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Harrisburg? Is it possible to eat there?

d
dooner78 Jul 20, 2009 10:45 AM

Headed to Harrisburg on Friday, and I can't find any information about good local places for dinner. I refuse to eat in a chain, hate eating in hotels. Staying at the Sheraton Harrisburg, would like to eat an early dinner, and don't want to be dissappointed, any suggestions? Prefer no Italian.

Thanks

  1. p
    pacheeseguy Jul 20, 2009 03:57 PM

    One of my favorites, and I think one of the best downtown restaurants,
    is Bricco, on S. 3rd Street & Chestnut.
    Easy to get to, great food, superior service.
    They're associated with the local Culinary school,
    and also have a retail meat & cheese shops.

    http://www.briccopa.com

    1. c
      centralpadiner Jul 21, 2009 05:24 AM

      I think the 2 best in Harrisburg are Bricco, as mentioned, and Mangia Qui, which also has a fun tapas bar upstairs. http://www.mangiaqui.com/

      They are Italian, but not red sauce Italian - check out the menus.

      I, personally, love Passage to India for Indian food. http://www.passagetoindiapa.com/

      I haven't been to Stocks, but it is a favorite with lots of people. http://www.stocksonsecond.com/home.html

      I was dying to try Char's Bella Mundo, but was told it had closed. Website is still active, so maybe someone else can clarify. http://www.charsbellamundo.com/index....

      2nd street is filled with lots of fun bars. Harrisburg isn't NYC, but it isn't a wasteland either. If the weather is nice, there should be a very social scene. Enjoy.

      5 Replies
      1. re: centralpadiner
        linguafood Jul 21, 2009 06:17 AM

        That Mangia Qui menu looks really great! Who would've thunk you don't have to go to Philly to get some decent Italian food in PA...

        1. re: linguafood
          p
          Panini Guy Jul 21, 2009 02:06 PM

          Can we assume you meant to imply, "because Philly is so much closer to Harrisburg than Pittsburgh"?

          1. re: Panini Guy
            linguafood Jul 22, 2009 02:53 AM

            Only if you know where I live, which is neither in Harrisburg nor Pittsburgh.

        2. re: centralpadiner
          p
          profjmm Jul 21, 2009 07:34 AM

          I would stay away from Stock's. Very inconsistent and popular only because it was the first of the Second Street "Renaissance" restaurants. Bricco, Bella Mundo and Mangia Qui are undoubtedly the best three downtown (and many disagree on the order). If you're looking for Mexican downtown, El Sol is good. Also downtown is Cafe Fresco. Cafe Fresco is pan-Asian-ish and the atmosphere is fun. The Sheraton is not downtown, rather it backs up on a strip mall off of I-83. If you don't want to head downtown, ask the hotel to point you in the direction of Herby's El Mexicano, which is not too far from the Sheraton. Excellent Mexican food.

          1. re: profjmm
            melpy Mar 10, 2010 06:20 AM

            I agree. Always wanted to try Stocks and went there for our anniversary. Sorely disappointed. Not up to my standards. Only thing we really enjoyed was the salad. Didn't seem clean inside either.

        3. c
          Chefpaulo Jul 21, 2009 05:46 AM

          If Tavern on the Hill is still there, its definitely worth finding. Its on a back street outside of the city but you will not be disappointed.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chefpaulo
            linguafood Jul 21, 2009 06:16 AM

            Are you referring to Mounthill Tavern? Given the intro on their website, I'm not even sure if they've opened in the meantime (tho they were supposed to last fall or so....)

            1. re: linguafood
              c
              Chefpaulo Jul 21, 2009 10:44 AM

              I was a judge for the PA. Wine Competition in H'burg in April 2000. We tasted wine all day and were treated to dinner at a place on a backstreet in a residential neighborhood that was superb. I recall it being Tavern on the Hill. I might be getting something wrong (considering how I spent the day) but this was nine years ago. A real loss for H'burgers if closed.

              1. re: Chefpaulo
                b
                Bigley9 Jul 21, 2009 10:51 AM

                http://www.tavernonthehill.com/

                Looks like you can handle your wine Chef!

            2. re: Chefpaulo
              d
              Dave H Jul 21, 2009 01:01 PM

              Another vote for the Tavern On The Hill, which I believe is in Enola, a suburb. I took a client from California there, and he is still raving about it. I must admit, I thought it was a gem, and the wine list was great!

            3. b
              barryg Jul 21, 2009 06:41 AM

              Gov Fast Eddy should do a where-to-eat guide for Harrisburg. The man knows his food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: barryg
                p
                pacheeseguy Jul 21, 2009 09:02 AM

                Especially since we pick up the tab. Remember the cheesesteak run when he became Gov?

              2. c
                Chefpaulo Jul 21, 2009 01:55 PM

                Dooner78,

                DaveH, Bigley9 and I have decided Tavern on the Hill is your place (check out the website). Unless you have good GPS in the car, I recommend you take a cab from your hotel. Enola is not that far (but involves a lot of small back streets).That way, you can relax and enjoy.

                I don't own stock in the place and haven't been there in nine years but, if you want a memory, this is it. Chef's Honor.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chefpaulo
                  p
                  profjmm Jul 22, 2009 09:00 AM

                  I don't agree. It depends what Dooner78 is looking for. If he/she wants an old school steakhouse, the likes of which were the only places to eat in Harrisburg 15 years ago (lobbyists and legislators had to eat somewhere), then Tavern on the Hill is an okay choice. It helps if Dooner78 is male and over 50. There are much better places to eat in Harrisburg today, many of which are named in the responses. Also, have any of you ever tried to rely on a taxi in Harrisburg? You really can't. Even if you call, they don't necessarily show up.

                2. kpaumer Jul 22, 2009 09:44 AM

                  I can't help you with American/Cafe/Fusion style, in my opinion Hbg is still somewhat backwards when it comes to dining, folks here like the AYCE buffets and the rest. chains, the better restaurants have been mentioned already, however we have some very good, ethnic rests. Pho - Little Saigon (Paxton St.), Mexican - Tres Hermanos, (Front st.) Steelton, Indian - Passage to India (RiverFront) Harrisburg, I might mention PTI is a "white linen" rest. w/ very good service and a beautiful view of the Susquehanna River. Sushi - Sapporo's two location east and west shore. Thai - Bangkok Wok (Mechanicsburg),

                  1. h
                    hchampion Jul 28, 2009 12:11 PM

                    Char's Bella Mundo is phenomenal and in a very pretty area of Harrisburg near the river http://www.charsbellamundo.com/. El Sol is terrific mexican - their molcajete is nearly identical to the molcajete I've had in Guadalajara and they use corn tortillas (traditional in Mexico) and they make real margaritas (not from a mix) http://www.elsolmexicanrestaurant.net/ .

                    Stay away from Stock's - not nearly as good as Char's or Bricco (referenced as well).

                    Your hotel is not too far from Hershey so you may also want to consider heading that direction for dinner.

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