The Tavern on College Ave.  The Tavern Restaurant   The restaurant is filled with wonderful pictures and  
  memorabilia  but  too dark to really see much.  The service was fine, but not outstanding.  My prime rib was cooked perfectly but it was so fatty that I could not begin to try and eat it.  My son hates to have me send anything back so he told me that I could have his fish and he would eat my entree.  The fish , some mild white fish, was not that tasty. One granddaughter had S scallop dish served over rice which she liked.  The youngest one ordered her  escargot and then ate a side of pasta.  The veal tarragon dish, which my daughter in law ordered was the best entree and it was excellent............too bad that it was served at room temperature.
I would have to guess that what draws people in  is the fact that they offer 12 varied  "sides" and each person can have as many as they want.  I would say that this place lives on its reputation. It was the only restaurant that we decided that we would not bother returning to when we go back to State College.
 
Sunday morning, we went to The Diner. We loved the ambiance but I would say it is not the place to go for breakfast.  My son saw The ultimate Macaroni and Cheese listed which came "stuffed" with mushrooms and sausage and a side of sourdough bread.  He received a serving of their plain macaroni and cheese without the sourdough bread.  The waiter did not return so he ate it anyway. When the waiter came with our check, he was informed of the error made  and he said he was sorry and started to walk away without correcting the bill.  I was not hungry so ordered home fries and an order of rye toast.  The home fries were burnt beyond belief and stone cold.  My daughter in law enjoyed her eggs and sausage  and the young ones were the happiest kids on earth.  They could not believe that they were allowed to have the "stickies" ala mode.  Of course, they loved their breakfast and could not have been happier.  They youngest one remarked  "Wow  I had ice cream for my lunch yesterday  and ice cream for my breakfast today.  This is the best vacation ever!"The Diner - State College, PA   Please note that this menu is out of date and the prices much higher now.
 
Sunday evening was the best meal of the whole trip.  We ate at State College Restaurant - Kelly's Steak and Seafood .This restaurant is  only a few years old.  The mother of the owner-chef is the hostess and a lovely lady.The service was was friendly and yet very professional.  He offered suggestions and  so kind to the youngest one.. The food was outstanding. I had one of the specials that evening which was duck ravioli with a cream sauce with duck comfit.  .....a knock-out meal.  My son  had  the fish of the day  (I forgot what it was) which was lightly sauteed and served with a wonderful chive butter sauce.  His salad was huge and very good.  The oldest granddaughter had the scallops over a delicious  ginger jasmine rice.  The youngest one ordered  the roasted salmon and ate every bite.  She was thrilled with the presentation.  It came on a small brightly colored fish platter with garlic mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked vegetables.  Arranged on the tail was a pink beaded necklace.  She was amazed that they knew her favorite color.  Her older sister informed her that it was not surprising as she was dress in pink from head to toe. Two had desserts  but I cannot recall what they ordered.  I do know that each proclaimed theirs the best.  We were so sorry  that our daughter  had to drive back home that afternoon as she had to work the next day.  I wish that this restaurant was located near us.................I highly recommend it.    One thing,.. beware that the steaks are expensive!
 
My grandson had been at wrestling camp all this time and had all his meal there (adequate but not great).  For our last night there, we decided to eat early so that he could come with us and yet, get back for his 6:30 session.  We tried to talk him into Kelly's  but he had his mind made up that he had to go to Herwig's to see if it was as much fun as they said.  I was actually glad we did as he loved the place and ordered the hash which was absolutely delicious and different. 
 
These were the highlights of our dining and we enjoyed some great food. ( Sorry but I do not take pictures.)
post edited by Greymo - 2009/07/29 16:08:16
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16 Replies Related Threads

    ann peeples
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 11:17:31 (permalink)
    Very nicely written report, very detailed.No need for pictures!
    #2
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 11:23:56 (permalink)
    Good job.  I actually miss old-school trip reports.  I know that my writing has suffered on my reports since I can easily show with a picture.
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 12:06:12 (permalink)
    Neat report. But I'd ditch the kid who eats snails. " />
    #4
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 12:48:13 (permalink)
    Sounds like a lovely trip all around, except for a few bad dishes.
    #5
    Scorereader
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 14:03:28 (permalink)
    great report. Too bad to learn that The Tavern has lost its step. That's disappointing to hear. But, I have not been to Kelly's - so there's a winner - and gives me a new place to try!

    I'm super glad you liked Faccia Luna. The owner moved to DC a while ago, and opened three more places, first on Wisconsin Ave in Glover Park, then one in Alexandria and one in Arlington on Wilson Blvd. The manager (Kevin) at the location in Glover Park, DC, bought the restaurant, kept the theme and menu, made a few minor improvements and opened Kavanagh's Pizza Pub, which is essentially the same as Faccia Luna. One thing Kevin did not change was the pizza. And Faccia Luna's---er, um, Kavanagh's pizza is still one of my favorite's in DC. A few years ago I finally made it to the original State College location on a game weekend. And, yes, sure enough, the pizza was fantastic and IMO, the best pizza place between Philly and Pittsburgh.

    As an alternative to The Diner, definately try Baby's next time. Although, for breakfast, (since Baby's is a lunch/dinner place) I do the Wafffle Shop on E College Ave, across from University Park. (I may have posted earlier about "original waffle shop" but that's not the one. There's a couple different Waffle Shops in town, the one on E. College Ave right across from the university is the one that has licked many a hang-over for me - in my youth, of course)

    Again, nice report!
     
    edit:
    ~oops, had that wrong about Faccia Luna history. First they opened up the DC location on Wisconsin Ave (which is now Kavanagh's) THEN opened up the State college location at their alma mater. I knew Bill had a place before they opened Faccia Luna in DC, but didn't realize it was a place in Bellefont, not the Faccia Luna. As a Penn State guy, I loved seeing these guys from time to time - especially on game day.
    post edited by Scorereader - 2009/07/30 09:41:24
    #6
    Greymo
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 16:13:39 (permalink)
    Thank you for the kind words.  I am glad that  reports without  pictures are still well recived.  I have to add one thing.  My  oldest granddaugter  (age 11) wanted me to tell all of you  that outside of her  "stickie" at the diner, her other two breaksfasts that she loved were at Wegman's.  One morning  (at  10 am)  the two girls filled up on  eel  sushi and another morning they consumed huge subs (made to order) on Sourdough loaves!  I drank coffee and tried not to look.
    post edited by Greymo - 2009/07/29 16:14:47
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 19:36:45 (permalink)
    Little children who eat unagi for breakfast need to have their mouths sewn shut.
    #8
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 22:14:02 (permalink)
    Thanks for posting this well-written report.  It's always good to hear the results of feedback from others (as opposed to "Thanks for the information, but we used the yellow pages to find a restaurant.")
    #9
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 22:14:03 (permalink)
    Thanks for posting this well-written report.  It's always good to hear the results of feedback from others (as opposed to "Thanks for the information, but we used the yellow pages to find a restaurant.")
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    stanpnepa
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/29 23:50:25 (permalink)
    Great report!  Our family shares the Penn State Football tickets and we get down to University Park usually once a year.  I agree with you on the Creamery (good) and The Diner (mediocre - but very good sticky buns).   I will most certainly make a note of Herwig's and Kelly's. 

    Faccia Luna has been open in Scranton for about two years.  Great atmosphere (in an old bank building).  The pizza has averaged "good", but it's tough competition in these parts.
    #11
    Foodbme
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/30 02:39:28 (permalink)
    Sorry to hear THE DINER has gone downhill. They are apparently living on their Sticky Bun Reputation.
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    rebeltruce
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/30 06:08:51 (permalink)
    The Diner has been going down hill for a few years now, it's pretty much hit or miss these days.

    It's correct to say that the grilled "stickies" are still what keeps the people coming back, they do a very big late night drunks business.....
    #13
    Scorereader
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/07/30 09:52:59 (permalink)
    stanpnepa


    Faccia Luna has been open in Scranton for about two years.  Great atmosphere (in an old bank building).  The pizza has averaged "good", but it's tough competition in these parts.

     
    who exactly is that tough competition? Faccia Luna blows away that Old Forge style stuff they call pizza in that neck of the woods. I'd love to know about these great pizza places people keep telling me about in Scranton/Wilkes Barre area, that I can't seem to find no matter how many times I stop there en route from DC to Syracuse. The only edible pizza I found in NE PA was at that mall in Frackville.

    #14
    sk bob
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/08/01 20:49:11 (permalink)
    very good report Greymo. theater of the mind is an old place that people won't attend much anymore.
    I'm not crazy about kids either but sometimes you just have to bite your tongue.
    #15
    jeepguy
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/08/02 05:30:23 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    Little children who eat unagi for breakfast need to have their mouths sewn shut.
     

     Michael, you have a way with words! LMAO
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    CheeseWit
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    Re:Our stay at State College, Pa. 2009/08/02 06:45:41 (permalink)
    That would be the Berkey Creamery not Berkley.
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