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Feb 12, 2009 03:48 PM

Need suggestions near Penn State

We'll be at Penn State this Sunday and Monday for the first time so our daughter can tour the University. We're totally unfamiliar with the area and could use some suggestions for dinner spots on Sunday evening -- any cuisine and moderate prices.

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  1. You can't go wrong with the Corner Room for just regular casual food. It's right at the corner of Allen St and College Ave. If you want something a little more upscale, upstairs from the Corner Room is Allen Street Grill. The Deli is another good place for sandwiches, salads, etc, that's at 113 Hiester St. I also always liked Beulah's BBQ, that's at 114 S. Garner St. If you go to Beulah's, try the burnt ends sandwich. Its all the burnt ends of their beef brisket. The BBQ pork is great too. Skip the ribs though, they don't really rate compared to the pork or brisket.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gjd131

      Is "The Tavern" still there on College Ave down the street from the Corner Room ? Might be a good alternative to Allen Street Grill .....

      1. re: bakersma

        I totally agree with The Tavern. It's right on College Ave and I think it's the best overall dining experience in State College. They have a very nice menu and you can order any or all of about 10 different sides...Yes, that's included with every meal! The restaurant is also decorated in hundereds of old photos and historic information about the State College area. This is really a nice, unique place for dinner.

    2. When we drive across Pennsylvania, we try to stop in State College at least once a year. Last August, after seeing Cafe Zola Bistro recommended on CH numerous times, we definitely had to try it. We were very disappointed. I had the lemon Thai sole which was basically what I have had at Thai restaurants anywhere but this time at a higher price. Nothing special. My wife had the black truffle encrusted chicken. Way too salty. She has had similar dishes elsewhere with much better results. For dessert, she had the mango orange sorbet. It was not described as having nutmeg sprinkled on it, which she felt detracted from the combination of mango and orange. While you will probably see several people praising this place, we won't be going back. As they say on CH, this is what makes things interesting.

      1. This may be too late for your purposes, unfortunately. While the Corner Room and Allen St Grill in downtown State College are okay, I cannot recommend The Tavern (indifferent and often poor quality food, a Penn State tourist trap), or either the Mario & Luigi's, The Deli or Beulah's BBQ, which share ownership and are to be avoided (often poor service, lots of quality issues, dubious kitchen hygiene).
        Much better downtown are Cozy Thai Bistro, good value and quite decent, and Spats, with decent food and a New Orleans segment on their menu. Zola is more expensive and has been trending downward, but is still not bad. Herwig's is quirky but quite good, well-prepared Austrian cuisine, and a great value.
        Nearby in Boalsburg is Kelly's, with a broad menu and some local sourcing of ingredients as well as Northwestern seafood.
        On South Atherton is Faccia Luna, for excellent wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and a lot of very good selections, an excellent value. Also on South Atherton is Home Delivery Pizza, not as good as Faccia Luna, but huge menu and also excellent value.
        Otto's Brewery on North Atherton has good beerpub food with some local ingredients, as well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dan D

          Speaking of Boalsburg, is the steakhouse still out there on Business US322 ? I recall that there was a larger-than-life plaster cow on the roof which was quite a distinctive landmark for motorists passing by.

          1. re: bakersma

            Kelly's in Boalsburg took over the site of the former Boalsburg Steakhouse, and is a huge improvement in food and cleanliness. They kept the cow.

        2. Kelly's in Boalsburg. A must!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jeff V

            What about the Eutaw House? Still around?

          2. Kelly's in Boalsburg (about 10 minutes from State College) is good, but if you want to experience the history of the area I would recommend Duffy's Tavern or The Tavern in State College. While The Tavern is not upscale dining, it is very good and an institution in town. Very comfortable atmosphere.