When I was in school at PSU I seriously thought that D. P. Dough was just a local place. Well turns out they are not. I learned this when visiting the University of Maryland and saw it on what is their equivalent to “College Ave” (trust me people, its not even close) A quick google search, and turns out D. P. Dough is a college town staple located at schools all across the country. There is only one in State College, so it does feel local in that sense. They have all sorts of menu items ranging from tots, wings, salads (these did not exist when I was in school) and stix – but the real reason you come to D. P. Dough are the Calzones. If you can’t find one you like, you can make your own in the “Construction Zone”.
In school, my go to Zone was called the DMZ zone. And they no longer have this on their menu :(. I can’t really tell you what was in the DMZ zone, only that it was the best, and If anyone out there remembers what was in it please tell me so that I can re-create it again. At one point in college, I decided that I would try all of the zone’s they offered and slowly made my way through their list. I didn’t make all the way through, I would always get stuck ordering my favorites, like the DMZ.
Austin’s Texas Hot Dogs in Tipton, PA has been an area staple since opening in 1978. Although its gone through many location changes throughout the years, the same great taste and quality remains. They now have a new(ish) opened in 2015 location just down the street from the DelGrosso’s Park. I remember going here as a kid when we visited what was then called Bland’s Park. This technically does not count as a Centre County place, but just over the County line, its worth the drive. In fact my parents have on occasion, driven to Austin’s for some good Texas Dogs and back, just because. Plus if you are on your way back from visiting further South, this is a perfect stop.
Austin’s specializes in well, hot dogs, Texas style. Fresh-cut fries, and Old Fashioned Frozen Custard. I like my dogs with just about everything on them, chili, mustard, onions and relish. You can also add cheese and ketchup.
Stepping into My My Chicken was like stepping into a hipster cool local hangout you would expect to find in a beach town or nestled into some trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn. Well my friends, if you haven’t already noticed, Westerly Parkway Plaza is not Brooklyn. Its not trendy, hipster or cool however, the addition of My My Chicken definitely elevates the shopping center into a location worth turning into.
First the aesthetic: This place has a great vibe – walls decorated with skateboards, most featuring a chicken of some sort. Seating is ample. There is a pick up / take out order area when you first walk in, sharing its space with some classic video arcade games. Sadly, a lot of them were ‘Out of Order’; still cool to look at and for those of us who are old enough, to reminisce about. The larger dine-in area features just about any type of seating you would want; table and chairs, booths, a bar area, and lounge seats by the window. Okay okay, so the place is cool but how is the food you ask?
I have not walked into CC Peppers in 20+ years, but even if you haven’t been there in a while, don’t worry ITS EXACTLY THE SAME. You know that classic aesthetic of green and purple stripes tracing every nook and cranny of its strip mall footprint. The ceiling tiles, once white are now yellow, ceiling diffuser grilles are now coated with years worth of grime and rust. The kitchen, in full view of CC’s patrons, still boasts the classic stainless steel griddle, the long prep bench full of sub toppings, and the best piece of equipment, the fryer. The jar with water at the bottom – begging you to have your try and drop a coin in to see if you can get it into the shot glass nestled at the bottom, is still there. Its classic State College food nostalgia and much like its look, the menu hasn’t changed either. And really that’s a good thing.
Remember when Bagels had a moment? I mean really, there was a bagel shop on each street corner. Then, muffins then donuts. We seem, as a carbohydrate loving culture, to always be in an endless loop of one “it” carb after another. And. Its. Great.
During collage, I worked at Chesapeake Bagel (for those of you who remember located next to CC Pepper / College Buffet near Walmart on North Atherton.) On occasion, I even donned a bagel costume, stood out on North Atherton Street and waved enthusiastically at future bagel buying patrons. Okay, maybe not so enthusiastically, but you know, minimum wage gave only so much motivation.
My last count of Bagel shops in State College include; Irving’s (which when it first opened was called Irving’s Bagels), and Bagel Crust. Panera has bagels, and I suppose bagels can be purchased at Dunkin Donuts . But why go to Dunkin to get a bagel? This brings the bagel shop count up to a solid three (four if you through in Dunkin’) BTW the current count of donut shops in this area is six, No official ‘muffin only’ shop, I’m not sure those even exist. The only one I knew of was the Top of the Muffin shop in Seinfeld.