Harrisburg/Camp Hill recommendations
I will be spending some time in this area on business over the next few months. Looking for moderate priced, interesting places. Anything but Indian. Also interested in regional/local dishes. Any suggestions?
Harrisburg's got a huge restaurant scene, as you'll find out on arrival.
Also, not to be overlooked, is the West Shore Farmer's Market, over in Lemoyne. Tues., Fri. & Sat., though the latter two days are best. You can eat-in (though little atmosphere,) or take-out. There's also the Broad St Farmer's Market, in Harrisburg itself.
I was afraid you'd ask that....
West Shore (the better of the two,) Tues., 8-3 (probably less than half the vendors are there.) Fri., 8-7 (the best day.) Sat. 8-2.
Broad Street: Thurs. and Fri. 7-5; Sat. 7-4.
'Da Pits right next to the governor's mansion in Harrisburg offers incredible barbecue for dinner and salads and wraps at lunch. Save BBQ for dinner.
Passage to India is amazing.
Dorado near Holy Spirit Hospital is nice. The lobster ravioli was a little tough and the mushroom ravioli smells like unwashed vagina, but the flavor is exquisite.
For something uniquely Pennsylvania, go into Middletown and hit Fox's Market for chicken pot pie - the real kind, not that bs with a crust.
West Shore Farmer's market has a great little wine booth - I recommend the bottom-listed red, it's as fruity as it says, and an amazing sauce shop wtih everything from Torchbearer to Tabasco soy.
I agree with the Passage to India recommendation, but have to disagree with the Dorado one. I went there with two other people and we ordered three different dishes that all tasted and looked the same. The bar scene is a middle-aged pick-up scene.
Camp Hill borough is dry, and there are a couple of nice BYOBs, James on Market and 2201. Both are open for lunch and dinner. In Harrisburg, there's a nice wine bar called the Red Door on Second Street that has delicious pizzas and small plates. Suba, on North Street in Harrisburg, is a delightful tapas restaurant. Suba is above, and owned by the same people as Mangia Qui, which is an interesting Italian restaurant with a good wine list.
On the Caarlisle Pike on the way to Mechanicsburg, Thai Palace is very good.
Across the river in New Cumberland, there's the Dingledein bakery on Bridge St. Opens early, serves lunch (or takeout) but not dinner. They make their own artistic, delicious pastries, wonderfully rich cakes, breads, cookies, and their own chocolates. You might also be able to buy Dingledein pastries at one of the hotels around Second & Market in Harrisburg, but I don't know if they'd be as fresh.
New Market Bistro in Camp Hill (near Holy Spirit Hospital) should not be missed. The owners, Russ & Susie Freeman, took the best from the old Cafe on Market & turned it into something wonderful. Following is this week's review from restaurant critic Mimi Brodeur.
Props to Mangia Qui, although sometimes you want to eat in Central PA without seeing Char Magaro, y'know?
Dingledein is amazing, but my hands-down favorite Harrisburg food is the hot dog cart guy across from the bus station downtown. (CAT, not Greyhound)
On weekdays the guy offers 35 different hot dog toppings. I have a video of the whole list somewhere.
If you're looking for a good, quick lunch, I recommend Neato Burrito. There are 4-5 of them scattered around Harrisburg.
Handmade, to-order burritos with chicken, buffalo, hummus. Their own specialty salsas; a different one each day, like jalapeno & feta or pineapple-cilantro. And one makes a full lunch and then some.
My personal favorite: Hummus on cheddar jalapeno tortilla, dirty rice, extra cheese. Sirachi (hot-hot) sauce, sour cream, salsa of the day and onions. It. Is. To. Die. For.
P.S. They look a little tacky from the outside. Don't judge the book by its cover. It's a good meal.