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Feb 18, 2009 10:25 AM

Central PA Mag Restaurant winners

I no longer get the magazine but went to the website to check out this year's list. Porch as #1 overall was a big surprise for me - I've never been truly satisfied there.

Any other Central PA Diners out there with opinions on this year's winners? I'd be very interested in what others think.

Here's the link if you haven't seen it yourself.

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  1. So, where are all the Lancaster, Harrisburg, York folks these days? (Shameless bump)

    1. What it tells me is that nobody should take this list as an indication of the best places. It tells me that some places try to gin up votes. And if you would believe these ratings, it would tell you we are in deep deep trouble for decent chow. If Fiorentio's is the second best Italian place we need lots more Italian places. Lyndon Diner the best diner? man, we are in deep trouble if that's true. Barny's Grill? Puh-leeze.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lancastermike

        there was a time when central pa mag was a good resource, and the phantom diner was a reliable critic.

        But, have you been to Porch, anyone else have an opinion of this eatery? I've only been twice, and it has been nearly a year since the last time. it also seems very out of the way to get that many votes....

        maybe voters were very split this year. never been to barney's, but I think Nikos is a really fun surprise for Lebanon - heard there is financial trouble there, hope they don't close.

      2. --Barney's Grill? I know where it is, and know that it is another Keares restaurant project, but I never find myself near there at lunch time. Curious how it got first place.
        -- Have been to Iron Hill many times and found the food hit or miss. things have been better recently, but never had a blow me away meal. Now the beer is always superb. ;)
        -- I just can't get into the new format of 10,000 villages. I loved the old featured country of the week format, and trying different food from all over the world. Now it seems a lot like an Isaacs. I like Isaacs, but it lost a little something when it went mainstream.
        --Love El Serrano, would eat there every week if I could talk Hubby into it. The courtyard and new Tappas restaurant are a welcome addition
        --Have had many yummy meals at Cafe East.
        --Oh how I love Lemon Grass. The staff there are great and everything tastes so fresh and alive.
        --Taj Mahal is one of my all time favorite restaurants. Every visit has been perfect. Never a complaint, rude waiter or issue of any kind. I love it!
        --Rice and Noodles is my preferred lunch spot. I love the cozy homey feeling, and the food is so filling and fresh. Nice owners and staff who are helpful and friendly.

        And lastly, LONG LOVE THE JIGGER SHOP!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: PearlRabbit

          I love Culturas (upstairs) better than El Serrano and yes, we really enjoy Cafe East. Rice and Noodles - absolutely in my hubby's an my top 5. Never really understood the Jigger Shop thing, and assume it is nostalgia ..... when growing up in Chambersburg, my Leb. Co. mom always liked to drag me to Gretna and the Jigger shop during visits "home", but honestly, guess I'm just not a huge ice cream person - never understood wanting to put up with those crowds and that service for a sundae. I drive by it weekly, but have never dragged my own kids - they'd probably love it! :)

          1. re: centralpadiner

            Hey! I grew up in Chambersburg, too!!! Did you see my post looking for Grapenut Ice Cream in lancaster? I love going to Kenny's and the Igloo for Grapenut, raspberry and Lemon ice cream. I can't find it here, though.

            1. re: PearlRabbit

              Yes, saw your post, but don't honestly remember grapenut ice cream, or even Kenny's . . . igloo sounds familiar. We always went for ice cream at the miniature golf place. Haven't lived there since 1990, so I honestly don't even remember the name or location of that place. *sigh* I'm getting old, my memory is clearly going.

        2. Keep in mind that this is readers choice's a popularity contest, based on the opinion of only those who read and choose to participate in the survey. So it is WILDLY skewed and not "fair" in any way. These are not necessarily foodies that vote, it's average joes, many of whom think that a bulging full tummy and great big doggy bag to take home equals a great restaurant. Take it with a grain of salt. And don't get me started on the ridiculous Phantom Diner, she's a joke IMO.

          My only agreement is The Jigger Shop...may it be around forever!

          1 Reply
          1. re: frackit

            I subscribed to Central PA mag for years, and my parents, before me, so I had been reading it for over 20 years. I had always found the food section and the Phantom and the annual winners reliable. I always assumed it was due to a more affluent readership that came along with the WITF affiliation. It was certainly much better than other local polls, which may regularly list The Olive Garden as fave italian.

            I do think something has really changed in the past 5 years. Don't know if it is aging clientele, but the popularity of Porch and it's nursing home like decor makes me think so.