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New to Harrisburg

Just wanted to say hello, we just moved to Harrisburg from Los Angeles. It's a stunningly big move/life shift and I'm hoping to ease the transition somewhat by seeking out the best of what's around here. I understand there might be a bit of a culture shock when it comes to what foods are available, but I've heard the area has been growing a lot in recent years, so, fingers crossed! Even if that means I end up seeking out amazing cooks who like to have people over for dinner.

So far on my to-check-out list are of course:
Mangia Qui
Bricco
Home 321
Jackson House

Would love to know if there are any other favorite places I should add to my to-eat list.
Thanks so much!

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  1. You already listed ones I would have recommended.

    Not Harriburg but not too far away - we enjoy going to the Hershey Hotel. The Circular Dining Room has a chef's table on Friday nights. We also like the lounge there for drinks.

    We used to visit a couple of good spots in Camp HIll but the names escape me now. I will need to ask my husband.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      Cleobeach, is Harvest at Hershey any good?

      1. re: melpy

        Haven't tried Harvest.

        We had reservations but the menu didn't interest us at all so we cancelled. This was several months ago so maybe the menu changed but at the time it was burgers, roasted chicken, a steak or two, nothing that I can't make at home from my own locally-sourced ingredients.

        1. re: melpy

          My gosh--we had dinner at Harvest last night and while the service couldn't be nicer, the food was horrible. The stuffed mushrooms first came out ice cold and then completely bland. My husbands filet was just terrible. Was bummed--was looking forward to their 'farm to table' concept.

          1. re: kmesquita

            Thanks for the info. I'll probably steer clear because it is enough out of the way not to be convenient.

      2. That's a heck of a move. :) Some of the ethic restaurants here are good IMO. I like Kanalya Thai on South 13th, Bangkok Wok out on the Carlisle Pike and Aangan Indian up on Walnut Street. For beer, there's Applachian Brewing over on Cameron which has decent food. There is a Meet Up group that does mostly restaurant visits and some cooking: http://www.meetup.com/Culinary-Extrov... . Was a member for a while but dropped out since I like to do more cooking myself and I just can't hear at a restaurant with a dozen people. If you are into home brewing, there's a few places around: Scotzin Brothers in Lemoyne and now Breskis Distributor on Eisenhower. There are some ethnic grocers around too, Steelton, the areas up on the Hill. It's much better than it was, when i first moved here 20 years ago. Then I was told not to live in the city because people whose skin was darker than mine lived there. <rolling eyes> There is usually a good restaurant over on Market Street in Camp Hill but none of them exist for very long.

        2 Replies
        1. re: velkyn

          Velkyn recited the famous Harrisburg motto which we who have left hear incessantly: "It's much better than it was, when i first moved here ... years ago." It's never good in Harrisburg, but always better than it was. Go to the Subway Cafe on Herr St. You'll be happy with the pizza. Otherwise, learn to cook.

          1. re: taiga

            The Subway Cafe was one of my first stops! We really enjoyed it.
            And yes, I've also noticed I've suddenly been spending a lot of time practicing my home-chef skills, such that they are.

        2. I'd put the Progress Grill on there. Last couple times out, we had our 11-year-old granddaughter with us, and she's hooked. Wants HER birthday dinner there! Good classic American food served by great help....

          1. More downmarket and probably more breakfast/lunch, we have always been pleased with the Capitol Diner off of exit 2 of 283

            1. LA offers a sampling of the world of foods along with some of its other delights like sunshine, relative warmth, desert levels of humidity all of which may be found in Harrisburg but not easily and often seasonally. I relocated from SF to the Philadelphia area and while there were differences it was a relatively easy transition, actually now I would be unsure which I would select for home. The task ahead of you is herculean; it seems you have set your expectations properly. Definitely an Apples to Oranges comparison and being from North CA I am not even big a fan of LA, as you would expect. Best Wishes and Good Health!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bacchus101

                Thank you! I'm doing my best to keep all expectations in line and at the very least looking at this as an opportunity to expand my kitchen skills.
                I've been to Philly twice this summer and plan to visit more and I'd certainly be willing to make the 2hr drive for a food specific reason. Please let me know if you've come across any worthy meals!

                And of course, I have to say it, as a lover of SF AND LA... give SoCal another chance! There's a lot of good there, we just tend to hide it. Makes you feel more special when you've uncovered it : )

                1. re: hyacinthgirl

                  As a chowhound I am sure you will alert us on the Philadelphia Board when you are visiting. There are always excellent first person suggestions on the "best of" and we would be please to customize to your specific likes and dislikes.

                  SoCal selectively is indeed quite lovely and certainly entertaining: I only felt compelled to engage in the cross state banter. The hidden jewel theory is one I do appreciate! Tks.