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.)
<message edited by Greymo on Wed, 07/29/09 4:08 PM>