Somerset, PA - Exit 10 PA Tpke
My husband and I have been driving from NYC to Somerset, PA at least once a year for the past 20 years to visit family so we're pretty familiar with the area.
We're hoping for Chowhound recommendations for eating places, pubs, entertainment in the area.
The last time we were there (about 6 months ago) we tried (and failed) to find a bar or pub with a nice atmosphere to stop and have a drink in the afternoon or a nightcap in the evening before returning to our motel room. Any ideas out there?
Also, is there a brewery we can visit? Maybe Latrobe?
Unfortunately, dining out in Somerset largely means Wendy's, McDonalds, etc. You might want to try the Jean Bonnet Tavern, which is just off the turnpike but east of Somerset a bit. There are some decent places to eat in Ligonier, although I can't recall any names but the town is small and nice to walk around anyway. There is antique shopping in town and several places on Route 30. The Latrobe brewery is in Latrobe a bit farther north.
There's a little gem of a chinese restaurant where we always eat in Somerset called Hong Kong Garden. It's somewhat dubious-looking from the outside, I suppose, as it's nestled in the middle of what appears to be an older strip mall. The address is 1760 Easton Avenue -- the strip mall has a Drug Fair at one end.
Not fancy or expensive, family-run, and very good. Mostly Asian customers, lots of families. At this point, we often select a couple of things off the menu then just tell them to just surprise us with a couple more dishes -- we've never been disappointed.
I've always found Somerset pretty lackluster for good dining. If you don't mind a buffet, Oakhurst Tea room isn't bad and usually has a carving station with turkey, ham and roast beef and someJean Bonnet is a pretty good choice and better for you to get off the Turnpike at Bedford. For Ligonier try the Ligonier Tavern or Ivy's Cafe. In Latrobe, DiSalvo's Station is decent and is in a restored train station, I was just there last week. I'll also suggest Lesleys in Donegal which is in their B&B and has some pretty good food.
We have stayed in Somerset twice. There was a B&B with a dining room that claimed to have good food but was not open for dinner the last time we were there. It is near the Turnpike exit. The brewery in Latrobe was bought by Anheuser-Busch and then closed last September, if I recall. For a drink, you might consider the Rowdy Buck in Donegal, especially if you follow the previous suggestion for Lesleys. We have had lunch there and consider it a decent burger and beer place. Go to the bar upstairs as the dining room downstairs is like a cave. The next exit beyond Donegal is New Stanton. There is a nice Italian restaurant there called La Tavola. New Stanton is about as far west of Somerset as Bedford is east of Somerset.
One other quick thought, if you are willing to go to Latrobe, for the time it will take you to get from 30 to town you can go to Vallozzi's in Greensburg. Just make sure you aren't in a hurry as it is usually a well paced meal. They also have a nice cheese list.
Just down the road in town Greensburg is Red Star Brewing which has good beer and avg food in a restored train station.