American Ale House & Grill

American Ale House & Grill

Located in Toftrees, the American Ale House is a hidden gem.  For some reason I don’t always think of it when the preverbal “I don’t know, where do you want to go eat?” comes up, but every time we go, I’m always impressed with the menu and wonder why we don’t come more often? Plenty of outdoor seating (plenty of indoor too), a great bar area, live music, a steam bar, brunch, daily specials and….great food.   The menu offers a great range of salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, specialties such as Amish Chicken and Crispy Duck, a Steam bar with mussels, jambalaya and gumbo.  If you are an oyster fan, they also have a great selection of oysters on the half – always fresh.

lets eat!

I can always find something, usually more than one something on the menu that I want to try.  In the 90s they had a Cowboy Tri-tip wrap that I ALWAYS ordered (I can still taste it) that sandwich is long gone from the menu however, their Cowboy Steak Sandwich is a close alternate and it is my tried and true go-to order.

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Way Fruit Farm

As a kid we would head out to Way Fruit Farm to pick out pumpkins, and get apples in the fall. Sometimes in June we would go and pick our own strawberries to make jelly and shortcakes. When I recently discovered that Way’s had food service, I was intrigued.  After reading an article listing them as a great place to get brunch, I decided we needed to check it out. Not knowing what to expect, and only armed with memories of Ways from years ago, I was in awe of their operation. I’m not sure when its transformation happened, certainly before I moved back to State College a year ago.  However, Ways has turned itself from a small side-of-the-road farm stand into a large, diversified operation. More than just a farm stand, they now have a huge store that sells in addition to fresh farm produce, meats and cheeses, packaged goods such as jams and sauces, pastas, an entire wall of pickled goods, baking ingredients, gifts, candy and hard to find sodas. Ways has a lot to offer and is well worth the trip. We have become hooked on a ginger soda they offer by the bottle (it’s a good mixer for drinks) and now make a trip out there every few months to stock up on our soda.

Pickle Wall!
Pickle Wall!

lets eat!

The Way Café, Bakery and Deli offers lunch, dinner, Saturday breakfast, deli and bakery. We came for breakfast and I ordered a Scramble and my husband ordered an egg sandwich with bacon.  A Scramble consists of 2 scrambled eggs mixed with home fries and your choice of mixed in options such as cheese, bacon, onions, broccoli, tomatoes. Other menu options include oatmeal, fruit, eggs, French toast and bakery goods.

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Re Farm Cafe at Windwept Farm

Re Farm Cafe at Windwept Farm

I have been looking forward to having a meal at Re Farm Café for months. Although the owners, Monica and Duke Gastiger have probably been looking forward to this for years.  And it was Worth. The. Wait.  Beautifully set on 57 acres of farmland close to the airport; the farm’s mission, among other things, is to provide a really great, unique dining experience.  Food you enjoy at Re Farm Café is either grown on site from the surrounding fields or sourced locally.  They even have livestock: ducks, pigs, sheep and chickens!  Its really more than just a farm and more than just a place to eat; its an experience and a place that gives back to the land and community.   I’ve been getting a taste of the meal to come, as I’ve participated in their CSA (Community Sourced Agriculture) program since early this summer, receiving fresh produce every other week.

Upon arrival, we were given a brief tour and some history of the building.  As a State High alumnus, I was happy to learn that the old wood floor from the High School stage has found a new home as the flooring in part of the building.  There were other touches throughout the building that utilized Reclaimed wood or pieces from around the area.  As an Architect, I also appreciated the beautifully detailed spaces and the attention to framing the wonderful views just outside the windows.

Reservations are easy to make: RESERVE HERE   They have a lot of reservation options including: 3-course dinner, 5-course dinner (both of which you can reserve for an early time slot or late time slot or, (and this is what we did), sit at the Chef’s Counter)  They also have Brunch on SATURDAY’s yay!

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The Governors’ Pub

The Governors’ Pub

Located on High Street in Bellefonte, The Governers’ Pub offers casual sit down dining, open for lunch and dinner. It is a ‘Pub’ so a big selection of draft and bottled beer; located next door is their sister place, Talleyrand Tavern. The menu has burgers, salads, sandwiches, tacos, and appetizers plus it has a great selection of comfort food and entrees. Items like Fish and Chips, Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken and Waffle, and Crab Macaroni and Cheese all caught my eye. We came a lunchtime, so we stuck with the sandwich part of the menu.

lets eat!

I was in-between ordering the Robert Walker Reuben and the Daniel Hastings Stacker.  I am a sucker for sauerkraut, I am equally a sucker for a sandwich that also has fries, so I went with the Daniel Hastings Stacker. In addition to fries it also had, coleslaw, turkey, swiss, LT and 1000 Island dressing.  The cross section of this sandwich was equivalent to the cross-section of the Grand Canyon. It. Was. HUGE. My husband ordered the Curry Chicken Salad Melt, which was curry chicken salad with melted cheddar cheese.

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Liberty Craft House

Liberty Craft House

We went to Liberty Craft House on one of those June nights that made us want to sit outside and enjoy the season.  I’ve wanted to try it for a while but, that’s not going to happen during the semester. If you are local or above the age of 22, best to go during the Summer.  It is part of the Dante’s Restaurant group who’s other restaurants are conveniently all located in the same block; Hi Way Pizza (its back !) The Deli, The Saloon…..  My mother recalls getting Hi Way Pizza at the original location just around the corner on Heister Street in the 60’s – 10¢ a slice two for 15¢.

All the restaurants in one location make me think that they all share a kitchen, and certainly resources.  Its a good business model but often in those cases all of the places end up tasting the same.  I am happy to report that Liberty Craft House felt unique and we were pleasantly surprised.  The menu had so many great choices; meat and cheese plates, snacks, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and casseroles.  They tout using local, natural and sustainable products – and we certainly noticed the quality of ingredients in our meals.

They also have beer.  Lots of beer.  They have 46 drinks on tap which change out with the season.

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NOSH! café and grill

NOSH! café and grill

NOSH! café and grill opened earlier this year, serving fast casual breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They are located between Rita’s Italian Ice and Local Whiskey on Beaver Ave across from Schlow Library.  You will notice their orange entryway (why the door also is not orange I don’t know. It should be.)  Inside the orange theme continues – and fun fact, ORANGE is my favorite color, so I liked the décor.

My friend and I stopped in last week for lunch and overall, I think this is great alternative to casual lunch downtown.  You order at a counter and can either take out (we noticed most people did this while we were there) or there are a few seats at a counter inside. Continue reading “NOSH! café and grill”

The Express

The Express

We stopped by The Express in Centre Hall a few weeks back on the first really warm spring day.  I wanted to check out Sammis Greenhouse located just down the road,  but first, we needed to grab some lunch.

The Express, is located in the old Whistle Stop location, originally a late 19th century train station.  From what I understand (thanks CDT) , the owners, Greg and LuAnn Yearick started with a Cajun Food Truck and then decided to open a restaurant.  The Express features barbeque, sandwiches, entrée platters, soups and snacks.

lets eat!

I ordered The Conductor which featured some delicious bbq; pulled pork, baked beans and fries on a  bun.  My husband ordered the Brisket sandwich.

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