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Aug 24, 2011 09:30 AM

State College--never found a good restaurant!!!

Been going to PSU for years.Can't seem to find anything exceptional or interesting.
Maybe the "hounds" can help.

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  1. Have you looked at some of the recent threads on State College?

    While I generally agree that there are few places worth the money, there ARE a few places worth the money.

    Chopstick Express comes to mind, for sure, for awesome Sichuan food. My Thai serves some pretty good Thai food (beats the shit out of the cloyingly sweet, never spicy Cozy Thai).

    Pita Cabana is hit or miss. Their tabbouleh is pretty damn awesome, tho.

    Nola's joint has good pizza, but the service is.... spotty, to say the least.

    Chopstick Express
    134 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801

    1. Try Spat's. I have yet to try anything I didn't love. Cajun/Creole themed. Decently priced as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lwbatterson

        That's funny. Last time I ate at Spat's (roughly 6 years ago or so), I couldn't finish my "creole" pasta dish with crayfish and cream sauce.

        Took it home, put it in the fridge.... only to find about a half pound of congealed butter in the middle of the whole mess when I wanted to reheat it. In the garbage it went, and I haven't been back since.

        I find them waaaay overpriced for what they're serving.

        1. re: linguafood

          Ok. Well maybe you should try it again. I've been there five times in the last year and a half and they haven't done me wrong.

      2. We live here and agree there are not too many good places and none that are "upscale." Stick with ethnic or mid-range. Facia Luna is good for wood-fired pizzas and some of their pastas are decent. We eat at My Thai frequently and have had some decent dishes at Fuji Jade Garden next store too. Spats is OK and the Corner Room has decent sandwiches.

        Harrison's gets good reviews but we haven't eaten there in years.

        The Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks is probably doing some of the best and most consistent food in the area but its about 15 miles out of town in Milheim.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mb luvs SBH

          The Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks is probably doing some of the best and most consistent food in the area but its about 15 miles out of town in Milheim.


          I agree! We love Elk Creek but it is a long drive for us and even a few minutes on Route 45 feels like an eternity. Worth the trip though.

        2. Perhaps you could describe what you mean by exceptional or interesting. Also what your requirements are usually for when you go to PSU - do you go on home football weekends? during Artsfest? spring, summer, and winter breaks? What kinds of circumstances are you fulfilling and what are your standards? What kind of restaurants do you normally enjoy? I looked over your previous posts briefly and the majority of them seem concerned with quality value for dollar. What are your price points? You also seem to enjoy decent seafood options without much focus on meat, which is not as easy to find in State College.

          I'd stick with one of two options:
          1) As suggested already, ethnic food. Herwig's has very enjoyable Austrian food, but is rather meat and potatoes heavy. There are several decent places for Italian and Italian-American food: Faccia Luna has the best sit-down pizza in town, while Brother's Pizza (Centre Hall, Northland Center, rt.26 by the mall) and Bella Sicilia are all family-friendly BYOBs and NOLA's has the most authentic food (at a slightly higher price). For Chinese, I would go to Chopstick Express (only dinner has the really good Sichuan food), Big Bowl Noodle House (check the handwritten dry erase board and the appetizers), or the new place on Allen St (China Dragon, I think? it's near Woodring's where a number of businesses have come and gone) - they do very good Sichuan as well with very good fish. For general SE Asian, I would try Penang on N. Atherton or My Thai on S. Atherton; the former is run by people from Georgetown, IIRC, while the food at the latter is pretty good for State College. Slightly more expensive, and listed already, is Spats. Service is consistently fair and friendly and quick to correct any mistakes while the food is more than acceptable. Feelings are mixed on the value for the dollar with most of the crowd tending to be a bit older (not many college students there!).
          2) American food in several tiers of pricing. For the diner basics, I would suggest trying a cute place called Brody's in a double-wide. Good diner breakfast on Sundays and specials every Friday and Saturday night. A little higher price will send you to the Fraser St. Deli, the Corner Room,Elk Creek Cafe, Champs, Home Delivery - nothing special but reliable food and somewhat inconsistent service in the latter two. Finally, Zola's and American Ale House reliably execute food and drinks for a bit more money.

          Chopstick Express
          134 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801

          My Thai Restaurant
          2200 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

          1. IMHO
            1. Cozy Thai Bistro: Very good and BYOB!
            2. kelly's steakhouse in neighboring boalsburg
            3. herwig's bistro: stick to your bones austrian food
            4. Foccia Luna: wood burning stove pizza and pasta

            Cozy Thai Bistro
            454 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801

            6 Replies
            1. re: dining with doc

              Oh, I'd forgotten about Kelly's! And Duffy's! While both are in Boalsburg right outside of State College, service is iffy though the former is higher-priced than the latter.

              1. re: mookleknuck

                We have had several good lunches at Kelly's (Saturdays).

                Duffy's disappointed me. We were only there once. The oldy-timey building is charming but all of our lunches were sort of sad. My sandwich roll was stale and there is no excuse for this in my opinion. I remember a nice selection of beers on tap.

                I would try it again because the setting is charming.

                I need to check out Faccia Luna

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Nola's is MUCH better than Faccia Luna, tho the owner is a bit of a strange cookie....

                  Had steak at Kelly's once, never went back. If that is what they specialize in and they can't get it right, what's the point?

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Will keep that in mind. We might head that way the weekend.

                    1. re: cleobeach

                      Had pretty good steak at Kelly's, maybe not BLT or capital grill but pretty good all things considered. Seafood also was good. Definitely top 5 restaurants for state college.

                2. re: mookleknuck

                  Duffy is very disappointing it's not what the fuss. Oh yes don't forget to dress semi casual or you'll be seating in the as I would call it the poor man side. I heard it was so good so I finally went and I have never been back there period.